Monday, April 20, 2015

Our Youth of Today

I am sure many of you have already read about or watched the video of the ESPN reporter, Britt McHenry and her getting irate at a towing company female worker. Apparently Britt's car was towed and she had to pay to get it out of the tow yard. Britt was on a video camera that caught the whole ugly scene as she decided to make it a personal attack on this woman's looks, weight, education and job. The video soon made it's way onto the internet and it has already been seen by millions. Britt has been suspended for at least a week and some speculate that she may lose her job. If you watch the video, it really is quite disgusting. As you can expect, all the pundits are putting their two cents worth in and taking sides on the issue. A reporter for the Huffington Post stated that the real issue isn't about a pretty blonde girl being a bully or a tow truck company having lousy ratings from the Better Business Bureau or about a tape that was edited to leave out the tow truck employee conversations. No what he stated is "this is about shaming and bullying and using words to make yourself feel superior. And aren't those all things that we say need to change about our youth today?"

Now that is where I have the problem. I agree with him that "shaming and bullying and using words to make yourself feel superior" are wrong and should never be tolerated. However, he throws a general statement out there that these are things that "we need to change about our youth today". I never like the idea of generalizing everyone into one group and I didn't agree with him clumping all our youth together in his statement. Working with so many of our youth as a school counselor, I see just the opposite of what he is saying. Certainly there is the "bullying" going on that we try to address and put a stop to. I believe every school is doing their best to try and halt school bullying. However, I just don't want to say "our youth of today" need to change, or "our youth of today" all bully and shame to make themselves feel superior.

What I see here at Vantage Career Center are youth who excel in the classroom and work really hard in their labs. They are learning skills for the 21st century and are going out into the workforce on a regular basis and being successful. I have never seen so many youth as I have lately, that as soon as school is out, they head off to work. I don't know about you, but when I finish up my day here at Vantage, the last thing I want to do is go to another job. Well that is what so many of our students are doing. We have several students going out on Early Placement and job shadowing. We have the health career students going out on clinicals, Medical Office students doing job shadowing and mentor-ships. Several of our Electrical students and Precision Machinists are going out on Early Placement along with several welders who are working also. Whenever I ask Mr. Verhoff or Mrs. Hall about how the students are doing on their jobs, they always give me a great report. The companies are very pleased with them and many of them are more advanced than some of the workers they have working for them. Also, on my last blog I showed you several of our students who are exceeding at the state level and beyond in competition.

I know it is easy for others to blame the "youth of today" but we also need to give them credit. They are growing up in a different world than most of us did. The internet makes everything instantly available to everyone. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. Many of them are struggling to help their parents who are out of work or in-between jobs because of our unemployment rates. Many of our youths have an unbelievable work ethic and many of them have some great goals. Let's encourage these students as they will be our future leaders. Let's continue to believe in them and help them out as they walk along their path to adulthood and beyond. They are a great bunch of students and I am proud of "our youth of today".

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