Congratulations to Burke Mountain’s Brandon Symmers on being selected as the 2018 recipient of the Burke Mountain Homes® Community Leadership Award! Brandon will receive $1000 in recognition of his leadership, volunteerism, passion for the community and his inspirational essay on shaping the future of Burke Mountain.
Here is his winning essay!
The youth of our generation have an important job in further developing the growth of our communities. As a teenager myself, I like to think that the future of Burke Mountain lies within my age group, as soon we will be moving into the workforce and contributing our livelihoods to our community and society as a whole. Emerging communities require input from all who reside in the area to ensure a consensus is reached upon for decisions regarding the future. As the next generation is our future, it is imperative that we include them in the growth plans of Burke Mountain.
Throughout these 13 years of schooling, my generation of youth have been shown different ways of thinking; a skill that is helpful in making a lasting change within society. When faced with problems, we can take a different, more open-minded approach opposed to older generations. We can offer a fresh, new take on lasting issues that have been difficult to solve. While we may not be able to solve all of the world’s problems, we can work with older generations to tackle these issues. This generation’s youth being able to work together with older, more experienced people offers a great variance of ideas when problem solving.
In addition to schooling, our generation is the most connected group of individuals we have seen thus far due to our vast knowledge regarding the internet and social media. While at times this may be a bad facet, myself and others use the internet to stay informed on issues regarding our community. We use social media to stay connected and aware of the events taking place around us; a skill useful as the internet is full of different opinions, which widens one’s scope on the pending issue. The world is at our fingertips with the access that we have because of Google and other social media apps, and my generation are the most averse in this field.
Youth typically spend a large portion of their time involved in community clubs, activities, and other groups, meaning they are the ones affected by a lot of the decisions made in planning or developing a community. This is all the more reason for why it is imperative that our generation must contribute towards Burke Mountain’s success and evolution. Youth have a firsthand view on pertinent world issues and are more in touch with society in comparison with the older generations.
A great way to engage youth in our community would be to start an interactive group where bright young people can collaborate with one another and give their input towards pressing community dilemmas. This would be an effective means in getting new ideas brought forth to implement on Burke Mountain. We often overlook the opinions of our younger generation, claiming that they are juvenile or not serious. However, it is always important to consider all possible perspectives when deciding matters that affect the community as a whole, as after all, youth will be directly affected by these matters as well.
Emerging communities require dedicated individuals, both young and old. While this is true, we must encourage youth participation and collaboration towards topics of discussion within Burke Mountain. As a part of the youth community, I often feel as if my voice is not clearly heard despite my frequent service to my school, my community and my efforts to spread my message and opinion. In the future, I hope that adults and our next generation’s youth can work side by side to achieve common goals, while making decisions using a broad scope that encompasses all individuals.