Desiree O’Neal, BTW High School, Tuskegee

The future of Macon County is limitless. We the people of Macon County determine that. Macon County is a ball of clay that has been placed in our hands to shape and mold. So much is said about how Macon County is an awful place. I feel that it is not the city that is awful, but it is the activities that occur that gives it a bad name. Instead of talking about how bad our city is, we should gather as one to act on and make a change that will improve on the city for the better. So how should we do this? Computer ScientistAlan Kay once said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

The first way to make to make a change is to start within our community. It is such a beautiful place if you think about it. Most people do not notice how beautiful it is. The first step to making a change is starting at home. Revitalization needs to occur. We could maybe have a day where we take the time to paint older buildings where paint is peeling. It may take a series of weekends to do so, but it is up to us to do it. We should also pick up the trash on the highways and streets. We should have pride in our community. There are already a few programs in our communities that do that, and I think we should lend a helping hand.

Something else that may be crucial in helping Macon County is opening a free counseling center. There are some things that you cannot share with the people you know. It is nice to sometimes have an opinion from someone who is neutral regarding the situation. Whether young or old this is something that could change someone’s life. Counseling can help people’s lives miraculously. One of the reasons youth get into so much trouble is because we have no one to talk to. Everyone does not have parents who they can talk to about everything, but having this service could help them take the right path. Counseling is not only for the youth, but for adults as well. Some people may be having marital problems within their marriage, but are not able to afford professional help. Counseling could give the family a chance for a new start. Just talking something out is relief or the soul.

A quote commonly heard is, “The youth are our future.” I fully agree with that. I realize that other people in Macon County agree as well. One program that I know about is Tuskegee Youth Safe Haven. One of my friends attends, and she says she enjoys it.  There are others, of course, but my point is that there should be more. For example, I do not live directly in Tuskegee, so it is hard for me and my sibling to attend programs that are not near us. Programs should be offered in the rural areas of Macon County.  I think these programs should offer to help with homework and also help build leadership skills. I would have loved to have had a place to go when I was younger to learn and have fun. In order for youth to want to contribute to the future of Macon County, we must be encouraged and feel like our community supports us. So yes, the youth may be our future ,but the adults must nurture us in order for us to know we are the future.

We, the people of Macon County, are not the only way a prosperous future for Macon County will take place. We must have the revenue to be able to build the future of Macon County. There are a few businesses that are in our community. That’s one way revenue is flowing.  More revenue could be made if there was more competition. For example, there is a Dollar General and a Family Dollar in Tuskegee. These two stores are always competing with their prices. This not only gives the two stores an opportunity to make money, but it also gives citizens the chance for lower prices. If we had more stores to offer competition, I believe more revenue would flow within Tuskegee. I believe deeply in the phrase, “Shop Tuskegee,” but the prices have to be reasonable. We must try to get more businesses in Macon County. We can do this by following through on the first step I mentioned earlier. This step is keeping our area looking nice. No one wants to bring a business to somewhere where they cannot take care of what they already have.

Overall I believe that there is so much that could be said on how Macon County can be changed, but it is up to us take action and make a change. The change of this county is dependent on the citizens. My final thought comes from Professor John M. Richardson: “When it comes to the future there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen and those that wonder what happened.” Which one are you?

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