Justine Ray, Notasulga High School

If you ask the younger generation what they think the future of Macon County is, the answer is not what everyone wants to hear. I am here to change that. Macon County has such a bright future ahead. We have so much history on which to build our future. Tuskegee University is located in Macon County. Two of the schools that were first integrated in the South are located in Macon County. The first black man on a postage stamp, Booker T. Washington, lived in Macon County. Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist, was from Macon County. Moton Field, where the Tuskegee Airmen trained, is located in Macon County. All these huge things have happened in this one little county, it is not too late for bigger things to happen. Maybe the first doctor or pharmacist who will find a cure for AIDS will come from Macon County. All we need is dedication from the teens, parents, and political offices.

In today’s society most teens are not involved in their community. Most of them are not letting their voices be heard. Most of the time, the older generation doesn’t realize how much we need and what all we need as teens. They question why so many are in gangs, violence, drugs, jail, and much more. This is because there aren’t enough constructive things going on in our county. Whatever is advertised that’s what they go to. Advertisement has a big impact on teens, whether they know it or not. For example, the Nike logo is “Just Do It.” This is advertising to teens because every teen I know owns a pair or has owned some Nike shoes or clothes wear. Why can’t we advertise things to get teens involved in their community?

The teens must take a stand and fight for this. If they talk to their parents, teacher, pastor, or any adult who can make a change then this would be huge. If you don’t think your voice will be heard then you, as a teen, should go to someone whose voice you think will be heard and who you believe can make a difference.  For example, if you think that a recreational center would be good for the community, then talk to someone about it. Don’t just sit around and complain about it; take a stand and do something about it.

Most parents are not involved in their children’s lives. As sad as this is, it is true. But we must not blame the parents for this. Maybe the reason they can’t really be involved in their children’s lives is because they are working hard trying to make a living. This is another reason why we need to add more modern things to our community to get teens involved. Through our parents, we can make a change. If the parents of Macon County feel that there needs to be a change, then I ask of you please speak up and make a difference. If you believe, you can achieve anything that you put your mind to. But we must start at home first. The child will only do what they are taught. If you teach your children right from wrong, then this is doing a huge favor for your community. So when they go out into the real world, away from home, they will remember what was taught. This is partly your civic duty as a parent to the community.

It is the job of our government to listen to what the people want and try to help them achieve this. Many politicians talk about change, but they never make a change. That is exactly what we need: change. If our community comes to you with brilliant ideas to help the community, don’t turn them away giving them less of hope then what they came to you with. Without the help of the government, our ideas are hopeless. They have the power to put these ideas into action, but so often they choose not to. As a political leader it is their civic duty to know the needs of their community. If the statics show that the arresting of teenagers is too high, it is up to the politicians to find out why this is. Behind every crime, there is always a story that caused it. Stop wondering and make a move, then you will start to see results.

The future of Macon County is the younger generation with the help of the older generation. When times get hard, don’t just run off to a “better” place. Try to make a difference in your community, our community, Macon County. Just think, if Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, or any of the other people who made Macon County as great as it is, would have left to go to a “better” place, we would have nothing. Our county is full of history; now we have to establish a bright future. I was recently informed that the Macon County area has at least two recreational centers. As a student athlete attending Notasulga High School, you would think that I would know this. This all goes back to the advertising. If we do not spread the word, then the things we do as a community to help our community will not take as much effect as we expect them to.  I took the first step by writing this essay, so now what will you do? A teen, parent, pastor, teacher, politician leaders, anybody can make a difference. I have done my part and plan to do much more, so now it’s up to you! Do you want a better life for the people in Macon County, the next generation, our teens, or the elderly? Take a stand and make a change.

2 responses to “Justine Ray, Notasulga High School

  1. Xavier Duplesssis

    Great job bud you really have always been a great writer
    Love, Zae

  2. Mary White Overnight Youth Service Worker @ B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Shelter for girls

    Great job. I live in Macon County as well, and I do not know about the recreation centers either.

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