Youth can made a difference

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Let’s hear it for the young people in our community.

Three years ago, a teen-age skateboarder thought a skate park would be a good idea for the city of Selma. It could give young people a place to hang out and participate in a physical activity.

So, Clay Smith went to Mayor James Perkins Jr. and opened the lines of communication regarding the subject.

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He had a diagram of what the skate park could look like. But, he didn’t stop with one visit.

He returned, then went to the Selma City Council to share his vision with those who controlled the purse strings.

About this time last year, the council agreed to provide funding for the project – in the amount of $60,000 per phase with three phases planned.

The park is now completed and an official opening was held Monday afternoon.

City leaders came out for the event, and so did local skaters and skateboarders.

In civics classes across the state, students are taught that we live in a democracy. They are told that means they have a voice – a say – in the decisions their elected officials make.

We teach our young people that they can make a difference.

In this situation, a teen saw a need. Smith believed that a skate park would be an asset to the city. He believed it would be an outlet for young people who might not be interested in traditional sports like baseball or tennis.

And so now the skate park is being used.

To the youth who find a hang out there, we ask what the mayor and city leaders ask: Take care of the park. Follow the rules. Be respectful of each other and other community members who are using nearby facilities.

It is, after all, your park. It was built for you. So take pride in it, and take care of it.