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Editor's View: Teens restore faith in next generation

By: Don Chaddock, Managing Editor
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The annual speech contests held by many local service clubs are always a great way to renew my faith in the next generation.

Couple those contests with the Mercy Auxiliary’s scholarship luncheon last week, and I’m even more impressed.

When I reflect back on my youth, I was often found hovering over a sketch pad drawing landscapes or figures (sometimes cartooning) or writing stories.

To earn money for things I wanted, I pushed lawn mowers over countless yards in the summer heat, hauled numerous bags up flights of stairs at a hotel (during my brief stint as a bellhop), flipped burgers, worked as an elder provider for the state of California or painted signs for a manufactured home company. Sometimes I picked up fallen branches in the orchards following storms, pulled weeds or did other odd jobs to earn a buck.

Trying to get my teenage children to take out the garbage is a chore in itself. When I compile the crime log for page A2 of the Folsom Telegraph each week, I always feel a little down afterward. Sometimes I see the same names of young people ages 18-20, only a few days of freedom separating their arrests.

Meanwhile, it is a privilege to cover some of the events I do, in which I’m infused with a sense of pride.

The young people receiving scholarships were busy volunteering with sick children, working an internship program at UC Davis in medical research or some other noble cause. It is a great thing to see. It appears there is a still a nice work ethic at play with many of these kids.

These good-hearted teens are all around us. From scouting organizations, volunteers at Pioneer Village, youth service clubs, church groups, food banks, animal rescue centers and so many more, there is no escaping the good things teenagers and young people are doing in our communities.

Oh sure, I could point out the actions of a few kids going down less-desirable paths, but they are the exception, not the rule.

Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph. He can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com or follow him on Twitter @anewsguy.