Thursday, January 22, 2009

The children _are_ the future

Newspapers, radio, television and the web-based media have done a pretty fantastic job covering the inauguration. This flash-based photo gallery of reader images of the historic occasion has blown us away at the office during the past few days. But I'd feel remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to my students at L.A. Youth for their incredibly thoughtful and hopeful comments.

Recognizing the enormity of the moment, we sent out an urgent call for their thoughts Tuesday afternoon. By Wednesday morning a dozen had responded and by Thursday afternoon another handful. Here are excerpts from a few ...

I believe that he won’t help just the United States but everyone in the world. He definitely gave me hope that he will be able to fix the problems our nation is facing at this moment, from the economy to the war in Iraq and helping students afford college. He is an inspiration to everyone, especially minorities, and proof that anything is possible.
I am glad that I was able to volunteer for his campaign and took some part in helping him become our president and help have this historical day come. I believe that he will change this world forever. I will never forget this day and I am glad that change has finally come to America.
Hennessy Valle, 17, El Camino Real HS (Woodland Hills)

I’ve never had as much hope as I do right now. I have never believed in my peers more than I do, and hearing “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord” echo through Washington, D.C. brought chills down my spine because I know that there is hope for everyone and that it lies in each of us. For the first time I understood why America is great and it has inspired me to work harder not for myself, but for everyone, because the one thing I have learned through Obama’s campaign is that it’s not just one person who makes things happen, it is all of us as a whole.
I wish I could have been one of the million-plus people standing in the crowds, but I know that it’s not about witnessing this in person. It has been about the whole journey from the beginning of this campaign to the four years that lie ahead. I’m inspired and I’m hopeful. YES WE CAN!
Devin Ruiz, 17, Ramona Convent (Alhambra)

Of course I was proud and pumped up as well, but not to the point of thinking that he was going to bring immediate results right after he placed his hand on the Bible. Sometimes I think that people are expecting way too much from Obama, and soon it will seem as though his promises weren’t adequately met. Some people make it seem as if America’s economic crisis and war situation will be resolved in minutes, paying more attention to the "change we can believe in" rather than the "it will take time" to accomplish this.
Jisu Yoo, 16, Glendale HS

To read the rest click here
. They were so excellent that it was one of those times when Amanda (one of my co-editors) and I couldn't help but pinch ourselves that we get to work with these students every day.

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