Thursday, April 3, 2008


Kids are Lazy? Now Isn’t That an Overused Statement? A Generalization?
An Assumption? Welcome to Youth Making a Difference.

Introduction by
Julievette Santiago, Editor-in-Chief
Senior, Waterbury Arts Magnet

In case you didn’t have a chance to read my article, Politically Incorrect, in the previous issue of Young Voices, let me fill you in.

Politician Ralph Nader (former presidential candidate and political activist) came to the Silas Bronson Library on October 6, 2007 to give a lecture and have a book signing for his latest memoir, The Seventeen Traditions.

To me, the lecture seemed more like a “Bash the Youth” meeting. I found it unjust how Nader complained and made negative assumptions about the youth. Yet he was lecturing to an audience of people over the age of forty.

I looked around the room and I felt out of place. I was being stared at, but yet I was there with a press pass clipped to my shirt and doing something positive.

Nader gave a long speech about how children’s values have changed and how the youth have become lazy. His complaints included their ample time spent watching “screens” and their lack of exercise, realistic views, and education. He also complained about their deficiency of solitude, their lack of respect and discipline, and their inability to listen.

Of course, being the strong-minded young woman that I am, I just couldn’t sit around and let people be brainwashed by Nader’s blanket statements. In last issue, I argued that there are plenty of young people out there doing good for society. I researched and found out about over 25 foundations that were started by children as young as four years old.

I learned more about the Free the Children foundation that increases awareness about child poverty and unfair child labor all over the world. This organization was founded by a twelve-year-old boy named Craig Kielburger of Toronto, Canada. Free the Children now has branches in over 35 countries.

This doesn’t sound like laziness to me. In my article, I mentioned that technology is increasing the amount of laziness in the United States. And it is not just the young people who are being affected by this technological age. Older people, like Ralph Nader (who I’m sure owns a computer), are being affected just as well.

The main point in my story was that generalizations are inaccurate. It is unfair to judge an entire group of people based on the actions of a few people in that particular group.

We are off the couch. Don’t think youth are doing positive things, just look at the group that put together Young Voices.

With that said, we present to you the forth issue of Young Voices, and this new feature “Making a Difference”. This feature will counteract the views that were expressed during Nader’s recent visit to Waterbury, and will allow us to spotlight youth doing positive things in Waterbury every issue. I promise you, it will be an inspirational feature in our paper. In the pages that follow, you will read the stories of many young people who are helping to change the world…one small step at a time.

If you know someone that should be featured in this section, please email our publisher at

No comments: