Let’s highlight youth like 14 year old Melvin Byrd, III, who won 1st place at his Georgia high school AND in the county for his original piano composition, Iridescent Jazz!! His next National competition will be in July. News like this will encourage other youth to value and stir up their God given gifts. In addition, it will inspire parents to take an active role in their children’s lives. It will encourage them to show up for their children’s concerts, games, and parent teacher conferences. Give him some news coverage. There are children out there every day (many facing insurmountable challenges) choosing to do good things. Give them some news coverage! Our youth were not born to be statistics. They are amazing young people who are trying to find their way in the world. However, their identity and their destiny are under attack. We must take it upon ourselves to remind them every day who they are. We must encourage them, challenge them, celebrate them, inspire them, empower them, and believe in them. Talk to them about their dreams. All of our children are destined to do great things! We have find ways to reveal the greatness within them to them so they can in return see it in them and reflect it outward! The enemy is working hard to rob our children of their dreams. I spoke with a young mother who said she is afraid to tell her kids to have a dream. “It’ll just give them heartbreak. Don’t you see what this world is like? It’ll crush them. Better to not have a dream, then to have one and get it crushed. There’s no hope out there. They’ll be good to get a job.” Uugh! What a sad attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why she has it but listen, it is our God inspired dreams that God will use to help change things and create opportunities that don’t exist yet. What will happen if we don’t encourage our children to dream and do well? It is those God inspired dreams that will inspire hope and change in the world! I challenge our young people to rise up and be the great young men and women they were meant to be. Don’t be afraid to be good and do well. Don’t be afraid to refuse another negative statistic. Don’t be afraid to refuse to be defined by the negative images that media portrays as today’s youth. You are no negative statistic. We see you. You are not invisible. Your gifts and talents do not go unnoticed. You are valuable. You are incredible. You are fabulous. You are brilliant. Be you and be amazing! Lastly I challenge people to start flooding your local and national news (both TV and Radio), as well as your local government with news about the children in your life who are excelling. How will they know if you don’t tell them? Take pictures and video. Send in clippings, copies of certificates. Let’s make an effort to challenge the media to pick up the positive news and images of our children- children who are destined to do great things and destined to inspire others while leaving their mark on the world!