Our View: Sparks lighting the fuse
December 12, 2009
Far too often in our community, praise for the youths of our community is intertwined with achievements on the basketball court, football field or wrestling mat.
However, while the achievements of our athletes are indeed commendable and should be recognized, it's just as important to identify and applaud those students who thrive outside the world of sports.
Two settings last week provided an example of successful students doing things the right way and in an academic or civic-minded manner.
About 10 Craig Middle School students submitted essays to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 as part of the national contest, the Patriot's Pen. Of those 10, three students — Marianne Pressley, Terry Nicole Ferree and Megan Gingrich — were awarded with first, second and third prizes, respectively.
A day later, at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig annual fundraiser, Cowboy Christmas, Moffat County High School junior Carina Meza was showered with a standing ovation for being named the club's Youth of the Year.
It is the opinion of the Editorial Board, and hopefully many other community members, that these students' efforts are just as important as scoring a touchdown, making a 3-pointer or pinning an opponent on the mat.
Their efforts can provide a springboard to bigger and better things. Take Meza, for example. Now 17, she has worked for the Boys & Girls Club for more than two years tending to younger students.
Her work at the club has inspired her to someday possibly pursue becoming a preschool teacher.
Teaching is one of the most important jobs this country has, and we don't have enough of them.
But we can perhaps add one more someday thanks to Meza and the Boys & Girls Club, which gave her the opportunity.
As for the essay contest winners, maybe they will use the recognition they received for their patriotic-themed works as fuel to further achieve in academics.
The board's point is that a little recognition for youths, for accomplishments outside of sports, can be the spark that lights the fuse for grander things, things that won't simply fade away after high school, like sports do for most players.
Having great sports teams and programs is an important facet to providing a well-rounded experience for youths.
However, academics, the arts and other endeavors are just as important.
Perhaps the gap that exists in recognizing the accomplishments of all students is starting to grow a little smaller. If so, this is a positive and long overdue step.