We all come from different backgrounds and have different influencing factors in our lives, but we all are here for one main goal: to succeed.  So let's get down to business; some people have a laziness in them that defers their drive to succeed.  Let's face it, the younger generation is more about instant-gratification than ever before, but what they may not realize is that things take hard work and persistence to see that success.

Fast and easy money is appealing,  such as stealing or selling drugs, but it doesn't provide a constant, safe income, and the risk is much higher than the reward.  Youth do not seem to realize that the "here and now" is not what it's all about; everything that they do will effect their future whether they like it or not.  Today's youth need to uplift themselves and help their peers get out of the "right now" and focus on goals and activities that will benefit them in the long run.

High school, for instance, needs to be viewed not as a "chore" but an opportunity and a building block for future success.  Every student does not have the same opportunities as others, but it is important to make the best of what is available.  Consider impovrished  families in third-world countries, they would probably switch places with any American student in a heart-beat.  Unfortunately, many youth in America don't stop to think about how lucky they really are.

In order to inspire, (by the way I hate that word inspire, MOTIVATE is a better one, it's much more commanding),  not only students but their families and communities around them, it is important that there are alternatives to an unsuccessful path for everyone. It's easy to start small, for instance, youth need to be aware of their appearance and how they are portraying themselves to the world.  Another necessary step youth should take is getting involved in their school and  communities activities, (and I don't mean just sports). Especially for young people, peers are the most influential and those who we strive to impress, but if students use "positive peer pressure" on one another, (inviting friends to a school club, suggesting everyone does volunteer work, etc.) it is more likely that we will see an increase in personal success for our younger generation.

It is important, first and foremost, to believe in yourself.  Self-motivation comes first, and the rest will follow.  If our youth learn to better themselves and each other, their success and growth will influence even more people to take control of their lives and stay on the right path.

To the young folk that are doing the above, I salute you.  To the others who are not, you will regret it!

*WBLK Interns Emily Leschhorn, Alex Skomra and Amina Boyd contrui

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