Our view: Youth should serve as an inspiration

The story of four young teens who sought refuge from the persistent attempts of street gang members to recruit them into their ranks shows that there is great promise in the generation of children often short-changed for their perceived apathy.

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings, and the four young men, instead of giving into pressure, decided to keep their hands busy doing some good in the community. Not only do they keep themselves distanced from the pressure of gangs, but they learn life skills and work ethic they can take with them into adulthood.

And, hopefully, they will serve to inspire their peers that there is another way than joining street gangs, which often use the tactic of trying to convince youth that they are protecting their community with strength in numbers. As anyone reading this certainly knows, that’s the furthest from the truth.

The young men certainly deserve recognition, and it’s appropriate they did on a local, state and national level.

We applaud the young men for their bravery, dedication and fortitude. They have the stuff of leaders and hopefully will continue that trajectory.

Kudos also goes to the LaGrange Housing Authority and its Executive Director Zsa Zsa Heard for helping out the young men when they came to her. Also Earnest Pickett, the housing authority’s facilities manager, for taking the teens under his wing.

Here’s hoping these teens aren’t the last to turn away from the infectious influence of gangs in their neighborhoods and seek another way — a true way — to help their community.

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