As we all know many of the youth today are in need of positive guidance and role models. Many are missing these very important factors in their homes. I am blessed to have been raised in a two-parent home. I am 50 years of age and my parents are still an active part of my life. I realize many can't say this.

I truly feel it takes a village to raise one child. Although I have not birthed a child of my own, I have taken on the role and responsibility of parenthood to many children. I have seen children who lack the basic necessities in life (food, clothing, and shelter). I have heard the cries of mothers who were unable to provide for their children. I have seen fathers fight for the right to raise their children. I have been blessed to be in a position to offer support to these parents.

I have been in communication with Bruce Jones and Decatur Youth Services, and I feel they have made positive strides with our youth here in Decatur. I thought it was a blessing for the superintendent of schools to offer the old Brookhaven Middle School site to Decatur Youth Services for their program. They were all crammed into the Aquadome building for years.

Why not allow them access to the building for our children? If the building was good enough to house our children through the years as a middle school, what makes it unfit now? 

Why in the world are some of the members of the City Council against the usage of the school? This is a place where our children can come and learn. This is a place where they can build their self confidence, improve communication skills, learn the steps it takes to make it in life. They have positive role models there starting with Jones. They have a staff who have a lot to contribute to the youth.

The Boys and Girls Clubs are great outlets for our youth as well. I am a former employee of Third Street Boys and Girls Club in the early '90s. I feel we made a positive impact on many lives there. But there is a need for more here in the city. Times have definitely changed and more is required of us if we do not want to lose our children.

Tracey Cater

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