Miss Sparta-Shannon Brady

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

Age:17 Parents: Dan Brady and Barb Brady Plans for the future: I plan to be working at the Lake Mohawk Country club this summer then attending Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina in August. Community Involvement: I have just recently become an Ameri-core member through Pass-It-Along. I have received recognition from the White house last weekend for my involvement with community service. My goal is to complete 300 hours by the end of the summer and I have completed 260 so far this year. I am an Ed-Scholar with the non-profit organization known as "Pass-It-Along" and will be receiving a scholarship of $1,000 in August. I run youth council meetings monthly which allows me to come up with new idea's to help the community. Through Pass It Along I have been able to make trips into Newark, NJ to interact with their youth, teaching them the importance of community involvement, education, and Religion. I have assisted the First Presbyterian Church of Sparta with their "Vacation Bible School" program for the past four summers as well as Teaching Sunday School during the year. In your opinion, what are the most important issues affecting Sparta: Although I have been hearing nothing about Sparta besides what happens at the town council meetings regarding a new High School, I believe that there are other issues that need to be addressed. I have been informed of many serious cases of promiscuous actions which will ultimately cause harm to Sparta's youth. What I mean is that I know for a fact that these 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are hearing conversations from older siblings, television, and internet sites about drugs, sex, and drinking ... then decide to experiment. I have been informed of specific cases regarding marijuana, alcohol, and sexual favors being performed by these young children and am absolutely appalled by the ignorant approach taken to solve this problem. I understand a parents lack of knowledge or even disbelief but the truth is that this is a problem, it is real, and someone needs to take action. I feel that i personally need to get involved with this yet have gotten nothing but negative feedback. I have tried to go through pass it along to start a club for girls coming into the high school so that they wouldn't have to feel nervous about walking the halls for the first time without knowing an upperclassman. Although it would be great to help out those girls who choose to join, it just isn't enough. I have been trying to set up a day for High School girls to visit the Middle School and speak to the students during health classes but have been unable due to lack of support from the parents. It's so hard to sit back and watch young students experiencing such damaging encounters at such a young age before they have even begun to develop a sense of self-worth. I live everyday facing and resisting peer pressure. I feel confident knowing that becoming who I ultimately want to be has to do with the decisions i make right now. I have close friends who got caught up at a young age with what these students are facing and it truly is a vicious cycle that they cannot find their way out of. If these kids make decisions before they realize what they are doing, it may be too late. My point is that these children are being educated by each other without understanding the outcome of the dangers they are encountering. Without the support from parents, the school systems, and the community, this problem will progress and ultimately result in drug issues, self esteem problems, and a negative future for Sparta's youth. When I return from college next spring, I plan to pursue my goal of speaking with middle schoolers in hopes of educating students on the reality of high school pressures as apposed to the mechanics of Sex education, Alcoholism, and Drug addiction.