Our elders seem to believe that the present generation of young people has no hope. They believe we are a lost cause because, in general, we ignore them, rely on quick-fixes rather than hard work, self-medicate on drugs and alcohol, and are open about our “free-love” sexuality. Yet we do not stop to think about the future because we often live in the moment. It’s my belief that our presumed downfall isn’t all our fault. It’s time that all the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents get off of our backs, pick up a pen, and take some notes on how to be real.
As a whole, we don’t hide things and we’re proud of our imperfections while you work hard to hide from us the dirt you did in your younger days. Don’t judge or criticize a person when you’ve been in or near their shoes before. That’s being a fake and a phony. Do you realize how hard it is to grow up to be a 100% straight-forward person when you’re raised by “pseudo” people? I do take the blame that our generation is out of control in ways but had generations before us done things differently then we wouldn’t have chosen the paths that we ended up on. There are more incarcerated and uneducated young men and women than not, and that’s sad. Yet there are still people who want to teach us to care for ourselves in order to better our futures.
Since the 1980s, scientists have developed Multisystemic Therapy, a treatment program, to help motivate poor youth. It has reduced the recidivism rate in the juvenile justice system, as well as the arrest rate. MST works because it is an intense community-based program that focuses on the environment – home and school – of chronically, violent youths ages 12-17.
In 2000, Clinical Social Worker James Thorner and his wife Kia, who has a bachelor’s in education and a master’s in counseling, started a nonprofit called Life-Changing Solutions. While they serve Shreveport, Bossier City and surrounding areas, Solutions can only help families referred to them through an agency such as law enforcement or the school system.
Three years ago, Mr. Thorner hired fellow Clinical Social Worker Antwan Butler because he knew, first-hand, what many children and families were experiencing. Butler had a rough life growing up in the foster care system in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Solutions recently started a new program called Mental Health Rehab that targets youth with mental illness. While the MST Program works mostly with the parent or guardian to create a more rounded household for the troubled child, the Mental Health Rehab Program works more with the child to help them become the best person that they can be with their abnormality.
Life is hard enough for children of this day and age; we should do our best to prepare them for adulthood so that future generations may benefit from our good deeds. Butler admits that there isn’t enough community involvement when it comes to helping our youth. I completely agree that people often times forget that the youth of today control our tomorrow, but those who do care are the true heroes of our time.