Leaving a Legacy

As we wrap up our 2015-2016 Chamber sponsored Leadership Toccoa and Youth Leadership Program in a couple of weeks, it raises some questions:

  • What legacy are we leaving and what future are we establishing for the generations to come?
  • What we do today will lay the ground work for all who come behind us? 
  • How can we each have a positive impact for the generations to come?

The future leaders of this community need valid reason to come back to Stephens County after they complete their college education. For those who chose to further their education locally or to move directly into the workforce after high school, what will keep them here? How can we encourage them to invest their talents back into the community that poured into them?

As our community leaders work hard every day to increase job opportunities in Toccoa-Stephens County, the work doesn’t stop there. We must all help to establish relationships and a sense of ownership and pride in our community to encourage the next generation to commit to give back to the community that raised them. How do we do that? We can start with the opportunity we have to connect and build relationships with our youth through Mentoring, Internships, and Scholarships. 

Becoming a Mentor in the Middle School may make a difference in one child's life. We, as Mentors, expose these children to a caring, dependable adult who will be there for them each week. A Mentor is a role model, a coach and a listener. Mentors also are a link to other cultures and attitudes, we can show these students an alternate lifestyle that may help them break this destructive cycle. Mentoring is a commitment of ONE. One student, one hour each week and for one school year.  

This school year we have a shortage of Mentors for our Middle School students. As of today we are lacking 18 Mentors for 16 male students and 2 female students. You CAN make a difference! Contact the Chamber for more details on how you can become a mentor for one of our Middle School students in Stephens County. 

Help a student get experience in the workplace by offering them an internship. Internships can provide a great transition between the education process and a career. By bridging the gap between learning and finding a career, internships can speed up the process of moving students toward their career goals. Interning will help teach responsibility, develop skills, create relationships that may lead to a business mentor, sources of job opportunities and references. 

We must raise the next generation of leaders to be catalysts of change and prosperity in Toccoa. We must invest in their cultural preferences and not limit them to ours. Our students today are the business leaders of tomorrow…let’s look for ways to keep them! They are our greatest resource!

Julie PaysenComment