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LAPS embarks on a quest to be one of the best

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

This week, we look at youth programs in our community, as we pull together to be one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People.
The Search Institute looks at youth programs when a young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.
The Search Institute is one of the partner organizations joining with America’s Promise to recognize 100 communities across the nation as being great places for young people to live.
As a volunteer, I have been asked by Los Alamos Public Schools to champion this effort to have our community receive this recognition.
The first time around, Vanessa de los Santos, now of the Coffee Booth Cafe’, solely worked as part of a collaboration to gather data and answer questions prior to submitting the application.
Now, a team has been assembled to see if we can accomplish the task once again.
Los Alamos has added a multitude of programs and projects since the previous recognition.
The programs range from sports such as free skills clinics from the Hilltopper Basketball Academy; the new additions of rugby or lacrosse; and include the art projects like those like Ken Nebel and Village Arts offered, when they gave free art supplies to schools.
Perhaps it is the creation of a local youth robotics team or how businesses like Pajarito Environmental Education Center work to serve many in the youth population through school activities.
What is it for you? What made you move here? What do you love the most about the community, as it relates to youth? Yes, I’m asking you.
I’d prefer you drop it to me in an email, as there are just so many hours in the day, but feel free to jot it down old school style and send me a brief note or leave me a message. I don’t want to leave anything out. Also, contrary to popular belief, I don’t know everything or everyone, but please don’t tell my kids.
I’m asking for your two cents, no matter how big or small, if you have a reason you would like to share, please do so.
We’re also identifying several youth that are tasked with writing a 1,000-word essay on what makes this a pretty great place. The part I enjoy the most is that no adult is allowed to give their input, guidance or editorial opinions to the youth portions.
How often do youth get asked their opinion with no right or wrong answer?
So let’s go Los Alamos, bring pen to paper, put phone to ear or finger to keyboard and tell me why we rock as a community.
It will only take a minute, will be pretty painless and will put a song in your heart to talk about something good for a change. Maybe your time will help to acknowledge us as one of the 100 Best communities for Young People, even though some of us already know it to be true.
Bernadette Lauritzen is the assets coordinator for Los Alamos, sponsored by the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and the JJAB.Feel free to wax on about this great community by leaving her a message at 661-4846.