Putting Assets into Action: Show appreciation to youth in the community

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By The Staff

Our asset for this week is number seven, community values youth. For those of you who don’t know, the reason I started this work was actually because of this asset. At the time, our data showed that only 15 percent of students in the community felt valued.

We can take a look to see what makes youth feel valued, but it really must come from within each business, organization and facility. When we look at relationships, also look at how you define community. There’s a family community, a school community, a faith community, an organizational community, a work community and so on.

Last month, I charged each of you with a New Year’s resolution to let people know when they’ve done a good job. I forgot to tell you when I do. So I have two for this month. The first is the newspaper delivery boy who delivers to my house whose name is Dallon. This week, he should have found some cookies in the newspaper box for his and his parents’ hard work on snowy days. He is certainly someone who can be thanked more than once a year.

The second was to give kudos to a boy named Cooper who works for Los Alamos Home Improvement on DP Road. He was very helpful and beyond polite when I went to purchase some wood for a project last weekend.

I meant to send his boss a card for several days and as the case always seems to be it kept getting put to the bottom of the list. So guess what I did? I picked up the phone and called his boss, Randy.

It was fun when the lady who answered the phone sounded worried when I asked to speak to the manager. I let her know that it was for a compliment, not a complaint.

Randy was happy with the call and agreed that Cooper was a great worker. I wonder how often adult shoppers tell him that on a daily basis. The fact that Randy has such a nice kid working for him is what I call the face of a business.

When you aren’t the one dealing with the customer, someone else gets to be the face of your business. This simple little exchange now makes my loyalty to a local business stronger than ever before.

So while Assets generally focuses on what we do to encourage youth, it really is a community building process for everyone at any age. You never stop building assets.

The United Church of Los Alamos will look at building assets in the congregation on Valentine’s Day. They will take an inward look at what their faith community is doing to value youth.

It doesn’t mean they aren’t already; it means they are looking at their basic functioning in a different way. It is putting assets on the front burner involving youth and building relationships with more than the youth pastor, who for the United Church is dynamite.

It is about having that relationship with as many people as possible in the congregation. If you’d like to know more, call 662-2971 for information on the presentation.

The good news is that when the schools surveyed students in May 2009, the data point for Los Alamos for asset number seven jumped by 8 percent.

It is no longer our lowest date point and statistically increased by 50 percent. If you’d like to know our current data, give me a call or drop me an e-mail.

Oh and by the way, today, go Who Dat! You know I must be for the underdog, it is the nature of the work.

Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets coordinator for Los Alamos, sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. You can make comments or ask questions at AssetsInAction@att.net or by calling 661-4846.