‘Commitment to Youth’ meeting starts the conversation

In small groups, adults and youth discussed the problems youth face in the community at the 'Commitment to Youth' meeting, which was held at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center Thursday. The event was hosted by the City of Palmdale and the Palmdale Youth Master Plan Project.

PALMDALE – Palmdale residents gathered Thursday evening to discuss problems the youth face in the community during the first “Commitment to Youth” meeting.

“The end goal for this is Palmdale is looking for a youth master plan to come out of this,” said Trisha Jones, community programs supervisor for the city of Palmdale.

Jones said she doesn’t know how the master plan will form because it’s part of the process of the meetings.

“(We’re) really deciding the priorities of this community and how best to put them together. What we hope it will be at the end is a road map,” Jones said.

Anne Ambrose, director of public safety and community relations for the city of Palmdale, said five years ago when the community set a strategic plan for the city, one of the top goals was youth.

“It was concerns about the safety for youth, it was concerns about programs for youth, and so this project directly came out of that,” Ambrose said.

The city of Palmdale wants to identify shared values towards the youth in the community, she added.

“There’s no right answer, there’s no wrong answer, there’s not anything specific that we’re looking for,” Jones said. “It’s a truly open discussion and a chance for you to share. A lot of you come from different backgrounds and different experiences in the community and that’s the true value of this.”

Joselyn Salazar and Lesly Nguimzor from Palmdale High School gave their opinions on how to reach out to the youth.

A few students from Palmdale High School as well as a freshman at Antelope Valley College represented the youth Thursday and provided their ideas on what works in Palmdale and what needs improvement.

The discussion continually shifted back to the lack of knowledge about the opportunities and resources available to the youth.

All the students agreed that when it comes to employment, the youth need a lot of help in finding a job.

The Director of the Boys and Girls Club, Jay Duke, asked the students if they knew of resources such as the Employment Development Department and youth work programs, and none did. So the problem is how to get that kind of information to the youth, he added.

Lesly Nguimzor, a Palmdale high school junior, suggested they advertise it more on billboards.  Her classmate Jarred Ford said a Facebook fanpage would be a good idea as well.

“We have Joe Palmdale (on Facebook) for the adults, but maybe we need a Joe Junior page for the youth,” Jones said.

Ford said kids would probably friend them if the page was marketed right.

“If I see it, I like it and then it goes out to all my friends to see it, and if they look at it they like it, and it keeps going from there,” Ford said.

Joselyn Salazar, another Palmdale High School junior added that kids don’t go and look for the information.

“If it comes to them, that’s how they get informed about it,” Salazar said.

Duke said he thinks they need to recruit people who will get the word out at the schools.

“We need the enthusiasts to help us get it to the kids at their own school, [and] other schools as well,” he said.

Putting together a youth communications group is something Jones said she is interested in doing because they would know better how to reach the kids and get them involved.

“I think this was a great jumping off point for us to kind of plan the next couple months of outreach that we do,” she said.

The next “Commitment to Youth” meeting will be in May, and will be announced on the city of Palmdale youth page, Jones said.

“It wasn’t a huge turnout but I really think it started the conversation, and it’s given us insight into reaching out even further…and what that tells me is that there is an interest in our youth and that there is a commitment,” Jones said.

  3 comments for “‘Commitment to Youth’ meeting starts the conversation

  1. Abdul Majeed Askia
    April 3, 2012 at 8:39 am

    The problems didn’t start with the youth, the problems started with adults
    and our society,whether it is gangs,drugs,alcohol,violence,hatred,racism,
    religious extremism or whatever adults are at the root of it !

    When we are born into the world as we all know we come here with blank minds.Nothing is on our mental slate > It is our parents,relatives,friends,neighborhoods,schools,and religious houses that
    indoctrinate us ! As Sec.Hiliray Cliton pointed out in her campagin “It
    takes a village to raise a child!”

    We often ask the question “what has gotten into our youth?” The answer
    is “collectively speaking,we have gotten into our youth!” We provide
    the night clubs,the liquor,the drugs,the loose life styles and the values
    that are instilled in our youth. We conditioned them to think in a
    certain way at an early age> We either teach them to love or hate,to
    respect and cherish life and/or to have no regards for others! The adults
    are at the core of the negativity !

    Prior to 9ll I was teaching against religious gang banging. At one point
    in my life I wasn’t much of a religious person(Even though I was raised in
    the church),I strayed from the church.However,I repented anddecided to
    live a right doing life ! To my dismay due to regirous study,travel,
    listen,observation and learning from great teacher I noticed that religious
    people (some,not all) were sophisticated gang bangers!

    The Jews,muslims and christians hated one another! The jews hated the arabs,
    the whites and blacks,mexicans hated each other, and everybody hated
    the jews !!! There was more hate in the religious houses than any where else ! In fact thats where the hate comes alive ! At first I thought
    that what I am seeing is not really what it is. Then I said to myself
    I didn’t come in here for all this stuff,plus it is defintely too much
    of this for me to be trying to change. Needlessly to say I was taken
    aback! I stumbled because i was knew I was a sinner who needed to
    repent! I felt like I had done too much wrong to be standing up to this
    kinda of stuff,I was no saint,this i knew. Thus,I said to myself I
    I am going to let the sinners attack me with everything they’ve got
    because i am going to face off no matter how bad they try to make me
    look I am going to show them how all of us have messed this world up!!!

    I began to point our how the King of Saudia Arabia was oppressing the
    people in the name of religion and how religious people were slaughtering
    one another in the name of God. I started to point our religious
    teachings that were tainted with racial,tribal and nationalistic
    supremacy! A white God for the west, a king for the east and a chosen
    people for the jews! Naturally this fell on deaf ears. No one wanted
    to know how greed,materialism,politics,oil and hatred was driving the
    religious forces,in fact money was superior to anything religiously
    that you could bring up. As they say,money talks!!! You could scream
    on the mountain top about God said this and God said that and the
    religious houses could care less! Now if you mention money,now we can
    talk. Not only does faith move moutains,money also moves mountains!!!

    The youth had nothing to do with he world we created for them to be born
    in. When the child arrived he or she was given a script to follow that
    the society and the adults gave them to follow! Theerefore,if the world
    and society is going to get any better for our youth we adults are
    going to have to do it and we must be honest with ourselves,collectively
    we are to blame and collectively we can correct the situation.

    We start out by being honest with ourselves.What is the problem,what is
    the cause of the problem and what is the solution. If youngsters get
    a job it will be because we made away for them. When we stop chasing
    them like the enemies and start to talk to them,reach out to them,show
    them the way and encourage them we can make a difference. As a sinner
    saved by grace I am standing up in the ring to talk to the adults
    and share with adults where we have gone wrong ! Thats if the adults
    will listen and not allow social and religious gang banging to get in
    the way.

    The round table is April 28th from 1:pmto 6:pm 348 East k-8 suite ‘c’
    in lancaster Ca. It is open invitation and welcomed interaction with
    the invited community leaders that will address the audience.

    Contact Pastor Gerry Mitchel 661-2l2-5464 or myself abdulaskia@yahoo.com
    or 323-945-9589 There is a life time of learning behind this story.
    There is a method to the madness. Come be enlightened.

  2. Erica
    March 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I can agree with you on that. This event should have been better attended by parents who would like to take part in the Youth Master Plan that will no doubt affect their children. They could have also discussed this recent heinous attack on the kid walking home from school, perhaps get youths to tell them about these so called after school fight clubs. It’s a shame more people didn’t attend.
    Perhaps they didn’t put the word out?
    Not having any children myself, I don’t know if I am in the position to tell people what’s best for their children and the youth in the community. Hopefully they’ll advertise the next one better so more parents will know in advance and can participate in the next meeting.

  3. Les
    March 31, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Hundreds turn out for a march supporting a youth not from this valley due to an incident that occurred on the other side of the country. An event to solicit feedback from THIS community regarding the youth of THIS community draws only a handful of people. Where are the priorities of the activists who are always calling for the cities to do more? I wonder if any of them showed up after the march was over?

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