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These youths have the assets to build a better future

December 4, 2013 - Rob Weaver
Four weeks from now, people will be wishing others “happy new year” and perhaps looking optimistically for a better future.

But I have found a better event than New Year's Eve for improving one's outlook. The Youth Asset Builder Awards, given Wednesday at Community Civic Center, again gave those who attended reason to think positively.

“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” Juvenile Court Judge Jay Meyer said before helping to hand out the awards. “This is a victory lap for our honored youth, and adults here today who do so much for the kids in our community.”

The annual luncheon, sponsored by Family and Children First Council, Tiffin Optimist Club and Tiffin Rotary Club, honors youths for exhibiting 40 developmental youth assets, including integrity, honesty, responsibility, a sense of purpose and a positive view of their future. Adults also are honored for helping youths develop the assets.

Some 40 students and adults received the awards Wednesday, and, as usual, it was an uplifting experience to learn about the students who are developing into the kind of people who will be cornerstones of society. In sometimes different ways, these youngsters demonstrate they will be responsible adults, because they are responsible students.

As a probation officer who attended the event confided to me afterward, “I come here to be recharged.”

A master of ceremonies for the event, Keith Hodkinson, drew laughter when he noted one student, in giving an unscripted acceptance speech, sounded like a presidential nominee. But Keith's point was insightful; many of the recipients did sound like leaders of tomorrow.

The location for next year's program still is undecided. With the Civic Center slated to close this month, a new venue will be needed. If it's large enough to hold more people, you might consider attending. It will lift your spirits. No confetti, horns or midnight toasts needed.

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