Let's Start Encouraging Our Young People Instead Of Putting Them Down

Let's Start Encouraging Our Young People Instead Of Putting Them Down

You might be talking to a future CEO, so you should be nice.

As a college student and a young person, I hear negative comments all of the time. I hear negative remarks about my college major, which is communications with a minor in marketing. People ask me why I would want to major in that or what the heck I am going to do with it. Although I do not know exactly what I want to do yet (and neither do the majority of college students), I do know that one day I would like to maybe work with a non-profit. Once mentioning that I get another wave of negative comments, specifically about the fact that I won’t make much money doing that. I already know this. And here’s the thing: I am not really that concerned about the money. No, I won’t be a millionaire, but I will survive. I will have enough to live, is what I’m getting at here.

I feel as though whatever people, young people especially, decide to do, they are heavily judged for it. I find that no matter what young people decide to pursue, they still can't catch a break.

I just recently started a new job. One day at work I had to clean up in the back, sweep and mop. I started cleaning, and one of my managers came back and told me that I was not going fast enough. She told me, in a positive, encouraging tone of voice, that she was going to come back in ten minutes and I should be through cleaning a specific area.

This worked wonders on my work ethic. She didn’t yell at me because I didn’t know how fast I was supposed to be going. She didn’t make me feel stupid like most people do when they realize I don’t know something. She encouraged me and also showed me what I should be doing.

This is the way we need to start treating young people. If you put someone down enough and make them feel dumb, they are going to eventually want to stop trying. This is how I am, anyway.

Some people work in a way that when people discourage them, they want to try harder and put that person to shame. This is not how I operate and have noticed that many people my age don’t work like this either.

With this being said, next time you find yourself talking to someone younger than you, whether it be a college or high school student, a middle schooler, or even a young kid, watch what you say. Watch your tone of voice, and don’t put down what they are working hard at.

I know that the people who inspire me the most are the ones who tell me that I can do anything I put my mind to. Those kinds of people are the ones I remember and look forward to talking with again.

Young people are our future. Young people are our future doctors, nurses, pharmacists, athletes, secretaries, teachers, artists, writers, or even non-profit workers (in no specific order of importance, of course.) A young person you are talking to could grow up and somehow change the world.

I don’t think you’d ever want your words to be the cause of someone giving up, would you?

Cover Image Credit: Cardi

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Public Health May Be The Most Important Area To Focus On As A Society

I saw with my own eyes the importance of public health initiatives in villages throughout Honduras and Nicaragua.


Medical exploration and healthcare management has thrived throughout the 21st century, with major developments in epidemiology allowing organizations such as the World Health Organization of the United Nations to track the spread of preventable diseases such as malaria and influenza across impoverished countries worldwide. I saw with my own eyes the importance of public health initiatives in villages throughout Honduras and Nicaragua when I traveled there as a Brigadier with Stony Brook's Public Health Brigade, a coalition organized by Global Brigades during the Summers of 2016 and 2017.

Working alongside other university collaborations such as Boston University, I was mesmerized by the impact that improvements such as clean water through mountain pipelines and sustainable housing could do in reducing the severity of Zika virus outbreaks in the region, as accentuated by the near 8,400 villagers with access to clean water as a result of our efforts.

These experiences demonstrated to me the value of preventative measures highlighted by the public health approach — by attacking the origin of a disease and the medium through which it spreads instead of merely treating the manifestation of its symptoms, a holistic approach would allow for the eradication of a malady throughout an entire region whilst educating the local populations about the importance of proper hygiene practices and fortified infrastructure to prevent its re-eminence. It is for this reason that I feel inspired to pursue a graduate degree in Public Health as a professional, so that I can help contribute to the eradication of preventable illnesses across the globe.

A specific area of interest that I wish to target as a field of study would be the impact of sustainable housing in the eradication of illnesses such as lead poisoning through contaminated water sources. My own experience in this particular aspect of Public Health Administration as a Brigadier with Stony Brook Public Health Brigade showed me the importance of secure infrastructure in the reduction of preventable diseases as an especially pertinent area of community health in the United States, highlighted by the water toxicity crisis in Flint, Michigan.

A recent study released by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha at Hurley Medical Center noted an uptick in the blood-lead concentration of Flint Children from 2.4% to 4.9% after changing their water source, with spikes as high as 10.6% in correlation with elevated levels of lead in Flint water. These elevated blood-lead concentrations put these children at higher risk for lead poisoning, characterized by reduced growth rate and learning difficulties. Purification of the available water sources throughout the region would be a comprehensive long-term solution to reducing elevated blood-lead levels amongst Flint residents.

My goals after my master's degree in public health would be to pursue a medical education and become a doctor, or go into Healthcare Administration and eventually work with the WHO of the UN to establish a more easily accessible Healthcare system across various countries to increase the number of people in impoverished areas that can be reached by doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners. I feel that a proper understanding of public health would, therefore, be essential to establishing my career in service to humanity.

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