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YouthSpeaksOut! is a monthly public affairs show hosted by high school students in Mendocino County, California. 55 minutes. Produced by Dan Roberts
Here are the links to stream or download today's YSO! on "The Future- Hopes and Concerns." The hosts were from Laytonville and Willits High Schools. It is definitely worth a listen. You might want to tell a friend about it.
You can find the audio now at our website- www.youthspeaksout.net/radioshows.html
Today our topic is “The Future- Hopes and Concerns.” Two of the most frequently asked questions to high school students are- “Where are you going to go to college?” and “what are you going to do when you’re done with school?” By senior year most students have a pretty good idea about college but our future careers and lifestyles are less certain.
At 18 years old most people have 3/4s of a life ahead of them, and many aspects of personality are just emerging. For some people a career path seems obvious- they have shown talents and interest in a specific field, and their parents and teachers have helped them develop a plan. And hopefully that plan includes knowledge that positions will be available in that job market.
50 years ago an 18 year old with a career plan could count on jobs being available, and college in California could be attended without going into debt. The job market has not bounced back from the banker created recession of 2009. In our region, new construction of homes and all the associated jobs are minimal. The timber industry is just above a standstill. The chief sources of agricultural revenue in this county are wineries and marijuana production. When marijuana is legalized will Mendocino county still have the economic edge that the illegal production has provided for the past 30 years?
There is an increase in sustainable gardening operations, and there are farmers markets across the county helping make small scale farming successful. A number of former YouthSpeaksOut! hosts are doing quite well raising animals for local meat markets.
In technology careers, a number of young adults in our community have created internet oriented businesses, and some are developing websites for established businesses and schools. Installing alternative energy systems is a growing industry here, helped by rebates for solar energy. However many young people find that they need to leave the county to pursue careers.
Today’s show is not just about jobs and careers. It is also about how society is changing. How do young people feel about creating families? How many look forward to having children? What effect will the acceptance of gay marriage have on upcoming generations? With the high prices of housing and limited jobs, will communal living become popular again? How many young people will continue living with their parents through their 20s and 30s? And how many of our youth will remain in our community?
We are also going to compare how youth lived in the past with the present and future. We have heard our parents describe their childhoods and the society of that era, and it sounds notably different from ours. And we will speculate on the society that children born in the next 20 years will grow up in.
We will also discuss the environment and the future. Most people say that the climate is changing, and that it is not good news. It is harder to tell if the weather has changed when you are 18 years old, than if you are 60. We do know that this year is one of the worst drought situations in California’s history. And most of us live in the Laytonville area where there is a large forest fire underway, made more dangerous by the extremely low humidity- caused by the lack of rainfall last winter and the very high temperatures this summer. If this is the beginning of climate change, what will Mendocino county be like in 20 years? 40? Is there anything we can do to reverse this trend?
Today’s topic is “The Future- Hopes and Concerns.” We are going to express our knowledge and opinions about how the future looks. And then in 30 minutes or so we will ask you to call in and join the discussion at 456-9991. We host this program to increase understanding between all the age groups in our community, and all the different perspectives. And despite our diversity, we are all heading into a similar future.
So let’s begin by going around and hypothesizing what we will be doing in 20 years.
We’re going to open the phone lines now. The phone number is 707 456-9991. Everyone is welcome to call, and we’d especially like to encourage the youth, their parents, teachers, and concerned friends in the listening audience. Please call in if you have questions or insights about the future.
What are the biggest changes you see coming in the next 20 years? How are you preparing for them?
If you are no longer a youth, how did you look at the future when you were 18? What were your expectations? How many of your intentions and projections came to be true?
How much of your life has turned out to be unpredictable? What wild cards changed your fate?
What could our community do to create employment to keep our youth from moving to larger job markets? What effect will marijuana legalization have on our community?
Please call in and be part of this conversation.