Opportunities exist all around us to make a difference in our world. Sometimes we just need eyes to see them. Strangely enough, this time it's the government that is re-opening our eyes to the importance of religion in our communities!
Social science research has identified that youth who participate in organized religion for one or more hours per week are less likely to participate in problem behaviors including violence, teen pregnancy, delinquency, substance abuse, and depression.
I'm proud to sit on a panel with a team of leaders who are discussing this problem as it relates to our area. According to the results of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, Erie County youth score significantly lower on "religiosity" than the national average.
What this means is that to change the tide of poverty, violence and at-risk behaviors in our communities, religion needs to re-engage it's youth!
This is a wake up call to each of us...what are WE doing to engage the youth? How can we better reach out to the kids in our neighborhoods? Every kid matters, and with each kid we reach, there is unlimited potential to better our neighborhoods!
Here's what Erie is doing to help:
We are continually looking for more ideas to re-engage our youth. What are some ideas you have to engage the youth?