HIGH SCHOOL ESSAYS
CONCERNS FOR INTERNATIONAL YOUTH YEAR
By Susan McCrae Vander Voet and Students of Central Peel
In December of 1983, the Secretary of State invited a number of
National Organizations to consult with the Department on International Youth
Year. CCLOW was one of the organizations. Prior to the consultation, CCLOW
solicited mini-essays from students at Central Peel Secondary School in
Brampton, Ontario, through a very creative teacher of history Mr. Mark Evans.
The central question posed to the students, who wrote anonymously, was 'What
are the three main concerns of young people today.'
About fifty students from grades nine to twelve responded with
some very powerful insights, questions and worries.
The originals of the essays were presented to the Secretary of
State, the Honorable Serge Joyal, at the consultation.
Following are excerpts from some of the essays. This sampling
reflects both the range of concerns identified and the majority of issues
|| "The concern is racial pressure. There is still a lot of racism
around. Minorities are being left out. Everyone should be treated equal and we
should work together."
"In today's life it's common for teenagers (to
have) kids and no one to back them up. I have three girlfriends who are under
the age of 19 and they're pregnant and they're all having kids. This really
ends their lives from my point of view."
many young people have died from drinking and driving."
"I feel that the main
concern facing young people is: Nuclear War. There is a great deal of tension
between many countries, and there are all kinds of revolutions going on. That
worries me is that when other countries begin to get involved in these
revolutions, and the two super powers take opposite sides, there is a good
chance of a nuclear war. This worries me because tensions seem to get worse and
worse, the result will be destruction of almost everything. Right now the
leaders of countries that have nuclear arms hold all people in their hands, and
it scares me!
"What is my future going to
be like, will I have a future? Will I become what I want to be? will there be a
job out there for me?"