Douglas County’s Biggest Community Needs

My name is Srishti and I attend Rock Canyon High School in Lone Tree. I am a junior and I joined YouthRoots to implement the skills I’ve acquired from my leadership and writing club in order to make a difference in our surrounding community. I found YouthRoots through an online search and thought I’d give it a go. Turns out, it was a perfect fit for me, as I am able to offer my perspective on the issues we elected, giving me the opportunity to engage in intellectual collaboration every week. 

At YouthRoots, we empower unique voices to support issues we believe in. This year, the Douglas County YouthBoard selected our mental health and environmental degradation as our primary needs. They are important issues because they impact people of all ages, not just the youth. According to the Colorado Health Institute, nearly 1 in 3 Colorado high school students feel so sad or hopeless for two weeks in a row that they stop doing their usual activities, a common symptom of depression. About 46 percent of LGBTQ+ students say they seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. But our youth are not the only ones struggling.

The earth is dying too. A common statement from our elders is how it’s our job to fix the world. As unfair as it may seem, it is the responsibility of our generation to fight and save the planet. However, we are running out of time. According to PBS, of all the species that have ever existed, 99.9% are now extinct. The Climate Clock shows a countdown of the time we have left to make changes and prevent the earth from rising in temperature 1.5 degrees C, which many scientists say will be a point of no return. Currently, the clock says a little more than seven years. Seven years until it will be too late to prevent a climate disaster. 

This is why it’s imperative to establish a group of dedicated youth striving together to meet our goals of making the present sustainable to make the future more habitable. YouthRoots is the perfect place for youth and young adults with passion stemming from their diverse experiences to make the world a better place. Not only does active collaboration increase our productivity in terms of achieving our goals, but accomplishing something as a unified team gives us the satisfaction of passion.

Alyssa HornyakDouglas County’s Biggest Community Needs