A Word to the Wise

Author: Anonymous Saint

{The story of MLUYF CEO Founder Mori Sue’sue. How he’s trying to turn Nothing into Something!}

There was a saying in my 8th grade homeroom class “A vibrant society is only as strong as its young people.” Mori says When I was young money was very scarce in my home. Both parents worked two jobs to provide for our family but yet it still wasn’t enough.

As he remembers, every time I asked my parents for money so that I may participate in football camps or class field trips, the response was the same “Sorry son we don’t have enough money for that” I always wondered how is that statement true? “A vibrant society is only as strong as its young people.”

My parents, (who I love dearly) did the best they could with what they had, but they didn’t have the resources to help with my future. I’m eternally grateful to them for their sacrifice that they made for my siblings and me, but it was at that point that I decided to make sure that when I was a father, my kids would not have to experience those same circumstances. Despite my best efforts, I find myself yet again in despair and disarray following more events that illuminate the well-documented inequities that exist around us.

Action toward solutions has never been more critical. Now is the time for the positive, viable, research-based solutions that have already been provided by experts.

Putting youth at the center of the discussion is the most important action we can take.

In the critical time of the adolescent and early adult years, youth are making decisions that impact their futures, and ours. Yet as experts points out, our youth are struggling to secure the support they need and deserve.

Youth need equitable opportunities to jobs; access to health care; high quality, supportive education and high quality and supportive youth development. They are struggling because those opportunities are insufficient and often inaccessible. Those with the least access to opportunities are poorer and predominately youth of color.

A vibrant society is only as strong as its young people, and the time is NOW to empower youth to thrive, and help them use their voices and imaginations to create the change our region so desperately deserves.

Morally, how can we in good conscience leave so many of our future leaders behind? As the region continues to look toward further economic development, attraction of major companies and growing as a technology hub, how can we ignore the potential for a vibrant, diverse and talented workforce living right here, right now?

To both of these imperatives there are answers – answers informed by youth, for youth, and validated by best practices throughout the country. MLUYFI can forge a prosperous future with our young people and build a powerful destiny for the Bay Area.

When we invest in them by enacting the solution based programs like F.R.E.S.H., we can forge a powerful destiny for The Bay Area: a place where the economy hums, young people thrive, and all people benefit from sharing their skills, talents, and passions.

The inequities, inefficiencies and gaps that we all struggle with today did not appear overnight & they will not be fixed in a day. Yet, the solution is right in front of us.

We urge our MLUYFI staff to place youth at the center of our focus in all that we do, MLUYFI will bridge the gaps from the past and build its foundation for tomorrow. In these divisive times, if we cannot come together for youth, then what can we come together for?

When they all thrive – so will the world around us.

Can Invest