Saturday 4 July, 2020

Cayman teens can be super heroes... there are so many ways

The writer, Aerin Ewing-Chow

The writer, Aerin Ewing-Chow

by Aerin Ewing-Chow

Every year on the fourth Monday of January, we come together as an island to celebrate the heroes in our community.

Most of us grow up with a certain idea of what a hero is-- someone rescuing a child from a fire, a superhero clad in a mask and cape; however, the small things that regular people of all ages do in our community truly do make a difference.

Here are four ways that Cayman teens can be heroes.

  1. Mentoring

Here in the Cayman Islands we have highly intellectual and influential youth. What better way to give back to the community than to make sure that future generations are positively influenced by these teens? Teenagers have the power to positively influence their peers and ensure they follow the right path, or even possibly brighten their day. Some children may not have these influences in their homes, but with the assistance of perhaps a Big Brother program or tutoring, a change can be made in a child’s upbringing and attitude.

  1. Volunteering

There are several volunteer programs across our island, just an application away. Whether volunteering with the Humane Society or One Dog at a Time by walking the dogs, or with Meals on Wheels by interacting with the elderly, teenagers can play their part. Not only is it simple to support one of these causes, but the feeling of fulfilment, knowing that you have impacted someone’s life, is one like no other.

  1. Putting Savings Towards a Cause

At around the age of 15 or 16 most teenagers have taken on a small job of sorts such as babysitting or assisting in a store. Typically the savings accumulated by these jobs will end up going towards frivolous purchases such as a new clothing item or phone upgrade, but what if these earnings were to have a purpose? All amounts of money are thoroughly appreciated by charities; a singular payment can buy food to feed those who can’t afford to feed themselves or go towards a sick person’s medication. We don’t realize what a simple change our actions can make in the lives of others.

  1. Environmental Cleanup

Within the Caribbean, Cayman is quite progressive when it comes to addressing issues such as litter, pollution and so on. Despite this, it is likely that when you visit the beach you will come across a soda can or two, an endless amount of cigarette butts buried in the sand, or see a plastic shopping bag blowing past you in the breeze; and the same goes for that of our roads and other places in our community. This is where we can make a significant difference and even save the lives of marine creatures who often ingest this litter. It can be as simple as approaching a plastic container on the side of the road and disposing of it, or going the mile and doing a proper beach cleanup, one less piece of trash is one step closer to a healthier environment. Let’s put in the effort that our beautiful island deserves.

Another important thing to consider is that being a hero doesn't need to take planning or a certain set of character traits.

Sometimes it is as simple as walking away when people are gossiping or standing up to a bully on someone else's behalf or being sensitive when a peer is sad or depressed. The strength to stand up to peer pressure might be the most heroic act of all.

Anyone can be a hero, it’s not the age that counts it’s the difference that’s made. Take action now!

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