The Advocate featured the nonprofit education venue Triumph Kitchen on Feb. 27 in its article titled “Culinary couple open Triumph Kitchen, a training facility for at-risk youth.”
This program, initiated by Chris and Sommer Wadsworth, is described as “serving as a training facility for at-risk youth in learning culinary, hospitality and life-skills to build successful futures.”
The visions of such programs have philosophical roots in the belief that society’s future becomes more promising as individual citizens impact one life at a time. It exemplifies the type of reform necessary for improving Louisiana.
Offering at-risk youth support and opportunities paves the way for reducing crime, improving education, and fostering a more efficient work force. At first glance, Chris and Sommer Wadsworth’s efforts may appear to be insignificant because they will touch what seem to be very few lives. Far from true, one person directly or indirectly impacts a vast number of people.
As history tends to repeat itself, one person’s successes or failures influence the futures of their family, friends and community. Youth, especially those living in poverty, are motivated and given hope when they witness someone from a similar background overcome obstacles.
Parents, government, and professional educators have the responsibility of providing youth opportunities. Focus is given to raising standards, expectations and improving programs. The next generation must be prepared to think independently, problem solve, and make sound decisions. Courage, cultural awareness, benevolence, humanitarianism and positive citizenship should also be fostered in youth.
Parental involvement is repeatedly referenced as the problem. If every parent were healthy in every way, educated, financially sound, and highly involved, then yes, cultural and societal problems would decrease.
However, focusing too long or frequently on this is unproductive. Recognizing the need for increased parental involvement, complaining about its absence, and wanting it to exist will not result in change.
Our control over this factor is present only as each capable adult accepts responsibility and applies sustained efforts to helping youth prepare for productive futures.
Our hope is that as adults, those same youth will then see the value of staying involved in their own children’s lives.
How might the fate of Louisiana’s youth be effected if every capable adult, not just parents, government officials, and educators, committed a small amount of time or talent to caring for them? Chris and Sommer Wadsworth deserve praise for embracing responsibility and dedicating themselves to helping at-risk youth. We cannot all dedicate ourselves in such a tremendous way, but our individual, small efforts can make a large collective difference in creating a better Louisiana.