Tomorrow's Leaders Now!
It’s so very important that this next generation get involved in public life, civic affairs and get engaged in government. And, it’s up to all of us to encourage and support their efforts.
With this in mind, in this video, Karen and I share our perspectives as well as a brand new initiative to getting young people involved – and actually getting ‘on to the ballot’ in this coming year.
Youth Making a Difference in a Small Town
Nowhere do you see the power of getting our young people more involved than in a small town like Newport NH. This past summer when we hosted the Guinness Book of World Records at our first ever Sunflower Festival, hundreds of our community’s youth including the football team, the cheerleading squad, the Future Farmers of America, and the horticulture class to name a few, joined us with the goal of moving our community forward. They could have done anything that beautiful Saturday, but they chose to be on the Town Common with their friends, family and neighbors to be part of history. That says something about the young people in Newport. They care about where their community, our future is going.
The other night at our monthly Sunshine Initiative meeting, we asked everyone for their ideas for future records to set. We are hoping to make World Record’ setting into an annual event and potentially one day to make Newport the “Town with the Most World Records”. A few adults shared their ideas - but the highlight of the evening was when my dear friend Brayden, a 5th grader in Newport, raised his hand with his vision of the next record. “The most drawings of sunflowers”. In a room full of adults focused on housing, job opportunities and other serious subjects, Brayden was following along and wanted to get involved. With young people like Brayden, and the many others, Newport is in great hands. So, whether it be the Sunflower Festival or whatever our next challenge may be, these rising stars will have the opportunity they deserve to prosper for years to come right here in Newport.
Great Reason to Feel Confident about the Future!
This past Sunday I had the honor to serve as the keynote speaker for a wonderfully impressive group of young people – speaking to the New Hampshire Federation of College Republicans at their Annual Address at Southern New Hampshire University. So often we hear the horror stories of the younger generation being quiet, unaware, and under-involved. This group gave me great hope as I walked into the event room and saw that it was filled to capacity with professionally dressed college students eager to learn and become more involved. Similar to the State of the Union Address, the College Republicans' "State of the Federation Address" gives a detailed update of the group's accomplishments and goals. Each Chapter Chair, along with the Federation's Chair, prepared a formal speech and addressed the gathering. The work that they are doing across our state in an effort to fight for a mission that they believe in is truly remarkable.
When it was my turn to speak, I wanted to take advantage of their desire to get more involved.. As you know, Karen and I do everything we can to spread "positive energy" and "positive change" wherever we go. So, I gave them several avenues to get involved. First, with Children of Fallen Patriots, as you'll see in the video above, but in my full speech I also tell them about what we're doing in Newport, as well as our effort to encourage young people to run for public office in New Hampshire in the coming year.
Their drive and ‘can-do’ attitude is truly inspiring. They want to get involved and make a difference. Please join me in my confidence in this great generation of young leaders, and I hope you enjoy the video.
Scholarships in Support of Leaders
This week's theme being "Tomorrow's Leaders Now" is so fitting for the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Think of it this way: without the scholarships that Fallen Patriots provides, and the resulting opportunities for success, what would the future hold for these deserving young Americans? Where would they be without the opportunity for an education? What kinds of lives would they be able to lead? And, moreover, where would our country be without the future contribution of these great young leaders. Thanks to Fallen Patriots and the many supporters of this organization from all around the country, these students are given a real chance at success.
Please check out the wonderful testimonials on the Children of Fallen Patriots website: https://www.fallenpatriots.org/blog .
Young People Willing to Risk Their Lives for Freedom
For the last two weeks I have highlighted the struggle going on in Hong Kong. I had hoped this week we would address a new topic, but the situation continues to devolve. One of the things that struck me most this week was how young people are out front and are leading the charge for freedom against the Chinese government.
These brave young students in Hong Kong have made the conscious decision to confront a hostile totalitarian regime and risk their lives in pursuit of freedom. Hongkongers lack many of the rights we hold dear here in America, including the right to bear arms as guaranteed by our Second Amendment. This massive power difference between the citizenry and the government has led the people to use makeshift weapons to fight for their freedoms, including bow and arrows and trebuchets. Make no mistake, we all detest violence, but it is heartening to know that there is such a hunger in the world for freedom that people, especially young people, are willing to fight for it.
Much like our founding fathers, who by today’s standard would have been young, the people of Hong Kong are now fighting the good fight even though the situation does seem to be devolving in a perilous direction. Nonetheless, I have full confidence that the Hong Kong people will be emboldened by the courageous leadership of the youth – and without question, will hold resolute and never ever give up in pursuit of freedom. And it goes without question that we as Americans need to do all we can to support these brave young freedom fighters.
Profile of the Week: Joshua Wong
Joshua Wong is one of the key leaders of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. He has helped lead the umbrella movement as well as being critical in passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act here in the United States.
Joshua’s fight for freedom did not begin recently. He has been fighting for expanded rights for the last four years and the fruits of his labor could not be more evident. As millions of Hongkongers push back against the oppressive Chinese regime, Joshua has had a pivotal role in organizing the students.
During the latest round of protests Joshua has been arrested, banned from running for public office, and demonized by his own government. Joshua’s fight against the system should inspire us all. He is a young person who is not afraid to stand up and fight back regardless of the consequences.
Quotes of the Week: Leaders
“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” — Douglas MacArthur
“Leaders need to be optimists. Their vision is beyond the present.” — Rudy Giuliani
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” — Vince Lombardi
“Leaders must wake people out of inertia. They must get people excited about something they’ve never seen before, something that does not yet exist.” — Rosabeth Moss Kanter
“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.” — John P. Kotter