I recently went back to school again, and I was amazed at all I learned. Especially since I was there for barely an hour.

The Georgia Writers Museum offers a number of educational programs, one of which is a Junior Board consisting of students in a Leadership class at the county high school. When the teacher of the class was recently named Teacher of the Month, and one of the students in her Leadership class—and on our Junior Board—was named Student of the Month, it seemed like a good occasion to celebrate.

One of the museum’s Board members arranged for a visit to the class, and brought a congratulatory cake and card. Those of us who attended with her were treated to a presentation by the class, showing and explaining some of the work they have already done, and that they are planning to do, using proceeds from a recent fundraiser. The students showed their eloquence and enthusiasm when talking about the project, and their passion and compassion when explaining how they plan to develop and run a sustainable program that will benefit those in need in our county.

I was awed by the students, their vision, and their determination. In fact, my question to the teacher as we were leaving was, “How soon before these kids are old enough to run for Congress?”

When I got home from the event, I asked my friend Google a few questions about the general characteristics of people in the students’ age group. They are known collectively as Generation Z, which comes right after the Millennials, and is  three generations past the Baby Boomers, to which I belong, and which now makes me feel even older than I did before.

A few of the attributes listed for members of Gen Z are that they are social, responsible, resourceful, and environmentally conscious. They are hard-working, loyal, and are the first generation of “digital natives,” which is why—if we’re lucky enough to have any as our children or grandchildren—they are the first ones many of us call when we need help with our computers, phones, or a new piece of electronic equipment.

I saw all these attributes in the students I met at the high school that day. And of everything I learned while I was there, what I treasure most is the knowledge that, contrary to the gloom-and-doom predictions we often hear about future generations, it seems to me that the future of our country—and, hopefully, the world—will be in very good hands.

April 20, 2024
©Betty Liedtke, 2024

I welcome your comments, but please be aware that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog. This is to protect all of us from unwanted spam.