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Voices of America’s Youth

Photo by Katerina Holmes on

One of the privileges of working with words is that sometimes you get to see more of them than the general public ever might. My last few evenings have been spent perusing submissions for a writing contest. These submissions included flash fiction, memoir, essays, writing portfolios, and short stories from seventh through twelfth graders.

As a published author myself and a presenter at young writers conferences, I’m in awe of the work before me.

Our country’s youth are bright, engaged, passionate, and compassionate. They are astute learners of our nation’s culture and introspective of their role within it. They are creative, talented, inquisitive, and hopeful. This, in the face of 2020’s trials and tribulations.

Never doubt that kids are resilient. Never doubt that they know and understand far more than we give them credit for. And never ever doubt that we can learn from those we are teaching.

I feel blessed and honored to be a part of this project. It has reminded me of all the good this younger generation brings to the table. It reassured me that, if we let them, these young people will help us heal, and that they will bring out our better selves.

After reading thousands of thoughtfully composed words by dozens of diverse, young voices, I am confident that America’s future is in good hands.

read widely, read often, and read with an open mind~ jody


Meinders Community Library is a combined school and public library that serves the residents of Pipestone County in Southwestern Minnesota. It is part of the Plum Creek Library System.