Editorial: Good works by youth deserve media attention

Oak Bay recognizes its Young Exceptional Stars each year with awards and accolades. It was in part a response to negative press about youth, says Hazel Braithwaite, who created the awards.

It’s a conversation we have routinely in community news, how to balance the good news and bad. The youth here in Oak Bay give us plenty to balance.

With the advances of technology, we can tell that you – the reader – hit the links you need to, to learn of tragedy, help find a missing person, or learn from errors of humans of all ages.

A 30-year-old murder case with a new arrest thanks to cool modern technology leaps ahead of the pack on that one.

The analytics also tell us, you’re proud of our youth.

One of our most viewed stories this spring is about Oak Bay High student Karlee Zaruch and the work that led her to earn a prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship. Followed closely, in numbers and publishing date, by Rebecca Hartley’s tale of scoring a BC Excellence Scholarship. The grad block party photo gallery outstripped those stories in online hits, likely due in part to the photo nature, but also because it’s a great Oak Bay tradition where this “village” celebrates the youth it’s helped raise.

A story of youth cleaning military headstones and young people protesting their right to dress (both stories outside of Oak Bay).

Young people have opinions and fresh ideas. The more we at the Oak Bay News can celebrate engagement, open conversation and share success stories the better.

The podcast project featured on the front page is just one new way to do that.

Was it done during class time? Sure. Did some students put in countless after-school hours to ensure the stories were well-told and professional? Probably.

Sharing these stories is about informing the public, but also highlighting our youth. Hopefully, being celebrated for doing good, bodes well toward developing future community-minded adults.

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