The youth crisis in our community has gone up drastically. Our youth are in dire need of this community’s support and motivation. Many problems face our youth such as the wide educational achievement gap between our youth and their fellow peers. They aren’t receiving the correct experiences, therein causing the lack of job opportunities presented to them. On top of all of those, there is still the gun and gang violence that is wide spreading every day. When they feel discouraged in their studies and aren’t given the same opportunities vocationally, they then turn to guns, drugs and violence. As a community, we have lots of resources at our disposal and we can set aside some of these to encourage our youth to do more with their lives. The youth aren’t incapable, yet they still need some push from the elders and leaders. Even the greatest person needs someone to mentor and look out for them. We must work together to save our future generations.

As far as the parents, we love our kids but sometimes we are quick to outcast and judge them. If we who have birthed them and raised them turn them away, who do we expect to look out for them? We should be willing to listen to them and help them out of the trouble they dug themselves in, as long as it doesn’t go against our religion. As Muslims we believe that Allah is the often forgiving, so as parents we must show forgiveness, your forgiveness and kindness might be just what they need to redeem themselves. As humans, we are often times in error, but what makes us humans is we learn from our mistakes and give others a chance to as well. Love for your brother what you love for yourself, so if you want others to forgive you and give you a chance, do the same for others.

As your faith leaders we are urging you to take priority in the lives of your youth, to show them more concern and support. They need us now in these fragile time in their lives than ever. We should empower the youth and encourage them to take part in their communities and speak up about what is hurting them, both physically and mentally. Just like we would like for our agendas to be put on the table for discussion, we should allow youth time and place for them to speak up, especially when the discussion is about their wellbeing and future.

The drug and violence epidemic is on the rise and our youth are internally suffering and silently. The opioid crisis is not one that can be seen or recognized as easy as other drugs, especially to the untrained eye. Many times, parents will be able to notice if their children are smoking, but with these other substances it is not easy to discover and is very detrimental. It is crucial as community leaders and people who care about the youth for us to show involvement in the lives of the youth and bring awareness to problems such as these. Problems that don’t have a bright light on it, but are still there and are just as important, if not more important. The problem of peer pressure is real and evident, teaching youth to be content in their own selves and lives might be a way to combat this issue. Also, what are the reasons behind the need for drugs and violence? It is time we empathize with our youth and figure out where we went wrong, instead of victimizing ourselves and placing all blame on them. These very well could be brought on by psychological issues or simply because the youth is going through a rough patch and needs and outlet; we should try our best to be those outlets for them, so they don’t have to go look elsewhere for it.

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