National service program would benefit young people
An important message was presented in the Viewpoints article written by professor William J. Byron concerning the need for a national service program to help youth who are unable to attend college or to find a job. Unemployment and college tuition fees are very high. Statistics from unemployment data show drug abuse, crime and some degree of suicide among these particularly vulnerable members of our society. Clearly, our young people need a purpose in life, more than ever. I agree that many could benefit greatly from a national service program.
Byron goes on to discuss how the GI Bill turned out to be a great investment in human capital, as it stemmed the tide of unemployed veterans returning home from World War II. Today, with large numbers of unemployed high school graduates in need of a job and a future, we desperately need to implement such a program. It will put these individuals to work and give them life skills that will enable them to become productive members of a civil society.
Another example of a national service program that was highly successful was the Peace Corps. Volunteers were sent to various countries around the world. Whether it was to plant crops, or work on water projects, or teach, they learned about the host country and its people, making this a very positive experience for our youth. Given the opportunity to live in a foreign country, they came back home more mature and having a deeper understanding of the world, and their lessons laid the foundation for a lifelong learning process.
We need to focus on the youth and present them with opportunities that will give them a better life, a lifelong learning process and encourage their talents. A national service program would give them experience, knowledge and maturity.