Youth Motivation

Rapper Austin Lanier performs at the Youth Motivation Explosion at Brazosport High School on Saturday. The event was sponsored by the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee in partnership with the Brazosport Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.


Walk through a Brazoria County intermediate or high school and the problem is evident. Hallways are lined with signs about the dangers of tobacco vaping.

Students can use all the reminders they can get, and the Youth Motivation Explosion had plenty of them. The Brazosport Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the scholarship chairwoman for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee hosted the event Feb. 1 with not only these warnings, but plenty of positive messages.

This event brought youth together to learn more about issues including human trafficking, bullying and vaping. When encountering such situations, the youth’s voice matters, organizers said.

Speakers shared personal stories of overcoming, including hip-hop artist Austin Lanier, who spoke to the young people about putting aside failure and learning about his purpose in life.

“What you don’t see behind the success is that there’s a lot of failure that comes with success,” Lanier said “The difference between a loser and a winner is, the winner just never gave up — and he probably lost more than the loser.

“I’m here to tell you that y’all are gonna go through failure.”

It’s important for young people to learn negative things will happen to them and around them, but these things don’t have to derail them from their positive plans.

Plus, they now know they can speak up when these things happen. If a friend is vaping, they can find their voice to tell that friend how damaging their actions can be or tell a trusted adult what is happening.

This ability to speak up not only can stop negative things from happening but set themselves and others on a positive path.


Chocolate Walk promotes giving, shopping locally

Asking people to shop small and donate at the same time, and you may see them clutching their wallets. But West Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Chocolate Walk sets an example all could follow.

Valentine’s Day is about giving, and the Chocolate Walk is meant to encourage people to consider giving to others, said LaBonne Casey, CEO and president of the West Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Shoppers were encouraged to give a nonperishable food item to one or more businesses, and the canned goods will go to the Columbia United Methodist Church Food Pantry.

The event gave the small businesses, some of West Columbia’s numerous gems, an opportunity to set up balloons and treats to lure in shoppers.

This encourages area residents to buy some cute items, donate to those in need and get a little reward for doing both.

“That really does our food pantry a lot of good,” Casey said.

It also serves as a reminder to give. Donna Loggins, owner of Chesney’s Jewelry, said she gives a monetary donation to the food pantry each year.

There is no donation too big or too small for nonprofits and every customer matters to local businesses. It’s great to see this event benefit both.


Pelosi’s actions childish

There are proper ways to act when disagreeing with someone’s words or actions. Ripping up a printed speech behind them after the State of the Union is not one of them, and does more to hurt a message than help it.

It’s unclear whether President Donald Trump purposely avoided a handshake with Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the speech, but Pelosi quickly tweeted that Democrats will continue to extend a hand of friendship with a photo of the incident.

That hand is less likely to be accepted after Pelosi shredded a copy of the president’s speech while standing behind him.

While the State of the Union address is usually full of theatrics, including the current president’s party often standing to applaud, Pelosi’s childish actions had no place there and will not help anyone in the long run.

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