Top teen named in historic month

Saturday evening, members of the American Legion in Terrebonne Parish named South Terrebonne High School senior Lindsay White to be their Teenager of the Year. This was the 54th time the veterans’ service organization has selected a parish youth to stand as an example to their peers and generations both before and after them.

Those that have received this tribute, as well as award recipients with other organizations, are examples of people who give in a positive manner rather than take with a selfish attitude.

Miss White and 20 other nominees from the parish’s six public and private high schools had their applications judged based on not only academic achievement, although the winner was among those with a perfect grade point average, but by their contributions in volunteer service to the community. Selection of the top teen was made not only for what was accomplished on paper, but exhibited in practical actions.

Sure, it might sound a bit corny during a time when the destructive exploits of celebrities grab headlines and the poorest examples of human conduct are offered more attention n and given flimsy excuses for their actions n than those that make every effort to contribute to society in a positive manner. But the giving of these honors not only recognizes the recipients. They offer a reminder of what the rest of society should be.

Fifty years ago Thursday, John F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural address. It not only challenged his generation of then young, middle-aged adults. For a short time at least it was inspirational to their children. And it most likely offered the senior citizens of that era some hope that the up and comings might not be so bad after all.

President Kennedy first noted that, “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans,” then famously challenged all listeners to, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Miss White confirmed after receiving her award that the recognition is more than an honor. It motivates her to want to continue along the positive path she and her peers have begun.

Thankfully, some among a generation typically identified as assuming entitlement are not asking what can be done for them n they are asking what they can do for others.