Local Generation Z’ers Who Are Extraordinary

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By Kim Howard, CAE

Raising children is not for the fainthearted. It’s an incredibly monumental task to take a selfish being and turn him or her into someone who becomes a productive part of society and an adult that we all like, want to be like or want to be around. As the mother of two Generation Z’ers, I am always amazed at how truly busy and accomplished this generation is at such young ages. When most of us were growing up, there were no sports travel teams, gifted and talented school programs or governor’s schools. Everyone graduated from high school with the same diploma. And, academies were only for the rich and famous. If your parents discussed college with you, it wasn’t usually until your junior or senior year. Now, we have teenagers with impressive resumes before they reach the tender age of 18 and who contemplate, in middle school, which high school classes they will need to get into a four-year college. The accomplishments of Generation Z should not go unnoticed because they work hard and they contribute to our communities. Paul Keily profiles a few of these extraordinary teens.

In the vein of contributing to our communities is our monthly Giving Back department that profiles local 501(c) 3 organizations who help take care of us. Prince William and the surrounding cities are home to a large sector of active military and veterans, many of whom are wounded warriors. Marianne Weaver profiles Project Healing Waters, a nonprofit that is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military personnel and veterans.

In the seventh grade, I had to memorize and recite poems for English class. I presume that this was (and still is) standard operating procedure for this school subject. The opening line of Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees”—“I think that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree.”—is still burned into my memory decades later. I am grateful that I don’t have to make my living writing poetry, even though I admire anyone who writes it. In the vein of reliving your middle school or high school English poetry efforts, meet Prince William’s Poet Laureate, Kathy Smaltz, in this month’s On a High Note by Dan Verner.

Congratulations to all the local high school graduates and to the parents who supported them. Prince William Living wishes you all the best for your future.

Kim Howard, CAE, Editor in Chief

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