A new idea on youth crime
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Getting mugged at gunpoint on the St. Thomas waterfront in the early evening of January 2012 left me in disbelief and uneasy. But what really shocked me was the fact that all five muggers were only 14 to 15 years of age.
Why are our teenagers out on the streets in the early evening with a gun? Is it because they have nothing better to do after school? Is it because they have no adult supervision at home due to their parents' work schedules? Is it not the community's responsibility to find solutions to get our teens on the right path so they don't become a criminal, a villain, or worse at the early age of 14 or 15?
I know these are a lot of questions, but since the mugging, I've had these questions in my head and have struggled with the incident and the fact that the assailants were so young.
When I was young, I went to the YMCA and learned how to swim after school. The swim curriculum there taught me more than just how to swim. It gave me positive reinforcement, values, solidarity, and a sense of accomplishment that helped me to grow into a productive person.
What made me think of this was the article I read in the Daily News about the new swim coaches, John Vasbinder and Susie Andrews. They have both recently joined our St. Thomas Swimming Association and they have changed the pool hours of operation from 2 to 7 p.m.. The perfect time and a perfect answer! Is this a coincidence or is it inspiration?
Learning how to swim is motivational and an exceptional learning opportunity with emphasis on a skill that is not only functional and constructive, but that also promotes growth and cultivates our children.
So for all the parents, no matter what your child's age, show your love and support of them and enroll them in an after-school swim program that will foster enjoyment and learning as well as contribute to your child's individual success in the water and in life.
- Cynthia D. Baily, St. Thomas.