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Giving voice to the youth of Roswell

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Several years ago, we came up with the idea of giving a voice to the young people of Roswell by creating a column written by high school students called “Millennial Voices.” We wanted to give the students a chance to share their authentic voices writing columns about whatever was of interest to them.

“Millennial Voices” columns have been about many topics from personal experiences to social justice issues, community events and high school issues, issues that affect teenagers and technology. I have been impressed with the eloquence with which our writers tell their stories. I am sure you have discovered, if you’ve read the columns, we definitely have some talented young writers in Roswell.

And the columns have been noticed outside of Roswell, too. I’ve had a publisher and editor come up to me at a New Mexico Press Association (NMPA) meeting and comment about the columns and about the quality of the writing. Another editor wanted to know how we had started the section. He was interested in starting something similar at his newspaper in northern New Mexico.

I will tell you that we pay our columnists a small sum because we believe they deserve to be paid for what they write. Writing a column and seeing your name in print is special. These young writers can also use their columns for college entrance or include them with their resumes.

Here are some of their thoughts on writing for “Millennial Voices”:

• Michael Apostol — As a biology major and premedical student at the University of New Mexico, I continuously learn not only about the latest scientific discoveries and their implications (e.g., CRISPR/Cas 9, the link between parasites and allergies, etc.), but I also learn more about the social determinants of health. Through my writings, I hope to share these amazing facets of my education and inspire others to go into either biology or the health professions! Stay in school, kids!

• Kaitlyn Ware — What I enjoy about writing for Millennial Voices is the fact that I have the opportunity for my voice to be heard in the community through my writing. I’ve never been great with talking in front of large crowds, however, I’ve always enjoyed writing. It’s actually one of my strengths when it comes to my school work, so the fact that I get to do something I enjoy — and help spread awareness about what I believe needs to be brought to light, through means that I feel comfortable and confident in doing — is more than satisfactory to me.

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Barbara Beck is publisher of the Roswell Daily Record. She can be reached at bbeck@rdrnews.com. The views expressed in this column are those of the author.