Opinion

San Juan Island needs a community youth center | Guest Column

By ALLY RUGGE
allycatt25@gmail.com

Dear community,

We are your sons and daughters, nieces and nephews. We are your grandchildren. We write to you because we have a very specific need we would like to communicate with you in hopes that we can work together to make this happen.

Our community needs to have a place for us, the youth of the island. We would like a cozy place to gather and hang out in the evenings that is not a bar or a party and doesn't cost us a half a day to a day's pay simply to be there.

We need a place where we can listen to live music and dance. A place where we can put on events that are not exclusive to us but put together by us. A place that supports local food production and sustainability. A place where we can organize, bounce ideas off of one another and help build the community we are a part of with whatever we have to offer as we discover so.

We would like a place to call our own, a real "locals" spot for us, and currently such a place does not exist. We feel that if we have such a place, we can really offer ourselves to this community because of the bonds we can form and the encouragement and help we as peers can give each other to find and fulfill our niche here.

We reach out to you because we cannot create this place on our own. We are motivated, but you have the knowledge we desire to learn by accomplishing goals like this. We are hardworking but you have the background from experiences from your own hard work that we need to be shared with us. We are inspired and willing to make this happen, but you have the finances that we currently don't as we are just beginning to make our own way.

There is a large population of young people that feel this way; as of now, these daydreams of having a community spot for the youth only exist among conversations. We really need the help of all the generations before us who know what it means to feel connected simply by having a familiar place you feel connected to. A place you know you can go at anytime of day and see someone you know that does not involve running errands or doing business, but is a break from it.

Our community is full of people who wear a lot of hats, have their hands in a lot of projects. We are very multifaceted people and could use a place to collect ourselves, relax or invigorate each other simply by connecting with one another on a not so busy-bustling basis. Your youth would like your help in making this place for us, for all, a reality.

We know this request comes at a time when asking for anything seems to be asking for a lot and we deeply appreciate any help you have to offer us concerning this matter. Please contact us at sjicommunity@gmail.com. Thank you for understanding and we hope to hear from you!

Peace and Good Love,

Your "20 and 30 somethings"

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