Defending Our Youth’s Potential

Boy holding fish he caught

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All children have potential. They just need someone to defend it.

Potential in New Philadelphia

As we look around at the youth in our community, it’s essential that we consider the weight of how our investment in their lives today will impact the potential in their future. 

When I see our youth, I see future:

  • Council members
  • Business owners
  • Teachers
  • Doctors
  • Volunteers
  • First Responders
  • Lawyers
  • Parents
  • Community members

I think about these fundamental roles that make New Philadelphia thrive. I believe it is our duty to seek out and defend the potential of these youth which ultimately is the best way to ensure our city’s legacy

Man and boy posing for picture with river and cityscape in background

What Does it Mean to Defend Potential?

All children have inherent potential and I believe there are many ways to defend it. I see potential defended in countless ways:

  • Encourage them when you see they’ve taken up a new interest such as an instrument or sport.
  • Ask them about their future, aspirations, and goals. 
  • Introduce them to a new activity. 
  • Show up at their events & cheer them on. 
  • Provide a safe space for open conversation and questions.
  • Invite them into community that can model health relationships, responsibilities, and decision making.

How Can I Help?

Serving as a Big through our Big Brothers Big Sisters program provides the opportunity to implement all these methods with a child that you would be matched with based on common interests, personality, and preferences. Our role is to empower you as a Big to make an impact in the child’s life. Supporting your match includes:

  • Training opportunities to grow your education in ways that can help your Little.
  • Resources that can be provided to the family as situations you may want to help with arise.
  • Encouragement from a personal mentoring specialist. Investing in a child can be difficult, but we are here for support and encouragement as you commit your time to your Little.
  • Advice and guidance from agency staff to navigate any conversations or situations that you may be faced with.

How Can the Community Help?

Defending potential is not only an individual endeavor, but a worthwhile cause for the entire community. There are many ways a local business owner or community member can support this mission:

  • Be an advocate. Even if you can’t commit to the role of a Big yourself, look at your friends and family and recommend those that would make a great mentor to our programs. 
  • Add a donation box to your check out counter or set up a round-up campaign for your customers. 
  • Host a fundraiser. Make a special event that our agency can help promote to raise funds to support this mission and our local matches.
  • Make information available. Whether it’s a flyer, a QR code, brochures, or a logo, there are many ways to help us raise awareness so that families and potential Bigs know we’re here and available.
two girls hugging in parking lot

The Vision for the Future

I think we need to ask ourselves what we want the future of our community to look like. 

  • How do we treat our neighbors?
  • Are our properties cared for with pride?
  • What types of businesses make up our city?
  • Are we providing the best education for our children?
  • Are we meeting the needs of our residents?
  • Do we care for each other?
  • Is our economy thriving?
  • Do visitors feel welcome?

Successful answers to each of these questions starts by investing in our children and building them up to become caring, confident, and competent adults. We can work together as a community to model what it means to be a responsible and devoted member of New Philadelphia.

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Guest Author

correy and olivia scally

Olivia Scally

Olivia L. Scally grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland and graduated from Cleveland State University with degrees in Non-Profit Administration and Sociology. 

She started her career at Playhouse Square working in season tickets and then transitioned to the development department where she discovered her love of administrative support and caring for her donor group. In 2016, her husband accepted a job in New Philadelphia, so she did some research on non-profits in the Tuscarawas County area. She reached out to the local Big Brothers Big Sisters office which happened to be hiring. She started as a Mentoring Specialist, working with multiple school districts and supporting matches on her caseload. After her first year, she found her way back to the development world and working behind the scenes to support the mission of defending potential and providing mentoring services to youth throughout Tuscarawas and Carroll County. She is currently the Director of Development and Administration, working diligently to plan fundraisers, coordinate operations, and strategize marketing endeavors for the local office. 

Olivia resides with her husband, Correy, and their dog, Maddie. They are currently pursuing their foster care license and are both involved in The Branch Church located in New Philadelphia. Despite being a transplant to the area, Olivia is proud of the New Philadelphia community and looks forward to raising a family and serving the city for years to come.

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