This is my attempt to reach out to young people about the dangers that lay ahead. If you as a parent read this please share it with your children.

The biggest dangers for today’s youth are drug and alcohol abuse (particularly heroin), impaired and distracted driving, and abuse by friends or relatives. Teens should not think they are strong enough to be the one exception to any of these dangers. That thinking will only lead to bad things for them, their family or other innocents.

Look at the news every day and see how many people have fallen victim to these dangers. The numbers are sad and staggering.

Children need to be cautious when making emotional relationships, and make sure that they are going to be respectful and caring of the other. If the relationship doesn’t feel safe, they should get out of it as soon as possible. If you feel unsafe, contact law enforcement to get some help before the situation gets dangerous.

People should not have children unless they are sure they can provide for them emotionally and financially. Too many have fallen victim to the immature man who only wants sex with no commitment.

People should not forget the need to be focused on driving completely. Any distraction can, and has, caused many losses of life. Never disregard your responsibility to others when you are driving.

Everyone has the potential to make a difference in this world regardless of what you are born into. Dare to push your boundaries, the rewards are endless.

Everyone is responsible for their own decisions, good or bad. The end result is on ourselves, and nobody else.

Mike Swanholm

Readfield