GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Youth Coalition recently held a “Tree of Hope” Planting in Gallipolis City Park.
Speakers for the event included Gracy Rucker and Allison Hess, both of whom are 16 and will be juniors next school year. Adult Allies, Lisa Osborne and Shelly Sizemore were present in addition to support from Gallia County Citizens for Prevention and Recovery members, Tony Gallagher and Brett Bostic, along with many other community members.
The Gallia County Youth Coalition is a youth led coalition which continues to grow and work towards a drug free future for their peers.
During the ceremony, Rucker and Hess explained that they chose a tree which stands for strength and longevity. Rucker explained that a tree doesn’t begin as a big red wood, but begins as a little seed, growing over the years and remains for generations to come.
She said that the roots of a tree are the lifeline of it. “If you want to see a change in your community you have to start with the roots… If you want to change the world you have to start with the youth,” said Rucker.
It is that investment in the youth that builds a strong community.
“We are going to start with the roots and build up,” said Rucker of what needs to happen in the community to support the youth and a better community.
Anyone in grades 6-12 can join the Gallia County Youth Coalition. For more information visit them on Facebook. Meetings are held the first Sunday of each month via Zoom. The next meeting is at 2 p.m. on June 6. Meeting ID: 870 0419 1819 passcode: GCYouth.
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