Time and time again we hear on the news about how the current generation does not live up to generations past. On the contrary, in many cases the facts do not support this claim. In fact, I am excited to see what the youth of today are going to bring to us all in the future. However, today I would like to talk about a particular young leader who is working to make our community a better place while learning valuable skills to make her a leader of tomorrow.
Hailey Archambault is a young elementary school age woman who I met while at a trade show a short time ago. She came up to me, dressed in a business suit, shook my hand and asked for a moment of my time. She explained that she was looking for sponsors to support her as a Little Miss Woodbury Royal Family Candidate. As I was new to the Woodbury area I was unfamiliar with the program, but I was intrigued by her confidence and demeanor, so we agreed to meet later that month in my office to discuss her candidacy.
At our meeting Hailey sat down with me and explained that the Woodbury Ambassadors Royal family is a 25 year old program whose mission is “to make a difference in the community in which they live, encourage the development and education of young women, and foster relationships with all ages” (click here for more information). As a part of her candidacy, Hailey will take part in interviews with local business and community leaders, participate in community service events, and volunteer at our local yearly celebration, Woodbury Days, among other activities.
When I asked her why she wanted to be a part of the royal family, she did not say the parade or the coronation, but said as part of the process she was able to work with our local chapter of Feed My Starving Children. Color me impressed!
As I heard about visits to Childrens’ Hospital, visits to Senior Living Centers, etiquette training, touring city hall to learn about local government and a workshop on empowering young women I kept thinking how inspired I was that Hailey felt this was important enough to take time off from her summer vacation to participate in. Her mother, Linda Archambault, was there with her during the interview and, while supportive of her daughter, let Hailey run the meeting. You could tell that good parenting was a part of this, but Hailey was also genuinely eager to both better herself and her community. I was delighted with the opportunity to sponsor her journey through this program.
In my practice I am blessed to meet with young people like this every day. They are not “overly entitled, slacker, know-it-alls” who expect a medal for just showing up. On the contrary, in the face of ever rising expectations and an increasingly competitive and complicated world they roll up their sleeves and dive right in. School, part time jobs, volunteering, sports and outside activities are all a part of their daily lives. Their optimism and ability shines through in many different ways and it is always fun to hear updates from my patients on their lives each time they visit our office. Inspiration can come in many different packages, and in this case it came as a young woman with a bright future ahead of her.