From winner to wanted – What makes the difference 

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

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An Editorial Opinion of The Greenville Advocate

Each week, local Sheriff’s Offices produce an arrest report with the names, ages, and charges for individuals arrested during the past few days. Our newspaper staff types the notices and publishes them in the upcoming edition. 

On Tuesday I type the names of arrests made in the tri-county area. One name, which was a bit unique, stuck out as I noticed the young man, just 20-years-old, was held for weekend detention in one county, for drug-related charges in another county. 

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On Friday, I ran across the same name, printed in a 2013 issue of the newspaper which highlighted spelling bee winners. I could not help but to think about a young man, whose future once held such promise and who now spends his weekends contemplating where it all went wrong. 

I also wonder, “Where did his path change course?”

It is hard to know what factors led to the young man’s decision to abuse a substance, commit a drug-related crime and land in jail. It is equally difficult to pinpoint what might have made the difference for him and helped him continue on the journey to success. 

One thing, however, is certain. Each community member can impact the lives of local children, providing the support and guidance needed to develop resilience, make good decisions and achieve success. 

We can be the difference by volunteering to tutor, teach or mentor area children. We can support the school administration and teachers to train our next generation of leaders. We can model and teach morals, decency, kindness, compassion, selflessness and all the other qualities our society needs more of. 

We urge our readers to invest in the future of our children by picking one of the many ways they can impact young lives. We urge you also to do it now, when the children are working on their spelling and before they are behind bars.