You are the owner of this article.
Letter to the editor

Invest in our young

To the editor: As a practicing clinical psychologist long facing the daunting challenges of child abuse in Alaska, it is disheartening to hear of threatened cuts to the university system.

Alaska’s social problems are as unique as our geography and as fascinating as our indigenous people. To meet them we must grow our own work force of inspired and educated liberal artists. But might I suggest that we need not wait until they graduate to take advantage of their energy, faith and the wisdom of their mentors?

I am reminded of the fire science and paramedic programs at UAF: As the students train, they work at the fire station and keep the university safe. Child maltreatment in Alaska is a three-alarm fire. Why cannot departments across the liberal arts board respond to that chronic emergency and not only come up with workable solutions but provide the youthful army of apprentice helpers for immediate implementation? After all, of all crafts, shouldn’t human and social services be a hands-on endeavors and their skills always a work in progress?

The trades have it right: Book learning that is coupled with relevant immediate experience from the start is the most powerful and effective education. I am suggesting a rethinking of the way we create and use human service professionals. Conditional investment in our best and brightest could bring an inspired army of youthful energy to bear on problems that have defeated my generation of would-be do-gooders.

Guidelines

The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at newsminer.com. Contact the editor with questions at letters@newsminer.com or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Writers are limited to one letter every two weeks (14 days.) All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.

Submit your news & photos

Let us know what you're seeing and hearing around the community.