To the editor: Make your voice heard

Chester and Andover residents,

I invite you to participate in a brief, four question research survey about Community and Youth in Chester and Andover, Vermont. I am an Andover resident, an early childhood educator and graduate student at Goddard College. The survey should take 3 to 5 minutes and will be up online until April 30, 2018.

The objective of this research project is to begin to identify the qualities and values of our community and how we can create a community in which youth feel valued and valuable. This survey is being conducted within my community of Chester and Andover, Vt., to identify what people consider important qualities, values and definitions of community and how youth are perceived within that community.

I was shocked to learn from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that only 30 percent of our middle and high school students feel that they matter to their community (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2015). In a time where drugs run rampant in our community and school shootings are becoming a social norm, I believe this is a most important topic at hand.

This survey is anonymous and voluntary. The information you provide will help me identify the needs within our community with regard to youth, their value and potential, within our small towns and to identify areas where we can develop positive community influences, increase the opportunity for connections among family, school and community members to empower our younger members instead of disengaging them.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at (802) 875-2155 or niki.olesky@gmail.com. This survey and request has been reviewed by the Institutional Review Board at Goddard College. If you have any concerns about your rights in this study, please contact Geraldine Lyn-Piluso at geraldine.lynpiluso @goddard.edu

Click on the link above to begin the survey and thank you for your time and participation.

Niki Olesky
Graduate student
niki.olesky@gmail.com

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