Community Voices

Engaging Youth in Chattanooga’s Progress

There hasn’t ever been a better time to live in Chattanooga. That’s what my wife Haley said when we made the decision to move from Portland, ME to Chattanooga, TN. I believed her words strongly, when this city was only a YouTube clip and a New York Times article in my mind, and I believe it even more today, after living here for six months. Chattanooga is an exciting place to live right now and it’s just going to keep on getting better.

The movement to redefine our city, which was started over 30 years ago, is moving ahead with great enthusiasm and a desire for positive change by young leaders in our community. Organizations like the The Company Lab, Engage 3D, and AIGA Chattanooga (to name a few) are taking Chattanooga to greater heights. Their projects are bringing people together to learn, share, and grow. They are creating community through their actions.

The future of Chattanooga is extremely bright for today’s youth. In five years, the middle schoolers, high schoolers, and homeschoolers of today will be living in a transformed Chattanooga. Our job today is to not only take Chattanooga to greater heights, but to ensure that the youth who will inherit this city will stick around and continue the quest.

As someone who works directly with Chattanooga’s youth population, I see the need to keep that group living, learning, and working in Chattanooga as the key to our city’s continued success and growth. Kids, Tweens, and Teens living in Chattanooga need to understand just how far this city has come and how each of their own unique personalities and interests can contribute to making Chattanooga an even greater place to spend their lives. If we can keep those who call Chattanooga home living in Chattanooga for their adult lives, their understanding and commitment to our city will lead the next generation of innovation and excitement in our city.

“Our job today is to not only take Chattanooga to greater heights, but to ensure that the youth who will inherit this city will stick around and continue the quest. ”