Millenials and the MDGs

Posted by Art Raymond Share Your Voice


The Millenials and the Millennium Development Goals

The year 2015 seems like a long way off. In that year, Richmond will host the World Road Cycling Championships, and in essence, we will bring the world to Richmond with the top male and female cyclists from around the globe. This event is expected to attract half a million spectators to our city and will be watched on TV by nearly 300 million people.

In 2015, our current 8th grade class members will be entering the 12th grade. They will be embarking upon their final year of their K-12 education before entering a world of their own making, a world that is both complex and fulfilling in limitless ways.

2015 also represents an important milestone in terms of the achievement of the United Nation’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In the year 2000, over 100 countries came together to cut in half the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day, among many other things. They also decided to reduce by two thirds the mortality rate for children less than five years of age. All eight of the goals are intertwined, and the progress of one depends upon the progress of the others. The complete list is as follows:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for economic development

While these goals may seem bold and unattainable, the urgency of the targeted situations requires that the sights be set high. Millions of lives depend upon the achievement of these goals. For more depth about each goal and measurements on progress towards goal attainment, visit http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/.

Some of you may read through the list and feel overwhelmed by the enormity of their scope, or you may wonder where you can help. Some may feel detached by distance or isolated by our known world here in the US. However, as we all know, our economy is undeniably linked to a large portion of the world that is compromised by hunger, poor educational systems, and environmental havoc. These are the very issues targeted by the MDGs.

What can we do about it all from 7800 Woodman Road?

The population of Raider Land primarily consists of a group affectionately known as members of the Millennial Generation. “Millennials” are positive about the future, on track to become the most educated generation in history, technologically astute, and believers in the power of the government to solve problems. Most importantly, they have developed great relationships with their parents! For more information about the millennial generation, visit

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1501/millennials-new-survey-generational-personality-upbeat-open-new-ideas-technology-bound.

Another interesting fact about the Millennials is their affinity for service to others. In a 2009 web article, NDN, a Washington, DC think tank, described how Millennials provided over a billion hours of volunteer service. In that same year, they outperformed all other generations combined! Unquestionably, the 20,000+ hours completed by the Raiders in 2009 contributed significantly to that grand total! For the complete article, go to

http://ndn.org/blog/2009/08/millennials-lead-nation-service-our-country.

Interest in service and civic participation bodes well for our metro area, our country, and our world. In fact, we are surrounded by a generation that wants the world to be a better place. That desire is in their DNA.

So, how do we encourage, develop, and promote this interest in others and in the affairs of the world? The largest contributing factors are the components of the IB Middle Years Program – specifically, the Learner Profile, the Areas of Interaction, and the constant questioning and examination of our role in the world as consumers and producers of resources, knowledge, creativity, and communities. Add to this list such programs as Rachel’s Challenge, as well as the components of the vision and mission of Henrico County Public Schools that clearly address service and community involvement. Don’t overlook the Bounce/Living, Learning and Leading Program. In Bounce/ LLL we strive to provide opportunities where our students identify those unique values that only they possess, and then tie them into their innate gifts, while providing opportunities for self-awareness and group participation. Ultimately, we want them to realize that they can change the world; the self they bring to school each day is a powerful ingredient in the world that they help create. We want them to see that this is not a world they will inherit at some later date. They are a part of the world now. They can make a difference today.

We want them to recognize their own gifts that can be unveiled, realized and amplified. We want them to see that service allows us to share our gifts. Service teaches us how to follow and how to lead.

As members of this community, let’s make a choice to use our gifts to lift up, to lead, and, ultimately, to participate actively in the achievement of the Millennial Development Goals. Let’s work to connect the world that resides in each child to the world around us. This not only makes Moody unique, but also creates a positive force for change in the community and in the world!

Arthur G. Raymond III
Principal
George H. Moody Middle School
7800 Woodman Road
Henrico, VA 23228



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