No dream is too big

Published 5:32 pm Saturday, December 13, 2008

Have you ever sat down and talked to the teenagers of today?

No, not the ones within your own family, or the kid next door, or even a young person that attends your church.

We’re talking about chatting with a total stranger…a teen with whom you have no personal or social ties.

On Thursday afternoon, we did just that as this newspaper, joined by local realtor Joe Murray along with Keith and Joyce Brantley, interviewed nine high school students vying for one of the three scholarships associated with the third annual Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Basketball Tournament. Two others were interviewed on Wednesday.

What we discovered during those interviews is that today’s teens are not much different than those of yesteryear. All have high hopes and dreams. All are seeking a higher education, which will later parlay into a good paying job that will sustain them in the future.

We learned from the nine interviews on Thursday that there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. It’s a big, big world out there, one where dreams can become reality.

The interviews revealed that we were perhaps speaking with future teachers, pharmacists, physicians, lawyers and politicians. One wanted to travel the world; another desired to own a chain of hotels; yet another dreamed of playing Major League Baseball.

Are those dreams far-fetched? Judging from the strong character traits possessed by these young adults, there’s nothing holding them back from reaching their lofty goals.

Another plus in their favor was the fact that all were good students. For them, athletics plays second fiddle to their academic priorities.

Finding another Nick Brantley, a former Ridgecroft School basketball standout who dreamed of flying one day (he died in 2005 when the Navy helicopter he was piloting during a training exercise went down off the NC coast), is next to impossible.

Finding a young person that exemplifies the strong character displayed by Nick Brantley during his life is easy. We had 11 candidates from which to choose.