Where does good citizenship come from? Is it nature or nurture or both? I do believe some are born with a sense of good citizenship, however, I think it has more to do with nurture – specifically – how we, the collective we, nurture children; what we teach them at home, in the community, at school. Perhaps dinner table conversations at home spark a desire to help out a cause. And with the notion of leading by example, perhaps community driven programs motivate participation and a desire to be a part of change or growth. And while schools are designed to focus on academic achievement, there also seems to be an emphasis on leadership, on helping students build character and on preparing them for effective citizenship.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said ‘The practical side of good citizenship is developed most successfully in school because in miniature one is living in a society, and the conditions and problems of the larger society are more easily reproduced and met and solved. To accomplish this, however, presupposes a high grade of teaching, a teacher who not only teaches a subject but is always conscious of the relation of the subject to the larger purpose of learning to live.’
The Richard Taber Citizenship Award applications for 2012 are around the corner. It’s an exciting time as this particular First County Bank Foundation initiative is one I am most fond of. It not only provides local students with a significant financial start, it encourages active citizenship, giving back, an aspiration to helping our community thrive. It’s an important initiative to us as it represents one of our core principles; to maintain and enhance our commitment to support the community through participation and leadership.
Named after former First County Bank Chairman and CEO Richard Taber who himself was a tireless philanthropist giving back countless times, The Richard Taber Citizen Award fuels one of our most important assets – our children – as they are our future leaders, movers and shakers, good citizens. By honoring three local high school students each with a $5,000 scholarship we are recognizing young people who are honest, hard-working, helpful and fair, young people who from an early age have demonstrated they are community minded citizens.
Applications are accepted from January 1st to May 31st. For information on criteria and how to apply visit: http://www.firstcountybank.com/richard-e-taber-citizenship-award.