Dobbins: We owe it to our community to improve what is around us


Keilym2824, Wiki Commons [Fair Use]

Miss. endures a faster emigration rate than the number of residents moving in.

Chloe Dobbins, Staff Writer

“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” 

Most Americans have heard this quote from President John F. Kennedy several times throughout their lives. In his inaugural address, JFK encouraged patriotic Americans to improve the nation with their participation and service.

How much one owes their community — be it their nation, their state or their town — is difficult to define, though.

Our state of Mississippi is far from perfect. It has some of the lowest rankings in areas such as education, economy, health care, infrastructure and opportunity. But for better or for worse, growing up in Mississippi has given us experiences we likely would not have had in other places — especially for those of us at MSMS. The opportunity to attend a public high school with as many extracurriculars and advanced academics as MSMS is rare. 

As MSMS students, we especially owe it to Mississippi to try and improve the state in whichever ways we can. After all, MSMS was founded with the intention of educating Mississippi students in order for us to give back to the state. 

Giving back does not have to mean dedicating your entire future to the improvement of a state just because you grew up there. Something as simple as picking up litter when you see it is giving back to the state. Doing volunteer work, participating in protests, donating money and unwanted items to charities, exercising your right to vote and even donating blood are all ways to improve the state that almost anyone can participate. For those of us who wish to stay in Mississippi after graduation, even more can be done. Many MSMS students plan on going into fields like medicine and engineering — both are careers that have the potential to greatly change and improve local communities. 

With all this being said, it is no secret that most of us are likely planning to leave Mississippi after graduating high school or university. Regardless of where one is, everyone has the duty to give back to their community, be it the one that raised them or the one they currently live in. We are all obligated to help and improve the communities that give us so much.