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Respect contest open to Davie young people

Respect. It makes everything better.

That’s the philosophy of the new Davie Respect Initiative, and organizers are rallying Davie’s young people to come up with ways folks around here can show more respect for each other.

And they’re offering $1,000 prizes to the young people who come up with the best ideas.

“A few friends got together and we had this idea of what makes everything better,” said Julia Boyurazer. “One of the things that we came up with was the idea of respect … especially as it relates to young people.”

Stephen Leighton, who moved to Davie County some six years ago, said he and friends just want to make Davie “a better place.”

They were inspired by the story of the late Junior York, a Mocksville auto mechanic who fixed the rental car of a stranger for free. That gesture turned the corner for that stranger, who decided to locate his business here.

“What could we do that might help to work with all the things that go on to be even better,” he said. “You can’t have too much respect.”

They are working with other organizations, and everyone they’ve talked to are on board with their plans. Another goal is to get young people to realize how great Davie is, and stay here after their education.

“Aiming it at young people could help in a small way to get our youth to recognize the great place they have,” he said.

Susan Baggett said that there is too much these days that divide people. Something to bring them together is needed. “How can people cooperate more and be more effective in what they’re doing?”

If time spent arguing was spent on something more positive, think of how much more could be accomplished, Boyurazer said.

The contest is open to Davie residents age 12-21, and it will award up to 10 $1,000 grants. The funds are being managed by the Davie Community Foundation. Sign up for the contest at www.davierespect.com.

The contest focuses on four questions:

• Share your thoughts about what respect means and why it is important. Please expand beyond a simple definition.

• Where and with whom do you show the most respect?

• What are some key experiences in your life when you were impacted by the expression of respect?  Include one or more key people you have known personally who served as important role models of  respect for you.

• Describe your idea for a practical project that can help inspire and increase the visible demonstration of respect right here in Davie County over the next six months and beyond (e.g. designing a respect challenge, using social media to spread a culture of respect, utilizing photography to capture and share respect acts, etc…).

“Implementing such a project is a good opportunity for young people, bringing the community together,” Boyurazer said.

They talked about social media campaigns, t-shirts, even stickers that could be placed at businesses saying “Respect Lives Here.” “It can take on so many forms.”

That will be up to the young people who receive the grants.

Winners will be selected by a five-person panel. The deadline to apply is Sept. 10.