As one of the co-founders of NEO, I’m very offended by the article, “Market Faces Scrutiny.” It’s discriminating against youth by blaming them for dissuading “paying customers” from attending.
First of all, youth are paying customers too. Second, youth have every right be at this community event. I was at every market this summer and didn’t come across any youth problems like I have in the past.
Rosenthal, are you really more concerned with making this the best event possible or just the most profitable? If adults really perceive the markets as just a youth hangout, they obviously haven’t taken the time to truly look into what we offer in the NEO section or understand what community is all about. We empower the youth, give them a place to showcase their talent, socialize, build relationships, interact with adults positively, teach life skills, healthy ways of living, and provide leadership opportunities all while building character among youth and holding them responsible for their behavior and actions.
The youth attendance has risen because they feel apart of something bigger than themselves and want more. The markets should be seen as part of our culture, not just a way to make money.