By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Portales High School senior Jared Morgan said before he graduates and begins his journey to become a police officer, he wants to leave a legacy in Portales.
Morgan said he keeps a busy schedule with being a full-time student, taking college courses, and having a job at a local restaurant, but he still wants to see more recreational opportunities for area youth and he feels responsible to create them.
Through the Youth Coalition of Roosevelt County, Morgan and other students will unite to provide more youth activities they feel youth want to see.
“There’s a group of kids coming up after me,” Morgan said. “There won’t be anything unless I step up and do it.”
Gasps of excitement echoed through the PHS library during the coalition’s recent meeting as the students pitched event ideas, which included a scavenger hunt, battle of the bands event, a basketball tournament, and a family movie night.
The members of the Youth Coalition of Roosevelt County were connected through their participation in an impaired driving awareness event sponsored by Portales’ DWI Grant Program and its Coordinator Riki Seat.
“I figured if the kids have something to do and it’s sponsored by kids, other kids will show up,” said Seat. “Kids need a voice.”
Seat acts as the group’s advisor.
The events the group has planned would be open to youth and families in Roosevelt County and would be funded through donations and fundraising.
Junior Tabitha Sewell moved to Portales two years ago from El Paso, Texas, after her father was hired at Eastern New Mexico University.
Sewell said Portales was a change from the larger city she grew up in. She was inspired to join the coalition because she wanted to see more activities for youth in the area.
“I want to make Portales a better place for the kids who are going to be in high school soon so that they won’t get involved in the bad influences they have because that tears people up,” Sewell said.
The aspiring lawyer is also a participant of Portales’ Teen Court program and appreciates the efforts of Seat and other Municipal Court staff in bringing her and other youth together to get involved in doing positive things for the community.