Being a Lakewood citizen means a lot of great things for a lot of people, from participating in a supportive community to having the ability to walk around the corner to a favorite restaurant.
In light of this, I recently asked a number of Lakewood High School students what defines being a teenager in Lakewood in this day and age.
For senior Christina Westlake, it means “participating in activities and helping the city…[and] helping our neighbors.”
Fellow twelfth-grader Ava Clause sees eye-to-eye with Westlake about the service aspect of teen life in Lakewood. “[We are] shaping the future of the community and we’re role models for the youth of the city,” she explains. “We’re the most active members of the community.”
It is true that many Lakewood students participate in a multitude of service-based activities, including delivering groceries to Westerly residents through the H2O “Help to Others” club, painting pumpkins for senior citizens with National Honor Society, and putting out American flags on 9/11 as a member of Key Club.
Other students point to the many opportunities available within the city as a major part of being an adolescent in this wonderful city.
“Honestly, [being a Lakewood teenager means] having so many choices in what you want to do…you can be as busy or not busy as you want,” insists 18-year-old Dalton Lammers.
Kayla Lorien, a freshman, agrees.
“It’s a friendly environment,” she says. “There’s a lot of opportunity.”
“It’s really cool,” junior Gia Frankito acknowledges. “There are so many different types of people here.”
Frankito isn’t wrong about that; according to the United States Census Bureau, foreign born individuals made up 8.3% of Lakewood’s population between 2013 and 2017, compared to their 4.3% makeup of Ohio’s total population. Lakewood welcomes many refugees, which add to this statistic and increases the city’s great diversity.
Lakewood is a wonderful city for those of all ages, and teenagers are no exception. Let’s keep Lakewood a wonderful place to grow up and thrive!