When I look back at the youth of 1976, I feel ashamed to say, “I am a young person.” Thus is, because I am comparing the youth of 1976 with that of today. Every June 16, in the country, we celebrate and commemorate those who gave up their dreams, future and lives when fighting for our freedom. If there was something to be celebrated and commemorated about the youth of today, what would it be? More and more young people are engaging in sexual activities at a very young age. They resort to such due to so many contributing factors which may include; peer pressure, poverty and more. The result is, the high rate of teenage pregnancies of which greatly increases the possibilities of being infected with sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and Aids. This results in the government spending more money on anti-retroviral medication, meaning less money to be spent on more important areas; education for one, and eradicating poverty. Rise and shine young people! We forever claim that we are the future leaders but what are we doing to develop and fully equip ourselves into future leaders? We forever claim the future is ours but what are we doing to show it is ours? The future belongs to those that prepare for it now! The steps you take today define you tomorrow. The decisions you take today determine the future. It all begins with you, as it took one man to dream of freedom and a thousand more to act on that dream. Do not die and perish young person, rise and shine, and claim what is rightfully yours, and that is the future!