Contributing writer: Bill Seabrook Seabrook is the leader of the new newsletter called Digging Deeper FACT 1. Gaston County has many good things of which we all can be very proud. Make your list. It will be a long one. Include the Schiele Museum, Crowder’s Mountain State Park, ground breaking history of minorities and women in public office, Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, and more. FACT 2. Gaston County has many needs that show a strong demand for continuous improvement by all of us. This, too, would make a long list. Many negatives appear in the areas of health, education, financial, population growth, poverty, jobs, single parenting, and more. SO WHY DOES THIS TELL US WE CAN DO ANYTHING? WELL HERE’S WHY a. In a few short years we, with good leadership, have reduced teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is down 28% since 2010 and down a huge 13% in 2012 alone. This did not come easy. It came with citizens, young to old, collaborating on an important common cause! b. Since 2005-06, the student graduation rate in the Gaston County Schools has improved from 68.1% to 81.2%. c. We have been recognized as an All American City twice. d. With Carolyn Niemeyer’s leadership, the Backpack Weekend Food Program (BWFP) has become a huge success in a very short period of time. BWFP understands the ongoing need for children who have little to eat on weekends. Question: How do we expect children to be bright when they have little food in their stomach. MY POINT: WITH INSPIRING LEADERSHIP WE CAN DO ANYTHING- WE HAVE PROVEN IT! NOW, THREE SIMPLE QUESTIONS : 1-Will you spread Gaston County’s good news? 2-Will you connect and collaborate with others? 3- Will you do what it takes to emerge as a leader?