You are here

A Life of Activism

By Parker Watson
Camp Sea Gull and Seafarer YMCA

This weekend at Youth and Government, hundreds of delegates are learning about the importance of living a life of civic activism, but many also remember the legacy of a one who lived most of his life as a public servant.
Walter B. Jones served in the U.S. House of Representatives for North Carolina’s District 13 for the past 24 years and served as a North Carolina congressman before taking his seat at the national level. Jones passed away shortly after his last election on February 10, 2019.
Jones’ long commitment to civic duty still inspires people right here at Y&G and across North Carolina. We see this same commitment to the government every year here at Y&G, and it does not go unnoticed. Dr. Dwight Carlblom, who works with the Epiphany delegation, had a lot to say about the recent loss of Walter Jones, and what his life meant for youth.
“He was just a Godsend for us,” said Carlblom remembering the Congressman. “We truly valued him. His loss, for us, is a tremendous loss.”
Y&G is dedicated to teaching youth about their government. In his first year at Y&G Carlblom already recognizes delegates following in the footsteps of the late Representative.
"They’re getting involved in government [...] some of these people have got to be running for office down the road,” said Carlblom.
Others in this year’s conference recognize the importance of Y&G and the activism Jones represented. A member of Y&G’s own House of Representatives spoke about some of Jones’ qualities.
Speaker of the House, Frederick Liu, understands the importance of civic duty, “You have the right to vote, and it is your choice [...] I would definitely go vote because if I have a voice, I wouldn’t waste that opportunity.”
Jones life as a congressman shows the potential that every delegate has. Jone’s dedication to his government exemplifies what Y&G is all about: doing your part to change your government democratically.
Jones served as a part of the government that delegates learn about every day, and his loss saddens those who knew of his service, but the legacy he leaves behind is a reminder that the work performed at Y&G is crucial to our society.