The reported statistics on social issues here in the Appalachian region of the United States depicts an almost insurmountable challenge to our collective conscience. Yet I believe the efforts of one student, can make a difference in challenging these social issues. Such a student exists in Andrew Simms, a product of the Appalachian region. Andrew strives to use every available venue in his efforts to raise awareness about social issues afflicting the Appalachian region. In his short time at Ohio Valley University, he has encouraged his fellow Appalachians to pursue their education, organized study groups, and led them in presenting to executives on the necessity for clean energy. He recruits his fellow students to join a new program designed to manage energy so that people can flourish in a clean environment, have worthy work, and become a models of human ingenuity. Andrew led in forming an honors committee whose charter sets high standards and looks for ways to encourage and help other students meet those standards. Although speech impaired as a child, he has persevered to become an outstanding motivational speaker and promoter of a vision for a restored world filled with people who flourish with purpose and hope.
The root cause of social issues stems from a broken world. This deviation between the should and the actual is accentuated when people decide to focus on their never-ending selfish pursuits. Rather than using incredible talents, with which every person is endowed, to promote human prosperity and social growth, these social mutineers choose to pursue their personal agendas. It is an illness of the human spirit that, if not addressed, spreads to infect a society warping its worldview. These views shift into a narcissistic mix in which individuals engage in ideologies, such as Liberation Theology and credit themselves with "throwing off the chains" of their own creation. This contagion can progress to a point where nearly anything is permissible. A new standard allows issues that cannot be addressed with conventional means to arise. These social conflicts are the external reflection of internal turmoil and they need to be resolved on a personal level. Individual resolutions lead to an increase in positive social health that can spread, much like the individual issues that caused harm, to encompass areas that were previously battlegrounds for social conflict. I have the capabilities and I have resolved to lead my generation in this counter-cultural effort.