Jay Sandine who spoke at the rally on behalf of the Rockford Park District asked the students if they were ready to accept the challenge.
“Can we turn our community around to be one of the best communities in the country?”
The student’s response was enthusiastic and could be heard throughout the school.
“Yes! We are ready to transform Rockford!”
Mr. Sandine says that it is important to talk with the youth of Rockford because they are the cities future.
“They are going to be the business owners, they are going to be the CEO’s and the teachers and the parents. So it is absolutely critical that they are a part of the visioning process."
Caleb Pearson a student at Rockford Lutheran high school believes that the quality of life in the city would rise if the local economy was stimulated.
"People can live better and have more money to do more things and just have a better life."
Some students hope for a more activities to keep them out of trouble, but Kara Thompson said keeping busy in Rockford can be expensive.
"After a while you don't have money to keep doing the activities. So I think lower prices and maybe free activities would be really good for the community."
Transform Rockford’s Executive Director Mike Schablaske says they want to engage as many Stateline teens as possible.
"We are here targeting all youth voices and we are trying to get into the mix. Hear their vision and what they think a great Rockford should look like and I think it connects well with their organization"
Although some people in the area look at the high unemployment and crime rates as part of the local culture in Rockford. Jessica Fall, a student at Rockford Lutheran believes the youth can do anything they set their mind to.
"I think we can fix it. I mean if we look at it like we can’t do anything to fix it than we won’t. It is all about outlook and if you don’t have a positive outlook about it then I don’t think we will see any change"
Transform Rockford’s next event will be held next week at the Rockford art museum.
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