By Jonathan Miles Hammock, MCC Marketing Intern and Anderson High School 2016 Graduate
Growing up as a young black male in Anderson; I always thought of home as a place I wasn’t going to be for long. I could always tell that there was a problem here in the county. Every year there was something we had (or didn’t have) that made people want to leave and not think twice about coming back. I had the same mindset my senior year at Anderson High School. This past summer, interning here at home and taking classes out of state opened my eyes and changed my perspective on home.
Madison County has so much potential and is so close to reaching it. We have the resources to be prosperous like our neighbor Hamilton County. We just have to do three things that will put and keep us on track to be great.
First, we as a community must continue to believe in the things we already have and make them better. Examples are our great education systems (Anderson, Alexandria, Lapel and Pendleton), exceptional agribusinesses that many people don’t know that we have (Evermilk, Red Gold Tomatoes, and Nestle), and last but definitely not least, the youth that reside in our county. I feel like if we put more support, love, and hope within them our outlook as a county would change for the better.
Second, we must strengthen and support our own people and businesses that are struggling. There should be no reason a new business leaves town in a year, and we complain that there isn’t anything here. We can’t expect new things to come our way if we don’t take care of what we have already. For example, Mounds Mall is nowhere near what it used to be, but we want to have something like a Hamilton Towne Centre. We can’t expect a youth center if we can’t maintain a Boys and Girls Club, and we watch our YMCA struggle. That shows we cannot handle something of that magnitude. When given a chance we must prove people wrong and show that we are capable.
Lastly, the County must let the small growth enhance our hope. It’s only a matter of time until Madison County returns back to where we were. Marion and Hamilton Counties are bursting out of their seams and moving north. We are bound to collide, but with that being said, Rome wasn’t built in a day. While people are moving away from a busy city or a boring ghost town, they are looking for a safe, quiet, suburban area to live in. I encourage you to brag about our county, our county. Why? Because we have a lot to brag about.
A lot of times we as humans always think the grass is going to be greener on the other side. In our case the grass is green and it is growing. So let’s continue to water it, tend to it, and even add a little landscaping to our own yard. Then soon enough we’ll be the greatest home there is in central Indiana.