Beyond the Byline: Building a better Plymouth through its youth

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]
Bill O’Boyle -

PLYMOUTH — It’s not too often you run into a person who is truly concerned about the world we live in and who wants to do something that will have positive effects today and into the future.

Meet Holly Spece, 33, of Plymouth Borough. She is such a person.

Spece has started a new organization — the Plymouth Youth Organization (PYO) — that she hopes will get kids involved in their town with the goal being to build a better Plymouth and to build better young men and women.

That’s a pretty darn impressive mission.

Spece and her husband have two children — a son, 11, and a daughter, 10. Spece sent me an email and it really blew me away.

“My name is Holly Spece and I am trying to put together a youth organization in Plymouth,” she wrote. “The mission is to provide Plymouth Youth a purposeful direction to encourage character growth, community efforts and positive attitudes by providing community services in fun and innovative ways.”

And then Spece asked me if I could help. My response was, how could I not?

Spece told me she has been trying to think of ways to put something together for Plymouth youth for a while. She said a lot of kids aren’t really into sports, but they still long for something to do.

Then Spece told me a story. She said one day, her kids had some of their friends over and they were playing in the yard while her husband was outside doing some work. Spece noticed that the kids were trying to help her husband with the yard work.

Her husband told her the kids wanted to help. Spece said she could tell the kids were very proud of what they accomplished. At that moment, Spece started to think of all the positive things that the youth of Plymouth could do with a little guidance.

That eye-opening experience in the Spece yard started the ball rolling for the formation of the PYO. Spece is now putting together an advisory group, and that will be followed with the scheduling of fun events and fundraisers. A Chalk Art Jamboree is already scheduled for Aug. 26.

Plymouth, back in my day, had a youth center where kids would hang out, play games, socialize and even dance on Friday nights to bands made up of Plymouth kids. We also had a lot of community-minded adults who volunteered in many organizations that helped mold kids into good citizens.

Spece has done her homework. She has written a mission statement and she has come up with goals for the PYO. She has also looked into the legal aspects of starting an organization. Spece has attended meetings with some of the organizations in town to see if they would support such an idea and if they could provide her with some guidance.

Spece wants the kids of Plymouth to get involved with organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary and Plymouth Alive. She wants the kids to see the importance of community involvement and to learn how to make their hometown a better place to live.

“I thought it could encourage a sense of pride because the kids would have the opportunity to invest their efforts into our town now, so maybe they would be less likely to vandalize or take part in other criminal activities,” Spece said. “I thought it could encourage confidence because the kids could learn all the wonderful things that they are capable of.”

Spece couldn’t be more correct. Plymouth is certainly a town that could benefit from increased community pride, but the same could be said for almost every town in Luzerne County. What Spece is doing should be done everywhere so that a better atmosphere of good, old-fashioned community pride can rise up once again.

Spece is talking about holding a lip sync contest, car washes, bake sales and talent shows. She wants the kids in town to serve as volunteers in all events organized by the various groups in town. She wants to hold most of the PYO’s event in the auditorium in the Wyoming Valley West High School.

Spece should get the cooperation she asks for without hesitation. This new group deserves every chance to succeed and, with cooperation, the PYO will accomplish its goals and fulfill its mission.

And Plymouth will surely show the rest of Luzerne County that community pride is alive and well, even in 2017.

Bill O’Boyle O’Boyle

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle, or email at [email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle, or email at [email protected]