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Our View: Celebrating more students

Yesterday we praised Southern Oregon University students for expressing their passion for justice. Today, we single out Ashland High School students for embracing service to others by helping those in need and by raising awareness of a global epidemic.

AHS Global Citizens Corps, a student club, organized a canned food drive last month that collected about 1,000 cans of food for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. A competition between math classes helped boost the total.

This week, the club organized an HIV/AIDS awareness event that involved students wearing red on Monday to mark World AIDS Day. Students assembled on the quad and formed a giant human red ribbon, the global symbol of solidarity for those who are HIV-positive and living with AIDS.

The display also included the fact, written in giant chalk letters on the concrete, that worldwide, more than 36 million people have died from AIDS.

About 200 students showed up to participate, thanks in large part to club members promoting the event in the school's morning announcements and on social media. A telephone campaign also helped.

For many years, some adults have criticized teenagers for their supposed shallowness and self-centered concerns. With the explosion of smartphones, texting and social media, that criticism has only intensified.

The AHS Global Citizens Club is just one example of young people who are engaged and aware of the world around them, both locally, as in the food drive, and globally, as in the red ribbon event. If this is an example of the next generation of Americans, the country and the world will be in good hands.