This essay, by Anna from Heritage High School, is one of the top five finalists for our scholarship. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below this post!
What Would I Do To Improve Littleton, Colorado?
Let’s Make Littleton Vibrant Again
Littleton has been around for just over 100 years and throughout those years there has been development and expansion. Lately, it has come to a halt. The average age in Littleton is 42 years old. How will Littleton grow when their average age is higher than the national one of 33? There are more than 3 amazing and highly rated High Schools supporting many motivated teens within the Littleton Public School District. At the high school I attend, Heritage High School, about half of those attending are from out of district. Even though the schools are being supported from these out of district students, Littleton is not. If the city of Littleton fails to attract a younger age group then they will continue to lack development in community, taking schools down with them, and finally disabling students from the high education they deserve. Littleton lacks low house prices, outdoor potential, and usable transportation. The life of the city is dwindling.
As new families form and come together, they look for communities that have high-quality education for their kids, stable jobs for them, a variety of family activities, and affordable housing. Housing costs tend to be a primary driver. Living is expensive in Littleton, especially with need for space as the little ones join the family. The average income of a young family starting out in Colorado is $66,000. This is surely not enough to buy a decent home in Littleton. The average price of a home in the Littleton area is approximately $520,000. How can the city expect to gain a younger community when incomes are lower than what is needed given the high cost of housing? Food, electricity, and other living expenses cannot be left out of the equation either. Families who desire Littleton’s outstanding public schools are forced to commute from lower priced living areas. As the area continues to age and existing residents stay in their homes, prices will only continue to rise and exacerbate the situation. A healthy community has a wide variety of housing stock that allows for housing shifts as people move through their lives. Littleton lacks this variety of housing and thus we find ourselves with an aging population and the next generation challenged to join the Littleton community.
Students that attend the three Littleton public high schools, though spending a majority of their daytime in Littleton, an average school day is 7 hours, lack the ability to partake in many activities outside the school environment. Littleton does not have activities and amenities that call to high school ages. School administration are challenged to work with the city to create opportunities. Drug use and vaping is a major concern within the school system and there is a thought that more options for activities within the community could counter this trend. It’s been shown that children who are bored and have few choices outside of school are more likely to find themselves in trouble then school districts that are tied to an active community. A majority of Colorado kids find joy in outdoor activities. Though Littleton has plentiful trails they lack any other outdoor option for kids to use. If Littleton could introduce addition outdoor and indoor Anna Penny Scholarship Essay 03/29/2019 Penny 2 options for recreation it would greatly benefit the community. This wouldn’t only benefit high school students but any age students, even those younger families looking to move into Littleton. These advancements would be a huge attraction and could be a plus option in the decision making process to bring in a younger community and to keep Littleton thriving.
With the development of new activities, teens who still need to get there don’t have a fast or efficient transportation method. I have calculated the 15 minute drive it takes to get from my house to the nearest recreation center is a 1 hour and 39 minute travel with the current bus system. Not only is it a long ride there are multiple stops where there must be a bus switch. Nothing safe enough for high school students to go on their own. Creating an intra-city bus or shuttle system like Lone Tree did would be a great addition to the community. Lone Tree started an on-demand shuttle service that is free for people who live within Lone Tree. Students of a younger, non-driving age would then have the ability of an affordable and fast way to go places to partake in the Littleton community such as shopping, work places, and recreation centers.
These factors which drive away a possible younger community, hold back LPS students, and prevent younger interaction within the community are dulling the city. With advancements in these subjects, the city of Littleton can open their doors wider for a younger, lively community and therefore, Littleton will be Vibrant again.
“Colorado.” Data USA, datausa.io/profile/geo/colorado/.