Soapbox Philosophy: Remembering from where they came
Op-Ed · October 18, 2013

Who makes the best role models?

Each week during the school year, Community State Bank and West Branch High School feature a Student of the Week in our paper. In that, they ask each senior who they consider a role model, or who inspires them.

Frequently they name a family member, like an older brother or sister, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle. But their top picks, by far, are Mom and/or Dad.

What a contrast from a recent press release by the What To Do With The Kids group, and its List of WORST Role Models for Kids 2013:


1. Justin Bieber

2. Kayne West

3. Chris Brown

4. Lance Armstrong

5. Male Rappers


1. Miley Cyrus

2. Rihanna

3. Kim Kardashian

4. Lindsay Lohan

5. Amanda Bynes

OK, so we can be glad no WBHS senior named any of the above on their list of role models.

So let’s look at who WTDWTK’s survey participants picked for the BEST role models:


1. One Direction

2. Justin Timberlake

3. A Boy’s Father

4. Michael J. Fox

5. Barack Obama


1. Taylor Swift

2. Jennifer Lawrence

3. Selena Gomez

4. Kate Middleton

5. Oprah Winfrey

Dad makes No. 3, and no mention of Mom? Yikes!

Well, take this list as it is. The 823 who participated submitted their votes, rather than being called out of the blue, and WTDWTK does not try to claim this is a scientific survey. But it is interesting — sad, but interesting — that many of these teens have more pop culture on their minds than their parents.

Kudos to the WBHS seniors over the years who honor their mother and father by recognizing the good in what is right in front of them.

Parents are not perfect, but when such a large percentage of teenagers hold their parents in such high regard, that says a lot.

These teens, who remember where they came from and have both feet on the ground, are our hope for the future.

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