For the past few weeks I have been going to schools throughout Middlesex County to speak to children in grades 4 through 12 about my role in government and what it means to be a good citizen.

It is my sincere belief that children are our future, and that it is our obligation to motivate and inspire them to do their best and to be active members of their communities.  When children become engaged in civic, school and volunteer programs, they learn what it means to be good citizens, good neighbors and most importantly, they boost their self-confidence and gain the skills necessary to succeed in life after school.

During my visits we discussed such topics as the duties of a Freeholder, the upcoming Presidential Election, how different facets of the government work to serve the public and how the students, as members of their community, can become more involved in programs in their towns, schools or other organizations.

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These discussions have been a learning experience for them, as well as for me.  I learn something new with every visit and am always moved by their enthusiasm, thoughtful questions and eagerness to learn.  I see in them unlimited potential and the ability to do great things, and it makes me proud to be a part of their journey.

I will be meeting with many more students in the coming weeks and look forward to engaging in more dynamic, thought-provoking conversations with our young citizens.  I encourage other adults to sit down with the children in their lives to share their experience and open a dialog. You may be surprised what you can learn from one another.