November 4, 2016


I have noticed that there has been a trend toward conversations of change and creativity showing up in our newspaper lately.  From long-time residents, such as one of our local ranchers/Gila County Supervisor Candidate (Woody Cline)*, to state, school and town officials, such as Chris Higgins, Payson City Councilor**, words like “get creative” and “change” seem to be appearing.  I also notice this trend in some of our local editorial letters.


Many of us see the need for better education, more job opportunities, and daily survival possibilities for those living in the Payson and Gila County area.   On September 6, 2016, we read the following information quoted from Malissa Buzan, Director of Gila County Community Services:


“We could go through all of our money for the year in three or four months,”

 explains Buzan.***

Our small businesses are looking for more traffic and better income opportunities.   Funding cuts to our schools, including our special needs programs and after school programs  has left many of those in service-oriented endeavors in need of finding new ways of funding.


We have an untapped source of positive, creative ideas within this lovely town,that has not been recognized.  

Payson, Arizona:  According to


“In the town the population was spread out with 18.1% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 15.3% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 36.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.[12]””

According to Americas Promise, the adult-to-youth ratio of an area affects the high school graduation rate.  Read More Here:

They also offer funding ideas through their project, including grants.

Whether you are retired, a small business owner, or just a concerned individual, creating a Mentorship Program to help our kids, our non-profits and/or other service oriented groups in this area could prove to be the kickstarter for the change we want to see in this community.

Please contact me if you have any interest in discussing such an idea.  I have spoken to many of my local neighbors that want to get involved, want to see our businesses grow and would love to see our kids graduate from high school and be able to afford to continue to live in the area after graduation.

Some great ideas like helping kids grow food in the schools, teaching music lessons, helping with reading and STEM courses, teaching software programs, baby sitting, quilting, healthy cooking and more  have been mentioned.  We have lots of talented people, who have the experience to help others learn from their mistakes and successes.  

It truly is up to us as a community to create the changes we want to see.

What is your passion?  

What would you like to see changed to make our area more prosperous? 

How can you be a part of the change? 

Do you have skills and talents that you would like to share with others?

Be sure to take my short survey on JOC Survey Page:

Add your name and contact info if you want me to contact you.

Or Contact me with your ideas to help our community prosper:      Thanks For Reading.

Debbie Foster   


Reference Information from Payson Roundup: 











Be sure to read more about Mentoring Today at: 


Thank Your For Reading and Thank You For Sharing.


Debbie Foster