Young people are not always held in the fairest judgment by their elders. “Kids these days” are maligned as not having the drive and character of previous generations. That may be true. In fact, in the cases of at least a couple of young West Virginia women, their drive and character puts that of some in previous generations to shame.

Kaitlyn DeMetro, 22, of Parkersburg, wanted to do something spectacular to inspire giving in advance of Relay for Life activities. Believing “people would pay to see me bald,” she told supporters she would shave her head if her Relay for Life team could raise $1,000 this year, to donate to the American Cancer Society.

DeMetro’s brave act does a double dose of good, as it not only spurred financial donations, but provided a donation to Locks of Love, which will turn the bundles of DeMetro’s hair into a wig for children who have lost theirs due to chemotherapy.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Saira Blair, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was looking for her own way to do good in the world, and decided the political arena was the right place for her. Last week, Blair won the Republican primary for the 59th West Virginia House District seat, meaning she is now headed for a November general election that could make her the youngest state lawmaker in West Virginia history. (She will turn 18 before the general election.)

Blair believed strongly that “you don’t need to wait until you are 40, 50 or 60 to realize our conservative principles are beneficial to everyone,” and took the necessary steps to try to put that belief into practice.

There is something to be said for youthful energy put to productive use.

“Quite frankly, she outcampaigned me,” said her opponent in the primary, 67-year-old Del. Larry Kump.

These women are clearly embarking on lives of active purpose, and should be an inspiration to us all. It is heartening to know the Mountain State can call them two of our own.