I wrote about City Year yesterday. The name is inspiring-just like a young person has their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year, this program envisions all youth spending one year, a “city year” providing service to others. City Year wants all youth to be asked, “Where are you going to do your service year?”
A young person I know will be working for City Year beginning later this year. City Year young people work to decrease the number of students who drop out of high school by improving student attendance, behavior and grades in Math and English. Here’s a video with more information. This is such an inspiring program.
I read the following on the City Year website: Ubuntu—a term borrowed from the Zulu tribe of South Africa—means “I am a person through other people; my humanity is tied to yours.” I was moved by the saying and by the work of City Year. I’ll write more about City Year soon.
I must admit that until just recently I had forgotten about Alateen, the support group for teens who have family members with drinking problems. I thought about Alateen recently because I have met several young people with parents who have drinking problems. These young people are in tough situations-Alateen can help. Find a meeting here: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/local-meetings.
Have you heard about Lammily? It’s a doll that Nickolay Lamm wants to develop. What would be so special about this doll? Well, she would have the body proportions of an average 19-year-old woman. Here’s how she would look compared to the abnormally proportioned Barbie that we are used to. Lamm is right on when he says that “average is beautiful.”
A young person I know asked me whether she should buy Lipozene. I hadn’t heard about Lipozene but then I saw a commercial for it late one night which of course made me think that the only thing you would lose by buying Lipozene was your hard-earned money. Lipozene is fiber and the way it’s supposed to work is by making you feel full so that you eat less. I don’t think there is any proof that this actually happens when you take Lipozene at the doses recommended by the company. In fact if you take enough Lipozene to feel full you’ll probably feel bloated and sick. On the flip side, taking Lipozene, like taking fiber other ways can help with constipation. But who wants to pay $30 for 10 days of Lipozene when you can get fiber other, healthier ways? How? Eat an apple.
A young lady I know was telling me how guilty she felt because even though she is trying to lose weight she starting eating a piece of cake one day. What did she do then? She didn’t eat the whole piece of cake and then went to the gym to exercise that night. Now, I don’t think that every time you eat something you shouldn’t you need to run to exercise, but there is a way to recover when you slip. This is what this young lady did and now she’s back on the road to getting healthier.
I found this funny video of the First Lady and Will Ferrell conducting a “focus group” with little kids about nutrition. It’s fun to watch and it’s inspiring to see the number of celebrities who are committed to the Let’s Move campaign and helping all of us be healthier.
If you are a parent and your child is going over to s friend’s house, it is awkward to ask that parent if there are any unlocked guns in the home. But you must.
Last night Jason Collins became the first openly gay man on a major American professional sports team. Why did he come out and face such scrutiny? Here’s a quote from him that explains somewhat and shows why he has become such a role model, “The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I’m much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.”
Some young people who have acne will scrub their skin thinking this will help. It’s actually the opposite-being gentle with one’s skin helps with acne. It’s also best to use as mild a soap as possible when you need to wash your skin. Many young people with acne also need medication also, usually a topical. For this reason, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider.
For years I have eaten cookies made by teens in Minneapolis who work for Cookie Cart and I have even known young people who have worked for this organization. Cookie Cart is a nonprofit bakery in Minneapolis that employs 15-18 year olds. Young people involved with Cookie Cart also receive lots of other services such as customer service training, financial literacy education and ACT preparation. If you want to learn more about Cookie Cart and order cookies, here’s the website, http://cookiecart.org.
Many African American young men who shave have to deal with razor bumps. It can be so bad that some chose to stop shaving and grow beards. One young man I know who choses to shave deals with his razor bumps by not shaving so closely. He said that when he shaves closely the hair goes underneath the skin so that when it grows it curls under the skin and may get infected. If you get razor bumps and don’t want to grow a beard, try not shaving so closely. Also, I suggest you find a dermatologist, a skin doctor-they can help.
Click here for links in case you find someone on social media who mentions suicide http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/online.aspx.
“A Scout is brave. ” This is part of what was said to 17-year-old Pascal Tessier as he achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout. How brave is Pascal? He is the first publicly gay Eagle Scout and was able to do this because the Boy Scouts now allow gay youth. Weird that it has taken so long, but good for Pascal. Now he wants to be the first gay Scout leader. He’ll probably achieve this goal also.
I had no luck posting this video of Michael Sam speaking about coming out yesterday. Fingers crossed-I hope it works today.
Many of you have heard about Michael Sam, the outstanding football player who announced that he was gay. This young man said that he did this because he wanted to own his truth. What an honest and refreshing statement. What of your truth should you acknowledge and own?
If this doesn’t keep you from smoking cigarettes, nothing will-the Real Cost.
Because I have worked with youth in corrections, I have known young people who have been involved in murders. All of them, if they could have gone back in time, would have made different choices. Can you increase your odds of making the right choice in difficult, high-pressure situations? Yes. In that moment, take that moment and ask yourself if what you are angry about will matter in a year, 5 years or enough to give up your life or take someone else’s.
I meet a few young people with drug problems and I try to help them get into drug treatment. If you or someone you know uses drugs your healthcare provider is a good resource. I also found a site where you can search for drug treatment programs in your area. Here’s the link: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/TreatmentLocator/faces/searchResults.jspx.
Here’s some good news-more and more schools offer delicious, healthy foods. For example, here’s a link (http://bit.ly/XD2m7q) to a video from the Minneapolis Public Schools about their salad bars. They even explain how to use a salad bar, including how not to sneeze on the food. I hope I get invited to eat in one of the Minneapolis Public Schools. My school meals were never like this.
Bottom line-nobody needs candy with marijuana in it. It’s like putting vodka in a gummi bear, why do it? It’s not safe for young people and really dangerous if children get into it. Here’s more about this “great new trend” from my local newspaper, http://www.startribune.com/nation/243117141.html.
Oh me! Oh Life!
I worried that the MTV show “16 and Pregnant” would encourage young women to get pregnant because of how much publicity the women on the show get. Luckily, that’s not what happened, in fact the show has been shown to decrease rates of teen pregnancy. Who knew that a TV show could do this? It’s great news.
I keep meeting young people who need counseling for one reason or another, but they refuse. I know some folks think that counseling or therapy is for “crazy” people, but of course that’s not true. Counseling works and if you are going through any type of tough situation, you’ll benefit from therapy. In fact, everyone faces challenges eventually and most everyone would benefit from counseling. Life is hard sometimes-make sure you get the help you need.
Did you know that 1 out of 5 female college students have been sexually assaulted? In order to address this terrible problem, today President Obama announced an initiative to end campus sexual violence. If you want to know what you can do about this problem, check out Students Active For Ending Rape, SAFER. SAFER has resources for college students who want to change college campus sexual violence policies in order to make colleges safer. Find out more here: http://safercampus.org.
It’s probably a bit too simple a way of thinking about things, but I think counseling is a good idea for many young people who have chronic medical conditions because there is a strong mind-body connection. We know that if someone is stressed, for example, they might feel it in their body. Maybe they’ll have an upset stomach or feel tired. It works in reverse also. If you are dealing with a medical issue it’s natural for you to feel stressed, anxious and maybe depressed. Because of the mind-body connection, it makes sense to do what is needed to get your body AND mind healthy. So, take care of your mental and physical health, they’re linked.
“Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”
From “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King, Jr. April 16, 1963
I read this interesting article about how we should take time away from social media that included great advice for parents-model the behavior you want to see in your teen. The author recommended that parents, not just teens, put their phones and computers away by a certain time at night. Also, parents should leave their teen alone and not text them all the time. Encourage your teen to a break from technology by giving them a break from you.
“They didn’t understand it, but like so many unfortunate events in life, just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”
I showed some parents the Circle of 6 antiviolence app today. It really is great for everyone. Here’s more about the app.
I know a young person who had trouble quitting smoking until she tried e-cigarettes. I know that there are lots about e-cigarettes that we don’t know, but they seem to help some people quit smoking. Unfortunately, some e-cigarette companies are trying to get young people who never smoked to start smoking e-cigarettes. Don’t let these companies trap you and get you hooked on tobacco. Use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, not to start.
“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”
Here’s a video from the Reach Out organization with ideas that may help you when you are feeling down on yourself, or maybe help you start the day on a positive note-a personal pep talk.
I just read that someone died of bird flu in Canada recently. The bird flu is unlikely to harm most of us, but the regular flu can. Are you prepared? Have you gotten your flu vaccine?-this is something you need to worry about and can do something about!