Photos from Teen Achievers 11/10/18 Capital Water Plant Tour


A busy day at the YMCA

Girls A.I.M. was a success today! We discussed healthy friendships versus unhealthy friendships. They loved it. The girls had so much to say! Then they identified positive relationships in their lives and created thank you cards for those people.

In addition to this program, I was able to attend my first Regional meeting in my new position at the YMCA. I had a great time learning from my new peers and they were helpful and welcoming. I also got to hear from some awesome speakers!

Girls All In Motion (Girls A.I.M.): Day 1

Good morning folks, today I will be talking a bit about Girls All In Motion, or Girls A.I.M., which I will be a facilitator for at my new position with Camp Curtin YMCA. I am excited about this program because it helps young girls (ages 8-12) build a positive self-image and sets them on a path to reach their full potential in life by focusing on physical activity, balanced eating, and self-development.

I will be facilitating a group today that will be about friendship, and the qualities of a good friend. This will be an exciting topic for the girls because at such a young age, a lot of their life revolves around their friendships they have with their peers. It is essential that they understand what makes a good friend, and to have them be able to identify good friends in their lives.

To teach this lesson, I am going to start out by talking about how their day went at school. I will find out what made their day awesome, and then ask who helped make their day awesome. Then, I will ask them to tell me more about what makes that person so great. What are they like? We will create a list of qualities about those awesome people.

Next, I will ask if there was anyone who made their day not-so-awesome- and if so, why? What are they like? I will write down the qualities of those people next to our list of good qualities, to compare the two.

After spending just a few minutes on that question, I will ask the girls who they would rather spend time with, and why. We will identify that good qualities about good friends will make for a better time for everyone. Then, we will spend a few minutes identifying who our good friends are in our lives.

Once we have identified who our good friends are, we will spend the rest of the time creating Thank You cards that say thank you for being a great friend to our favorite people. This will allow the girls to learn how to express gratitude, all while learning what the qualities of a good friend is.

I’m excited to teach this lesson today, and look forward to meeting the girls in the group!

Reflection: Diversity + Culture in Education [VIDEO]

Good afternoon all!

Today I’m here to talk about a podcast called This American Life. I recently listened to Episode 562: Parts One + Two: The Problem We All Live With (click here to access the transcript).

Here’s a little synopsis of the episode, provided by the creator:

Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there’s one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program.

Seems interesting, right?

I listened to this podcast as instructed by my TEL 111 course, and found it absolutely fascinating, in a horrifying kind of way. So, what did I do in response?

I made a video. 

Watch it below:

Click here for a transcript. 

By the way, a correction- around 8:24 I mention that 1/2 of black students are not attending an accredited district.
What I MEANT to say is:
1/2 of black (K-12) students (in Missouri) are not attending an accredited district.
Please forgive me, I am a poor editor. 

What are your thoughts on my video? On the original podcast? 

Voting 101: Choose Your Fighters

Maybe you’ve been slacking on keeping up with the news. Maybe you’re conflicted about who you really trust in this election. Or maybe you’re like me, and thought you’d be voting in a different state, only to have that change at the last minute, and now you’ve got to play catch-up!

No matter what your situation is, voting can be stressful, and if you know anything about me and stress, we don’t get along. I was scrolling through Facebook this evening, just minding my own business and putting off being an active, engaged citizen, when I stumbled upon a post my friend Francesca made. She was encouraging people to check out this website that would give information on their local candidates, no matter where they were located in the United States.

Obviously, I got excited and checked it out. It was an amazing, easy to use site, that gave you information on all of your candidates, including direct quotes on specific issues, as well as their resume, so to speak. This resource is so valuable, and I encourage you all to check it out immediately.

Here is the link to the website, BallotReady.

On the site, you simply have to enter your address so it knows what district you’re in, and all of your candidates will pop up on your screen. Simply click each one to learn more about how they stand and have voted on issues you are about. Once you decide on the candidate you like the best, you can save them to your ballot (this isn’t an actual vote, but it will email you your “ballot” that you can then reference on voting day).

After you email yourself your completed “ballot,” you can choose a time to head to your polling place, which by the way, is also given to you when you enter your address! It can give you directions there and even create a calendar event that will text/email you to remind you on the day of.

I’m excited about this website because it also gives information regarding what you need to bring on the day of so that you can make sure you’re able to vote. For someone who has never voted in person before (only by absentee ballot!), I had no idea what my state required. Now, I do! Wow! Look at that!

If you’re in Pennsylvania like me, you can also take a look at this handy guideto read exactly what will go down on November 6th. And if you’re not in PA, here’s another resource you can use to check things like eligibility, if you’re registered, and more, all in your state of residence (or rather, where you’re registered to vote).

And that’s that. I hope to see many of my local friends at the polls, and can’t wait to hear about everyone else’s polling experience.

Also, if someone is making you uncomfortable at the polls, please report it. Here is a link from ACLU that clearly states what your rights are, and what voter intimidation is.

Here is a little excerpt on what to do if someone tries to turn you away at the polls:

Always ask the pollworker to double check to whether you are not on the regular list of registered voters. If you are not, then ask if there is a supplemental list of voters (sometimes, voters who register closer to Election Day are processed after the pollbooks are printed, and then subsequently placed on a supplemental list of registered voters). You may also request that they check a statewide system, if one is available, to see if you are registered to vote at a different polling place.

If they still cannot find you, ask for a provisional ballot.  All voters are entitled to a provisional ballot, even if you are not in the pollbook. After Election Days, election officials must investigate whether you are qualified to vote and registered; and if so, they must count your provisional ballot.

And another excerpt on if your qualifications are challenged (if someone questions if you are eligible to vote):

Laws vary from state to state. In many states, if your qualifications to vote are challenged, you can give a sworn statement to the pollworker that you satisfy the qualifications to vote in your state, and then proceed to cast a regular ballot.

As you can see, there’s a lot of information to take in in regards to voting. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a scary thing. Set aside a few minutes (or more!) of your time to prepare yourself for voting on November 6th, and find out what you need to do and bring in order to cast your vote.

You’ve got this!

Still questioning if you’re going to vote or not? Read this article, this article, this article, and this article. Oh, and here’s another one on why young voters matter

Still not convinced? Read these tweets to see why others are choosing to vote. More tweets here.