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All About Self Care: Why It Is Important To Put Yourself First

The daily routine of work and school can easily make time go by fast and be comforting knowing you have the same thing to do everyday. However, it is easy to let things slip by, like doing laundry or cleaning out that junk drawer in your kitchen. Often times too, it is easy to put important tasks aside that may not be your top priority, like your health. The American Institute of Stress states over 50 effects of stress, some being excess anxiety or guilt, frequent headaches and feelings of worthlessness and loneliness. A pattern is seen – stress really affects mental health. The looming cloud of feeling lonely and overwhelmed can ruin your everyday performance, making the easy, daily tasks much harder. No matter who you are, a full-time student or worker, it is important to take care of yourself. Your health (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) should always come first!

I define self-care as the process of simpling taking care of yourself, meaning taking the time to relax and do what you like. To me, self care means cleaning or tidying up my personal space, taking a hot shower and doing a face mask. However, it can be more personal from person to person. For example, self care to someone may be taking a day off and going somewhere, or it could be cooking. In the end, self care is based upon what makes you happy and something you like.

Self care means taking the time off that you need to get yourself back together, a reset, if you will. It should not let you fall too far behind in other priorities! For example, I dedicate every Sunday on self care. I set aside the full morning to catch up on homework or extra work. Then, I spend the evening focusing on my self-care routine. It is very easy to get confused between the difference of procrastination and practicing self care. Merriam-Webster defines procrastination as to put off intentionally or habitually, or to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done. Self care does not mean putting off top priorities! Top priorities should be done first, and then act in self care. If you are less stressed and more relaxed, your self care routine will be ten times better of an experience. Your health and state of being should always be ten times more important than that deadline you have to meet or the paper you have to write. Always make sure to put yourself first!


Lily enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching Netflix and traveling on her free time. She is currently a Child Development major at Ohlone College, and hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Education.



Andy’s American Dream

Throughout the upcoming weeks, GiveTeens20®®interns are discussing their ideas of the American Dream and how their potential career relates to this. In addition, a video from the organization GROCO highlights how successful individuals in their career field have helped broaden their American Dream.

I moved to the United States from Mexico with my parents when I was just four years old. We moved here with the intention to live a better life full of endless opportunities. It was not easy being a young boy having to adapt to a whole new world, but looking back, it was the best decision my parents could have made.

It is no secret that we all have goals and dreams, but what is not commonly known is that every dream requires a sacrifice. The sacrifices we make are what keep us going because we know the end result will pay off. We all fight for a dream, but some immigrants fight for the American Dream. As children, we are told that the smarter you are and the more money you make, the happier you will be. To some, that is the American Dream. To me, the American Dream is being successful, whether that be mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, etc. The American Dream is using your platform to uplift others. It is making sure you are happy as well as those around you.

To me, the American Dream is being successful, whether that be mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, etc. The American Dream is using your platform to uplift others. It is making sure you are happy as well as those around you.

-Andy Contreras Tostado, GT20 Intern

I didn’t know anything about the United States when I came here; it was a culture shock. Coming from a place of very little upward mobility, I always heard my parents talking about all the opportunities available in the USA. Now that I have grown older, I am finally able to understand what my parents would talk about. The number one thing my parents constantly pushed on me was to do well in school, get good grades, and always keep learning because that alone will get you far. Being told that constantly became annoying, especially because I did not understand why learning was so important. Now, having graduated high school and being the first in my family to attend college, I realize how important education really is. It is the gateway to everything in the world (More education, job opportunities, relationships… you name it!).

Highlighted in the GROCO website, Jenny Oaks Baker emphasizes the importance of developing your own talents. Developing your own talents allows you to share your skills with others and be an example for someone of what it means to be persistent and successful. Along with Baker’s ideas, also highlighted on the GROCO website is Dirk Lorenz, owner of Fremont Flowers. Lorenz is a great example of how learning and giving back makes up the American Dream. Like Lorenz, many people go through different careers until they find the right one for them. Education and learning every day and using your skills to uplift and teach others is what the American Dream is all about.

With the help of people like Baker and Lorenz, we can create a diverse and better life for all and make our communities better.

Jenny Oaks Baker

https://www.groco.com/radio/jenny_oaks_baker_developing_talents.aspx

Dirk Lorenz

https://www.groco.com/radio/maintaining_relevance.aspx


Andy understands what it is like to stand outside the norm. Having moved from Mexico to the United States at the age of four, Andy had to adapt to a whole new lifestyle. Andy is currently majoring in Journalism/Mass Communication at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA. He loves to watch Netflix, go on adventures with friends and family, and make people laugh. Without those people, he would not be the person he is today.


Kayode’s American Dream

Throughout the upcoming weeks, GiveTeens20®®interns are discussing their ideas of the American Dream and how their potential career relates to this. In addition, a video from the organization GROCO highlights how successful individuals in their career field have helped broaden their American Dream.

The American dream has a very subjective meaning to people across our country or seeking to immigrate here in the United States. To some, it might be having all the money in the world, and to others it may be living a happy and healthy lifestyle. From my perspective, the American Dream has only one meaning.

The American dream is the dream of a land in which life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. Now you might ask, what exactly does that mean? With America being a first world country, along with that comes great opportunities for everyone who comes here. That would be the reason for immigrants moving here, because they want a better life for themselves, but an even greater one for their children.

With my siblings and I being the first generation of Nigerian American in our family, it never really occurred to us to why our parents wanted us to grow up here instead of growing up in Nigeria. The reason my parents came here is most likely the same as any of immigrant: to seek a better life and have more access to new opportunities. They did not only do it for themselves, but for my siblings and I too.

Kayode (left) with his siblings.

As the child of two immigrants, the importance of taking advantage of education and all the other opportunities I have been given is crucial to me. Why? It all comes down to the fact that people in other countries do not have the same opportunities that I do as an American, such as education, free speech, and property.

The reason my parents came here is most likely the same as any of immigrant: to seek a better life and have more access to new opportunities. They did not only do it for themselves, but for my siblings and I too.   

-Kayode Giwa, GT20 Intern

We all have different aspirations, which leads to numerous perspectives on what the American Dream is. My prolonging career goal is to be a writer, and luckily, I was given the opportunity to do so for GiveTeens20®. Everyday I love to visualize what I want my future to look like, when I have achieved the goals I have set for myself as a teenager. I see myself going to school, writing, traveling, living in a big beautiful house with a family of my own someday. With the ability to do so, I will be allowed to inspire others to do what they please, no matter who says what. That is MY American Dream.

https://www.groco.com/radio/how-one-mans-film-brought-peace-to-a-war-torn-region.aspx

Kayode Giwa is a Student Athlete and Aspiring Writer with the goal of hitting milestones in the industry of writing and entertainment. Honesty always.

Read more of Kayote’s writing including his impressions of our Pearls of Wisdom fundraiser on our blog.


Teens Are Our Future

Throughout the month of December, GiveTeens20® interns are discussing their ideas of the American Dream and how their potential career relates to this. In addition, a video from the organization GROCO highlights how successful individuals in their career field have helped broaden their American Dream.

There is a well-known saying that “children are our future.” In my eyes, the reality of the American Dream grows with each generation. Each set of children brings a new set of ideals to the table that refine the meaning of the American Dream. Hence, it only makes sense that we give these children an enriched education so they can grow up and change the world.

I am proud to say that I am growing up in a family where education is given a high priority. My parents have encouraged me to engage in programs such as GiveTeens20® (GT20) that have given me exposure to various careers. Over time, my career ideas and goals have changed greatly from wanting to become just a doctor, engineer, or lawyer. Thanks to GT20, I now know that veterinary science is not the only way to help animals – something I want to be a part of my future career. Already, there are many companies that are working toward creating and maintaining duties for animals that allow them to gain the rights and care they deserve, such as K9s for Warriors. I understand that my options are limitless- I can be a journalist writing hard hitting exposes; I can create Digital Media to help gain awareness for nonprofits that help animals; I can be an entrepreneur linking people of need to furry friends.

Nevertheless, I recognize that there are children who have not been given the same exposure and opportunities as me, whether those children be from a low-income family or are unempowered. For example, many girls in today’s society are still reluctant to pursue a career in male-dominated fields such as STEM. This an issue that must be tackled immediately, for they have so much potential to bring to the table. We can all change our future by helping those who will shape it in the years to come- children.

Below is a link to an interview by GROCO of Tim Ritchie, CEO of The Tech Museum. His work has inspired me and other children to keep working toward my career goal and push away from external pressure to purse a typical career of that in the Bay Area.

The Tech Museum of Innovation
Esha Gautam

Esha Gautam is a junior at Washington High School. Ever since childhood, everytime someone asked her “what do you want to be when you grow up?” her answer would change- from actress to astronaut to anesthesiologist. Now, as she approaches college, she wants to find her career fit. Although she is undecided about what career path she wants to pursue, she knows animals are going to be a big part of it. GT20 is helping her find that path.


GiveTeens20®, GROCO and the American Dream

For the next four weeks, GiveTeens20® is partnering with GROCO to highlight the American Dream and showcasing the American Dream videos on the GROCO website. Throughout the month, GiveTeens20® will be posting intern blogs highlighting their own American Dream and what it means to them.

The idea of the American Dream has changed drastically over time.From a white-picket fence-esque lifestyle to landing a successful job, the generalized American Dream has become more individualized and unique.

Growing up in Silicon Valley, the American Dream was something that was never really discussed. Rather, the norm was to become successful,have the nice house and a family. The individuality of the American Dream was rare, and I was one of those few who perceive it differently. To me, the American Dream is defined as being successful in every aspect, being kind,considerate and dedicated, having a quality education and equal opportunity.These altogether create the American Dream.

The biggest part of the American Dream that stands out to me is having a quality education. Everyone residing in the United States should have access to quality education, no matter the area. All materials and supplies should be state of the art and appropriate for each child. Every teacher should be passionate about what they do and have the desire to create a difference in the world, despite who their class is filled with. This in itself is what made me want to pursue teaching.

From a young age, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. Over time,the ideas of what kind of teacher I wanted to be evolved based on my changing morals. Thanks to the classes I have taken about teaching, I’ve learned more about developmentally appropriate teachings and how they should be implemented into child based learning and development. Because of this, my ideology and morals about teaching and education and flourished. However, I always knew that I was going to help make a difference in the world by educating my children on more than just basic school subjects, but in other ways too, such as manners,how to be kind, etc. Working in the classroom now, I am already working toward that goal. It is something I hold very close to my heart continuously. This proves why I believe the American Dream should also consist of a quality education for all.

Highlighted in the GROCO website, Sebastian Thrun shares the same ideals as I. Thrun emphasizes the importance of higher education and the opportunities it opens for those who pursue it. Higher education is more than just being costly; it opens doors to new opportunities, experiences and challenges that those who do not pursue higher education may have not gain. Below is a link to the Thrun interview; you are going to love it:

Thrun Interview

With more people like Thrun, we can all help create a equal,quality education for all and help make the world a better place.


Liliana Adler

Lily understands the pressure that comes along with being successful and choosing the right career path. However, with guidance from great teachers, friends and family, she was able to find the right one for her as a Child Development major. Lily enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching Netflix and traveling on her free time. She is currently a Child Development major at Ohlone College, and hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Education.


Pearls of Wisdom Fundraiser Experience

While on my way to the Campo Di Bocce Event center to attend the GiveTeens20® Pearls Of Wisdom Fundraiser, I did not expect it to be as fancy as it was. As I entered, the fourteen-foot decorated walls were there to greet me. Once I made my way to the prize display room, I saw dozens of tables, prize description posters, and even a Porsche! I said to myself “Man… these guys are not playing around.” There were even waiters and waitresses offering me incredible fancy foods, the kind you see in fancy restaurants. The forties musician Frank Sinatra was being played, which added even more of a fancy/classical effect on the event. Even auctions were going on, which was something I did not expect at all. Luckily, I was able to get some input from a few event attendees.

Kayode Giwa
Student Athlete and Aspiring Writer with the goal of hitting milestones in the industry of writing and entertainment. Honesty always.

Q: What do you think about the event so far?

A: “It’s amazing. Kathy told me about her idea years ago and I support because it really helps teenagers such as yourself, find a career fit.” (Ruth Bauer, Health Teacher.)

A: “It’s cool. Very classy.” (Jeff from Akira Games)

A: “First time being here. It’s elegant. Inspiring. Working in Career Development, It’s nice to see someone making their own organization to help people achieve their goals. ” (Stephanie Moore, Writer and Career development)

It’s evident that the participants who attended supported the goals of GIveTeens20 and Gladeo, such as helping teenagers find their career fit.

While roaming around brainstorming on what to write, I had one question in mind for those who participated at this event. The question being “If you could tell your teenage self one thing right now, what would it be?”

Pankaj J: “As a teen, you should explore multiple areas. Never give up. There is a place for everyone. Best honest with yourself, start early, and planning is important. Passion, dedication, focus.” (IT Applications, Palo Alto)

The words of Pankaj were very inspiring and were some words to take in to remind myself of everyday. Writing is my career choice, but down the road my interests may change because I may become more versatile and escape my comfort zone. One day I’d ike to be the writer of a television show but the only way I am going to get there is by passion, dedication, and focus. Nothing is guaranteed.

The Auction

The Auction was probably my favorite part of the event. Not to mention, Kathy Laidlaw, our founder won four tickets to a Warriors game with Suite seating in Oracle. People also won vacations, vehicles, and items too! An intern of GT20, Lily Alder also told a very inspiring story of her upbringing, and what she’s doing to achieve her goals. Growing up, she always had a love for educating, and soon enough she realized that teaching was a passion of hers. She was told teachers aren’t paid very well by many, but for her it wasn’t about the money, it was because teaching is what she loved to do, and no amount of money could ever change that.

I would also do what I love, no matter my income. Why do something that doesn’t make you happy and receive a paycheck for it, when you could what you love while not obsessing over your salary. I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and sad.

Grace and Michelle Cho Interview

Kathy Laidlaw with Kayode Giwa, Grace and Michelle Cho, founders of Gladeo

Being a GT20 intern, I was luckily able enough to interview Grace and Michelle Cho, founders of the Gladeo nonprofit organization. Grace Cho is responsible for being Vice President of Deal Analysis and Brand Finance at 20th Century Fox Film. Michelle Cho is responsible for being the founder and Executive Director of Gladeo. Not only was I able to interview them, I was able to get some great advice also.

Q: Why did you both decide to partner up with GiveTeens20®?

Because of Kathy. Our vision and values are similar. Kathy puts kids first and is very collaborative.

K. I can see why it would attract so many people, because helping teenagers find their career fit is an important thing. As teenagers today, many of us are confused about what we want to do in life or our place in the world.Organizations like these benefit us as teens because we get an idea of what we’d like to do, or what our strengths are.

Q: If you could tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?

Don’t be scared changing your mind, and if you do, don’t be hard on yourself for doing so.

K. I’ve always had an idea about writing being what I want to do in life, but the thought of changing my career has never entered my mind. The future is uncertain, and my interests may possibly change. Hypothetically speaking, if my interests were to change, I won’t ever be too hard on myself for making such a critical decision in my life, because change is a natural thing.

Advice

Toward the end of the event after our interview, I received some good advice about becoming a writer from both Grace and Michelle Cho.

Blogging. Blogging would become a great habit for me because it would help me become a better writer. I was also told, “Write it about whatever you want, because people would admire a teenager taking the time doing so.” Ever since then, besides my GT20blog, I also have a blog on Medium that I have been working on. I love to do all I can to make myself the best writer possible.

When it came to college,I was confused on what I am supposed to major in. Was it Journalism? Cinema?Creative Writing? No. It was Communications. I was told Communications is a very demanding field these days, especially with the media and entertainment fields. I plan to major in Communications and possibly double major in another aspect of writing to make my resume more impressive.

The advice which stuck with me all night and to this day, was to have fun. I find that to be a great point, because why do something you’re not passionate about? “Write what you want to write about, don’t listen to what other people tell you to write about.” As I exited Campo Di Bocce event center, I had a major reflection.Arrived with medium expectations and departed with an excellent impression of this event and how GiveTeens20® is achieving the goal of helping teens find their career ‘fit’.


Meet the Women of FEMME 4 STEM 2018 (Part 3)

This year, GiveTeens20® was fortunate to award three graduating high school seniors with the “2018 Femme 4 STEM Scholarship”. The recipients were presented with the check on Tuesday, June 18th at the GiveTeens20® office.

Femme 4 STEM Scholarship 2018 recipient, Emily C.

In this third part of the three-part blog series, we talk to our third and final winner of the Femme 4 STEM Scholarship, Emily C. A 17 years old, Mission San Jose High School graduate, Emily will be attending UC Davis with a major in Animal Science.

GT20: What made you choose STEM?
Emily: I chose this major because after exploring possible career pathways in computer science, medicine, and education, I found veterinary medicine to be the occupation for me. I have always loved STEM for as long as I can remember, because it allows us to achieve what was previously impossible. The modern world as we know it is built upon science.

GT20: What do you hope to do with this major?
E: I hope to enter veterinary school with this major and that it will provide a solid foundation in the sciences so that I pass the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) test.

GT20: What are you looking forward to in college?
E: I look forward to being in new and uncomfortable situations so that I can mature and change as a person. I am also excited about becoming independent and starting with a clean slate, so I can develop new habits and participate in different activities.

GT20: How was your college apps experience? Do you have any advice for future applicants?
E:  The application process can be overwhelming so I think the most valuable tip I can give is to start early. Ask teachers for recommendation letters early, months in advance. Look at the application portal the day it opens and formulate your own deadlines for each step of the process. Breaking your tasks apart into more detailed steps will help you get more done with less stress.

GT20: Do you have any advice for girls who are planning to pursue STEM or on the edge about it?
E: If you are a girl going into STEM, it is important to be confident. In a predominantly male field such as computer science, it can be intimidating to be surrounded by the other sex. In a predominantly female field such as veterinary medicine, it can be intimidating to try to excel in comparison to so many of your peers. Regardless of what field you want to enter, working as hard as you can and it will take you to where you need to be.


Meet the Women of FEMME 4 STEM 2018 (Part 2)

This year, GiveTeens20® was fortunate to award three graduating high school seniors with the 2018 Femme 4 STEM Scholarship. In this three-part blogpost, we interviewed the recipients so that you can get to know them better!

GT20 president and Executive Director, Kathy Laidlaw with our generous sponsors, Bonnie and Gary, presenting the check to Joan

Next up, Joan O., an 18 years old, Newark Memorial High School graduate who will be attending UC Davis in the fall with a major in Microbiology!

GT20: What made you choose STEM?
Joan: I took a ROP class that was science based. I really enjoyed the lab practice from it and so I chased after a career tailored to that.

GT20: What do you hope to do with this major?
J: The major that I am pursuing is not my actual end-game. I want to go into Pediatrics and help make kids feel better. I want to treat kids and make them happy.

GT20: What are you looking forward to in college?
J: I’m excited to expand my horizons and move out!

GT20: How was your college apps experience? Do you have any advice for future applicants?
J: The phone interview can be very nerve wracking. It was one of the first interviews that I’ve ever done so I was very nervous. I recommend that you just be prepared, be who you are and go over your personal statement. Be your true self!

GT20: Do you have any advice for girls who are planning to pursue STEM or on the edge about it?
J: Don’t get discouraged. Follow through the plan and don’t let anyone dictate you!


Meet the Women of FEMME 4 STEM 2018

This year, GiveTeens20® was fortunate to award three graduating high school seniors with the “2018 Femme 4 STEM Scholarship”. The recipients were presented with the check on Tuesday, June 18th at the GiveTeens20® office. We interviewed each recipient so that you can get to know them better! Before that, here is an introduction to the three young women and a fun question and answer session with one of the three winners!

GT20 president and Executive Director, Kathy Laidlaw with our generous sponsors, Bonnie and Gary, the winners Ayuri, Joan and Emily’s father

  • Ayuri K., 17 years old, Washington High School. Ayuri will be attending UC San Diego in the fall with a major in Pharmacological Chemistry
  • Joan O., 18 years old, Newark Memorial High School. Joan will be attending UC Davis in the fall with a major in Microbiology
  • (Not pictured) Emily C., 17 years old, Mission San Jose High School. Emily will be attending UC Davis with a major in Animal Science.

GT20: What made you choose STEM?
Ayuri: I was interested in chemistry since I took AP Chemistry from my junior year. My teacher recognized this and recommended that I pursue it further. From there, I took it more seriously and soon, a passion for science followed.

GT20: What do you hope to do with this major?
A: Pharmacological Chemistry is the study of how drugs interact with each other in the body. So, different pharmacy companies pay attention to this before producing and prescribing new medications. I am hoping to pursue a career in Pharmacalogical Chemistry and research for drugs for illnesses that are uncured.

GT20: What are you looking forward to in college?
A: I’m looking forward to to meeting new people and I cannot wait to get involved in extracurriculars and clubs.  

GT20: How was your college apps experience? Do you have any advice for future applicants?
A: It’s a very thorough process that has a lot of parts. When asking for recommendation letters, let your teachers know very much in advance. That way they can become familiar with it and know what to write. Your personal statement is also a key part as helps set you apart from the other applicants so pay more attention to it.

GT20: Do you have any advice for girls who are planning to pursue STEM or on the edge about it?
A: Understand your passion. We live in a society where people are pushed with the expectation and pressure to study in this field. If you have the drive to do it, it will be easier to trudge through it.

 


Going Against the Grain: Why Choosing a Non-STEM Major is Okay

Liliana Adler In the Bay Area and beyond, we are surrounded by STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enthusiasts. A majority of the time, you can walk up to a random person and either they, or someone they know, has a career in STEM. STEM majors are vital to helping expand our world in technology and science. Without them, we would not have the iPhone or the umpteen social media apps we use daily, such as Facebook.

Do not get me wrong, I praise anyone who majors in the STEM area. It takes competitive, diligent and hardworking people to become successful STEM professionals. I myself could never do it but that is exactly why I struggled. I went to a high school with a senior class that was highly invested in becoming computer engineers, biology enthusiasts and business aficionados. As an education major, it was hard for me to admit it but I was so proud of myself for studying something unique. For years and even to this day, I took so much negative input from others who told me that I “wouldn’t be making enough”. I did not choose to study education for the $$, I did it because it was what I felt I was put on this Earth to do. What drove me to this career choice was knowing that I could possibly be teaching the next politician or the doctor who discovers the cure for cancer. I wanted to help foster the children into them, but many people overlook the fact that it takes teachers to make these STEM geniuses.

“It is important that we have professionals in careers

other than STEM that can help us do the simplest things!”

Intrigued? Let me talk about the importance of other majors! Imagine you just moved to a new city, into a fixer-upper type of house. Your pipes are busted, the air conditioning and heating are broken, and there is small hole in the roof of the master bedroom. Who do you call to fix these issues? A mathematician? A biology major? Or how about a professional, certified plumber or carpenter? It is important that we have professionals in other careers that can help us do the simplest things, like change a tire or build houses! Our next education reformer could be sitting in an education course lecture as we speak, or even the future artist who will end up as the next Picasso.


It doesn’t matter whether you are heading into college or are thinking about what you want to pursue as a career: NEVER be afraid to study what YOU want! It is your career, your life that you are living so pursue a career that makes you happy and doesn’t fill you with regret. You can’t be absolutely successful in the career you pursue unless you are doing what makes you happy, and what lights you up! For example, imagine if your doctor had no interest in helping people, or in biology, would you want them to be your doctor? Not me!

By all means, take in opinions of others and their suggestions of what they want to do, but never entertain demands. Study what makes you happy, and that in itself is the best success you can have!

Lily understands the pressure that comes along with being successful and choosing the right career path. However, with guidance from great teachers, friends and family, she was able to find the right one for her as a Child Development major. Lily enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching Netflix and traveling on her free time. She is currently a Child Development major at Ohlone College, and hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Education.