Pregnancy: Don’t Lose Focus of Your Education…

“Eighteen and 19-year-olds – i.e., college age women – account for two-thirds of all those pregnancies. In one Virginia study, 24% of college women will become pregnant at some point during their college careers. In 2009, Utah women’s graduation rates were 6 percent below the rate of Utah men, and 2% below the national average of women.” (About.com/Young Adults).


According to an article by writer Jackie Burrell, titled “ Teen Pregnancy Rates and Sexual Activity Statistics”, too many young women are enrolling in college with high hopes and big dreams, but unfortunately dropping out with unexpected pregnancies and even mental illnesses. For example, many female students become attracted to their male peers and fantasize about possible futures with these men and in doing so they lose sight of their studies and focus on their boyfriends. It must be understood that most young men in college are in the prime of their “wild” life experiences. College men tend to look forward to having crazy fun such as sleeping with as many girls as they like and partying every night where as college women uphold fairytales of finding a possible fiance.
Too many times, I have seen intelligent and confident women gain independence while living in the dorms or living off campus and then fall into the stigma of “playing house” and lose some amount of confidence because they are trying too hard to hook those possible husbands. Again, college men are not looking for wives, they are looking forward to having fun and doing their own thing. Everyday, a young girl loses sight of her academic goals because she is working and using her financial aid (even her parents’ money) to cook and feed some man she claims to be in love with. YOUR PARENTS ARE NOT SACRIFICING AND PAYING SCHOOL LOANS FOR YOU TO SUPPORT A MAN, they are working to prepare you for life in the REAL WORLD.

As a woman, I agree that when you fall for someone, you want to have him over your parent-free place and cater to him, but there is a thin line between doing nice things for your boyfriend and “providing” for him. The life of any student is not cheap nor easy which is why if you’re not careful a man or even friends will use you for your resources. Resources include your transportation which helps them get around town to the parties or even your groceries.

Overall ladies, my message to you all is that socially, college is no joke. If you thought high school had its typical drama or peer pressure, you were wrong. Being away at college involves you being away from your foundation and comfort zones at home. I guarantee your morals, beliefs and individuality will be tested. College is a step up from high school but it can also be a dangerous step if you do not prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. In the midst of partying and mingling with peers, you will find that peer pressure is more apparent than ever. The supposed fabulous social life of sorority girls may influence you do engage in immoral activities or the constant partying with men can result in unprotected sex or even alcohol-influenced sex, which is a form of rape considering that your incompetence.

You must remember who you are as a person and where you draw the line between being social and being used. Remind yourself of the hard work you and your love ones completed just for you to make it into college. DON’T JEOPARDIZE all those efforts. Yes college is about having new experiences and having fun, but you don’t want to do anything that you may regret in the future. Your years in college can make or break your future. For instance, whether you slide through college with Cs or get straight As, employers who require a degree will view your official transcripts which will say a lot about just how “responsible and reliable” you were during your academic career. Graduate college as a mature and independent leader, not bitter and depressed because you’ve been used and hurt by others you blindly trusted.

Dominique English (MYGirls Event Coordinator)

Mentoring Monday With Tyra Dennis (@TyraLucia) Miss CA USA 2013

I had the the pleasure of interviewing a very positive, giving, diverse, outgoing young lady by the name of Tyra Dennis. She is currently running for Miss California 2013 & founder of Saving Innocent Children. The 24 year old is singer, aspiring songwriter, & musician. I have been following Tyra on Twitter from sometime now & knew that she had a lot going for herself. I wanted to dig deep & get to know what her plans were for the rest of 2012. Check out our interview below.

Ashley: When it comes to your nonprofit Saving Innocent Children Inc. what are somethings that you wish to accomplish this year?

Tyra: With SIC, one of my dreams would be to give scholarships to high school seniors in need who are getting ready for college and who get accepted to college. I also would love to see SIC adopt it’s own location for a headquarters. A place where students can come during the week, after school, receive our services, study, and feel great about themselves. I would love to see this all happen before the end of the school year 2012-2013. 



Ashley: What interest you in entering Miss California 2013?

Tyra: Believe it or not, I always had a dream of becoming a Cover Girl. I grew up seeing all of these amazing women as cover girls, such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Queen Latifa, and Drew Barrymore (just to name a few). Although they are all absolutely stunning, I thought to myself, all of them are high power celebrities. They are in the top 1% of the world of beauty and with their accomplishments as legendary icons. However, none of those ladies look like me and thats what I longed for as a young girl. I longed for a woman that looked like myself (an average looking, youthful, wide eyed and grinning young girl) to look up to when I opened the teeny bopper magazines and when I saw them in the commercials. As time progressed, I realized that the more celebrity you obtained, the higher your chances were of becoming “that girl”. 


Unfortunately, most girls don’t look like the eclectic Rihanna or glamorous Taylor Swift. Most girls look like the girl next door, which is what I absolutely love about the MISS CA USA Pageant! The team over at MISS CA choose average looking,  everyday young girls and young women to compete in the pageant. They must be 5 fingered women of course (loving, giving, caring, non-judgemental and beautiful) but they are not your normal beauty queens. It is true that when it is time for the pageant each girl will have made a transformation from the grungy caterpillar into the beautiful butterfly, however, during prep time for the pageant, the girls become true role models for other young women everywhere. They learn to love everything that they don’t like about themselves, turning trials into triumphs while remaining positive and optimistic through it all. These are the types of women that I wanted to see on the cover of a magazine growing up, and since I felt I never saw one, I figured I’d become the change that I wanted to see. Ironically enough, longing to become a cover girl and influential positive role model for young girls everywhere, I applied for MISS CA USA 2013. Thanks to Mr. Gunther Shia, I was accepted! 🙂

Ashley: Have you worked with other organizations who mentor youth? If so doing what?

Tyra: Of course! I have worked with multiple youth organizations. Sometimes I taught them how to sing, act, dance or play an instrument. Other times, I directed them in teaching themselves how to overcome obstacles in fun and charismatic ways. Then there were those times where I would tutor them in an academic subject. No matter what I did, I ensured that everyday with Ms. Dennis was an adventure. I wanted my students to feel comfortable exploring the world around them and knowing the possibilities they had to obtain a better life. A life where they could live their dreams! 


Ashley: What’s the latest event Saving Innocent Children, Inc.

Tyra: The latest event for SIC will be in September with our upcoming school tour. We are excited to go to the schools and inspire students to become better individuals, strong leaders, academically successful and advocate for those less fortunate around them. Inspiration makes anything possible, and thats what we aim to do. Inspire the students! Stay tuned for our upcoming school locations!


Ashley: You mentioned being the voice for youth. What are some of the things you’ve noticed our youth are in need of assistance in?

Tyra: There are 2 things that I feel the youth of today need that they may no be getting. The first one is proper  Educational Reform. If you look at old pictures of one room school houses, you will notice familiarity in the photo. It comes from students, sitting at a desk, looking at the front of the room where stands a teacher and a blackboard. Although we still have student in a desk looking towards a teacher with a blackboard behind them, 100 years later, the world has completely changed. We can see the world with either an airplane or the click of a button, but those things are not explored in the classroom as much. Education is not only what you learn in books but it is what you also learn at home, from your family and friends, your personal experiences, what you see, what you hear, how you feel,  etc… Teachers, having to teach according to certain state standards, often times are not given the option to explore those possibilities.  

The second thing is emotional support. I am learning that students feel that they have no one to listen to them, to hear them out. Youth, well people in general, need to feel safe, provided for, taken care of. Call it what you may but many students that I have come across have felt the complete opposite. For some reason or another, they are hurting. If we as mentors, parents, educators, etc… can come up with a successful way to be the academic instructor as well as becoming a true support system for the overall wellness of the student, then we will have succeeded. This is what SIC was created to do. Ultimately, my goal is to elevate them in a way that will prompt them to use their own voices and start to heal themselves.  Until then, I will always provide a listening ear and a voice for them when they feel that they can not speak for themselves. 🙂 

Ashley: What would you say is rewarding about working with youth?

Tyra: There is a certain type of joy that comes with working with youth that you can;t get anywhere else. Small children tend to be fearless. They are ready to explore the world around them. If they fall, they get back up and try again. As the child gets older, they are exposed to certain life experiences that teach them about ideals such as pain, anger, love, kindness, mean spiritedness, etc…and become less likely to take risk to achieve greatness. But then something magical happens. The child is then introduced to the idea of only achieving greatness. Failure is no longer an option and that’s what is most rewarding about working with youth. Knowing that you were there to introduce them to the idea of ONLY ACHIEVING GREATNESS! As they accomplish their goals and perform the impossible right before your eyes, you realize that it is possible for everyones dreams to comes true. That is a very magical and inspirational process.


Ashley: I think it’s great you’re being an example for young girls in different aspects of your life. Such as the Miss CA. What would you like for them to get from your experience from this pageant? 

Tyra: “Every child has a dream. Let us help them make their dreams come true.” (This is what I live by).

Most people don’t know this about me but I was always considered the most unattractive of all of my friends growing up. I had really thick eyebrows, long side burns, funny looking teeth, no butt or boobs in high school, and I was sort of a tomboy at one point. I got along with the boys a lot easier because I knew that the girls were always talking about me behind my back. Saying how ugly I was, or how they didn’t like the way I dressed or something to a similar degree of causing hurt and pain. My hair was not the straightest or the healthiest and I was really skinny. In most cases, I looked like a stick figure. Though I knew other girls teased me, most of them would never do it directly because they liked the way I performed musically and/or academically. “Mean” By Taylor Swift pretty much describes my school days. Needless to say, I did not grow up with many close female friends. However, I do have them now.

During the MISS CA USA 2013 Pageant preparation, my excitement for it almost went out of the window in the blink of an eye. I woke up and to my dismay, found my hair all over my bed. The hair in the back of my head had completely fallen out and all I could do was cry and think to myself, I can’t compete in a beauty pageant without any hair. At the time I was mentoring a few young ladies that I knew looked up to me and I could not let them see me break down. I wanted them to know that I could get through anything. However, these four phenomenal young ladies came to me, told me that they knew I was worried about my hair and have been emotionally supporting me every step of the way. I was forced, yet again, to love everything that I did not like about myself. I have met so many other competitors for MISS CA USA 2013 that have been extremely supportive, reminding me of the very thing I teach my students. If you have a dream, make it a reality, no matter how hard it may seem, impossible things happen everyday by those we least expect! As I’m making a difference in their lives through my participation in the MISS CA USA 2013 pageant, they are certainly making a difference in mine. 

Ashley: What are some ways you try to grasp the attention of the youth in your community when it comes to events that you’ve been apart of or SIC has held?

Tyra: There is an age old saying that children can see things that adults can not. In most cases, I believe this saying. Children can tell if people, places and things are going contribute to their lives in a positive or negative manner based on how their first impression of that person, place or things is. I have found much success in simply being myself. Loud, witty, outgoing, courageous, loving, kind, caring, giving, silly, clumsy, everything that I am, I use it at every second of the day. So speaking to youth about my events or my non-profit or about anything for that matter, I’m just myself. No pressure. No judgement. I leave the decision 100% up to the student. If they decide not to participate, they know that they will still have my support. I’d rather grab their attention by being myself than to disillusion them with a lie. That is detrimental to the development of a child, which is the complete opposite of what I am trying to accomplish!

Head on over to her website & support her on her journey of MISS CA USA 2013 as well as SIC. As mentors & youth advocates we must stick together by uplifting one another with support & encouragement. We at MYGirls support Tyra Dennis. 
Good luck!

SIC websitehttp://savinginnocentchildren.blogspot.com
Tyra’s website:  http://tyradennis.com
Tyra’s Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/Tyralucia
Tyra’s Miss CA Facebook page

Be Active and Healthy

Our energy is needed for the changing of this world, but… you
knew that, right?

To introduce myself, I’m a new college freshman. And being
on campus is probably the best overwhelming feeling I’ve ever
felt. There are so many things to do here! As an active high
schooler, I naturally want to continue to do everything but…
my brakes are pumped for a minute. While I love the feeling of
getting involved, being social, and reaching out, I do not love
the burnt out feeling; I can say to you all today… I’ve experienced both to the extreme.

Whether you are a young woman in high school, college, or
even in younger years – that’s naturally active, or want to learn
ways to start getting involved – here’s a few tips to maintain the balance of giving back to your community and being active, and maintaining healthiness – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually:

• Set a goal! We seem to be the most productive and efficient at getting things done when we’re
working towards something. Set a goal and even a few subgoals; you can reach all of them in
DUE time; it may not always be reached by the time YOU planned it, but keep working towards it; you’ll get there.
• Become a part of another organization. Find activities and initiatives that you are actually
interested in! Nothing can burn you out faster than being a part of something that isn’t of
interest; it’s difficult to be passionate about something that just isn’t real to you.
• You can always start something. Sometimes our ideas are a little intimidating and/or
unorganized, but the beauty of our ideas is that each one is unique in some way. Starting your
own project is an exercise in leadership, teamwork, and outreach. Organizing your ideas aren’t
always as hectic as it seems to be, find someone that can support you, do research, and build.
• Calendars are the managers. Time management is everything. Do not double book yourself;
commitment and being dependable gets your far. Also, double booking and not having enough
time can cause you to not complete your job effectively. We want to be able to deliver to the
best of our ability, so remember that it’s always quality (how well and thorough you are in your
work ethic) before quantity (how many jobs you take on).
• Network! Most organizations love partnerships. Meet other coordinators and directors, learn
from them, ask questions, seek out the common goals between yourself and that organization
and/or person. People are the building blocks; know them!
• Community can be your biggest fan and resource. An organization doesn’t run on it’s own;
even slighter, a vision doesn’t sprout on it’s own. Community will be your support system, whether that community is determined by proximity in location, goals, relationships, et cetera. Your new members and staff will be from your community, as will your tools for growth and expansion. Somebody know’s somebody somewhere! Your community is a network in itself – actually, your primary network.

•Submerge in + energy! Standing
for a cause can be energy
consuming and sometimes goes
awry when planning isn’t
implemented productively. But as
long as you have partners and
friends that fill your space with
positive energy, people that can
deliver, and supply uplifting
thoughts, you should be good!
Positive energy is essential to
daily life, let alone organizing
something; keep some good
friends!

•Do not say yes to everything! Ladies, we need not be burnt out. Who can we help if we don’t
have the energy to do so? Remember, calendars are the managers.

•Be aware of your entire person-hood and the fine print. Don’t squeeze things in for the the sake
of it. You are still a student, a sister to someone, someone’s daughter, your own self; you still
need to sleep, and eat, have fun, prioritize ‘me time’, and be human and healthy! Remember
that, and take it into deep consideration when working and scheduling.

•Drink water, cleanse, and exercise. Keep your body healthy. The healthiness of your mind and
good deeds only go as far as how cleansed your body is. We don’t want filth in our minds, keep
it out of our bodies, too.

•Reimburse yourself. For me, it’s prayer. Find anything you can to get back in touch with the
foundation of your self, your faith, your goals, your energy, your motivation.

I’m always available for any
clarifying question, follow up
conversations, support, as a
resource; anything at all, really.
I use myself to serve, and am
here for anyone.

Your sister,
Amani Breanna
amani.breanna@gmail.com
@breannaoutcheaa – twitter

Care Packages: Back To School & Year Round Assistance…

We greatly appreciate it…
Thank you!

Girl Talk: Using Tampons by Youtuber Ivy

I came across this Youtube video, & wanted to share it with you girls.
With everything I think it’s important to do your own research, do what makes you happy/comfortable, & if it deals with your health or body talk to your doctor & guardian.
Other than coming across this video, I think this is a great topic that many girls are afraid to ask questions about.
This is purely a case of “Girl talk” as if you were with your girl friends having this discussion.
So that doesn’t make them a professional regarding this topic. but strictly OPINIONS.
In no way are we (MYGirls) promoting/pushing you to take on or try what Ivy has suggested in the video.

Check out the video below…

We will be starting a Girl Talk segment here!
If you have a question related to girl related topics & would like it to be answered here on our blog, just email us at MentoringYG@gmail.com
(NAMES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL WHEN POSTING QUESTIONS)

My Journey to Success: Blending One Color at a Time

“Jolisa, we would love to have you apart of our team, you are hired for the position and I would like to welcome you to our company!” 
            As I woke up from my dream, I then knew that one day my dreams would soon become a reality. Growing up, I always wondered what my talents were.  I attempted to sing, play basketball for years, learn the keyboard, write plays, but with the pressure to find out what it is that I am good at, I realized that one day, the gift that God has given me would one day show itself. 
            Attending college and obtaining a degree was no option in my life. It was imperative that I enroll in a University immediately following my graduation from high school and pursue a career in the medical field.  Upon my second quarter of college, I realized that studying pre-medicine and pursuing the necessary degree to become a Pediatrician was not what I had intended it to be. Although I had loved the idea of working with children, I realized being in a hospital setting was not the appropriate career choice for me.  It was at that moment, that I realized I wanted to use my interest of beauty and makeup to pursue a degree that could be beneficial within that realm of such a growing industry. I finally came to the conclusion that with a degree in Psychology, I would be able to continue to mentor and provide therapy to children in a setting where I could reach out to the community, while also using it within the beauty industry.
            Upon taking various Psychology classes, the topics of self-esteem and confidence began to play a role in my life.  I began to use my passion of makeup artistry and take it to the next level.  By that, I would volunteer to do makeup around my campus as a way to make women feel beautiful.  I wanted to provide a service that I enjoyed to be able to make other feel good about themselves.  With much practice, support and prayer, I had finally realized what my talent was.  God gave me the gift of makeup artistry! 
            Society always says “practice makes perfect” and I hold that quote close to my heart.  While attending school, I realized how much I loved makeup artistry and wanted to pursue a job within that field.  Like most makeup lovers, I knew that I wanted to work for MAC Cosmetics.  I knew that was the job for me because I loved people and I loved makeup.  With having this dream job in my mind, I began to focus and work hard at obtaining a position with this company.  I would continuously practice makeup on friends, network within the University, and most importantly, practice on myself.  I would take pictures of every makeup look and presented my work in a portfolio for future clients.  With much time and practice with perfecting my craft, I felt that I was ready to work for one of the best cosmetic companies in the world.
            My first attempt at applying to MAC, I was told that they were not hiring, but I could bring in a resume. Although I was nervous, I was determined to get a job with this company. The next time I walked into the store, I brought my portfolio and my resume, the manager then gave me an application form and at that moment I was so excited to have made it to the next step; however, what I thought was the next step, was just merely a tease.
            For 2 years, I was persistent in applying and bringing various MAC locations my resume.  I would often receive the same response from all locations, but I did not let that tear me down. I would bring in multiple resumes, talk to different workers and managers; however, I felt that I was getting nowhere.  I knew I wanted this job but I did not know it would have been so difficult. Throughout this process, multiple people told me about the difficult hiring process MAC has and that it would take me awhile to get in the company.  With having God on my side, I knew that I could not let negativity over take my mind and that I just needed to remain focused on accomplishing my dream job.  With receiving much feedback, I realized that it was imperative that I push myself to accomplish my goal because I had so many people watching and waiting as well and I did not want to let them down.
            The time finally came for my college graduation, and I still was not working for MAC.  I was starting to get depressed and question whether this was really the field for me. I would seek God and ask for guidance and for that one door to open up.  I began to think, “maybe I should just pursue psychology and just do makeup for fun”, but I knew that wasn’t my final decision and I just could not give up so easily.
            With graduating, I had to move back home. I was unemployed for 6 months and was still trying to apply to MAC in surrounding areas so that I could move.  I also began to put in multiple applications to various jobs, some that I knew I would not enjoy working, but at that point in my life, I was desperate to settle for any employment. While I was busy stressing,  I now know that God was busy putting my plan together.
            In September 2011, I received a call to interview for a job within the psychology department.  Unfortunately, I was not “qualified” enough for the position. After attending the interview, I decided to finally go into the MAC location in my hometown.  I had no intention on dropping off a resume but a little voice inside told me to go home print my information and head to the counter.  I went to the counter, asked for a manager and provided my information.  At that moment the assistant manager says, “ I am the assistant is there anything I can do?” I handed her my resume and as she looked at it, she was very pleased with my presentation. She then asked me “ are you available for an interview next Friday? “ At that moment I just began to pray that God work out this job, especially because it was only 10 minutes from my home.  After 2 years of trying to get this job, I had finally obtained an interview.
            My interview was a success and I was asked to continue on with the process however, it was taking awhile to hear back from management. I then decided to go to another location about 40 minutes from my home and apply as well.  When I say everything happens at the right time, it truly does. Within a month, after going to both locations in that area multiple times, I had received an interview. By December 2011, I was HIRED with MAC Cosmetics!!!!! The joy I had was indescribable.  To finally work for a company I had been trying to work for since I was in my 3rd year of college.
            Now that I had received the position of a freelancer, I was told that permanent positions are hard to come by within the company. After only being a freelancer for one MONTH, I was hired as a permanent employee with MAC cosmetics.  The feeling that I had was an overbearing joy. I cried tears of happiness as I signed my papers and was proud of myself that I did NOT give up! I stuck out through the stress, negativity, the turn downs, etc and at last, I had received a job which I wanted and I did not have to settle.
            Six months later, I am still pursuing my dreams by working my dream job and steadily growing within the industry. Although I will always have my Psychology degree as a backup plan, I am much happier pursuing a career where I can help the women within the community feel good about themselves.  My story of persistence, dedication, and having faith has brought me to where I am now.  Set a goal for yourself and accomplish that goal.  Pursue your dreams and never give up.  A word I live by from someone I adore and really look up to and keeps me going is “Never Say Never”-Justin Beiber. Never doubt yourself and never allow others to tell you that you can’t. I am now doing something I love and that is changing the lives of women, blending one color at a time.
By: Jolisa Jackson