MYEvents: Thursday, January 8, 2015 – Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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Hey there, bright young girls!!

 

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

 

Happy-new-year-kids-drawing-2015 HAPPY NEW YEAR, YOUNG GIRLS!!! It has been quite a while since our last posting of upcoming events for 2014 . . . and now we are back, revamped and ready!  Starting today, MYEvents will feature events of which GU4AP will either be an attendee or active participant.  While we want to support others . . . we strongly believe that the highest level of support begins at home base.  As we grow within, we also grow with others!!

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2015 – 

 

 

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Moreno Valley Unified School District is seeking a Parent Ambassador.  As a Parent Ambassador, you will promote a positive relationship between parents, community, and the school district.  Among many other important duties, you will also encourage parental involvement in school, such as attending Open House, Back-to-School Night, etc.
Stipend:  $300/month
Workdays:  Days & times will vary
Deadline:  Open until filled
Requirements:  Completed application, two (2) signed letters of recommendation, copy of driver’s license

For more information, contact Human Resources Division, (951) 571-7500, ext. 17575
Website:  www.mvusd.net

Moreno Valley Unified School District
25634 Alessandro Blvd.
Moreno Valley, CA 92553

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Help Youth Through Golf is offering free weekly golf clinics for children ages 5 to 17, held at Kelly Park, every Saturday, 1:00-3:00pm, in Compton, CA.
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.
For more information please contact Luis Batson, (562) 233-9429

Website:  HYTG.org
Facebook.com/hytg2011

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FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

___

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

-Kahlelah, MYGirls

 

Let’s Talk About Health (Part 1: Diet)

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*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

HI THERE YOUNG GIRLS!!!

It has been quite a while since our last MYGirls Blog Series entry.  Many factors came into play, life changes took place, and for a while, I became overwhelmed.  I wasn’t quite sure how to pull myself out of the state I was in, and in turn, I neglected you beautiful young girls.  I want to begin this new blog entry by first saying that I apologize for disappearing for such a long period of time.  Even though it is how I chose to cope with my personal circumstances, becoming silent was not my intention.  Again, pretty young girls, I apologize for my absence, and I will do all that I can in order for it to not happen again.

(I will actually further elaborate on my previous situation, in my next entry, Let’s Talk About Health (Part 2:  Mentality), which will be from first-hand personal experience.)

Today, however, we will be discussing something very important to the growth and health of all young girls around the world:  diet.

 

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So, why is your diet so important???  Well, your health is directly related to the foods you eat.  What you consume affects your weight, height (as you are still in the growth years), hair, mood, energy, sleep patterns & comfort, defenses against diseases . . . your entire bodily system can either be enhanced or inhibited simply by what you choose to eat.  What tastes good to you, might not be good for you:  there is a difference between real food (meat from animals, fruits & vegetables from plants, whole grains, dairy products), and processed food (most fast foods like McDonald’s, imitation foods tasting like the real foods they are made to look like).  Real foods fortify your body with the proper nutrients to sustain healthy living, while processed foods are filled with empty calories, only made to make you “full.”

junk-food-vs-healthy-food-for-kids-food-wallpaper-lxildrrfAccordingly, processed foods may taste good to you, but they are not good for you, and will negatively affect your entire bodily system.

Now, while we know that processed [junk] foods affect us all the same way–negatively–it is important for us to understand that real [healthy] foods enhance us differently.  Since our bodies are different, our systems will respond to different foods in various ways, not always synonymous to others.

Therefore, there are many different diets. 1406882262

By now, we should all be familiar with the food pyramid, the chart that displays the different food groups (meat & protein, dairy, whole grains, fruit, vegetable), with a very small category for fatty, oily, and sugary foods . . . to be eaten sparingly.

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Some young girls follow diets with whole grains as the largest portion to consume.

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And some young girls follow diets with vegetables as the largest portion to consume.

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Some young girls follow diets that separate food group components to stress a strict eating routine . . .

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. . . while some young girls follow diets that eliminate food groups altogether for an even more strict routine.

pie chart of food pyramidBrilliant young girls, it is imperative to know that in order to fully understand your bodies, you must also understand how your bodies receive and react to certain foods.  Talk with your parents or guardians . . . even your counselors and/or teachers . . . about any health concerns, especially if you would like to learn news ways to follow healthy diets.  For, you need food to live . . . so, let’s vow to live long, healthy lives!

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— Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 2: Competition, and “Frienemies”)

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

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Why hello, lovely young girls!!

Hopefully, by now, you all have been able to follow the MYGirls Blog Series  These blog entries, along with suggested reads from @, @, and @, are here for your viewing pleasure, as well as to provide insight and tips on how to be successful in school, build & maintain friendships, improve on home-based routines and responsibilities, and overall navigate through life in general.  We bloggers speak to you from experience, to both inspire and prepare you for what’s to come in the near (and distant future).

So far within the MYGirls Blog Series, we have covered Social Media Etiquette, Appearance & Personal Hygiene (broken into two parts), Academics, and  Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1).  Today we will discuss Part 2 of the Leadership & Self-Esteem topic:  Competition & “Frienemies.”

teen-girls-s22-photo-of-competing-sisters By now, young girls, you should all be well-established in your classes, have developed great acquaintanceship with your teachers, joined clubs & organizations . . . maybe even a spirit squad!  But most definitely, you all should have begun friendships with your peers.  Some of these friendships may end up being temporary, even though they are begun with the goal of them lasting after high school, well into adulthood.

We choose our friends for many reasons.  As stated in Let’s Talk About Appearance & Personal Hygiene (Part 1:  Personal Hygiene), [with our friends, we are] sharing commonalities like favorite colors, favorite “girly” products (lip gloss, sweet-smelling lotions & body sprays, hair pins, etc), favorite courses & teachers, mutual friends, likes & dislikes, and the list goes on.  Much of our self-esteem comes from the influence of our friends.  To go deeper, we choose our friends based on how they make us feel when we are around them.  A good friend will make us laugh, comfort us when we are hurt, congratulate us for our achievements, encourage us, uplift us, and most importantly, support us.  A good friend helps us to discover ourselves and allows us to be ourselves, accepting us for who we are without casting judgment.

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A good friend will push you forward, to help you reach your highest potential.  A good friend wants to see you win, even if it means she temporarily loses.  And she wants to see you win, without jealousy.   A good friend respects you in a leadership role, sometimes more so than those not considered friends who are under your leadership.  Young girls, do your friends support you?  Are they genuinely happy when you win something, especially if you are competing against each other?  Do they feel as though your friendships are mere bouts of competition?

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There are several different ways you can evaluate your friendships; I would like to concentrate on 3 of them:

  • Accomplishments – say you made the Honor Roll, made captain of the basketball team, or earned the position of student body President . . . do your friends congratulate you, or brush it off as if it weren’t as big as something major that they have achieved?
  • Information – say you have the same class as your friends, and you are out of school for the day due to illness . . . do your friends share their class notes with you and inform you of any homework assignments that are due, or do they keep it to themselves which will put you at risk of a lowered grade?
  • Opportunity – say auditions for the school play are approaching, and your friends find out before you do . . . do they inform you of the upcoming date(s), or do they keep it to themselves in hopes you won’t get a shot at showcasing your talents?

If your friends cannot congratulate and support you in your accomplishments, share important information with you, or pass along a great opportunity to you, chances are you may have befriended frienemies.

 

27cityroom-wrestling-blog480 Sometimes we find that those whom we consider to be our friends, are our enemies in disguise.  Thus, “frienemies.”  A frienemy is someone who is nice, sweet, and friendly at first, in hopes that she keeps us close.  But because a frienemy thrives off of having someone around to validate them, she will keep us close to purposely turn us into her unwilling competitor.  She always wants to be better than us, so she will find ways to place us in an ‘us-versus-them’ situation.  Over time, a frienemy will eventually become your full-fledged enemy.

 

Young girls, it is very important that we are careful and mindful when we select our friends.  We must choose friends who bring out the best in us . . . and expect nothing less.  Remember, our friends are reflections of us:  we are the company we keep . . . we are who we hang out with.  It is important that YOU are also the humorous, comforting, congratulatory, encouraging, uplifting, and supportive friend that you aim to attract.  It’s okay to have a friend to win something over you.  It’s okay that your weakness might be her strength.  It’s okay that she might make a better class president . . . you might make a better team captain.  We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.  We all have areas in which we make great leaders.  We are equal to our friends, but not always identical, and that is perfectly fine!  Do not let that discourage you, young girls.

We are all winners together, even if only one takes the medal! AR-706209459

 

 

Next week’s blog:  Health (Part 1:  Diet)

 

 

-Kahlelah, MYGirls

 

MYEvents: Thursday, September 25, 2014 – Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Hello brilliant young girls!!

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Community-Plan-Launch-September-25-2014-800x500px

The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 

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Inspirational community leaders will come together with Charlotte’s Korner, Inc., to encourage, empower, and uplift our youth, as various issues concerning our teens will be discussed.  CLICK HERE for more information, or how to become a volunteer, vendor, or guest speaker.  (I will be one of the guest speakers, so please come in support of GU4AP!)

 

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2014 – 

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FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

 

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1)

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

Greetings, outstanding young girls!!

Hopefully, by now, you all have been able to follow the MYGirls Blog Series  These blog entries, along with suggested reads from @, @, and @, are here for your viewing pleasure, as well as to provide insight and tips on how to be successful in school, build & maintain friendships, improve on home-based routines and responsibilities, and overall navigate through life in general.  We bloggers speak to you from experience, to both inspire and prepare you for what’s to come in the near (and distant future).

So far within the MYGirls Blog Series, we have covered Social Media Etiquette, Appearance & Personal Hygiene (broken into two parts), and Academics.  Today’s topic (now broken into two parts) will zero in on something that affects all young girls, worldwide:  Leadership & Self-Esteem (Part 1).

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Leadership & Self-Esteem are extremely important to me when it comes to young girls, because they are things that young girls struggle with everyday.  But what is a leader?  A leader is someone who can make decisions with a sound mind, considering both the pros and cons of a particular situation.  A leader is someone who takes initiative, without having to be instructed to do so.  A leader is responsible, and holds him- or herself accountable for any mishaps.  A leader is knowledgeable, in one or many areas, by either study or experience.  Simply put, a leader handles business, and other people trust in leaders.  Many young girls lack the traits needed (confidence, bravery, ambition, strength, focus) to exhibit effective leadership.

This is largely because girls are typically discouraged from displaying their leadership abilities, and because the two go hand-in-hand, such discouragement directly affects their levels of self-esteem.  discouraged_child-250x250

Many times in school, girls are teased for raising their hands if they can answer questions presented to the class by their teachers.  How many of you young girls have been called offensive names like, “goody two-shoes?”  What about “know-it-all?”  I know I have, when I was your age.  Girls are often ridiculed for showing their intelligence, and it is treated as though it were against what society considers normal girl behavior.  In many cultures around the world, girls are discouraged or even restricted by law from learning anything outside of domestic duties (cooking, cleaning, raising children, being a wife).  Because boys grow to be the men who will lead the families & communities and males are to protect females, it is believed that a boy’s worldly education is more important, whereas a girl’s focus should be on homemaking skills.  It is believed that males are supposed to lead and females are supposed to follow (by nature, which is a topic that should be taught by your parent(s) ).  While all cultures are different in their traditions, it is no secret that girls are unfortunately kept from expanding their minds beyond what is accepted by their families, friends, and others in society. Attending school, which would take their minds away from the home, is definitely out of the question.

Here in America, girls are able to attend and participate in school, however the treatment isn’t too far off from being discouraged from attending school altogether.  Girls are usually shy, and that shyness is fueled by fear of being put on the spot by their peers.  A fellow student, most commonly a boy, will blurt out a joke in an attempt to embarrass a girl, and silence her from speaking up any further in class.

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Young girls, I’d love to know, and I’m sure you’d like to know within yourselves:

  • Do you find yourselves raising your hands slowly, and halfway in the air, to avoid attracting too much attention to yourselves?  When the teacher calls on you, do you answer in a low-toned voice?
  • Do you have trouble making eye contact, or do you hold your head down when speaking?
  • Do you say “I’m sorry,” “excuse me,” or “I don’t mean to . . . ,” more than necessary?
  • Do you find yourselves holding back on correct answers?  Do you hold back on your thoughts and opinions?
  • Do you hold back on group projects, for fear of being called “bossy” if you can facilitate the progression of group work?  Do you adhere to when people say that you can’t be in charge?

 

Young girls, I’ve been there before.  I know what it feels like to second-guess yourself because someone has challenged your thinking . . . even when I know I had the right answer.  I know what it feels like to not put my all into a class project, for fear of being called names.  I know what it feels like to not be sure of the sound of my own voice, and to speak timidly.  It is a painful feeling, and believe me, I know how it feels:  it’s like we’re expected to be clueless, and then ridiculed for being clueless.  Seems like a losing battle, doesn’t it?  Well young girls, I’m here to tell you, it’s not.  As a matter of fact young girls, it’s not a battle at all.  Especially, if we don’t make it one, or allow it to become one.  self-esteem

 

Young girls, there will always be people who will try to divert your attention away from your goals.  There will always be people who will try to discourage you from achieving.  There will always be people who will doubt your skills, your smarts, your intelligence, your potential . . . and many of those people will do so simply because you are a girl.  Many will try to take control of your confidence and self-esteem levels.  Well young girls, this is where YOU come in.

You see these words over here?  These are all POSITIVE traits. womenroles.euwomen-300x187

And each one of these traits, can be found in each and every one of you wonderful young girls.  Each of you has the ability to master every trait listed in this fun illustration.  It would be damaging to believe that girls cannot be powerful, or ambitious, or outspoken.  It would diminish the confidence in a girl who is ridiculed for giving a presentation in front of her class.  Consider these words, your self-esteem boosters.  Utilize your tools, these boosters!!  Because I can bet that if each one of you amazing young girls repeats each word listed here in the above illustration, in the mirror, affirming it by first saying “I am,” and then each word right after . . . what I believe in you, you will be believe in you, too!

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Remember young girls, all great leaders didn’t start out that way.  Not everybody believed in them.  BUT, they found what they were good at, and excelled, becoming a leader (or expert) in that particular activity.  They fought through failures (which are only temporary setbacks), they continued on despite naysayers, they believed in themselves even when others around them didn’t.  Boys and girls are fit to be leaders, and it doesn’t have to be in the same activity, line of work, belief or practice, etc.  Remember that there will always be people who will purposely try to put you down.  However, you continue on regardless.  Girls are just as valuable, just as important, just as special, and just as powerful as boys . . . all in your own ways.  A boy might lead in math, a girl might lead in science.  A boy might lead in history, a girl might lead in social studies.  A boy my lead in business management, a girl might lead in economics.  A boy might lead in a group project based on art.  A girl might lead a group project based on literature.  Both might lead in finance.  Both might lead in politics.  Both might lead in medicine.  See?  We ALL can be leaders!  So young girls, let doubters (or, as many of you say, “haters”) motivate you to excel even further than you thought you could!  Those who try to discourage you, might be intimidated by you . . . so, let them be!  The only person you can control, is you.  The only person you have something to prove to, is yourself.  So make yourselves proud, young girls!  Prove yourselves right!

Believe that you achieve goals, and excel in school.  Believe that your voices matter.  Believe that YOU matter.  Don’t fear raising your hands if you know the right answers . . . be afraid of keeping it to yourselves!  Be afraid of NOT letting your lights shine!  Do not be afraid to be who & what you are! Screen-Shot-2014-03-10-at-11.27.06-AM

Our last GU4AP / MYGirls event on July 12, 2014, “Park Beautification Day” in Moreno Valley, CA, incorporated a Leadership workshop from Ban Bossy, an initiative brought to you by Lean In & Girl Scouts of the USA.  The Ban Bossy website has various downloadable activity & workshop booklets for students, teachers, parents, and troop leaders.  Each booklet contains several facts regarding females in school settings, the workforce, and environments in which girls interact with their friends.  I encourage you all to check out these booklets, as MYGirls will be using them for our upcoming Mentor / Mentee workshops.

As I conclude, young girls, I want to leave you with another list of self-esteem boosters:

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Though all of these tips may not apply to your lives, some of them will . . . so utilize your tools, your boosters!!

Next Friday’s blog:  Competition, and “Frenemies” (Part 2)

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

MYEvents: Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Hi there, outstanding young girls!!

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

Sunday, September 21, 2014 – 

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Hair stylists from across America will come together for a chance to be honored as the Bobbi Boss 2014 “America’s Next Top Stylist.”  CLICK HERE for information, stylist registration, and consumer tickets. (I will be one of the models on the runway!)

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Community-Plan-Launch-September-25-2014-800x500px

The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 

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Inspirational community leaders will come together with Charlotte’s Korner, Inc., to encourage, empower, and uplift our youth, as various issues concerning our teens will be discussed.  CLICK HERE for more information, or how to become a volunteer, vendor, or guest speaker.  (I will be one of the guest speakers . . . updated flyer coming soon.)

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2014 – 

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FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYGirls Blog Series Update: Let’s Talk About a New Addition to MYGirls . . . . . . MYEvents!!

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Hi there, radiant young girls!!

 

So after attending last Saturday’s event, the Swearing-In of LAUSD District 1 Board Member, Dr. George J. McKenna, III, I became inspired.  I wanted to not only share my experience at the open community event, but also create an opportunity for all our Girls Unite 4 A Purpose members and MYGirls to share similar experiences.  Community involvement is imperative for the advancement and upliftment of all community members, especially our youth.  Thus, MYEvents.

 

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Community-Plan-Launch-September-25-2014-800x500px

The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

Re-cap of the Community Swearing-In Celebration & Administration of the Oath of Office of District 1 Board Member, Dr. George J. McKenna, III

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What a day it was!!

Last Saturday, I attended the open community event, in honor of Dr. George J. McKenna, III.  A man who is a nationally-renowned leader for our youth in inner-city school districts throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.  It was such a beautiful sight to see:  parents, students, teachers, LAUSD board members, community leaders, and other key attendees offering support for the induction of our new LAUSD Board Member, representing District 1.

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It was such an honor meeting a divine gentleman, with a stellar vision for the advancement of our youth.  I also had the extreme pleasure of meeting U.S. Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, Representative of the 43rd congressional district of California.  Thank you for giving the youth a voice, Dr. McKenna!!

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The full press release is below.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2014

Nationally-Renowned Educator George McKenna Elected to LAUSD Board of Education
Despite being outspent over 3 to 1, McKenna prevailed by building a coalition of community and educators.

Los Angeles, CA – Dr. George McKenna, the internationally-recognized educator whose turnaround of South Central Los Angeles’ Washington Prep High School led to the made-for-TV movie starring Denzel Washington, “The George McKenna Story,” overcame a 3-to-1 funding disadvantage to be elected to the District 1 seat of the school board that oversees America’s second largest school district.

McKenna ran a comparatively lean campaign that heavily relied upon a superior campaign strategy and the support of activist teachers and education, parent, community, and ecumenical leaders/organizations. The campaign built on the grassroots effort to appoint McKenna to the vacancy caused by the unexpected death of long-time board member Marguerite LaMotte on December 5, 2013. In January, the LAUSD school board rejected that call from the community, opting instead for a special election, which has left District 1 unrepresented for over 9 months.

In response to the 53% to 47% electoral result, McKenna said:

“The community won and sent a message that District 1 is not for sale.

“I am honored to succeed my long-time friend and colleague Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. She was a champion for children and can never be replaced.

“I feel so privileged to have earned the trust and confidence of District 1 voters to be their school board representative.

“Today was an important day for the district, because of our election and because it marked the first day of school. Tonight, at dinner tables across our region children are telling stories about new adventures in learning, and teachers are assessing the day’s successes and challenges. They all should know how proud I am to be their board member, and how committed I am to their success. I am here to help every student reach their God-given potential, and give every teacher the support they need to fulfill their calling to education.

“The coalition we have built of parents, community and educators will not dissipate now that the electoral process is complete. Now begins the hard work of transforming our district, liberating our children, and emancipating our communities. Our task is not easy, but I welcome the challenge. I have never accepted an easy assignment in my career, yet I have always improved the educational outcomes of children. I will draw on the best of my experience, assemble an able team of advisors, and work in partnership with parents, teachers and the community to pursue excellence in our schools.

Let’s get to work.”

 

With five decades of experience, George McKenna has served at all levels of the educational ladder, including classroom mathematics teacher, principal and local district superintendent within LAUSD. Additionally, he served as Superintendent of the Inglewood USD, Deputy Director of the Compton USD and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in the Pasadena USD. He currently serves as an educational consultant, providing professional development and support to school districts and community organizations throughout the country.

McKenna has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for his work in transforming schools, improving student performance and increasing community interest and involvement in local schools. With more than 400 citations, he has been profiled in national publications, including Time, People and Ebony magazines; television shows, including “Nightline” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show;” and numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor.

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We at Girls Unite 4 A Purpose & MYGirls salute you, Dr. McKenna!!
**Special thank-you to Gwendolyn Cross of California Women 4 Women for the invitation.

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Appearance & Personal Hygiene (Part 2: Appearance)

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG GIRLS:

*~ The MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday, at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. ~*

Hello lovely young girls!

How are you all doing???  School is back in session, how are you classes going?  Are you well-adjusted to the teaching styles of your instructors?  Are you grasping the work in class, and understanding your homework?  Hopefully the answers to all these questions, is a confident “Yes!”  However, do not be discouraged if you have to answer “No.”  It is okay to need, and seek, help for yourselves.  We all are imperfect creatures, and a helping hand is typically a non-judgmental hand.

Last Friday’s blog piece was on Part 1 of a 2-Part entry:  Appearance & Personal Hygiene, with Part 1 being Personal Hygiene.  Last week’s topic focused on the importance of minding how often you allow your friends to use your health & beauty products (soaps, lotions, body sprays, lip balms & glosses, etc.), lest you make yourselves susceptible to the passing of germs, which can lead to allergic reactions, infections, and other possible ailments and illnesses.  As Part 1 pertained to how you take care of yourselves, Part 2, Appearance, will focus on how you present yourselves.

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Presentation is SO important when it comes to showing yourselves to the world.  There’s an old saying that goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  While it is true that wo/man makes the clothes and not the other way around, the way that one dresses sets the tone for others to formulate their opinions about him or her, whether accurate about the person or otherwise.

When you are making yourselves visible to the world, you are showing the world who and what you are, based on the first impression they get from you.  No, you should not judge a book by its cover, however there is a reason why an author puts much time & thought into how he or she would like to illustrate the book title and cover.  Something has to attract the reader, and the visual must be persuasive enough to prompt the reader to check out the book’s overview . . . and possibly make the purchase from the bookstore or check-out from the library.  It’s all in the presentation!

Young girls, how do you see yourselves when you look in the mirror? stock-photo-10337028-young-girl-tries-on-crown-looking-in-mirror While we are defining ourselves based on likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and how we relate to the rest of the world, we must also keep in mind that we are defining ourselves AND being defined.  Not initially by others, but rather by what we do when we present ourselves.  While no one else can define you, what you do to define yourself, can actually work against you.

If you have been keeping up with the blog entries from our GU4AP / MYG bloggers (outside of the MYGirls blog series), you will notice our fabulous blogger Ashley ( @ ) gave insight on great ways to present yourselves in her blog entry, “Age Appropriate Back to School Fashion Outfits for Young Girls . . . ”  I would like to expand a bit further on the importance of presentation, regarding possible messages others could be interpreting when viewing your first impression.

  • Wearing age-appropriate attire is extremely important, especially in young girls whose bodies have developed into shapes usually seen on adult females.  A young girl must first understand her body and its development, puberty, her sexuality, the vast differences between an adolescent and an adult, and the possible message she could give off if wearing makeup, tight or revealing clothing, high heels, hairstyles typically seen on adult females, long acrylic or press-on nails, and anything that screams “grown-up.”  Makeup is not for young girls.  High heels are not for young girls.  Tight or revealing clothing is not for young girls.  Multiple ear or body piercings are not for young girls.  Certain hairstyles are not for young girls.  We stress confidence, self-love, and we also stress self-respect.
  • As much as we must pay attention to how we are fixing ourselves up, we must also pay attention to the times we make NO effort to give good presentation.  While the exterior does not speak for the interior, the exterior could possibly distract the viewer, turning him or her away from the main goal of getting to the interior.  Hairstyles nowadays straddle the fence between ‘neat’ and ‘unkempt’, so there is really no defining base.  However, that does not mean to present yourself looking as though you rolled out of bed five minutes prior.  We must dress for what we want, and look the part.  Why?  Well, because you wouldn’t want to sit at the station of a manicurist who has dirty nails.  You wouldn’t want to sit in the chair of a hairstylist whose hair is all over the place . . . not in any particular style or pattern.  You wouldn’t want to buy food from a chef who came to work looking like he or she ran through a dust storm.  What clients would trust them and their service(s)?  None of those people would be dressed to look their parts.  It’s only fair that they don’t expect business to be good.

Young girls, remember as I said, you always want to “look the part.”  You always want to dress for what you want.  Your initial appearance is what gets others to believe in your words, your business, your product(s), your insight, your views.  And this means way more than the labels and price tags attached to the clothing you wear.

If you want success, you must dress like you’re going to find it. iammichelleO_v2

 

 

Please understand, young girls, that paying attention to your appearance and presentation, is not to make you stuck-up, snobby, self-conscious, or to make you superficial.  Paying attention to the way you look, is exhibiting self-love, self-worth, self-respect, and self-esteem.  When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you tend to want to DO good.  And when done with the proper guidance, you’ll always BE good.

 

Remember young girls, 1098168_10152162918519128_581882700_n1, and show the world how to love you too!!

 

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

MYGirls: Blog Series Update

Hi there young girls!!

 

As you may have already read, GU4AP’s “MYGirls” Program has implemented the “MYGirls” Blog Series, a collection of entries zeroing in on issues that affect young girls, ages 8-18.  The “MYGirls” Blog Series will offer sound advice by illustrating fictitious scenarios that may be familiar in the lives of our girls, as well as personal experience(s) from our Mentors.  The blog series will also open the opportunity for discussions between our Mentors and Mentees, to hopefully break down any fear or shyness when approaching certain subject matter.

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At first, we had no set time over the next few months (or however much time we figured it would take) as to when the blogs would be posted for viewing . . . and we realized that THAT needed to change, into a more structured method.  That being said, the “MYGirls” Blog Series will be issued every Friday, at 6:00pm, and will contain blog entries based on the following subjects:

 

  • Social Media Etiquette
  • Appearance & Personal Hygiene (now broken into two parts)
  • Academics
  • Leadership & Self-Esteem
    –Competition, “Frenemies”
  • Safety
    –Rape, Self-Defense
  • Health
    –Diet
    –Exercise
    –Mentality

 

There will be certain blog entries specifically for our girls, ages 12-18 (for these entries, we do advise having a parent or legal guardian present, to read along with you):

 

  • Commitment, Loyalty, and Relationships
    –Contraception, Sex
  • Health
    –Menstruation

 

Today’s blog will be Part 1:  Personal Hygiene, at 6:00pm this evening.

 

We at Girls Unite 4 A Purpose (GU4AP) want you young girls to know that we are here for you.  We know that you may have questions, concerns, and worries, and we hope that the information we share will give you insight, along with the courage to press forward through life’s challenges.

 

You have a safe space in the “MYGirls” Program . . . girls-hanging-out-590x295 . . . consider this your 2nd home!!

 

–Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

Reminder: Get Your Dear Younger Me Letters in ASAP

Ladies, the deadline for open letters is Feb. 28th. We won’t be taking letters after that date so please get your letters sent to us. We will post any letters we receive on that date the first week of March. As we are transitioning into a new month that means our focus is shifting.

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Also, if you have participated and your letter has been posted here on our website, please email us a photo of yourself. No later than Feb. 28th as well.

If you would like to participate, please see the original post to sign up 2014 Campaign: Dear Younger Me…Signs Ups

 

2014 Dear Younger Me Campaign: Open Letter to Brittany…

Dear Younger Me,

At first I was going to warn you about what is to come, and then I realized I would only be hurting you by doing that. It would cause you to be fearful, closed-off, maybe even sheltered and I know that you are not, along with anyone else for that matter, called to live in fear. The truth is, all of the hard times in life enhance perseverance, confidence, and character… and those things are things that, unfortunately, are and may continue to be rare qualities in the world. However, those things are what will cause you, eventually, to be a light in a world filled with darkness.

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2014 Dear Younger Me Campaign: Open Letter to Juaquina

If I could write a letter to my teenage years it would probably sounds something like this:

Dear Teenage self,

Aren’t we one and the same?

You are me…I mean I was you

And yet now there is this separation between us two

We are staring at each other face to face

Same ears, same nose, same hair, same race

And yet I don’t even recognize who I’m looking at

We are two completely different people, you and I

We see two different visions of the world although we’re both looking through the same eye

Two different reactions to his actions…same guy

Our ears hear two different things, but it’s the same lie

We even speak differently

Every other thing you utter is profanity

I choose to select my words a little bit more carefully

But I dare not judge you….for you are me.

I mean, I was you!

And I understand the way your heart was abused

Not just by guys, but by family and friends your heart was seduced

Tricked to believe that that decision wouldn’t leave your heart bruised

So mistake after mistake you continue to make

Ignorance isn’t bliss if your soul the devil takes

Puts it in a jail cell and traps you before you wake

And now you’re trying to figure out what kind of pill to swallow when your soul aches

When your body is filled with depression and hate

Giving up is easy and on death you wait

You are me?

No. I was you!

You see, you live in defeat while I live in victory

You follow others down their path of destruction

I blaze trails. I’m making history.

Yeah that’s cliché, but I’m breaking free

I thought we were one in the same

But you are NOT me.

Sincerely yours,

The Twenty year old me

Juaquina Carter|  www.Abstinenceandthecity.com

2014 Dear Younger Me Campaign: Open Letter to Undrea…

Dear Young Undrea,

They say that hindsight is 20/20, and it is.

Which is why I’m writing this letter to you, to encourage your vivacious little spirit and others like you.

You are such an outgoing and happy child, and you constantly surprise your other little friends with such affection and energy. I don’t want you to ever get tired of showing affection; even to those who don’t seem like they need it, because they do. Never allow the world to crush your smile.

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2014 Dear Younger Me Campaign: Open Letter to LaShawn…

Dear Younger Me,

There are some many things that I know now that I wish I had knew when I was younger. Maybe I did but because I was being a stubborn little girl I failed to pay attention to things that I was being told by my mom or other adults in my life. You see yes I didnt grow up with my dad but I wish I would have understood that it shouldn’t have changed how I looked at other men or boys at the time. Here is just a few things that I wish I knew then.

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