Author: TWK Admin

How to Get More Volunteer Experience

Let your volunteer experience show potential schools and (employers) that you are dedicated, self-motivated, and that you care about something other than yourself. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities within your community, use what speaks to you. As a teen looking to beef up their volunteer experience, here are some volunteer options to consider.

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Define Your Cause

If you haven’t done so already, think about what motivates you. Is it relevant to the work you want to do? Defining the purpose of why you are volunteering will guide you toward the best opportunities. At the end of the day, you will be donating your time, so it should be doing something that you can connect with.

Make Connections

Now that you have your cause, contact local establishments for volunteer opportunities. The following organizations often have current openings:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Provide care and support for local children by volunteering as a mentor to younger kids.

Animal Rescue Shelters. Assist with cleaning, feeding, and general care of animals in your town.

Food Pantries. 1 in 6 people in America faces hunger. Get out there and help!

National Parks. If you love the outdoors and wildlife preservation, this opportunity is for you. Apply at your most local park and learn lots of useful wildlife tips and tricks.

Your Local Library. Education is the key to success. Help provide knowledge to your local community by tutoring, helping with Storytime or re-shelving books part-time.

RedCross. Help prepare your local community for disasters and others when in crisis.

Retirement Homes. Spend time with the elders of your community with a smile and an afternoon of fun.

Goodwill. Consistently donate clothing or household goods

Be Genuine

When an employer is seeking potential candidates, they want to hire the best. This does not mean volunteering for ten different organizations to meaninglessly fill up space on your resume.

If you volunteered your time for a day with a few different organizations, you are not going to benefit by placing this information on your resume. Complete or continuously stay committed to one or two organizations. This will show that these are causes that you care about, you’re a team player, and you can make a commitment. As with many things in life, quality is more valuable than quantity.

No matter where you volunteer, remember that employers want candidates that have strong values. Make your resume stand out and showcase the hard work and dedication you have given to your volunteer programs. Include important details and statistics about the projects you have completed. In the end, create your resume to represent who you are as a person and an employee.

5 Stupid Things Teens Do That They Might Not Realize Are Crimes

Remember that house you toilet-papered with your friends last Halloween? Or maybe the nude photos you sent to your boyfriend? How about mooning that annoying teacher in the school parking lot? All potential crimes. These are the top 5 stupid things that we see teenagers doing that are potential crimes with real, punishable consequences. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these activities are “harmless” or “something everybody does in high school.” You don’t want to find yourself in court.

#1: Mooning

This might be one of the oldest, dumbest pranks—so you’d think it would be considered harmless. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Today, mooning is considered indecent exposure, which is a kind of “lewd act”. Lewd acts are illegal because of the exposure of genitals. Summit Defense explains that “For example, if a woman ‘flashes’ her breasts at her boyfriend in a [public area], and her intention is to sexually excite herself or her boyfriend, then she could be charged with committing a lewd act in a public place. It would also be an offense for a man in a car to flash his buttocks – usually referred to as ‘mooning’ – at a lady driving another car with the intention of offending her.” Whether or not you intend to sexually harass someone, the case can be made that sexually offending someone was your goal. As a result, a criminal case can be made against you for indecent exposure. Public indecency is considered a type of sex crime, and it isn’t worth the risk for a gag.

#2: Toilet Papering and Egging

Halloween prank or not, technically, toilet-papering and egging someone’s home is a crime. If the police are called, the crime will be considered “vandalism” or “criminal mischief.” In both cases, fines and potential jail time are on the table. In fact, in 2015 a story broke about 13 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 who were arrested and charged for egging cars and houses. Skip this prank; come up with something more original and something that isn’t going to land you in trouble with the law.

#3: Sending Nudes

This one is straightforward: sending nudes as a teenager is considered criminal. Why? As someone who is under the age of eighteen, your nude photo is considered to be child pornography. Sexting laws vary by state, but all states agree that it is a crime to own or possess a “sexually explicit image of a minor.” It is also a crime to photograph and send a “sexually explicit image of a minor”, because it is considered the creation and distribution of child pornography. This cannot be emphasized enough: do not sext your boyfriend or girlfriend. Do not ask your boyfriend or girlfriend for nudes. Both acts are a criminal offense, and if charged and convicted, you will be required to register as a sex offender. The consequences of breaking this law will follow you for the rest of your life. It’s never worth it.

#4: Hazing

College hazing stories have taken over the internet. We see stories every year with new sorority and fraternity pledges who have succumbed to injuries from these initiation activities. Teenagers and high schoolers are also on board with the hazing trend, especially teens involved in clubs or sports teams. Maybe you pulled down someone’s pants at school, or forced them to eat something disgusting, or beat up someone who wanted to join your club. Maybe you taunted someone or sent threatening messages. If you are bullying someone as a form of “hazing,” what you are doing is criminal. Hazing classmates, whether or not the victim goes along with it, is a criminal offense.

#5: Stealing

This last one might seem obvious, but many teenagers think they can get away with stealing from grocery stores and supermarkets and retailers with only minor consequences. They try to swipe a pair of shoes, a tube of lipstick, or a candy bar. Maybe you might feel like the price isn’t fair; maybe your friends are doing it; maybe you’re tempted because it’s a rush of excitement. But the few moments of thrill you might get from shoplifting aren’t worth the price of being caught. It doesn’t matter how big or small or cheap or expensive the stolen item is; stealing is stealing and it can land you in court with a criminal charge PLUS getting a hefty bill from the store’s lawyers for damages. Being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for stealing will affect your chances at getting hired for a job that you want, and for getting into the colleges you’re applying for. And here’s one last thing to consider—according to NASP,shoplifting affects more than the offender. It overburdens the police and the courts, adds to a store’s security expenses, costs consumers more for goods, costs communities lost dollars in sales taxes and hurts children and families.” Shoplifting hurts everyone. Find another way to entertain yourself and get that thrill you’re seeking.

Living as a teenager is stressful and dealing with peer pressure can be daunting, but don’t give in. If your friends are engaging in any of this behavior, remind yourself of the potential consequences. Fines, jail time, and criminal records are not worth the few minutes of fun. Be adventurous and take chances, but not with these activities.

Develop These Skills and Start Your Writing Career

If you have a way with words, writing is a fantastic and diverse career choice. You can get into writing web copy (such as this very article), news writing, fiction writing, and more. The world really is your oyster. However, like all career paths you’ll need to develop some skills in order to kick start that dream career. Here’s what you need to have in order to be a good writer.

Research Skills

No matter what you want to write about, you’ll need to have the research skills in order to do it. For example, as a freelance writer, you could be asked to write about multiple topics in one day. You might write one piece on mountain biking, another on home repair, and a third on resume writing tips. You need to be able to find the information you need in order to write well.

The best thing to do is learn how to perform advanced Google searches.

Ability To Generate New Ideas

You’ll need to come up with new ideas constantly as a writer. You’ll be looking for new business all the time, and you’ll be asked for ideas that you can sell on to companies. You won’t have time for the dreaded writer’s block here.

A good way to generate ideas is to think about who your audience is, and what they want from you. For example, say you write for a filmmaking blog. Sit down and brainstorm as many ideas for blogs that their audience would want to read. You could write about camera techniques, how to find the best actors, and how to storyboard a film.

When you’re generating these ideas, you’ll need to communicate them well with prospective clients. You need to refine your ability to pitch. They key is to get straight to the point.

Self Reliance

Writing is a unique job as you’re often alone with your laptop and your thoughts. You need to be fiercely motivated in order to be a writer and actually make money.

‘Many people think they want to be a writer, until they realise how much they need to motivate themselves’ says recruiting consultant Peter Davies from UK Top Writers. ‘However, once they find themselves having to work alone, they find it very difficult.’ You’ll really have to be motivated to get everything done on your own.

Good Editing Skills

Good writing doesn’t happen when you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. It’s in how you edit what you’ve written to make it really shine. You’ve got to be able to come back to your work and not be afraid to make changes, to make it better.

You’ll also need to have the knowhow to edit and correct grammar when needed. Good grammar is the cornerstone of good writing, so you’ll need plenty of knowledge and online references to make your writing excellent.

Social Skills

You need to be able to network if you want to get writing opportunities. It’s important that you find like minded people and start working with them. This is where social media comes in. There’s never been an easier way to find your people and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your network that you’re looking for writing work. You’ll be amazed at what can come your way.

Being Able To Ask For Help

Yes, you may initially spend your time writing alone, but at some point you’ll need to be able to ask for help. Remember, the best writers improve as they’re always asking for feedback and thoughts on their writing.

Like in any job, you’ll only get better if you listen to others and get help when you need it. You can do this online, thanks to the wide range of services on offer. For example, Grammarix will help you with improving your grammar, and State Of Writing is full of writing guides that you can put to good use.

Persistence

Finally, to be a writer you’ve got to be persistent. This is especially true if you’re going to work as a freelance writer. You’ve got to keep getting out there, asking for opportunities, and looking for work. It can sound exhausting, but to the right person it can be a welcome challenge. If you don’t want to do the same thing every day and relish the challenge, writing is for you.

There you have it. Develop these skills, and you can become a successful writer, no matter what field you want to work in. Get practicing now and you’ll go a long way.

Rachel Summers is an education writer living in the UK. She works with several different institutions, including leading writing service Australian Reviewer. Her goal is to help students get the most out of their school years, and to help them get the assistance they need.

Where to Look for Help with an Unplanned Teen Pregnancy

If you’re facing an unplanned teen pregnancy, you are not alone. Women between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth to 229,715 babies in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the teen pregnancy rate has been decreasing in recent years, many teens still face an unplanned pregnancy every year, and it can be a terrifying, lonely experience. But for these teens, help is available.

Counseling Services

Many teens aren’t sure what they want to do when they first learn they are pregnant. Many church-affiliated organizations may offer counseling at little to no cost. Ask for information about all your options, including the pros and cons of each.

Teen Parenting

Support centers exist for mothers want to keep their babies, including support groups, parenting classes, and things like baby clothes, diapers, and infant car seats. Some hospitals offer support groups, childbirth classes and parenting classes specifically for teens, too. Finally, many high schools now offer special services for teen parents. Ask your guidance counselor.

Adoption Services

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, you can contact your state’s adoption services for more information, or go through private companies that help you navigate the process. Every state has an agency with a name like the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Social Services that has a department that handles adoptions.

Pregnancy is intimidating, especially if you’re facing it alone. But help is available, and you should feel confident that you can still have an abundant, rewarding life. Pregnancy is the start of a new life, not the end of yours. There is help and there is hope. Never forget that!

Five Important Life Lessons Going to the Dentist Taught Us

Sometimes, as teenagers, we might not fully grasp the importance of taking care of our teeth and visiting the dentist. For many teens, visiting the dentist can even be an overwhelming experience. Although dentists have our best interests at heart, they can be intimidating to anyone who doesn’t understand why they are there. As we grow older, we learn about the value of good dental health and regular dental checkups.

It is essential for parents to teach their children the significance of oral hygiene and to visit the dentist. To learn more about what going to the dentist has shown us, continue reading.

It’s Not As Scary As It Seems

Many children are frightened of going to the dentist. It’s not hard to see why, as dentists often seem threatening with their scary tools, gadgets, and strange noises. As we get older, we realize that for the most part, the dental office isn’t such a frightening place. They keep our mouths and teeth healthy and looking presentable, and often give us a free toothbrush at the end of our checkup.

It Is Important To Brush

The dentist teaches us from a very early age that brushing and flossing are crucial. Good oral hygiene prevents plaque, cavities, and gum disease. The less dental problems and conditions we have, the less we need to see the dentist. Kids should be taught the importance of dental hygiene to ensure that they remain healthy, as well as to prevent the need for more dental visits in the future.

Everyone Needs To Go To The Dentist

Although visiting the dentist can be intimidating, it is a part of life that everyone must participate in. Even with good oral hygiene, we still need to have our teeth cleaned, and our mouths looked over. Dental visits are necessary for everyone and prevent the occurrence of many harmful conditions.

According to ABC Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, “our goal is to equip each child with the tools they need to maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime.”

Too Much Sugar Leads To Cavities

Everyone loves sugar. It is almost a daily part of our diet. The dentist teaches us that indulging in too much sugar can wreak havoc on our teeth. Cavities form when bacteria and sugar build up on the teeth and eventually destroy the enamel. From a very early age, kids should be taught that excessive sugar intake can lead to unhealthy teeth and gums.

Cavities Aren’t The End Of The World

Even with brushing and flossing, some of us will inevitably end up with cavities. This diagnosis can be a scary thought for a child, but parents should teach their kids that treating cavities and other ailments are not as painful as it seems. Getting a filling to prevent a cavity will usually hurt less than needing a root canal or other procedure because the cavity was not resolved. It is always best for kids to be open and honest about any dental issues they may be having so that they can receive the proper treatment.

If your child is struggling with the thought of going to the dentist, they are not alone. Teaching your kids the importance of oral health and visiting a dentist is a good way to instill life lessons about the value of a healthy mouth. Your child will eventually learn to appreciate the dentist as much as you do.

 

Fashion-Forward But Budget Friendly: How to Save on Outfits

When your birthday money from grandma is burning a hole in your pocket, you may get the urge to update your wardrobe with some new threads. You do not have to spend a lot of cash to update your look on a dime. Here are some fashion-forward and budget-friendly places to pick up some new, or new-to-you, trendy pieces.

Consignment/Thrift Stores

Shopping for new-to-you pieces at thrift and consignment stores is an affordable and fun way to update your wardrobe. Bring along some friends and try on one-of-a-kind clothes that have been gently worn. Consignment stores hand pick the brands and items they carry, so you will easily find lots of top brand names and trendy pieces. Consignment stores may be priced a little higher than thrift shops, but all of the merchandise has been thoroughly inspected, and you will not have to spend hours sifting through the racks to find unique pieces and top brands.

Thrift stores are all about the thrill of the hunt. If you have a few hours to kill with friends, pop in to a thrift shop and let your imaginations run wild. Thrift stores have affordable prices, but you have to prepare to so some digging and sifting through the racks to find cool new pieces.

Online Discount Boutiques

Online discount boutiques and fashion apps are a fun way to shop for fashion. You order from a curated collection of hand-selected pieces, and the companies send your new duds right to your home. You can try them on in the comfort and convenience of your home and send back any pieces that you do not like for a refund. It offers a risk-free and affordable way to update your wardrobe.

Fast-Fashion Mall Shops

Fast-fashion stores offer a plethora of options for updating your wardrobe. From basics to lounge apparel, career attire and casual wear, fast-fashion stores in the mall showcase a wide range of styles and sizes in clothing from floor to ceiling. You will be inspired, and probably even a little overwhelmed, by the abundance of options. These stores have a fast turnover rate, marking down clothing often, so apparel is priced to sell fast.

 

Even if you are low on cash, you can still put together some fun new outfits that your friends will want to borrow. From online to thrift to fast-fashion stores, there are a plethora of inspiring places to shop to add new life to your closet.

Six Summer Jobs You Won’t Find at the Mall

For teenagers, getting a job for extra cash during the summer is considered part of growing up. A summer job is a great opportunity to earn extra cash and gain valuable skills that are applicable to the real world and hopefully future careers. In fact, many businesses are looking for seasonal workers to lend a hand in stocking shelves, bagging groceries, or providing customer support. If you want to branch out from the regular teen work, here are a few summer job options to consider this year.

Becoming a Neighborhood House Sitter

If parents are out for the night, they will need someone to watch over the kids or any pets the family has. Teenagers often take advantage or babysitting gigs, house-sitting, and similar work. You’ll have to know how to prepare a few meals, take care of regular cleaning and home maintenance. You may be asked to watch the pets or take them out for a walk occasionally. Advertise your services at local community or neighborhood bulletins or social media sites.

Working as a Summer Camp Counselor

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts both host summer camps for kids, full of fun activities such as roasting marshmallows or learning different first aid and survival skills. As a camp counselor you can help teach basic survival skills or creative arts and crafts to children, so they have a memorable summer, even when their parents are not around. Make sure to invest in a good camping blanket to stay cozy and warm.

Working Part-Time as a Barista

Many cafes are looking for part-time servers to mix drinks during the peak summer season at local restaurants or resorts. Teenagers can learn to provide customer service by taking orders and maintaining a positive attitude while they serve food or drinks. Here you can also learn valuable retail skills like working a cash register or organizing backroom supplies.

Landscaping or Mowing Lawns

If a neighbor doesn’t have the time to mow the lawn, they often pay teenagers to do it for them. Teens might also water the garden, plant seeds, paint the fence, or pour fertilizer onto wilting plants. Learning outdoor and yard skills are great not just for everyday life, but for future jobs as well. If you don’t want to do the dirty work, you can also find lots of summer sales jobs, getting people pest control, sprinkler work, and other outdoor work.

Administrative Assistant Job

Office jobs are a dime a dozen. Most companies and hospitals require someone to be at the front desk to greet customers or help them book an appointment with a busy specialist. Their responsibilities include answering phone calls, filing legal paperwork, or inputting data using Excel spreadsheets. If you know how to do a few basics on the computer and are already organized, these kinds of part-time reception work could be perfect for spring boarding into office work after school.

Teenagers have to think outside the box if they want to find a summer job. They can design T-shirts, build a website, or even work at the local gas station. There are many part-time jobs available for inexperienced high schoolers, but the ones mentioned before are definitely a great start.

How to Teach Teens Vehicle-Ownership Responsibility

The day your child becomes a vehicle owner is going to be a glorious day for them but will probably be a frightening day for you. You’ll worry a great deal about whether your child is responsible enough and ready for vehicle ownership. But there are things you can do to help prepare them. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your teen is ready when the time comes.

 

Make Them Pay

The very first lesson you can teach your teen about being a responsible car owner is the lesson of cost. In the end, a teen will appreciate the car more if they have to work and contribute to it. Even if you only make them pay $500 of the overall coast of the car, they will understand how to work hard and pay for something so essential to daily life.

Introduce Them to the Local Mechanic

Introducing your teen to the local mechanic will start them on the path of better caretaking of their own vehicle. You can have your teen take it in for maintenance tasks like oil changes or spark plug wire replacements. Here they’ll get used to seeing and doing things that are necessary to keep the car running well. Those car-healthy habits will carry over into adulthood and will extend the life of every vehicle they own.

Clean the Car

Taking the car to get regular repairs is only half of proper caretaking. Your teen also needs to partake in cleaning the interior and exterior, so it will be better preserved and look less aged. You can talk to them about the importance of keeping up with the cosmetics and having an organized interior. This also helps them get to know the vehicle and where important things inside it are, like the spare tire, chains, or first aid kit.

Give Them the Manual

The last tip is extremely valuable. Get your teen an owner’s manual so they can learn the ins and outs of the car. You may find they become highly interested in repairs and having a part in overall maintenance. There’s something about working on one’s own car that gives that person a sense of pride.

Take all the steps mentioned above to give your child the best advantage at being a responsible vehicle owner. You can decrease the amount of worry that you experience if you follow that advice.

How Can I Put a Great Wardrobe Together on a Budget?

You want to look good, you want to wear what’s in fashion, but your budget is stretched about as far as it can go. What’s a girl to do? Check out some unexpected sources of high-fashion finds that won’t have you breaking the piggy bank to get new clothes.

Local Treasures

If you’re tired of the prices at your local mall or the online stores, take a look around your own city and your own neighborhood. Chances are there shops near you that offer on-trend, unique items you won’t find anywhere else. You can get personalized service, and you’ll also be the first to get in on sales and clearance events.

If there’s a town near you that caters to tourists, hit those stores up during the off-season when you can often get steep discounts. When you shop boutiques for sales, you’ll get one-of-a-kind items that will give your wardrobe an instant upgrade while saving you money.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are where you can find rock-bottom prices, but if you’re looking for really fashionable items, you have to wade through a lot of regular stuff to find that one jewel in the junk pile. Thrift stores are a good place to find shoes, boots, and handbags, often from well-known brands. They’re especially great for Halloween costumes and basics like tee shirts, sweatshirts or jeans.

Consignment Shops

Consignment stores are thrift stores that specialize in high-end fashion items. While the prices are higher than a regular thrift store, the selection tends to be better, and the prices are still less than what the items would cost if they were new. Some consignment shops specialize in particular types of clothing, like baby clothes or plus-size fashions.

Discount Stores

If you hit them at the right time, discount and dollar stores can be a surprising source of cheap fashion finds. Most of them sell socks, handbags, tote bags, flip-flops, sandals, hats of all kinds, gloves, and scarves. You can also find slippers, headbands and clutch purses. The downside is that their selection changes every week, and the good stuff sells out fast. If you can spot them when they get in, be sure to stock up.

The best way to discover low-priced, high-fashion finds is to get out of the mall. You can find some good things there, and it can be fun to go, but you are probably going to spend more money than you want, and there is a high chance that someone else will have the same outfit. Instead, venture out to new places and look for great deals.

Photo Credit: Hope Ave Boutique

How to Organize Your Gear Before Boarding the Boat

Organization is the key to become successful in anything, even something as simple as packing for a fishing trip can be made better by good organization. It might be tempting to throw a few things into your tackle box right before you head out of the door, but take a few minutes, or maybe the day before to properly prepare yourself for the trip. What you keep within your tackle box is up to you, and there is not a set list as to what needs to be in your tackle box at all times. However, we do recommend a few things to guide you on your way to a highly successful fishing trip.

Preparation

One of the most important things you should know before packing is how long you will be gone and what type of fish you will be fishing for. Knowing these two things will affect the amount of gear you pack, and the type of gear required. Maybe you’ll be saltwater fishing, ice fishing, or simply fly-fishing. Look up the location and weather and prepare your outfit, type of boots, and coat. After arriving you’ll probably be carrying your gear and tackle box with you so be sure it is lightweight and able to be moved easily.

The Gear

Excess is not always a good thing, especially when packing, but you should have an excess of a few things. Be sure your fishing rods are working and that you have the right ones for the job. Bring the right kinds of baits, but don’t overstuff your box with types you won’t need during the trip.

A Small Wallet

When you are fishing on a boat all day long, you want to keep things light and easygoing. Having a bulky wallet in your pockets can be tiring and carrying around a huge jacket or case full of personal items can get annoying. A light wallet that keeps all your necessary belongings, cards, fishing license, ID and money compact and small will help you focus on fishing and remain comfortable.

Fishing Line

You never want to run out of fishing line, which is why we recommend packing extra. Remember the part where we talked about knowing what you will be fishing for? That is important here, as it will impact the type of line that you pack. Getting a specific subscription tackle box for your preferred fishing style can help to keep you stocked each time you go out on the water.

Hooks

Although you will have a clue as to what type of fish you will be fishing for, it is best to pack a few different types of hook. This small addition to your tackle box will impact your options should anything change during your trip.

 

Now that you have properly prepared and gathered the right gear for your fishing trip, consider how you will arrange everything for maximum space. Extra space will allow you to pack extra snacks or an extra beer or two. However, do not try too hard to become an expert in packing. Remember that fishing is supposed to be all fun!