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Kristen

  • GirlSpring.com, STEM, Technology, Woman's History

    Women’s History Month Highlights STEM w/Three Inspiring Engineers!

    Women's History Month Highlights STEM

    Three Inspiring Women Engineers

    In the workforce, only 13% of engineers are women. However, it is an industry that is booming. In the past 5 years there has been a 54% increase in the number of women graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering. When you are deciding what to study in college, engineering is an excellent career choice that is continually moving forward as technology advances. Just consider – you too can follow in the footsteps of some of the most inspiring women in engineering’s history.

    Paige Kassalen

    Paige Kassalen worked on the first ever solar powered plane, Solar Impulse II. She is an electrical engineer that was part of the ground crew. The plane itself flew all the way around the world without using any fossil fuel at all. It is this kind of engineering that will change the world and help the environment. In 2017, Kassalen was listed in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, as not only the youngest woman, but the only engineer. To get a career in electrical engineering, you need excellent skills in math and an understanding of how to apply this to the practical world. You can always improve your math skills by taking free courses and using flash cards before college. It could help you on your way to a very inspiring career.

    Katherine Johnson

    Katherine Johnson had a long and prestigious career with NASA, changing the opinions and attitudes of Americans in a very difficult period of history, where segregation was still the norm. As an African American woman, she paved the way for the next generation in engineering, proving that if you study hard, you can achieve greatness despite prejudice. You just need to watch the movie Hidden Figures to understand how important the work that she did was. Johnson calculated launch windows, trajectories and even back-up return paths for so many missions, including the 1969 Apollo 11 mission and Project Mercury. She is proof that if you have enough determination and passion, you can succeed.

    Victoria Drummond MBE

    Victoria Drummond was the very first British marine engineer. She served during WWII in the British Merchant Navy as Chief Engineer. In fact Drummond was even awarded the Lloyd’s War Medal for Bravery at Sea, following her bravery and sheer gumption whilst under fire. She inspired a younger generation of women to aspire to careers in naval engineering – a job that was previously considered to be off limits for women.

    Engineering is a future-proof career choice within so many different industries, from aeronautics to computing. When you are considering college, how about making engineering one of your options?

     

  • Human Trafficking, Local

    Human Trafficking – When Evil Hides in Plain Sight

    Human Trafficking

    Human Trafficking

    When Evil Hides in Plain Sight

    By Maggie Thompson

    There are more human slaves today than ever before in history.

    Generating up to $35 billion annually, human trafficking has become one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century. In the United States (U.S.), there is a 147-mile stretch of Interstate 20 between Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama called “Sex Trafficking Superhighway.”

    Shockingly, 40% of human trafficking in the U.S. happens in the South. This is primarily due to the surrounding international travel hubs such as Atlanta and Houston. Although trafficking is so globally prevalent, it remains in the shadows of society. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) African American Studies program hosted a documentary screening and panel discussion on human trafficking in September (2017). Carlon Harris, an African American studies major and graduating senior, made and presented the documentary. 

    Through his research, Harris is hoping to transform the subject of human trafficking to an everyday conversation piece by localizing the issue and bringing awareness to the people of Birmingham. “Human trafficking happens 365 days of the year. So basically it can happen anytime, anywhere. Most victims, they will pass you,” Harris stated in an interview with Birmingham’s WBRC Fox 6 News. Kathy Taylor, a survivor, and human trafficking advocate is the center of Harris’ documentary. On camera, Taylor answered questions and shared some of her own experiences as a trafficking victim including the fact that her victimization began on a college campus.

    After the screening, panelists discussed the issues that accompany human trafficking, the steps law enforcement is taking towards prevention and what the public can do to help. The panelists included: Helen Smith of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sergeant Anthony Williams of Birmingham Police Department and Dr. Robert Blanton, UAB Professor of Government. 

    Human trafficking, which is fueled by poverty and gender discrimination, is estimated to surpass the drug trade industry in less than five years.

    Subsequently, traffickers are becoming more powerful and knowledgeable as society continues to allow the submergence of the massive issue modern slavery has become. Although it is primarily men that run this trade, women are also included. Pimps and Johns are common names for these men and women. They control and terrorize these victims. Victimizers use fraud, force and coercion to lure their victims into captivity, sometimes even using victims as bait.

    However, not all traffickers look or act the same.

    Human trafficking does not discriminate and it is nowhere near being transparent. Therefore, anyone can become a victim or a victimizer. Some victims find that their only option toward escape is to become a victimizer themselves and view the “promotion” from prostitute to pimp as a natural process.

    In conclusion, creating awareness is the first step towards ending human trafficking.

    Panels and organized events that educate the public on the facts of human trafficking can act as a gateway to major prevention as well as putting an end to what has become the greatest human rights challenges of this century. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Institute for Human Rights is working hard to promote prevention and awareness by informing students on the indicators of human trafficking and how to identify and help a potential victim.

    If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733.
    For tips on how to stay safe and aware of your surroundings, click here, https://www.girlspring.com/?s=Human+Trafficking
    And for the Human Trafficking Hotline site, click here.
  • Fashion

    Finding Your Personal Style

    Style Coach, Megan LaRussa on how to simplify finding your personal style

    Style Coach, Megan LaRussa on how to simplify finding your personal style

    Finding your personal style is hard, watch this video with style coach Megan LaRussa and learn how to do it!

    Megan is a style coach based in Birmingham, Alabama. However, she travels the world to find the best clothes for her clients! Check out Megan’s other style tips here, https://www.girlspring.com/holiday-style-megan-larussa/

    Likewise, check out her personal website here for more tips!

  • Confidence, Goals

    New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals?

    New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals?

    New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals?

    by Maya Kitchens, GirlSpring Springboarder

    It’s the time of year when we realize just how committed we are to our resolutions and goals!

    Having New Year’s Resolutions are very common for people as the clock strikes midnight on the night of December 31st and the early morning of January 1st. I myself have had New Year’s Resolutions, however, I have broken them pretty quickly. I’ve decided to call these “New Year’s Resolutions” something different. I’ve decided to call them “New Year’s Goals” instead. To me, goal sounds more positive than a resolution. The term “new year, new me” is very popular, but I don’t necessarily want to change, I want to accomplish more. Going into the New Year, don’t change yourself, maybe change the way you look at life. I’m going into 2019 with a more positive outlook on life, which in turn will make me more successful.  

     

     

     

    Read more posts on GirlSpring here!

  • Photography

    Top 10 Rapid Stress Relief Activities for Girls

    Stress Relief

    Top 10 Rapid Stress Relief Activities for Girls

    Girls undergo some emotional breakdowns which may be related to relationship issues, low self-esteem, problems at work, tight curfews by parents, trying to impress their friends, and even worrying about getting married when their biological clocks are ticking! The female gender loves attention, and failure to receive it can derail them emotionally. Therefore, they need to find a constant source of happiness and satisfaction to help them cope with the challenges in their day-to-day lives.

    Here are some of the top 10 rapid stress relief that girls can try out:

     

    • Going for a ride

     

    Research has proven that connecting with nature and pumping up some adrenaline in the system can be an excellent way of relieving stress. Thus, the best way to go about it is hopping into a car with a friend and hitting the road. The vehicle should be at high speed on an isolated road to avoid being irritated by traffic jam which may increase the stress levels. Besides, they can always hire a car if they do not have one. It is a must do for every girl who is stressing out because of the various reasons mentioned above.

     

    • Taking a walk

     

    Walks should be taken in the evening when there is less commotion in the area. Girls can do this within their neighborhood or wherever they please. Walking helps in elevating the moods of the females which eases their levels of depression. Another reason that makes walking a mandatory stress-reliever to try is that it aids in releasing endorphins making the person involved in the exercise happy. However, the pace should be fast to increase heart rate which also helps with hormonal balance.

     

    • Girls’ night out

     

    Girls can choose to have dinner together, go clubbing, hang out anywhere in the city, or decide to go to the movies. With this, they get to spend quality time with their loved ones as they participate in the activities they cherish together. Also, having the people they love around them dilutes tough situations that they are experiencing hence making them enjoy life the more.

     

    • Snuggling with a pet

     

    Another essential tip is adopting an animal either a dog, cat or any other that they may prefer. It is an activity that has proven to release hormones that introduce a gentle spirit for the girl.

     

    • Consider a spa night

     

    Spa dates can be expensive, but they can still do it at home to minimize on expenses. The easiest way is it to buy scrubs and prepare homemade face masks, use the best diffuser to diffuse essential oils to create that well scented and relaxing atmosphere, and take some wine or any drink of choice. These will make her feel relaxed and free from the pressures of life. But she can also spice it up by taking a bath in a tub with candles around. The beauty and ambiance that these bring are enough to make life less stressful.

     

    • Get to the kitchen and cook something

     

    Cooking is a creative exercise that makes people explore their abilities. But for it to be interesting, they have to prepare meals that take less time to make and which require minimum skills for the activity to be enjoyable. Some of the foods to consider cooking include sandwiches, burgers, salad, cakes, blending juice or smoothie and even coffee. All these will keep their minds off the stress. Therefore, girls should try this stress-relieving hack.

     

    • Go shopping in a mall

     

    Malls are beautiful places packed with all kinds of commodities. Seeing beautiful stuff that most girls have always wanted will automatically make them feel good about themselves. Also, they can merely window shop as a way of planning on what to buy next.

     

    • Read a good book

     

    Reading books helps with engaging the mind which is a way of killing idleness. But the plots of these stories must be intriguing to prevent the reader from getting bored. It will automatically ease stress especially when the victims connect well with the characters in the stories.

     

    • Put some loud music and dance to it

     

    They say music is a drug that almost everyone gets high on and girls are not an exception. Therefore, it is a rapid stress-relieving tip that they must try out. But it is more fun if they do it with a friend or a sibling for them not to feel lonely. With this, their moods will be elevated especially when they sing along and scream to the top of their lungs.

     

    • Take a nap

     

    Rest is as good as a change, and sleeping is the best way to relieve stress. It helps the whole body to relax including the brain hence rejuvenating to better body functioning.

     

  • School

    Tips For A Stress-Free Semester

    Tips for Studying!

    Tips and Pointers for a Stress-Free Spring Semester

    By Uzma Issa, GirlSpring Springboarder

    It’s that time of the year again!

    It’s the time people enjoyed the winter break, it’s a new year, and school comes creeping from around the corner. People finished their midterm exams and the second semester is about to start. I don’t know about you, but I struggled with the first semester, one main issue is the problem of time management. Everyone procrastinates on assignments, putting it off until the last minute. So how can we improve our time management skills for the new year?

    I’ve had the problem of procrastinating, not wanting to do work in the moment, and pushing off assignments to finish later.

    This causes problems because I end up pushing too many assignments to finish later not giving me enough time to finish. I’ll end up staying up late or doing my homework the morning it is due.

    I have gotten better at completing assignments on time and this is how:

    1. Look at all the homework you have and evaluate how much time it will take and the difficulty of it.

    2. Create a schedule for yourself.

    3. In the schedule, vary the difficulty of assignments so you don’t have to do 2 hard or time-consuming assignments back-to-back.

    4. Include breaks to eat, use the bathroom, or leisure.

    5. Try to include a bedtime. So if you end up not being able to finish your homework in time, you cannot stay up late. Sleep is vital to our health.

    6. Stick to the schedule. If you finish something faster than you anticipated, then you may do other things or get a head start on your other assignments.

    One thing to keep in mind is that everyone needs sleep.

    As kids or teenagers, our brains are still developing; they need sleep to function properly the next day. If one goes to sleep extremely late in the night trying to finish homework for a class the next day, that person most probably will not be able to stay alert and retain the information taught in class because of their fatigue. Nationwide Children’s claims that on average, teenagers get around 7 hours of sleep, but need about 9 hours of sleep.

    Here are a few ways you can get the sleep you need:

    1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, sleep and wake up at around the same time every day.

    2. Try not to oversleep on the weekends. It may seem beneficial, but it will be harder to get back into your sleep schedule for the weekdays.

    3. Take short, early afternoon naps. They are quick but will energize you to do work later on.

    4. Limit screen time before bed.

    5. Try to minimize screens or Bluetooth devices in your bedroom.

    6. Cut out caffeine.

    An additional note to realize is that our phones are huge distractions.

    We may not realize it, but many people use their phones more than they realize. Many people probably know this, but on the new iPhone update, there is a feature in Settings where you can track your screen time, notifications, pick-ups, and more. There is also an option to keep limits on apps you use a lot. So, I recommend setting a time limit on your phone so you can concentrate on other goals and be less distracted. Also, set a bedtime on your phone, so you don’t use your phone after a certain time, allowing you to get better sleep. Some people use their phone as a stress reliever, but it’s not the best option.

    People should partake in different stress-relieving activities such as drawing, coloring, knitting, creating something, cooking, or exercising that helps them take their mind off of stressful ideas.

    During breaks, you take from assignments, or after a stressful day, you should take some time out for yourself to do something you enjoy doing. Self-care is an important part of life and you should not spend the whole day overworking yourself but to take time out to take care of yourself. If you have lots of assignments to do or work to catch up on, do not try to do everything all at once, non-stop. Take breaks to energize yourself and do something you enjoy – then work some more.

    Overall, these are a few things that might be helpful for the second semester of this school year, or life in the future.

    I know some of these tips helped me and I am still trying to improve my time management. Good luck to everyone in school and I hope you found this article helpful!