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    Getting Gritty with It’s A Girl’s Life

    get gritty

    Getting Gritty

    get gritty

    Meet Charlotte Wasserman of It’s A Girl’s Life

    Say hello to Charlotte Wasserman! Charlotte is the author of It’s a Girls Life Blog on Instagram, and she has own website and blog at

    She recently organized a huge girls only event in Cleveland and we asked her to share the story of how she did it with us!

    get gritty

    Get Gritty Cleveland 2019 was an interactive and motivational event for girls in grades 7 through 10. The goal for this workshop was for girls to explore and redefine the way they view failure, strengthen their self-awareness and positive self-talk, and gain tools to be empowered to handle challenges and setbacks.

    During each four hour session, four engaging facilitators, including GRACEDBYGRIT founder, Sarah Andersen, guided the girls through movement and reflective activities.

    get gritty

    Also included in this lineup, was Romona Robinson, a local award winning news anchor and author of A Dirt Road To Somewhere, who shared her gritty life story with the girls, emphasizing how you can create a very successful life even when you think you are at your lowest low and even when you think you have nothing. We also all enjoyed a fun group lunch and tasty, healthy snacks, all donated by local Cleveland companies.

    Throughout my middle school years, I became more aware of my interests.

    I became very interested in connecting and helping other girls like me, and I decided to write a blog to give girls tips and share information that I thought would be helpful, interesting and fun.

    get gritty

    In February of 2018, I was inspired by something I saw on Instagram.

    I saw a post from the GRACEDBYGRIT Foundation about the workshops they had for girls. They taught girls about grit using their G-R-I-T formula, out in California, where they are headquartered. Seeing this sparked my attention and made me think that I would love to do something like this in Cleveland. A few days later, I was on the phone with Sarah Andersen, who created the foundation. She loved that I reached out and was very excited about the idea of building off what they were doing in California and being able to reach girls in other cities.

    We were excited and still had a lot to discuss, but I immediately started brainstorming and reaching out to local, well respected female entrepreneurs, authors, and health and wellness mentors and coaches who may be interested in talking at the event.

    get gritty

    After we selected our final facilitators together, I decided to create a Teen Host Committee.

    The goal was to identify a group of girls to help market the event. It was important the girls come from different communities and schools so that we could reach a diverse group of attendees.

    Still a few months left, but much work was still to be done.

    It was not an easy task to juggle all the work ahead and having school on top of it. I decided to create a social media marketing plan for the final month before the event. I designed every posted picture, caption, and hashtag that would be shared for the last 4 weeks leading up the event. This was so helpful to do upfront instead of on the fly, week by week.

    get gritty

    My mom was using Facebook to share the event with parents and her social network. This was very helpful because parents could then encourage their daughters to sign up.

    I also reached out to my favorite local companies and asked them to donate to our gift card (punch card) giveaway. Many times I was waiting for one of these companies to get back to me or waiting for the marketing flyer to be redesigned in California (when we needed it yesterday) or learning that someone on the teen host committee could not make it anymore. During the stressful times, I kept the idea in my head that I knew I would get through this and if I kept pushing, the day of the event would come, and the work would all be worth it.

    I also tried to look at every punch or curveball as a learning process, because to be honest, I learned that this is what creating something from scratch, something new that has never been done before, is all about.

    get gritty

    Before we knew it, February 2nd, the day of the event finally came.

    Get Gritty Cleveland had a total of 115 girls from different areas and schools in the Cleveland area!

    At the beginning of each session, I saw girls coming into and filling the naturally-lit, huge warehouse space. They filled it not only with their physical bodies but also with surprisingly uninhibited energy and spirit.

    get gritty

    Seeing 115 girls joining me sparked a feeling that I never had felt before, a feeling of satisfaction and everlasting smiles because I could see my hard work for the last year finally come together into a great success.

    Get Gritty Cleveland was the bud of an ever-growing flower that motivates me.

    This flower motivates me to continue to work on ways to gather girls from different places together and learn about GRIT and how to be the best they can be.


    This Simplified Morning Routine is Everything!

    morning routine

    A Sleepy Girl’s Simplified Morning Routine

    Look Fresh in Half the Time

    Sometimes that additional five minutes of sleep can make or break your day.

    However, indulging in extra sleep can throw off the entire morning. For example, five extra minutes of sleep means five minutes less of morning routine.

    Although that extra sleep took time, your appearance doesn’t have to suffer. Investing in a few time-saving products will get you out the door in half your regular time. You deserve a well-rested and put-together look. Regardless if it is an illusion.

    The first product to streamline your morning routine is dry shampoo.

    Dry shampoo is the holy grail of hair products. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just come from the gym or simply haven’t washed your hair in a few days. Dry shampoo will leave your hair looking fresh and clean.

    In addition to dry shampoo, here is a tip I’ve learned from years of hair trial-and-error.

    If you have time for a quick shower the night before, sleeping in a bun then blow drying your hair for less than a minute creates quick volume and waves.

    Another product I swear by is BB Cream.

    There are multiple types and brands of BB Cream. In my opinion, a tinted BB Cream is best because the coverage is equivalent to a heavier foundation. If you are running short on time, do not stress! BB Cream and a well-moisturized face is all you need!

    Understandably, the no-makeup look isn’t for everyone.

    Whenever you’re running late, a little bit of makeup can go a long way. BB Cream, tinted lip balm, and a touch of mascara create a natural makeup look with minimal effort.

    Lastly, decide on the next day’s outfit on the night before. Doing this saves much needed morning time.

    Your typical morning routine doesn’t have to be a give-and-take. Ruling out extra sleep to look good the next day is unnecessary. By integrating key products in your daily routine, you’ll be ready to take on the day with time to spare.

    Products Recommended By Me:
    Dry Shampoo
    BB cream
    Tinted Chapstick

    Mercer Henderson: A Shero In The Making

    Mercer Henderson

    We discovered Mercer after stumbling upon an article she wrote for Forbes magazine, and we think she is pretty brilliant. She has accomplished quite a bit at a very young age! Mercer is the founder of her own tech company, she is an advocate for women and animal rights, is a talented singer/songwriter, and she got to meet actress/women’s rights advocate Geena Davis in person! Thanks to our intern, Mia Blackman for making this video!

    Learn more at Mercer’s Website!
    P.S. Be Sure to Check out Mercer’s App, Audiots!
  • Depression

    Know The Signs – Teen Suicide

    Teen Suicide

    Know The Signs

    Teen Suicide Symptoms and Causes

    What causes suicide?

    Research shows that approximately 90% of people who have died by suicide were suffering from a mental illness at the time. The most common mental illness reported was depression. Impulsivity and substance use, including alcohol and drugs, also warning signs for elevated suicide risk. It is important to remember that suicidal thoughts and behaviors are not the natural consequence of serious life stresses. People who experience a stressful life event may feel intense sadness or loss, anxiety, anger, or hopelessness, and may occasionally have the thought that they would be better off dead. In most people, however, experiences of stressful life events do not trigger recurring thoughts of death, creation of a suicide plan, or intent to die. If any of these are present, it suggests that the person is suffering from depression or another psychiatric disorder and should seek professional treatment.

    Who is affected by suicide?

    Unfortunately, suicide crosses all age, racial, and socioeconomic groups in the US and around the world. In the US, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 10-24, and the 3rd leading cause of death among 12 year olds. Nearly one of every eight children between the ages 6 and 12 has suicidal thoughts. The suicide rate is approximately 4 times higher among males than among females, but females attempt suicide 3 times as often as males. When a suicide occurs, everyone is affected, including the people who are left behind.

    What are the symptoms of suicide?

    The primary symptom of suicide is talking about suicide or doing something to try to harm oneself. If your child expresses suicidal thoughts or exhibits self-harming behaviors, seek professional help.

    There are many warning signs and risk factors for suicide. The list below is not exhaustive, but is intended to provide insight into what factors might elevate a child or adolescent’s level of suicide risk. This does not mean that if your child or adolescent has some of these risk factors, then s/he will automatically take his/her own life. Suicide risk takes into account many factors and needs to be continuously monitored by a mental health professional. Remember that many factors combine to lead to a suicidal crisis and may include some of those that are listed below.

    Risk Factors:

    • Mental illness/psychiatric diagnosis
    • Family history of suicide and/or exposure to suicide Family history of mental illness
    • Physical/sexual abuse
    • Losses
    • Aggressive behavior/impulsivity
    • Lack of social support/social isolation
    • Poor coping skills
    • Access to ways of harming oneself, like guns, knives, etc.
    • Difficulties in dealing with sexual orientation
    • Physical illness
    • Family disruptions (divorce or problems with the law)
    • Traumatic event

    Warning Signs:

    • Preoccupation with death (e.g., recurring themes of death or self-destruction in artwork or written assignments
    • Intense sadness and/or hopelessness
    • Not caring about activities that used to matter
    • Social withdrawal from family, friends, sports, social activities
    • Substance abuse
    • Sleep disturbance (either not sleeping or staying awake all night)
    • Giving away possessions
    • Risky behavior
    • Lack of energy
    • Inability to think clearly/concentration problems
    • Declining school performance/increased absences from school
    • Increased irritability
    • Changes in appetite

    How common is suicide?

    Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. In 2012 (the most recent year for which data are available), over 40,000 suicide deaths were reported in the United States. During that year, someone living in the U.S. died by suicide every 12.9 minutes.

    How can I tell if my child is suicidal?

    You can start by asking your child if he or she is thinking about suicide. Be sure to ask them in clear, straight-forward language like, “I’m worried about you. Have you been having thoughts about wanting to die or killing yourself?” People who attempt or complete suicide often exhibit a number of warning signs, either through what they say or by what they do. The more warning signs a teenager exhibits, the higher the risk of completing suicide. If you think your child might be at risk for suicide, you should have him/her evaluated by a professional. You could call your primary care physician, your child’s therapist or psychiatrist, your local mobile crisis team, or visit the closest emergency department. In an emergency, you should call 911.

    What is the difference between suicide in children and suicide in adults?

    Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in young people between the ages of 10 and 24, but it is the 10th leading cause of death for the overall population. Although firearms are the most frequently used method for death by suicide in the United States, the most frequent methods used by teenagers are hanging, jumping from high places, and overdosing on pills or other poisons.

    How can I prevent suicide?

    You can prevent suicide by being on the lookout for the warning signs mentioned above. You can also prevent suicide by asking about it. Studies show that people do not start thinking about suicide just because someone asks them about it. If you suspect your child or adolescent is suicidal, tell them that you are worried and want to help them. Remember, sometimes children or adolescents who are thinking about suicide won’t tell you because they are worried how you will react. Your direct, non-judgmental questions can encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings with you. Regardless of their response, if you suspect that the person may be suicidal, get them help immediately.

    What is the long-term outlook for a child who is suicidal?

    With the right help, a child who is suicidal can make a full recovery and live a fully productive life.

    Where can I go to learn more?
  •, Movies

    4 Movies That Prove We Are Stronger Together

    Girl Power Movies

    Movies that provide a Girl Power Boost when you need it most!

    Mean Girls (2004)

    via GIPHY

    Throughout Mean Girls, there is a constant, underlying theme: girls against girls. Society encourages female competitivity as if there is a limit to the amount of women society can accept. This movie is a comedic, but honest portrayal of the daily struggles teen girls endure.

    Legally Blonde (2001)

    via GIPHY

    Legally Blonde puts the questions of brains and beauty to rest. Elle Woods gets dumped by her Harvard bound boyfriend because according to him, she is too blonde. Elle decides to let her fury guide her to success. Which in this case means Harvard Law. Legally Blonde shines a shimmering light on the fact that girls can do anything!

    Chicago (2002)

    via GIPHY

    Ladies, we have to stick together! Chicago illuminates the possibilities that arrive when women put aside their differences and focus on what makes them alike. Through music, dance, and criminal activity – the female prisoners exhibit Girl Power in a unique form.

    13 Going On 30

    via GIPHY

    13 Going On 30 is a great reminder that WE ARE STRONG. Society places a pressure upon women to find their Prince Charming. However, this movie provides a glimpse into the future of a 13 year-old girl who’s only worry in life is being popular and receiving her first kiss. The next day, Jenna wakes up as a 30 year-old woman. Her experience as an adult causes her to want nothing more than the simplicity of being a teenager. 13 Going On 30 is sort of a fairy tale, but it accurately conveys the importance of patience. Life is too short, so don’t treat it like a race.

  •, School

    Plan A Perfect Semester With This Course Checklist

    Course Checklist

    Choosing Courses That Work For You!

    Plan A Perfect Semester

    It’s that time of year again. Everyone is fretting about which courses to choose for the upcoming semester. Many rely on the opinions of others to make this choice, but this only hinders self-growth. That being said, I am here to tell you a few things about choosing courses for yourself and the effect this will have.

    During my Sophomore year, I registered for Advanced Placement Chemistry.

    However, as finals week approaches, I am second guessing my decision. I also registered for Advanced Placement United States History during this time. Additionally, I refused to give up any extracurricular activities.

    Therefore, my Sophomore year began with a sense of unbridled arrogance.

    Very soon, it blew up in my face. I was getting very little sleep, my grades were slipping and my positions in the band, SGA, and robotics became difficult to maintain. Now, my social life has vanished and stubbornness is how I manage.

    However, I’m not suffering and I’m not upset about it.

    Last year, I made sure to sign up for one class in which I could study. I know what I want to do after high school, and I understand the full extent of what I will have to do to get it. If you commit to yourself, it will be easier to succeed. As I have been planning for next year, I’ve made a list of questions to ask myself and other students interested in my input.

    1. Is this class/extra-curricular relevant to your future career path? If you are working towards a leadership position, it is important to take courses that give you experience or communication skills. If the course does not provide useful skills, replace it with one that furthers your educational journey.
    2. How many time demanding things are you involved in? Don’t take seven AP classes. Seriously, do not. Unless the majority of them are relevant to your future major, don’t put yourself through that. You won’t have time to develop yourself in other important areas colleges look at like community service and extracurricular activities. If you have a job, take even less. To enjoy the fruits of your labor, you’ve got to be a functional human being.
    3. Are you taking classes that are too easy? If you constantly receive 95 percent averages with no effort, it’s time for a challenge. Take a chance at a higher GPA.
    4. Weigh all sides. If a certain standard level class is known to be difficult, take the Honors or Advanced Placement course. In standard level courses, there is a 10 point margin between each letter grade. However, in AP courses, a C grade is equivalent to a 3.0 GPA. Consider this when you choose between classes.
  • Articles

    Matcha Madness!

    Matcha Madness

    Matcha Madness

    Despite originating in Japan, matcha is becoming a staple in millennial and health gurus’ everyday diets. Not only does its coloring give the illusion of health, but major benefits are attributed to it. It’s time to find out what all your favorite fitness Youtubers are talking about.

    What is it?

    Matcha is more than a simple tea bag. In Japan, farmers harvest tea leaves then steam and air dry them. After this, they grind the leaves into the substance we know as matcha. Today, it is casually sipped in a mug during a gathering with friends. However, the Japanese hold tea ceremonies based on the preparation and offering of matcha. The powder holds weight in their culture, and it’s slowly sneaking its way into ours.

    What are the benefits?

    Many people confuse green tea and matcha. Think of it this way – matcha holds many of the same benefits as loose leaf tea, but its potency is 10 times greater. The majority of antioxidants and minerals are trapped in tea leaves. But since matcha is ground into a fine powder, all its qualities are easier to absorb. For perspective, a single serving of matcha equals 10 cups of brewed green tea.

    Matcha contains antioxidants, which are naturally occurring chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic disease. A blueberry contains 93 units per gram of antioxidants, a pomegranate has 105 units per gram, and spinach only contains 12.6 units per gram. How much does matcha contain? 1573 units per gram. 

    The main use of matcha in Japan is for meditation. This is because of a rare amino acid, L-Theanine, that promotes relaxation while also improving function of the brain. Matcha causes the body to become alert yet calm, and free from the jitters that accompany coffee. L-Theanine assists in the production of dopamine and serotonin, which lead to a happier mood, more reliable memory, and better concentration.

    If all the above isn’t enough, there is one final selling point of matcha. It is nearly calorie-free, boosts metabolism and burns fat without putting stress on the body. Similarly, high amounts of chlorophyll give matcha its vibrant color and serve as a detoxifier. The refreshing taste along with multiple health benefits makes matcha a difficult competitor. Matcha powder is in most grocery stores. Matcha is a simple pleasure. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the endless recipes online.