Browsing Category:

Articles

  • Articles, Travel

    Life Oriented Journey

    Life Oriented Journey

    by Farah Hemdan

    Farah Hemdan is a dreamer, a visionary, and a summer intern with GirlSpring. A native of Egypt, she loves travel and finding new ways to discover herself. 

    My life oriented journey, that didn’t take me to people, cultures or streets, but took me to details, corners, words and seconds.. Seconds of life.

    I spent my last hour in this place reading a book by Rebecca Campbell called Light is the New Black, where she shared her most intimate experience with a 50 year old woman that she can’t even remember the name of and whom she had known for ONLY 5 minutes.

    And that, I was left questioning how seconds and details can change people’s life while others are searching for extremes  just to feed their souls? How a whole city can be built upon corners and people’s worlds can be turned upside down in minutes, while we spend years and cross borders just searching for breathtaking moments that have always been there, within every element of the creation of OUR world.

    But what I remember from this place answers this question.

    I remembered the sudden ear pressure on the road that makes you realize that you’re being uplifted towards the sky, the dust following a maroon jeep car seen through cactus, natives singing for 60 year old couples in the rain, ice cream in coconut shells, the places I’ve visited with no clue till now whether they were houses, restaurants, galleries or studios but regardless any terms of definitions, it was just full of life.

    Every second and corner that participated in shaping my journey in this place is existing in every detail of our world but it’s all about the perspective of visioning , I believe this place need to teach the world how to see life!

    So let me introduce you to world’s best city of 2018! San Miguel D’allende, Mexico.

    The city of details.

  • Articles, Money

    What Teens Should Know About Taxes

    What Teens Should Know About Taxes

    If you have ever gone shopping then you know about sales tax, but do you know about every other tax under the sun? When you buy a house, rent an apartment, buy land, buy a car, pay for license plates, get a job, or have dinner, you are bound to pay some sort of tax. For some reason, general education does not focus enough on things that are relevant to students once they graduate high school, such as hidden tax fees.

    I recently purchased a car from a private seller and knew a little bit about taxing and that I should expect to pay it heavily on my new car. Yet, when I arrived at the dealer, I was met with a smaller amount to be paid than anticipated. Why was that, you may wonder? I was under the impression that sales tax (being around 9% or 10% in my state) was the average amount of taxes taken out of everything. I had been working multiple different jobs since graduating high school and never once stopped to ask what the percentage was being taken from my paychecks. I just accepted that the money would be automatically withdrawn and moved on.

    If someone had never purchased a car before (I.e. a recent graduate of high school or college), then finding out a tax needed to be paid at all might come as a shock. Fortunately, I had bought a car prior to this instance with my mother and had to pay taxes on it. The only problem is that the first time I bought a car, the tax was 10%, but this time it was only 3%. I asked the lady at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) why the tax was different, and she explained to me that the state I live in only does a 3% tax on vehicles, and this was a recent change. I accepted the information, paid the due, and once again moved on.

    Here is some useful information to consider when making large purchases in Alabama:

     

    1. The sales tax in Alabama is pretty high compared to other states in the nation, and in the counties nearest me it is either 9% or 10%. This means that for every dollar you spend, you pay 10 cents in taxes. If you spend $10, you will pay $1 in taxes. This only applies when shopping.
    2. Do not assume you know the exact value of the taxes on your vehicle purchase. The state now assigns an estimated value for your vehicle and taxes it according to that. So, if you purchase a car for $5500, but it is valued at $6900, then you will be paying a 3% or 4% tax on $6900.
    3. Always, always research your local taxes before making large purchases, because taxes can change. Or there could be additional taxes that you may not have even known about.

     

    Here is a link for further knowledge of taxes:

    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-offers-tips-for-teenage-taxpayers-with-summer-jobs

  • Articles, Poem, Poems, Writing

    Equality – a poem

    Equality

    by Samone Davis

    Equality is the thing that’s in the world for mothers, fathers, boys, and girls. Blacks and whites, we were all separated from state to state we were segregated.

    I see every kid being whipped with wire, they’re being hurt and burned just like fire.

    Women and men, both are sensitive and feel. But women show it, and men conceal.
    For black lives to matter, we must stop the black on black blood splatter.

    So take one look at our past, because
    this will be the last.
    

    People should be who they want to be, not hiding in a closet unfree.
    Society needs to take a good look inside, we need to support LGBT pride.

    We all want to stop racism.
    We sent black and white men to die in war together, before we could be educated together.

    How come I see every day
    People who always find a reason to discriminate
    Why can’t I have the same opportunities,
    why can’t I be great

    Because mankind has taken the food from my
    plate and left me full of hate
    Let there be no gazing eyes, for equality shall rise

  • Articles, Home Life, Lifestyle

    Unplug and Experience the Present

    Unplug and Experience the Present

    guest post by Martha Underwood, CEO of Executive Estrogen

    Do you have a hard time concentrating on one thing? Do you check your Instagram or snapchat first thing in the morning? Do you seem to lose track of time? Do you panic if you lose or forget your phone? Do you take the phone into the bathroom with you? If you’ve answered yes to two or more of these questions you may have a cyber addiction. This can have a negative effect on your health and life without realizing it. These habits can contribute to ADHD, anxiety and low self-esteem.

     

    Discover the Real

     Being online can feel like an escape from your emotions, but it’s not, because it’s not real. Some people put more value on the experience they create online than what they encounter in real life. The danger is that you can become immersed and sucked into the online presence they created instead of what’s truly real. That turns into an attachment to a fantasy. If you can relate to this, take small steps to reduce your time online and replace that reduced time with true human engagement. You can start with calling someone you’ve known for a while but only engaged with them through social media. Commit to finding real connections with people in your life and find ways to deepen those connections without technology.

     

    How to Unplug

    Disengaging and limiting your screen-time  is easier said than done. So, what steps can you take to help you unplug from your smartphone?

    Give yourself a list of things you must do before you get online. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do:

    • Read 3 chapters of a book
    • Create something – draw, compose a song, write a poem, write a short story
    • Practice playing an instrument
    • Play a board game with a friend or sibling
    • Take a dance class
    • Create a new hair style without recording it
    • Work on a jigsaw puzzle
    • Meet a friend at Starbucks

    You may be damaging your mental health while missing out on life by needing to see what’s happening online instead of connecting with the people right in front of you. It will still be there when you look an hour or two from later. I promise it will (unless you’re on snapchat 😉) Until then……Find your balance.

     

    Keep Shining,

    Martha

  • Articles, Stress

    How Women Influence For The Better

    How Women Influence For The Better

    by Aulana Dudley

    A woman can be very important to a girl or boys life, they can shape who we are and how we react to certain things.
    A woman who has had a significant influence on me is Elizabeth Gross. Elizabeth has been my therapist for a little over a year. She helps me while I deal with my fear of human emotions and my anxieties mixed together. Elizabeth’s influence consists mostly of teaching me ways to handle human emotions (mostly when people cry) without becoming uncomfortable and ways to calm my mind down. For example, before I started going to Elizabeth I bottled every emotion up until I would explode and only anger would come out; I would also have panic attacks with no way of calming myself down and eventually I would just end up falling asleep. Since I’ve been seeing Elizabeth,  I’ve been able to control the number of emotional outbursts I have and I now know what can trigger them to happen. I can also find specific music to help guide my brain back to a placid mental state of mind during panic attacks.
    With Elizabeth’s influence, it has affected how I live moreso because now I know what my brain can handle and what can push it over the edge, this is what affects my character the most. She has also helped me find loopholes for my separation anxiety between my father and older sister, Satura. Elizabeth’s influence also alters my confidence; because she also aids me with my social anxiety which helps me get rid of some of my shyness and my fear of public speaking. She also helps me feel more confident in expressing how I feel about things that make me uniquely myself such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, and cartoons. Elizabeth has helped me in so many ways that I feel as though she has been a big impact in how to view certain things and my personality. Being able to see what a colossal change in my life Elizabeth has made on my life for the better has been one of the most heartwarming things I have ever been able to do.
  • Articles, work

    4 Ways To Earn Money As A High-School Student

    4 Ways To Earn Money As A High-School Student

    by Hanna Sha

    When you’re in high school, sometimes extra money really comes in handy. Maybe your allowance isn’t enough, or your parents just don’t give you any at all. There are many costs that need to be covered in high school: school dues, clothes, entertainment, etc. As a teen, you might want to earn some more cash, but it can be difficult trying to figure out where to get the money.

    Here are 4 simple ways to earn some cash.

     

    • Tutoring: If you enjoy teaching others and understand the material, tutoring is a great way to earn money and help others. Many students struggle with their subjects, and a lot of parents are looking for reasonably-priced tutors for their children. Find a tutoring organization to join, or just offer your tutor services to your community.
    • Babysit: Many parents often need others to look over their young children, especially if both work. You can ask your parents if their friends are in need of a babysitter, or ask around your neighborhood.
    • Turn your passions into a business: For example, if painting is a hobby of yours that you are super interested in, you could paint some that are for sale, and start a small business. You can sell it online or in person. Take things that you find joy in and make some money off of it.
    • Get a part-time job: Many restaurants, movie theaters, pools, and other small businesses accept high schoolers as their employees. Look for ads around your community, and ask upperclassmen or other friends about places looking for employees. If you’re 16 or older, it’s not hard to find one that will accept you. If you’re still 15 (or 14), then it becomes a little more difficult, but it is still possible.

     

    So, if you’re a teen in need of money, it’s definitely not impossible to earn some extra cash. Hope this helps your future endeavors!

     

  • Articles

    Back To School – Women’s Education

    Back To School – Women’s Education

    In honor of back to school, I thought it would be nice to put things in the overall big picture of women’s education.

    See, education for women is actually pretty new, if you take a look at history. And even today it isn’t universal. We still have women campaigning for the right to an education in their country, such as Malala Yousafszi. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the names of the wonderful women from years past who fought for our right to learn. So, get ready for some fantastic women who helped fight for women’s education in the U.S. who mostly go below the radar.

    First up, we have Patsy Mink. When Mink was unable to go to law school and unable to get a job (both on the basis for being a woman), she dove into politics and worked hard and long for Title IX. After Title IX passed, opportunities in education opened up to millions of women in the United States.

    Fun Fact Patsy Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress.

    Secondly, there’s Fanny Jackson Coppin. After Coppin was freed from slavery, she became one of the first women of color to earn a college degree. She then worked for 40 years as a principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia. As the Civil War came to an end, Coppin made it her life’s goal and mission to education many former slaves that were migrating to the north. Her work was some of the very beginning in the fight for equal education.

    Last, but definitely not least, is the Catholic Nuns. Catholic Nuns, through their education programs, moved millions of poor immigrants into the middle class. They were (and are still considered to be) the educators of the marginalized. They pushed women towards higher education, ran a nationwide system of schools, and had an overall enormous impact on education in the United States.

     

    Thanks to these people, women’s education has really taken off, and we have the opportunities today that wouldn’t have even been a dream 100 years ago. Clearly, this is not the end of the list. So many women have helped campaign for women’s education worldwide; too many people to name. So, keep these women in mind as you collect your books and pack your bag. Equal education has come a long way, we sure have a lot to be grateful for!

     

    Want to read more about people that helped women’s education ? –

    Women’s History Month: These Female Trailblazers Changed American Education For You and Your Kids. Do You Know Their Names?