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  • GirlSpring.com, Interview

    I Spent my Summer at MARVEL!

    I Spent My Summer At This Uber Cool Organization

    Spending The Summer At Marvel Comics

    An Interview With Marvel Summer Intern, Jade Stewart 

    Can you give us a little background on you, your education, and your writing experience?

    I was born in Irondale, Alabama. I’ve had a passion for art since I was a kid and started taking writing stories seriously when I became a teenager. In my spare time, I read (mainly fiction—novels, comics, graphic novels) and play video games.

    I graduated from Jefferson County International Baccalaureate High School (JCIB) in 2012 and from Loyola University New Orleans Magna Cum Laude in 2016 with a degree in English Writing (and a minor in French). Near the end of my senior year at Loyola, I was accepted to Columbia University’s MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Writing program. I began the program in the fall of 2016 and graduated in October 2018.

    My first writing experience involved writing speech bubbles for the characters I drew. When I was younger, I was more interested in drawing my stories than writing them. It wasn’t until the summer entering my sophomore year of high school that I began writing my stories. I loved every minute of it. I wrote the first draft of my novel, FATE, and its three sequels when I was 16-17 years old. In retrospect, I’m shocked I was able to write as much as I did because I had so much homework and tests to study for! It wasn’t until 2016 that I self-published FATE. Currently, I am a freelance writer for Marvel, writing articles for their website, which has been awesome. Additionally, I just completed the sequel to FATE and am looking forward to marching across the graduation stage in May 2019.

    I Spent My Summer At This Uber Cool Organization

    What made you want to pursue an internship at Marvel (besides the fact that it is super cool!), and how hard was the application process?

    I was searching for summer internships in New York that dealt with being in an editorial role. When I saw that Marvel was looking for someone to fill their New Media Editorial internship, I applied immediately. Marvel wasn’t just part of my teenage years and adulthood but my childhood as well. A couple of my childhood memories included watching reruns of the 90s Spider-Man cartoon before heading to school and watching X-Men: Evolution on Saturday mornings. (Storm was/is my favorite character.) You could say I’m a bit of a nerd.

    The application process wasn’t difficult at all. I had to upload my resume and a cover letter to be considered. It was important to have experience in editorial work and/or in narrative media. The difficult part, personally, was the interview. I was extremely nervous!

    Can you describe the internship experience at Marvel?

    During my summer at Marvel, I had the opportunity to proofread some of the character biographies for their new website as well as transcribe interviews featuring comic book writers. I was also exposed to non-editorial aspects such as sitting in on a podcast session and observing an actor from one of Marvel’s TV shows being interviewed. Additionally, I was able to interact and socialize with the other interns. Most importantly, the staff at Marvel was absolutely awesome! I was surrounded by the nicest, nerdiest people who were open to me receiving as much experience during my internship as possible.

    I Spent My Summer At This Uber Cool Organization

    What were the highlights? Did you meet anyone famous?

    Two highlights from my internship were viewing an early, private screening of Ant-Man and the Wasp and being given the responsibility to write several articles for publication during my last month there. I met Miles Mussenden, who plays the dad of one of the protagonists in Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a random encounter of running into the cast of Black Panther or Chris Evans. (laughs)

    I Spent My Summer At This Uber Cool Organization

    What’s next for you?

    I was contacted by a literary agent last summer, thanks to an excerpt of my submission from the Writing program’s Thesis Anthology. She admired some of the descriptions of the manuscripts I was working on. Two of the manuscripts included my graduate thesis, Summer League, a Young Adult sci-fi story, and the sequel to FATE, which is a Young Adult fantasy story. I recently finished revising those manuscripts and emailed them to her. I look forward to having them published, especially for those frequently requesting the sequel to FATE. My dream goal is to become a professional writer/novelist, which I am working hard to achieve.

    I Spent My Summer At This Uber Cool Organization

    What is your advice to girls wanting to get into the comics industry?

    My advice to girls is to never let anyone deter you from following your dreams. Some people will think you are weird or they will try to make you prove that you are a “real fan” of comics/comic book characters. They may even say, “Comics are for boys.” It’s 2019! Pay them no attention. Write your stories. Draw your panels. Continue to work hard and strive to become the best comic book writer, illustrator, colorist, or whatever career choice you choose. The heavens are your limit.

  • Fashion, GirlSpring.com

    Transitional Outfits for Unpredictable Weather

    Transitional Wardrobe Outfits

    Thanks to our guest blogger, Olivia! Olivia can be found at @liv.cassandra on Instagram or check out her personal blog at http://someplaceinthemiddle.com

    Much like the difficult transition from tween to teen, transitioning my wardrobe between Winter and Spring can be really, really hard! Since this time of the year the weather swings like my mood, I have to make sure each outfit is practical for Spring’s fluctuating temperatures. Unfortunately, stores sell what is in season. This creates a challenge for consumers when the weather is between seasons.

    transitional outfits for unpredictable weather

    That being said, there are still many transitional pieces that work, so you can enjoy your day without being too hot or too cold.

    During the months leading up to Spring, I find myself reaching for pieces that expose either my legs or my arms, but not both. With this rule, it’s easy to stay cool, but not too cool. I’ve been loving this sweatshirt dress, which is a heavier material, compensating for the lack of coverage on my legs.  I paired my floral Doc Martens with it, which added quite a bit of interest, given the fact that the dress is fairly simple.

    During Winter, people tend to layer up as much as possible, so when the days start to warm up a bit, just “layer down”!  For my next outfit, I chose two layers, which were made of fairly thin materials. Although my top layer is adorable, it’s more of a Summer top.  So, instead of just throwing on a jacket, I decided to layer a simple black turtleneck underneath. Not only is this a huge trend, but it also kept me warm!  For my pants, I picked out a simple pair of jeans, because my top was pretty extravagant already.

    Too often, girls assume that the only type of jeans they can wear are skinny jeans. Society perpetuates a stereotype that any other pant isn’t feminine enough. But, that’s just not true.

    As shown in the picture, I am wearing girlfriend jeans, which are still form-fitting but loose enough to keep me cool. Wearing jeans that aren’t skin tight will keep you a lot cooler!

    At the end of the day, figuring out the look that works for you can be really hard – not just because it’s tricky to find the right clothes during transitional seasons. Therefore, the ultimate tip I can give is to wear what you want. Don’t let other people’s opinions influence who you want to be. I know this because for far too long, I didn’t wear what I wanted. So, don’t be afraid to take chances, you never know what could happen.

    XOXO,

    Olivia from Some Place in the Middle

     

     

  • GirlSpring.com, Photography

    An Honest Post on Eating Disorders

    An Honest Post on Eating Disorders

    OK. This is so scary for me to be posting in front of a bunch of strangers. But I feel really passionate about this subject and I can’t let my fear get in the way any longer. So here we go.

    As National Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes to an end, I just want to say a few things. This topic is pretty sensitive for me but it’s close to my heart so bear with me. Eating disorders suck – Period. They are not glamorous and you most definitely don’t choose them.
    I’ve suffered from an eating disorder since I was 14. I’ve been through all of the ups and downs – the calorie counting and restriction, the excessive exercise, and the shame of feeling horrible in my own body.
    Some days, I would eat only one meal with a few snacks and then run or exercise to try to burn it off. I was cold all the time. I lost my period for three years! My brain was also in a perpetual fog. Even though I looked the most fit I ever had, I was not mentally healthy. Now don’t get me wrong, eating well and exercising can be great. As long as you don’t let it consume your life and thoughts – which happened to me.
    Going from 130 pounds to 108 pounds in a span of a few months was not healthy. Especially how I was doing it. I was so scared of disappointing my friends and family by telling them about my problems. I was always trying to fight my body’s natural needs. There were little voices in my head always criticizing me and telling me I was never going to be good enough. And for what? To try to get washboard abs? Or super small legs? Why would you waste so much time And energy over something so vain and futile? Why try to fight something that should be so simple? After all, it is a necessity in life. Why are we constantly letting the world dictate how we feel?
    No one should ever feel like they have to change who they are because someone tells them to. No one should ever let worth be defined by weight. Your. Wait. Does. Not. Define. You.
    Once you realize that you were meant to be on this earth for so much more than to shrink yourself, only then will you find all the joy life has to offer.
    Guest post written originally for Instagram by Claire Rivas of Birmingham, Alabama
  • GirlSpring.com, STEM, Technology

    We Need More Girls in STEM, and Here’s What we are Doing About it!

    She’s Into STEM!

    A Recap of GirlSpring’s Third Annual STEM Fair

    On February 9, GirlSpring hosted a STEM Fair for girls in grades 6-12 at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, Bradley Lecture Center inside Children’s Harbor. Girls Inc. of Central Alabama and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Birmingham Branch co-hosted the event. At 8:30 AM, nearly 100 girls, and their parents began rushing inside from the cold – eager for the day.

    Upon check-in, girls received a goodie bag and an activity requiring them to make a new friend by the end of the day. A Q&A with our panel – featuring successful, Birmingham women in STEM-related careers – kicked off the event.

    Our panel included Dr. Farah Lubin, Neurobiologist; Rupa Kitchens, M.D., Urologist, Urology Centers of Alabama; Claire Datnow, Author and Science Communicator; Mandy Schwarting, Regional Director of Alabama Operations, Spire Energy; Carnetta Davis, Engineer (retired), GirlSpring Board Member, and community leader; Haley Hoppe, Director of Marketing and Communications, Children’s Harbor; M’Kayl Lewis, V.P. Member Services, PackHealth and Tina Simpson, M.D., Adolescent Medicine, Children’s of Alabama.

    Each panelist spoke about her career and what inspired her to enter the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). One panelist asked the girls who among them was attending the STEM Fair solely to please her parents. Over half of the girls raised their hand(!). However, by the end of the day – no one wanted to leave.

    The fact that 50 out of the 100 girls in attendance admitted that their parents made them attend the STEM fair is an excellent indicator of the need to have more information and  about STEM career opportunities available to girls, and an indicator of the lack of knowledge about these fields that exists among young girls.

    A study from WeForum.org shows a similar statistic: out of 100 female college students, 12 will graduate with a STEM degree, but only 3 are predicted to continue in the STEM industry during the 10 years after graduation. This illustrates the underrepresentation of women in this field. Forbes.com reports that in 1993, just 21% of Science and Engineering jobs were filled by women, although in the past 25 years this percentage has risen to 28%, which is a bit of good news.

    Although women can account for half of all U.S. jobs, they hold less than 25% of U.S. STEM jobs.

    By exposing young girls to successful women in the world of STEM, we can begin tackling the stereotypes surrounding STEM that girls face from an early age. An article from AAUW.org discusses how sustaining a “Growth Mindset” can benefit girls interested in STEM. The notion that intelligence is static rather than developed may deter girls from exploring their interest in STEM. However, believing in developed intelligence encourages the desire to learn and embrace challenges. When women and girls believe they have a fixed amount of intelligence, they are more likely to disengage when faced with inevitable difficulties.

    After the Q&A, the girls split into groups and set off to explore their curiosities of STEM at each one of our female-lead demonstration booths.

    A few panelists – Dr. Farah Lubin, Rupa Kitchens, M.D., Haley Hoppe, and Claire Datnow – also took part in our demonstration booths. In addition to our panelist demos, we had several volunteer booths: Haifa Al-Harrasi and Callista Cox, UAB MakerSpace; Shreya Malhotra, UAB Neuroscience; Caryn Davis, Girls, Inc.; Sharnice Walker and Whitney Covington, Clinical Laboratory, UAB Emergency Department; and Liucija Smaizyte Wright, Financial Services, Morgan Stanley

    Thanks to our fantastic volunteers, the girls had plenty of learning opportunities. Haifa and Callista from UAB MakerSpace illustrated the process of 3D printing along with discussing its benefits; Shreya Malhotra, who studies Neuroscience at UAB, taught the girls a few things about neurobiology by examining sheep’s brains; Liucija Wright proved to the girls that math really does exist outside the classroom by introducing them to financial budgeting; and Claire Datnow demonstrated her app, NatureFind, which assists in locating places of nature and identifying insects!

    Interactive, career-based events for young girls are great tools for empowerment and positive inspiration. Interacting with different types of women in leadership positions allows young girls to easily picture themselves in these roles.

    We want to change the statistics above.

    Despite the fact that in the last 40 years, 40 percent of STEM degrees were awarded to women – women make up less than 30 percent of the STEM workforce. According to the Association for Women in Science, it requires a minimum of $1 Million to train scientists and engineers at a Ph.D. level. As a nation, we spend a lot on training and education for women in STEM, but we are not utilizing the skills of this well-trained workforce.

    The STEM workforce could improve by increasing the number of women in the talent pool. When women are underrepresented in STEM fields,  there is no female voice in the decision-making process, which is a missed opportunity considering the types of large scale operations that come out of STEM fields that impact our society. One benefit of diversity is that it brings new perspectives. We need more success stories of women breaking down the barriers society has built around us – especially in STEM. Initiatives and programs for young girls are just the beginning!

    GirlSpring, along with our co-hosts Girls Inc. and AAUW, is thrilled to be able to offer a day of STEM activities that get girls excited about STEM fields! For more about this event, check out this article by Claire Datnow of AAUW Birmingham.
    Looking for information on STEM programs for teens in Birmingham? Check out Girls Inc. of Central Alabama’s Teen Eureka Summer Camp Programs
    Tech Birmingham and Innovate Birmingham also offer a number of programs for teen audiences. 
  • College, Confidence, GirlSpring.com, Goals, Mental Health, Puberty, School, Stress, Tips, Tough Questions

    Uncertainty is Actually A Positive Thing

    Uncertainty is Actually A Positive Thing

    By Maggie Thompson

     

    Being uncertain is a feeling with which we are all familiar.

    A looming pressure to know exactly what we want in life is placed on us as early as middle school – if not before. This question of what we want our lives to be is actually ridiculous. How could one possibly know what they truly want if they have yet to decide what they do not?

    Uncertainty is how we learn.

    When we acknowledge our uncertainty, we open the door for more opportunities. This is because knowledge is not obtained without first admitting its absence.

    Experiences shape our beliefs – on everything.

    Hesitating to wear a certain color, deciding to study before a test, and avoiding certain types of people are all decisions made due to past experience. We believe the color yellow is not flattering for our skin tone because we read it in a magazine, we study before a test to avoid a failing grade, and we choose not to befriend dishonest people so that we don’t get hurt. Regardless of how big or small the belief – it is formed by past experience. However, some of these beliefs will alter as we learn and grow. This is a good thing. Being open to new challenges provides a chance for a new perspective.

    As a result, being uncertain is the best way to unlock change and growth.

    Do not be afraid to admit uncertainty or lack of knowledge, for this is how truth is uncovered – through exploration. So when you are feeling down about not knowing exactly which direction to go, accept that some of the steps you have taken thus far have been incorrect. Although this feeling is initially terrifying, it begins to dissolve as soon as you take the first step into the unknown. Because before you know it, you will find yourself happier and more engaged with life.

  • GirlSpring.com, Makeup

    Holiday Makeup Ideas for Every Eye Color

    For those of you who are looking for some makeup ins(ta)piration this fall and winter season we got you. Glamour, chic, glitter, glimmer, bold, bright we’ve got ideas that can work for anyone or hopefully inspire a unique creation of your own!

    Brown Eyes

    Coppers, golds, cobalts, pale blues, lilacs and deep purples like eggplant are great seasonal colors for brown-eyed beauties.

    Our go-to brown eye pallet:  Click Here

    Fall Look:

    Winter Look:

    Blue Eyes

    Coppers, grays, browns, oranges, rusts, purples, smoky pinks and turquoise/blue liners all complement a striking blue eye.

    Our go to blue-eyed pallet: Click Here

    Fall Look:

    Winter Look:

     

    Green Eyes

    Warm taupes, brown liners, any shade of purple, dark emerald greens, coppers, terracottas and heather grays are fabulous on our green-eyed goddesses.

    Our go to green eye pallet: Click Here

    Fall Look

    Winter Look:

    Hazel Eyes

    Nudes, warm neutrals, burgundy, soft browns…pretty much anything that makes you feel warm and cozy inside is perfect for bewitching hazel eyes.

    Our go to Hazel eye pallet: Click Here

    Fall Look:

    Winter Look:

    For those of you who want to go all out. I mean showoff some real holiday magic we also got you.

    Just some glitter sprinkle to brighten your day.

    For that Winter themed party.


     

     

    Do you know if your makeup is cruelty-free? Read here about why it’s an important thing to consider, and get a list of cruelty-free brands.