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  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, work

    Career Aptitude Testing

    career aptitude

    Sometime in your middle and high school years you will be asked to participate in career aptitude testing. This means you will be sat down with a booklet in front of you and a bunch of answer bubbles to fill out that could possibly determine your future. The test can be stressful whether you have an idea of what you would like to do after graduation or not.

    It’s A Test, But Not Really

    The best thing to keep in mind while filling out your answers it to be honest. The test is not for a grade. It does not determine whether you pass a class or not. This test is just trying to help you figure out some possible career choices. It bases its analysis on what you answer. What you like versus what you do not like. It is a simple algorithm that could help save you the trouble of guessing what on earth you should do with your life.

    When the results come in, you do not have to agree with them. There will likely be several career options listed, and some of them may be more similar than others. This just means that for the similar ones, you must have liked 70% or more of the things required for those jobs.

    What To Do After You Get the Results Back

    Try not to discard the test before checking into the results. The employment options given could be work fields that you may not have considered otherwise. It would be in your best interest to give them a chance, even if it is a small chance. Google can quickly give you the information you are looking for.

    If you find that some of the career options seem interesting, then you can move on a step. Check to see if there are local businesses that offer those type of jobs. Then, you can reach out to those businesses and ask to interview an employee or even request to job shadow someone. Job shadowing is just taking the time to watch the employee work for a couple of hours. It can go on for one hour or if the person working agrees to a longer period, it could last for several days.

    When interviewing or shadowing, try to take note of the things you did not know were required for that job. Ask them questions about other things that they did not know before getting into their field of work. Find out how much school and time goes into the position.

    If you are in high school, you may be able to ask for an internship if there are any available. Explore as many different work fields as possible before settling on one. This way you can experience the variety of options available to you, and can determine which best suits you. If you get a head start before entering college, you may be able to save yourself a lot of time and money.

    An Opportunity to Explore

    There is currently an opportunity available to you, if you are interested in pursuing a career in writing of any kind. This site, GirlSpring, is always on the lookout for new talent to showcase. Even if you do not know if writing is for you, just give it a try. Everyone has something they would like to say, so why not use this platform to be heard? It would be a great addition to any resume and gives you a feel for whether it is something you could pursue for career purposes.

    At the end of the day, if you still are unsure what career choice you should make, do not worry. You are young and have plenty of time to try out different things. I know some people who are in their sixties and are back in college for a career change. You can easily get a degree that covers many different fields. I, for one, am an English major. I plan to pursue writing, editing, teaching, researching languages, event planning, and marketing.

    Here are some extra links to check out if you want to try an aptitude test on your own:

    https://www.whatcareerisrightforme.com/career-aptitude-test.php

    https://www.yourfreecareertest.com/

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/what-career-should-you-have

  • Articles, Lifestyle, School, work

    An Internship Changed My College Experience

    internship

    Not the Typical College Experience

    Going into college, I knew my college experience wouldn’t look like the “typical” college experience. I didn’t live in a dorm. I moved in with a family member who lived close to my college. I didn’t rush to be in a sorority. Because of these circumstances, It was incredibly hard to adjust to a new city and a new life. Making friends was difficult after being with the same people for the past 12 years of my life. I was completely lonely and scared.

    After an extremely emotional and anxious first semester, I heard about this internship/volunteering opportunity called “2:52.” The internship was associated with Church of The Highlands and it consisted of a group of about 60 college kids. We gathered on Monday nights for Chapel to grow in their faith and in community and be poured into. Then, on Thursday nights, we had the student-focused church service called “ONE.” There, we could serve and pour out to other students who were looking for the same things we were: a community, faith, and Jesus. I took a leap of faith and signed up… I had no idea I would find everything I had been looking for in high school, and throughout my first semester of college, there.

    During this Internship, I gained so much more than expected

    The internship has molded me into a leader and taught me how to seek after Jesus on my own. It taught me to not rely on a church, a building, or people to shape my relationship with God. Rather, it’s a personal walk. I was able to serve my community and learn to be selfless by helping others. I made friends who were after the same things as me. I made friends from different backgrounds and states and who had different stories than me. I learned that you could find friends that truly cared about how you were doing and looked out for your best interest. In two semesters, I lead a small group and now am leading within the internship. I have come extremely far from where I started and now have the boldness and confidence to do things that I had always been afraid of before.

    I found who I was without living a typical “crazy” college lifestyle. Now, I run next to people who are chasing the same things. We have all gone through things and pulled each other back towards Jesus when we’ve fallen. I found out that a relationship with Jesus doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect. It just has to be real. No matter your condition, He is always waiting to meet with you. God has a purpose and a plan for your life and the fun part of the journey is discovering what that is. This internship has grown me and shaped me a prepared me to be whatever God is calling me to be and that is life-changing.

    Read about Jade’s internship experience at Marvel here!

  • GirlSpring.com, Interview, Shero, Sheroes, work

    Shero Debra Des Vignes, Indiana Prison Writers Workshop

    Debra Vignes photo

    We are always on the lookout for Sheroes and stumbled across Debra Des Vignes and this very cool program and wanted to share!

    1) Can you explain in layman’s terms what exactly is the Indiana Prison Writers Workshop?
    Indiana Prison Writers Workshop is a not-for-profit whose mission is to improve the lives of those incarcerated through creative writing and expression. Through a 12-week curriculum volunteer instructors provide 15-minute writing prompts to prisoners on a range of topics and themes and share prose by literary greats like Langston Hughes, Mark Twain, and Maya Angelou. Each workshop includes discussion of the elements of writing and offenders read their work aloud and hear constructive criticism on their work. In between weekly classes, offenders spend time on bigger writing assignments. The goal is for them to use their critical-thinking skills and gain greater empathy by understanding differences through stories and experiences.


    2) How did you get into this line of work?
    I became interested in working with this underserved population after volunteering at a correctional facility. It was there that I could see the true power of words. I believed it could be transformative and healing for the men. And so, I began the creative writing workshop in October 2017, and was able to spend one-year working with the same group of offenders each week. It became a safe space. Since then, the program has spread into three Indiana correctional facilities – in partnership with Indiana Department of Correction – and my support team includes three talented and dedicated writing volunteers – who also bring in monthly guests such as poets, rappers, and community leaders. And while I no longer lead group workshops, I support the volunteers under the program who do and help share the written work produced in their classrooms.


    3) What has been the most positive outcome of this experience for the participants?
    To learn that people do believe in them and to see their achievements come out in the stories they write. We had one offender write a novel in prison and gave credit to the workshop for accomplishing this. I enjoy engaging with program followers who view the prisoners as talented and creative beings.

    4) What has been the most rewarding part of it for you?
    To see the glimmer of hope in a man’s eyes after he’s written or expressed something challenging or difficult to write about. To know these men can re-write their own life’s script. To watch a man leave the program better equipped to face the world.


    5) What is your advice to girls who may have parents that are incarcerated – in terms of forgiveness?

    Stay strong, but also find forgiveness and understanding in your heart. We all make mistakes; some are greater than others. Write about your pain or talk to someone.

    Debra Vignes Photo

    6) Do you feel like you are personally ever at risk working with inmates?
    No, they treat me with respect. It means a lot to them to be accepted.


    7) What is your advice to girls who want to pursue non-traditional fields?
    Follow the path you are most interested in and know that it’s OK to change the direction of your life at any time. Complacency is foreign to me. There’s risk in pursuing something new. Oftentimes, the things we’re most passionate about take us out of our comfort zone. It did for me. There was a lot of discomfort and growing pains until it evened out and I started to believe in my own work and see the value in it. Go all in! An offender once told me, “Go big or go home.” He was referring to a decision to get a tattoo – but you see my point. When I “went big” and started building the prison creative writing program – that’s when things really started to change for me. At first, I tried to run the program while holding down a full-time job. I’m also a wife, mother, and a boxer. I realized I couldn’t do it all. This must be a challenge all creatives face at some point as they enter a new space. It takes a good deal of inner-strength, grit, and perseverance. One may get disapproving eyes and/or feel the weight of making enough money. But know, we need more creatives in the world. We desperately need these game-changers.

    A woman with drive is a strong woman.
    A woman who remains playful and focused is a strong woman.

    Nigerian Poet Ben Okri in his book, “A Way of Being Free” wrote: “The artist should never lose the spirit of play. It is curious how sometimes the biggest tasks are best approached tangentially, with a smile in the soul.”

    8) Did you ever see yourself doing this when you were in high school?
    No. In high school I had no direction. I had no clear path, vision, or goal of what my future would look like. I was sort of a rebel. I was fortunate that in college (California State University Northridge) I was selected as an apprentice at ABC-7 News, a television news station in Los Angeles. It was there that my love for journalism began. I went on to work as a Television news reporter for a decade covering the crime and courts beat at different stations around the country. In a way, I was destined to do this work; to help offenders prepare for re-entry through writing – having covered crime for so long. You can’t break the cycle unless you head into the ring.

    — Find Indiana Prison Writers Workshop on Facebook to learn of activities, happenings, and events and also read stories written by offenders.


    — Read their stories in a book I just published, Sunday Sweet Sunday, available on Amazon.


    — Find us at inprisonwritersworkshop.org

  • 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, School, work

    How To Spruce Up Your High School Resume

    How To Spruce Up Your High School Resume

    In high school, my resume was kind of rough. What little information I had on it wasn’t very well formatted, which is why I am going to explore some ways you can make your high school resume more appealing. Keep in mind that there are a ton of different resume templates that you can find for free online, so if you haven’t started building one yet, those free templates are a good starting point.

    Valid Resume Items That You Might Not Know To Include
    There are certain things that you should be putting on your resume if it needs a little fluff. Some of these things include:

    -baby sitting/ pet sitting
    -errand services/ running errands
    -tutoring
    -relevant coursework to what you are applying for

    Join / Start A Club
    If none of the above activities apply to you, then I would suggest joining or creating a club. Creating and then maintaining your own club would be a very impressive accomplishment for a high schooler, so keep that in mind.

    Volunteer
    Another way to beef up your resume would be by volunteering as much as possible. Make it your thing to volunteer at your local animal shelter on the weekends, or anywhere that contributes to a cause you’re passionate about. This demonstrates community involvement and contribution, which reflects positively on your character.

    Part Time Job
    If you can balance a part time job and school work, then that’s great. Colleges and employers like knowing that you have good work ethic and time management skills.

    Internships
    No, internships aren’t just for college students. Participating in a summer internship in high school will make you seem very mature and focused.

    Learn A New Skill
    This can be anything that you can learn at home that would look good on a resume, like learning a computer coding language on Khan Academy, or getting a certification from Google Analytics. Both are free resources just waiting to teach you highly sought after skills.

    But let’s say that coding isn’t your thing. There are a ton of free online learning resources for a wide variety of skills. One example is iTunes U, which offers free courses on a whole bunch of subjects.

    Click here for a link to Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/
    Click here for a link to Google Analytics: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/
    Click here for a link to iTunes U: http://www.open.edu/itunes/

    OK, But What About Formatting?
    Formatting is really really important if you want your resume to look professional. Make sure that you fit everything onto one page. Put a header at the beginning of the document with your bolded name slightly bigger than everything else. You want to ensure that each subheading is bolded and slightly bigger than the information underneath it.

    For examples of different resume templates, click here: https://resumegenius.com/resume-templates

    https://www.teenlife.com/blogs/improve-high-school-resume
    https://www.mma-tx.org/blog/12406/strengthen-high-school-resume-count-ways/
    https://www.satprepgroup.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-high-school-resume-over-the-summer/
    https://careercenter.georgetown.edu/resumes-cover-letters/resume-formatting-tips

  • Articles, Money, work

    So You Want to be a Nanny?

    Nannying is a lot of fun but it also requires a lot of work! Babies can be fussy, kids don’t always want to pick up their toys, and broccoli still doesn’t taste good to them. It can be tricky but once the kids gain your trust, the possibilities of having fun are endless!

    The best tips I can share are to:

    1) Always listen to the child. A lot of times they just want to tell you a 10-minute story of how they fell down but they got a really cool band-aid at the end, or how they went to see this really awesome movie with their family!

    2) Make sure you are engaging with the kids and respond with something cool you did; they want to know about you too!

    3) Another big thing is rewards! If the kids are acting up, try and set a reward. For example, if they do all their chores, THEN they get to play at the playground or the pool! It keeps them on top of their chores and motivates them to get through the boring chores.

    4) My last piece of advice is to be creative! Typically, little girls love to play with dolls. Try creating a place for the doll to sleep using an old cardboard box and some construction paper. I can guarantee they will love it! If you are nannying little boys, build a race car ramp so they can race their cars and trucks down it! Nanning is all about what you make it, but it is a lot more fun when the kids are smiling from ear to ear!

    Remember, your role is to be likable and fun, but also someone the kids respect. If you put these tips into place, nannying or babysitting can be a very rewarding job!

  • Articles, Confidence, School, STEM, work

    To the Aspiring Doctor

    Dear future doctors who are currently in high school,

    So, you want to be a doctor…
    The journey that you will soon embark on is a challenging one, filled with multiple years of schooling, hefty loans, standardized tests, and interviews. Often times, it will seem like the dream that you have dreamed of ever since you were a child is not worth it in the long run. Yet, to all of you who are willing to face all these obstacles and are confident that becoming a doctor is THE way to go, the BS/MD program will seem like an attractive option.

    So, what is a BS/MD program? In simple terms, the average BS/MD program takes about 7-8 years to complete and culminates in the awarding of an MD from the program’s affiliated medical school. While the average pre-med applicant has to juggle extracurricular activities, a challenging college workload, and maintain solid GPA; students in many BS/MD programs have already received a conditional acceptance to medical school as a high school senior. In addition, those in many BS/MD programs only need to attain a minimum MCAT score and maintain a solid GPA in order to claim their seats in medical school.

    Not every BS/MD program is the same. While some have an emphasis on research, others focus more on community service. Where you end up will most likely be the place which fits you the best.

    Getting into any BS/MD program is a feat in and of itself. Since these programs are becoming more and more popular, thousands of applicants often apply for one spot out of the 20 or 30 or even 10 spots available to high school seniors. This involves getting stellar SAT or ACT scores, ranking in the top of your class, and having relevant personal experience in the medical field. Websites like this one: BA, BS, MD Programs List have a complete list of BS/MD programs across the country. Researching these programs early will give you the chance to fulfill the requirements set by the program directors for admission.

    If you think that you have what it takes to apply to a BS/MD program, definitely do try. But, if you think you need more time to think about whether becoming a doctor is the best route for you, definitely wait.

    Good luck in your medical journey!

    Sincerely,
    A BS/MD Student