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  • Shero, Sheroes, TRENDING, Video

    Check Out Our SherOCTOBER Sheros!

    GirlSpring is seeking extraordinary girls (13-18) to be featured in our Sheroctober video series! 31 videos of sheroes will be selected and displayed on our website and social media throughout the month of October. This is your chance to shine! Build up your digital portfolio and let others know what you are doing that is special! All participants will be part of a compilation video celebrating girls in Birmingham!

    A shero is someone extraordinary and is in general making the world a better place! This could be someone who has started a community initiative, shown academic achievement, overcome adversity, is enhancing the wellbeing of others or using their artistic talents to be a positive change agent in this world. The possibilities are endless!

    Shero Criteria:

    • Girls ages 13-18 years old
    • Nomination from a non-relative
    • Access to an electronic device with video and audio features
    • A standout reason for her sheroism

    How to Submit:

    • Create a video clip (2 minutes max) acknowledging that you (can be more than one person) has been recognized as a shero, addressing what you do that makes you a shero, explain why we need sheroes in the world, and if you have any heroes in your life.
    • Videos should be interview-style, but feel free to be creative with background music and any other artistic and fun elements! MAKE IT FUN!
    • If using a cell phone, please turn horizontally when filming.
    • Upload videos to youtube, vimeo, or dropbox and include public link on the application form.
    • In addition to the Shero video, all submissions must include a second, separate video clip with the following phrase “My name is __________. I am a shero. We are Birmingham.”
    • Submit a nomination form and link to videos by September 28th to be considered.

    Nominees will be notified by October 1st if their video is going to be featured.

    Questions? Email

  • College, Tips

    12 Tips for Getting into the College of Your Choice

    College admission officers carefully assess your high school grades, courses, test scores, essays, activities, recommendations, and interviews, if required. You will increase your chances of getting into the colleges of your choice by following these twelve tips:

    1. Get the best possible grades you can during ALL four years of high school. Grades are extremely important.

    2. Take academically rigorous classes ALL four years. You should carry as many challenging courses as you can handle—college prep, Advanced Placement (AP), honors, and International Baccalaureate (IB).

    3. Practice taking the SAT or ACT. Become familiar with the types of material covered and the test directions. Take the PSAT during your sophomore year. Determine what knowledge and skills you lack and master them for the actual tests. Take advantage of free online SAT or ACT materials, study guides, practice tests, tutors, and prep courses before or during your junior year.

    4. Try taking both the SAT and ACT. Colleges will accept either test. You may do better on one test than the other. This will boost your chances for admission. Take the SAT or ACT more than once if you are not satisfied with your scores.

    5. Take SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests. Competitive colleges may require you to take some of these exams and they take note of exam results. Only AP scores of five (5) are accepted by top colleges.

    6. Spend sufficient time developing your college essays. Think and reflect before you write. Write, edit, rewrite. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Convey who you are in your writing: energetic, exciting, passionate, and intellectually curious. How can you make the real “you” stand out from the rest of the crowd? Get feedback on the essays from your teachers and/or other school personnel.

    7. Become involved in your school and/or community during ALL four years and summer vacations. You need to keep track of your involvement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, sports, and/or volunteer activities in your community. Move up to leadership positions. Demonstrate growth. Develop a deep interest or talent in one or more areas.

    8. Ask your school counselor and teachers who know you well for recommendations. At least a month in advance of college deadlines for recommendations, jog their memories by providing them with a “personal data” or “brag sheet” highlighting your academic accomplishments, athletics, activities, and community service and leadership positions. Also, highlight anything special you did during the summer (for example, foreign travel to improve language skills, volunteer work, projects).

    9. Prepare for on-campus interviews, if required by colleges. Re-read your essays and any information you have acquired on specific colleges. Be friendly and articulate. Dress professionally, not casually. After the interviews, send thank you notes or e-mails expressing your continued interest in their institution.

    10. Decrease your stress by starting your search for colleges early—no later than the start of your junior year. This gives you adequate for researching colleges, completing applications, writing essays, and taking necessary exams.

    11. Get organized and stay focused. Make a file folder for each college that interests you and put relevant information inside of it (for example, a copy of your application and essay, any materials downloaded from the Internet). Keep focused on your ultimate goal: Getting into the college of your choice. Use these checklists to plan the tasks you should take to get into the college of your choice:

    Grade 9 College Planning Checklist [PDF]
    Grade 10 College Planning Checklist [PDF]
    Grade 11 College Planning Checklist [PDF]
    Grade 12 College Planning Checklist [PDF]

    12. Get on-going assistance from your school counselor and teachers. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions no matter how simple your questions may seem.

    Article From: California Career Center

  • Portfolio

    Magic City Acceptance Center – Interview with Executive Director, Amanda Keller

    Interview with Amanda Keller, Executive Director of The Magic City Acceptance Center, right here in Birmingham!

    Q. What is Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC)?

    • The Magic City Acceptance Center is a safe, supportive, and affirming space for LGBTQ youth (ages 13-24), adults, and children in Birmingham and surrounding areas. MCAC initiatives include, but are not limited to: Drop-In Hours, Movie Nights, Access to Community and National Resources, Free HIV/STI Testing and Education, Free Counseling with Licensed Professional Counselors, Self-Care Workshops, Tutoring, LGBTQ Children and Adult Programs.

    Q. If someone is questioning their gender or sexual orientation, what should they do?

    • We tell parents to try to be as calm as possible during this time because your child is just as confused as you. Parents are typically the last to know, which is OK. Stay patient and supportive. We advise questioning youths to know that whatever you are going through – it is OK, and you are not alone. Find resources and talk with people you trust. The Trevor Project is a 24/7 hotline if you are in need of support. Other resources like The Trevor Project can be found on MCAC’s website and Facebook page.

    Q. If someone is questioning their gender or sexual orientation, what can MCAC provide for them?

    • MCAC acknowledges that no two cases are the same. Therefore, no blanket statements are offered for any circumstance. If it is within MCAC’s power and resources, we will find a way to help in any way we can.

    Q. Why are places like MCAC necessary?

    • Every day is proof of why safe spaces like MCAC are needed. Youths have expressed that without us, they may not have had the courage to continue life and that MCAC provided them with hope and a reason to exist. Experiencing the strides and successes people have made because of the center is extremely rewarding. Members know that MCAC will affirm them and use the pronouns they wish. (65% of our members identify as transgender or non-binary.) MCAC provides a safe space for people to escape the lack of knowledge that surrounds them. The public desperately needs to be better informed, and the amount of information needed is endless. We see the bigotry and it is clear that change is crucial.

    To learn more about the Magic City Acceptance Center, click here.