Saturday, February 26, 2011

From Drugs to Mugs: Faces of Meth

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The message is clear. Substance abuse will change your life in ways you never imagined. Using before and after photos collected from jail mug shots as the foundation for this 48-minute documentary, the authors easily make their case. The shocking images, taken over time, during the jail booking process, are alarming. The photos clearly illustrate the stark and devastating effects of substance abuse. 

The program features interviews with incarcerated addicts and experts who encounter the impact of substance abuse on society in their daily work—law enforcement officers, a judge, an addiction recovery specialist and a deputy medical examiner. 

From Drugs to Mugs is a drug education program designed specifically for classroom use and is a collaborative effort that would not have been possible without the input of many dedicated professionals. Special thanks to Deputy Bret King and Deputy Curtis Sanders who were responsible for research, development, and production. Revenue generated from the sale of From Drugs to Mugs will be used to cover the costs associated with production and shipping and enable the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office to continue to provide educational visits to the youth in classrooms throughout the Pacific Northwest.

If you have any questions, or would like to invite Deputy King to make a presentation to your school or organization, please contact us at:

Deputy Bret King
Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office

Purchase your own copy of From Drugs to Mugs - click here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

10 Job Scams People Need to Be Aware Of, Including Teenagers

In a tough job market, it’s easy to get desperate. But don’t get so hard up that you forget to pay attention to what you’re doing. If you’re not careful, you could end up falling prey to one of these job search scams. Read on to learn about how these scams work, and how you can avoid them.
  1. Package forwarding: Jobs that advertise package handling or forwarding are often cons that can hurt in two ways. First, by taking your money, and then, possibly getting you into legal trouble. You’ll receive packages typically containing stolen goods, send them out with your own money, and possibly receive a visit from the police about receiving stolen goods at your address.
  2. Identity theft: Jobs often get sensitive information from employees, and many ask for this information before you’re even hired. But you should be careful about what you give out. Some scammers will check out your online resume to call as a prospective employer, then ask you for your Social Security number and other personal information that can be used to steal your identity. You should be careful to only share sensitive information once you’re further along into the application process.
  3. Work at home scams: Although there are many legitimate ways to work at home, work at home opportunities are often scams. You may be asked to assemble crafts or stuff envelopes, but you’ll have to buy a starter kit first, and end up not actually being able to sell anything. Others send you a list of companies looking for home workers, or potential clients that are outdated or wrong. Still others will have you duping others with the same ad that you fell for to get the “job.”
  4. Email job offers: You probably won’t remember applying for the job that’s emailed to you, but they are very, very interested in hiring you. Of course, you’ll need to send them your Social Security number and other personal information, which they’ll use to steal your identity. Make sure that you’re getting emails from a legitimate company that actually wants to hire you.
  5. Federal job scams: Information about job openings in the government or postal service is free and easily available, and applying for one is free, too. But scam artists often advertise to help job seekers find positions within the government, and they charge for this service. They may tell you that you have to pay for study materials that will help you pass the exam required to get the job. The truth is, there may not even be a job available in your area, and their materials may be worthless.
  6. Fake search sites: Bogus websites may look professional, but they’re just trying to gather your personal information. In order to register as a job seeker and see job postings, you’ll have to share sensitive information that will be used to steal your identity.
  7. Money processing: Money processing jobs are typically designed to turn you into a money mule. As a money mule, you’ll transfer stolen money or merchandise. Of course, you won’t be told that what you’re moving is stolen. They’re advertised as “payment processing,” “local processing,” or “money transfer agents,” and they’re all scams.
  8. Job search assistants and services: These scams offer help finding a job, especially in a tough market. They’re not out to help you-they are just after your personal information.
  9. Legitimate employers that aren’t: Scammers may post jobs on a website claiming to be a legitimate employer, using corporate identity theft. They’re posting bogus jobs that aren’t related to the employer, and they’re using them to get you to share information they can use to steal your identity.
  10. Direct recruiters: “Direct recruiters” may call you up, offering to help you find a job. Don’t give them your personal information-ask them for their name and business number, and then look online to find out if there are any scams affiliated with them.
Special contributor:  Amy Joines

Read more.

Monday, February 21, 2011

HANDY: Help Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth

Get involved in your community
HANDY, Inc. is an award winning non profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1985 to meet the fundamental needs of Broward County's foster care children and those who have been placed in the care of non-relative and relative caregivers under protective supervision.

We provide direct services to children ages birth to 23 years who have been removed from their homes due to domestic violence, substance abuse, physical and/or sexual abuse, and abandonment. We serve older youth who are aging out of the foster/relative care system. We serve youth who may be homeless or on the verge of homelessness. We do not discriminate – we help the children who need help.

In Fiscal Year 2008-2009 HANDY provided free services to a total of 1,932 children touching their lives 16,500 times.

HANDY’s programs provide children with safety and well being, education, social and recreational activities, and advocates to give these children a voice.

All programs are provided free of charge to children/youth thanks to the support of philanthropists, corporations, foundations and grantors.

HANDY, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale will be named the National Sun Life Rising Star in the non-profit category during the First Annual Sun Life Rising Star Award National Summit at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL on February 25th & 26th. By winning the award, HANDY will be presented with a $50,000 grant.

HANDY, Inc., which stands for Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth, is an award-winning nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to meet the fundamental needs of Broward County’s foster care children.

HANDY was selected as a National Rising Star for the success of its programs, which provide children with:

·         Life Skills
·         Tutoring
·         Mentoring
·         Scholarships
·         Emergency food/rent/clothing assistance

HANDY ascribes to a philosophy rooted in one-on-one attention and personal investment in each individual, the results of which are remarkable: 98% of students who participate graduate from high school, and 100% of HANDY’s high school graduates enroll in college. 

In one success story, LaGary Roberson of Ft. Lauderdale was able to get a $5,000 scholarship through HANDY so he can attend Broward College, with hopes of transferring to Florida Atlantic University to study for his Bachelor's degree in sports medicine.

LaGary has been an active participant in HANDY’s LIFE program since 2006. He has transformed from a youth whose life was filled with violence and anger, to a young man whom others look to as a role model and mentor. Previous to his work with HANDY, he did not believe that high school and higher education were in his future. He has participated in the onsite virtual high school from 2007-2009 to complete his GED, attended all LIFE skills classes, attended tutoring three days a week, and has been a member of the HANDY LIFE Program Youth Advocacy Board. 

He has become a spokesperson to share his life struggles to youths like him. He also became an avid boxer through the LIFE boxing program as a way to channel his anger constructively. His passion for boxing led him to pursue a career to better understand the human body and athletic performance. He hopes to have his own facility where he can offer sports and conditioning to inner city youth so they can receive the same opportunities that were offered to him through the HANDY.

HANDY had previously won a $50,000 grant back in the fall as part of the Rising Stars regional competition.

They will be presented with the latest check at the national summit, which brings together student and nonprofit winners from the other six markets the Rising Stars program operates in, as well as educators and national education experts to discuss how to help at-risk students achieve post-secondary education amid rising national drop-out rates.

Local Celebs Venus Williams and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess will also be guest speakers at the event.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teen Drinking: Dangerous Games Teens Play

A modest meeting amongst friends on campus can be enhanced immeasurably with the introduction of a fun, buzz-inducing drinking game. Of course, drinking in general is associated with the college experience, in which young adults assert their independence by going buck wild. Such behavior usually comes with the lack of a true understanding of the consequences of alcohol, and thus reckless behavior — albeit fun behavior — ensues. Consequently, some drinking games can turn a lively shindig into a deadly or at least vomit-inducing debacle.

Here are a few to avoid if you value the function of your liver (or eyeball).
  1. Vodka Eyeballing: Originating in the UK, the Vodka Eyeballing craze has spread across the Atlantic Ocean thanks to YouTube, and now it's catching on with numbskull American teens and college students. Unlike other drinking games, the feared repercussion isn't alcohol poisoning; it's the potential of losing eyesight. Vodka eyeballers test their eyeball's strength by pouring vodka directly onto it with the purpose of achieving a quicker buzz. The results can be less than pleasant, however, as the potent liquor causes the removal of eye's protective membrane covering, burning and scarring the cornea.
  2. Power Hour: Partaking in Power Hour is a great way to end the night drowning in a pool of your own vomit. Traditionally, participants in the game take a shot of beer each minute for 60 minutes, ending the hour completely sloshed — if they're not sloshed much earlier. The rate of consumption at which participants are required to drink can be very unhealthy, especially if they're small in size. The rapid increase in blood alcohol content ensures a quicker buzz, thus making the game an extremely difficult one to conquer.
  3. 21 for 21: Power Hour has inspired a couple of offshoot games — 21 for 21 and 60 Seconds, neither of which are any less dangerous. In the case of 21 for 21, it exclusively occurs on a participant's 21st birthday, a night of heavy drinking regardless of whether or not drinking games are involved. At the behest of one of their friends, the birthday boy or girl downs 21 shots of liquor or mixed drinks. It's a way to celebrate a rite of passage, making the most of their first night of legal drinking. But overdoing it can trigger tragic results; there are numerous documented cases of people dying of alcohol poisoning on their 21st birthdays, including one who apparently played 21 for 21.
  4. 60 Seconds: Sixty Seconds is the game of choice for wannabe speed drinkers looking to prove their mettle while in the presence of their drinking buddies. Each player selects a number between one and 60, chugging a pint continuously for a minute when the second hand on the clock passes their number. The game proceeds until there's one person left standing, which usually is the problem. Just like its forerunner Power Hour, 60 Seconds causes each player's blood alcohol content to rise quickly, and as you probably know, rapid consumption can produce dire results.
  5. Edward Fortyhands: When Edward Fortyhands was "in" on college campuses a few years ago, it was met with resistance by opponents of youth alcohol abuse. Notably, the chairman of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Joseph Califano, made it explicitly clear that participants could be rewarded with a trip to the morgue. The game — if you're not already familiar with it — is a race in which each participant strives to finish two forty-ounce bottles of malt liquor that are duct-taped to their hands. The inability of participants to use their hands, particularly when they need to use the bathroom, motivates them to finish fast. In some circles, upon finishing, participants must break the bottles to free themselves. So not only do they face the danger of quickly chugging a beverage with high alcohol content, but, while in their drunken stupors, their hands become recklessly operated weapons equipped with shards of glass.
  6. Beat the Barman: You may notice that most games on this list are simple and to the point. None of them require a lot of thinking — just a lot of booze. Set in your favorite not-so-crowded bar, Beat the Barman involves cash, a cool bartender, quick drinking and that's it. Each participant separately orders a shot from the bartender, pays in more cash than its worth, and finishes it off before the bartender returns with change. The process repeats until a drinker falls over or the bar closes. In other words, there really are no winners; alcohol poisoning is a distinct possibility. Beat the Barman is also dangerous because the participants, in most cases, partake in the game at a bar that?s beyond walking distance from home.
  7. Beer Race: A singe match of Beer Race won't cause major harm to a participant, but nobody plays just one match — and therein lies the problem. Each participant chugs a full pint of beer hoping to finish first, proving their superior manhood or womanhood — usually manhood. The first finisher indicates they're the winner by putting their empty glass on their head, and everyone else must follow by doing the same with their unfinished glasses. In most cases, the competitive spirits of the participants override reason, and they play until they're lying unconscious in a pool of their own vomit — pools of vomit are common parts of these games — ironically stripping them of their manly or womanly pride.
  8. Kill the Keg: Once "Kill the Keg!" is screamed by a fellow partygoer, participation is immediate and mandatory. A few lucky guys and gals line up at the keg and down the remaining beer goodness. Of course, the actual luckiness of the guys and gals is highly dependent on when "Kill the Keg!" is yelled and how many thirsty people are attending the party. If partygoers are called to action at 9 p.m., for example, when just a handful of people are hanging around and the keg is full, then the game is much, much less enjoyable.
  9. Dead Man Walk: If your primary goal is to get messed up as quick as possible, ignoring the process by which you reach that end, then Dead Man Walk is the game for you. The title is self-explanatory: participants take a drink for each step they make, seeing who can walk the farthest without face-planting. Because someone inevitably does faceplant, the game yields painful results. The authors of the game — drinking game authors are always looking out for the greater good — urge participants not to drink spirits, as the use of them "will probably result in a premature death." Sound advice.
  10. Death Ring: Death Ring is a fittingly ominous title. The rules of the game are slightly complicated, so we'll refrain from detailing them here, but they are included in the link. Hopefully, the people dumb enough to partake in it are also too dumb to consistently follow the rules. The game requires a deck of cards and a few cases of beer, which tend to disappear quickly as each player takes about umpteen drinks during each of their turns. If participants escape death, they'll undoubtedly wake up the next day feeling like death.
Special Contributor: Florine Church
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD, formerly Students Against Drunk Driving) has a mission to provide students with the best prevention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving and other destructive decisions. (See video on sidebar)

Blogs to Help with Student Loans, Educational Loans

Graduation from college is coming up for many students and teens.  With that, many have student loans and even credit card debt.

Combined with the stress of job hunting, having debt can be worrisome and cause anxiety.  Will you ever catch up and pay it all off?

For Students and Recent Grads 

Geared towards those who’ve just emerged from school or who are due to graduate soon, these finance blogs deal with a wide range of grad finance issues.
  1. Studentnomics: This blog is all about helping young people like yourself pay off their students debts, save their money and enjoy living life in the real world.
  2. The Frugal Law Student: Anyone with crushing school debt can understand the concerns of this law student struggling to save and make ends meet.
  3. 20 Something Finance: As you enter your 20s, you’ll learn more than a few things about personal finance. This blog is there to help you along the way.
  4. Poorer Than You: Check out this site for posts on financial issues that affect students and young grads, like school debt, building net worth and much more.
  5. Money Under 30: There are some money issues that are a lot more important to fresh grads and twenty-somethings than those over 30. Learn more about them on this site.
  6. Grad Money Matters: Your education may have helped get you a job, but it doesn’t guarantee smarts when it comes to money. Learn more about financial issues that all grads should be worried about here.
  7. Green Panda Treehouse: The financial articles on this blog are geared towards money issues that new grads face, from finding a first post-college job to paying off those horrible school debts.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Label Popper: Fantastic Fundraiser for Your School Box Tops!

Looking for a fast & effective fundraiser?  The Label Popper is a fun & safe device that allows everyone in the family to easily remove paper labels from cans, generating cash and supporting the programs that support your school. GET ONE FREE NOW!
Every Label Popper is customized with your school name, logo and phone number.  The Label Popper is magnetic making it easy to store, right on the refrigerator.  It is not sharp, making it safe for the whole family.  Would you like a free Label Popper?  CLICK HERE to get one right away.
Learn more - click here and watch video. 
Box Tops for Education!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Peer Abuse Know More: Bullying From a Psychological Perspective

Order today!
Peer Abuse Know More!

By Elizabeth Bennett

Bullying from a Psychological Perspective takes the problem of bullying to a whole other dimension. As bullying has been a problem since the beginning of time, it has been only recently that society has started to learn about the dangers of it in the schools and workplace. The book begins with a history and update on recent statistics of bullying today.

The different types of bullying in adults and children are discussed along with stories shared by many who have lived this nightmare. Also, we learn of the term "Peer Abuse" and how to make the transition from the term bullying and what is behind a name.

Order on Amazon today!

Recent Press Release. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Summer Employment, the time is now to apply

Start your applications today!
Is your teenager ready to get a job this summer?

The time is now to get your applications in and schedule your interviews.  Summer camp is a tradition for many families.  Whether you are involved in day camp programs or sleep away camps, it is a great time to make new friends and have lots of fun.

Part of that fun is generated by the staff of the camps.  Have you considered working at a summer camp?  What activities are your favorite?  Find a camp that has your interests and you may find your dream summer job.

Since 1999, MySummers has proved to be a great resource for applicants looking to work at a summer camp. Working as a camp counselor and watching the kids have fun is very rewarding. Campers always remember their counselors, and the impact that each counselor has had on their lives. For future teachers, camp jobs are a great way to gain experience working with and living with children.

To get started, sign up for MySummers and find out what jobs are open throughout the East Coast. Applicants must be 18 years or older by August 1st and a High School graduate.  Some teen programs go into different countries; Canada, Europe, Australia, Central America, the Caribbean & Virgin Islands, and more.  What an opportunity!

Michael R. from St. Augustine remembers his camp days as a counselor, "It was definitely one of the best summers jobs I had," he continues, "and helped me with my decision to go into education in college."
Learn more at

Are you looking for a summer camp for your child? Visit

Read more.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prom Dress Give-Away: Rosie True Helping Their Community

It's all about the dress!  
Or is it?

High school prom is a time that many teenage girls have waited a lifetime for.
  • Will that special boy ask them to go? 
  • Will they go with a group of friends?
  • What will they wear?
  • Who will do their hair and make-up?
One business owner in Jacksonville Beach, Angie Sparks, decided to donate 10 prom dresses to local high school students through a contest.  According to First Coast News, Angie Sparks said it was always her dream to open up a boutique. Now, she has two shops: Rosie True in Riverside and in Jacksonville Beach.
How does the contest work?

Do you know a friend, student, sister, coworker or yourself, etc. who needs us. This is about a special pick me up for someone you care about; it’s about lifting a girl up for a day and creating confidence, joy and memories! Maybe she doesn’t have the opportunity to get a prom outfit on her own; maybe she’s unsure what to choose because she doesn’t feel good about herself.

Here’s where you come in! Help a sister out! NOMINATE and WIN!
Fill out the form completely and remember the essay is the most important part. We LOVE your great stories. - Rosie's True Dream Team

Learn more about the contest rules here and watch the video.

May all your dreams come Rosie True!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stress Free Kids - Services and Products

Lori Lite founder of Stress Free Kids
Stress Free Kids® founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens and adults decrease stress, anxiety & anger. As a parent, bedtime meant two stressed filled hours trying to get our young son to sleep. Our daughter developed stress related night terrors and Lori herself became sick from anxiety. In an effort to help our own family, Lori created stories that would entertain our children while introducing research-based relaxation and stress management techniques.

Our books and CDs will introduce you and your children to the proven techniques of deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, visualizations, and affirmations/positive statements. This unique storytelling format has been embraced by psychologists, doctors, child life care specialists, yoga instructors, teachers, counselors, parents, and most importantly… children.

Our relaxation music CDs and bedtime stories give you a variety of tools to make bedtime and stress management easy, available, and fun.

We are also proud to support our military families as well as our special needs community.
Our blog/articles, newsletter, and Resources offer stress tips and information on the mental health challenges facing our children and teens. We are active with Face Book and Twitter.