I’m with her!

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Last night, Hillary Clinton made history when she became the first woman to accept the presidential nomination from a major party. The Democratic National Convention saw many passionate speeches from such strong women as Michelle Obama, America Ferrera, Lena Dunham, Chelsea Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Sarah Silverman, Elizabeth Banks, and Meryl Streep. President Obama, Bill Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden also spoke.

While each speaker was inspiring, none had a moment quite as moving as Hillary’s ceiling-shattering acceptance speech. Seeing the first woman nominated for president by a major party made me feel like the future for women in this country is going to be stronger and brighter than we had ever imagined. Every time a speaker said, “I’m with her,” it was a blow to the glass ceiling that has restricted women from equality for so long. And listening to Hillary’s acceptance speech embodied the empowerment for women that she has produced with her campaign.

This year has been one of firsts for the United States. The first time someone with no political experience or qualification whatsoever has been nominated for president by a major party, and by the other the first woman has been nominated. Be a part of history, and go vote! And if you are not yet old enough to vote, you can still be a part of the process! Volunteer in your area for the campaign of the candidate you support!

To quote one of my favorite artists, Lin Manuel-Miranda: History has its eyes on you. So, help the United States make history and make progress- vote for Hillary! I’m with her, are you?

Here are some of the incredible speeches from the Democratic National Convention:

Hillary’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOmwVXDdKRM

Michelle Obama’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaKju-TrEmU

Bill Clinton’s speechhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RchVnIn_-Y

Chelsea Clinton’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Viu9agKuk

Joe Biden’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mADPwsjD_E

President Barack Obama’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98R-H6mBXSM

Meyrl Streep’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSUcqob2OKA

Elizabeth Warren’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0EsVKS4ADw

Sarah Silverman’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjF1ziPuIA

Bernie Sanders’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rtXaPV5SYM

America Ferrera and Lena Dunham’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESfEGz1QFts

Elizabeth Banks’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XniV1osgHM

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The USA’s Rio Team!

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Some exciting news from the USA’s Olympic front: Of the 555-member United States Olympic team for this year’s Rio Games, 292 of them are women. This is a record-breaking number, marking the most women to compete on behalf of a nation in history.

Be sure to watch the Olympics, cheer on your team, and give a round of applause to the USA for making such history!

For more information about Team USA 2016, check out my Resources page.

5 Tips for Empowering Girls

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Too often, adolescent girls feel powerless. That may be because our parents do everything for us, or because we just haven’t taken our first steps toward independence. But there are plenty of ways we can become more empowered, confident, and independent. Here are 5 tips for empowering girls!

  1. Become a mentor or a tutor. Many schools have programs enabling you to become a mentor or tutor, so find out if yours does. Take advantage of that opportunity, because it’s not only is a great way to build confidence, it’s also a great way to spread this message of female empowerment!
  2. Take control of what you can. Independence is pretty new to most adolescents. While it is still limited by school and parents, controlling what you can–like your weight, your clothes, and your time–builds the confidence necessary for the upcoming surge of independence.
  3. Join or start a girl empowerment group in your community or school. Most schools have some sort of organized feminist community, such as Girls Who Code, allowing girls to get together and empower each other. Join! It is a great way to get involved in the movement for strong women. If your school doesn’t have that kind of group, why not start it? You could help inspire yourself, and your fellow girls!
  4. Become a leader at school. Besides the group for girls, join other kinds clubs that expose you to new people and experiences, where you can become a leader, or learn leadership skills.
  5. Validate from within. Historically, culturally, women have been valued primarily for their appearance. This kind of superficial mentality has created an environment for young women in which they feel constantly scrutinized and insecure. What you have to remember is that the presence of beauty or intelligence in one girl does not indicate a lack of your own beauty or intelligence. If you see a classmate who you think is just great, validate yourself by thinking, “And I’m great, too.” More than one girl can be pretty, more than one girl can be smart, more than one girl can be great. Build yourself up. You can do it!

You can hear more tips for empowering girls in this segment from my recent appearance on the radio! My part starts at :48 seconds into the segment, if you want to skip ahead!

Mood boosters for Teens

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The emotional mountains are very high and the valleys very low in these teen years. If you are feeling caught in one of the valleys, here are a few simple mood boosters for teens:

  1. Exercise- If you need an immediate pick-me-up, getting some exercise, whether it is Zumba class or going for a run, will give you that rush of endorphins to make you feel better.
  2. Get involved- Helping people, be it in organized volunteering or doing some favors for your neighbor, has been shown to boost mood. Focusing on others–instead of yourself–and being a positive influence are surefire ways to feel better.
  3. Get social- You may feel like wallowing in bed all day, but getting out of the house and seeing people who make you happy is a tried and true cure for the blues.
  4. Gratitude journal- Start writing down a few positive notes each night: what you’re grateful for and what made you happy that day. Look for the little things in the day to be happy about. This way, you are focusing on the good. Plus, you can look back at previous entries and relive all of those great little moments!
  5. Eat right- Eating processed, fatty foods can lead to inflammation in the body, which is associated with depression. Exchange that sandwich for a salad and that soda for a water, and you will see a big difference in your mood!

You can hear more about mood boosters for teens in my recent guest segment on Health Check .

I hope this inspires you!