“Be careful what you ask for. You will eventually get it. Think Positive!” Ivan Burnell
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A Message from Founder/Executive Director, Cynthia Brian
Besides, hot, hot, hot, how is your summer going?
The news consistently brings us images of violence, devastation, and impending doom. It’s simple to become cynical, yet it’s better to combat the negativity. Stand up for the truth to give yourself the gift of positivity. This is a gift that no one else can give you: not a parent, friend, partner, or boss. Only we have the power to be positive. Our Kindness Coordinator, Karen Kitchel, believes in bringing joy to others. She writes: “Positive feelings are often the result of doing little things that bring joy to others. Think of a time when you did something for someone who never knew where that kindness came from. How did you feel? If nothing comes to mind, check out some easy ways to scatter kindness." Great advice is to always help others.
In my book, Be the Star You Are!® Millennials to Boomers, Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, along with 31 contributors, I write about the importance of positivity and play. If you haven’t read it, this would be the time to pick up that book for the critical positive messages it delivers.
Play allows us to develop our imagination and discover our strengths. Children who are allowed to play while utilizing their own resources shape healthy bodies, minds, and spirits. Play teaches conflict resolution, instills a sense of self-esteem, helps with communication skills, encourages imagination, and builds confidence. The benefits of recess are significant. Playing is pleasurable, and who doesn’t need more amusing days?
I am often asked how I can nurture family relationships, maintain a large mini-farm, take care of numerous adopted animals, run a non-profit charity, write new books, and work full time. “Aren’t you working too hard?” and “It must be exhausting” are the main comments. My answer is simple and always the same: Absolutely I get really tired, yet I love what I do. I’m still learning how to pace myself since it is all play to me. Every day I’m entertained, educated, and contributing in a positive manner. It is important to not only make a life but to make a difference. No cynicism allowed.
For a memorable summer and beyond, incorporate play with positive actions at home and at work. You will find yourself happier, healthier, and a beacon of positivity.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
George Bernard Shaw
Stay cool and have a positive, playful summer.
P.S. Check out our new tutoring program collaboration below with Teens Tutor Teens to get your kids K-12 FREE tutoring!
P.P.S. For a selection of great books for summer reading and beyond, check out the book reviews by our Star Teen Book Reviewers for all ages.
Be the Star You Are!®
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
DONATE YOUR SHOES THROUGH END OF JULY
The Be the Star You Are!® shoe drive in collaboration with Mark Hoogs State Farm Insurance and 5 A Rent a Space continues until the end of July. In June, we donated 1150 pairs of shows to be shipped to third world countries in poverty.
46 Bags of shoes: 1150 pairs
Through July 30th, drop shoes at these two locations:
State Farm Insurance
629 Moraga Road, Moraga
· 5 A Rent-A-Space
455 Moraga Rd. #F, Moraga
https://5aspace.com/ open M-Sat. 9-6pm
With your donation of shoes, you will be sharing your love. Thank you!
For more information, visit https://www.bethestaryouare.org/shoedrive
Gun Violence and Control
In the past months, mass shootings and gun violence have shattered lives and communities. Gun violence in America has become an epidemic. Three of our Be the Star You Are!® teens shared their views on a radio broadcast. Hannah, Nihal, and Sharanya addressed several issues from a youth perspective.
Hannah, Nihal, Sharanya
Stricter enforcement of gun control measures is a necessary step to address the alarming prevalence of gun violence. By implementing comprehensive background checks, closing loopholes in gun show and internet sales, implementing waiting periods, regulating high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, enhancing mental health assessments, and promoting responsible gun storage, we can foster a safer society for all. It is crucial for lawmakers, communities, and individuals to work collectively towards achieving a balanced approach that respects the rights of law-abiding citizens while prioritizing public safety. By taking these actions, we can reduce the devastating impact of gun violence and create a brighter future for generations to come.
Listen to the Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio Broadcast focusing on Gun Violence with Sharanya, Hannah, and Nihal. https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/145588/gun-violence-in-america
New Reporter: Julia Howe-Passion in Action
Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is thrilled to welcome our newest reporter, Julia Howe with her segment Passion in Action.
Julia Howe is a rising sophomore from San Francisco, with a passion for entrepreneurship and understanding how ordinary people can build extraordinary things. She actively participates in the Whatever It Takes Teen program, where she holds conversations with successful startup owners and learns from their experiences. Julia also finds joy in music, singing in the 5-time GRAMMY award-winning San Francisco Girls Chorus, and conducting research on the beneficial effects of music for language learning. You can find her training for her latest 10k and exploring nature in her spare time. Julia volunteers with Be the Star You Are!® and is collecting shoes for our Shoe Drive. Listen at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/145664/4th-of-july-independence-day-celebrations
Tune in Sundays as our teens tackle the tough topics. https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself
One of our poets, 14 year old Sharanya, wrote this poem reflecting on the effects of gun violence in society. Sharanya is a BTSYA volunteer and radio host on Express Yourself!™
In the depths of shadows, a sorrowful tale,
Where hearts bleed silently, where souls assail.
A poem of anguish, of lives torn apart,
Of gun violence rampant, piercing through the heart.
In streets once serene, now echoes of strife,
Where dreams turn to nightmares, snuffing out life.
The crackle of gunfire, a symphony of fear,
Leaves scars on communities, forever austere.
Innocence shattered, like fragile glass,
As the world bears witness to this tragic impasse.
Families weep, grieving their loved ones lost,
Their futures stolen, at such a terrible cost.
Oh, the tears that cascade, like a ceaseless rain,
As we mourn for the fallen, their loss a searing pain.
Each name etched in sorrow, a reminder profound,
Of the lives extinguished, no longer earthbound.
We yearn for a sanctuary, a refuge of peace,
Where gun violence ceases, and anguish finds release.
A world united, where compassion takes hold,
And the power of love is the story retold.
Let us rise together, hearts intertwined,
To confront this plague, leaving no soul behind.
Through dialogue and understanding, let us strive,
To heal wounds inflicted, and ensure all can thrive.
For every life lost, let a legacy bloom,
Of change and redemption, erasing the gloom.
In unity we stand, with a resolute voice,
Against the devastation, we make a choice.
Let this poem resound, a call to unite,
To end the senseless violence, to make things right.
For in our shared humanity, we find the key,
To heal the wounds of gun violence, and set hearts free.
May this verse be a plea, a beacon of hope,
That gun violence diminishes, like a darkened slope.
With compassion as our weapon, let us unite,
And in our unity, we'll conquer the night.
NEW BOOK: Family Forever
For jolt of playful positivity, check out the the 2nd book in the Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures series. Family Forever is published by Waterside Productions with proceeds benefiting Be the Star You Are!® This true story authored by Cynthia Brian and brilliantly illustrated by Jensen Russell, Family Forever, emphasizes the importance of finding your tribe, whether it be biological, adopted, or chosen.
Discounted pre-sales now available at http://www.StarStyleStore.net
For information on the backstory, read https://cynthiabrian.substack.com/p/family-forever
NEW FREE PROGRAM: TEENS TUTOR TEENS
Be the Star You Are!® charity is thrilled to collaborate with the Georgia chapter of Teens Tutor Teens to bring FREE tutoring for any child or teen in grades K-12 by highly motivated high school students. Since the pandemic, many students are behind in the basics of reading, math, science, and writing. Once a student requests to be tutored, a TTT Georgia chapter tutor will claim the tutee to help and contact them to set up a meeting. From here, the tutor and tutee (or their parent/guardian), can communicate on future meetings, additional help, academic, advice, and anything else that the student may need or that the tutor deems necessary. Be the Star You Are!®will soon have a direct sign-up form, but for now, students can sign up on their own to get free tutoring from a tutor through https://teenstutorteenslawrenceville.weebly.com/get-tutored.html. The chapter secretary will reach out to the student asking for age verification, just for safety and security purposes for both the tutor and tutee. Then, the student is connected to a tutor, and tutoring sessions will begin at times that work for both parties. We want to support youth academically and are thrilled to be able to partner with Teens Tutor Teens. Make sure when you sign up to indicate that you are from Be the Star You Are!®. As soon as we have a a special BTSYA link, we will share it.
Happy Tutoring, Happy Learning. https://teenstutorteenslawrenceville.weebly.com/get-tutored.html
“To be leader, you must be a reader!” Be the Star You Are!® slogan
SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP!
Spring is time to stock up on gifts for holidays forthcoming. We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.
1. Discounted books at Amazon:
2. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc
3. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA
4. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store:
Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results
About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us
How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help
Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
Read more at Press Pass: https://www.vapresspass.com/2023/07/17/summer-of-positivity-and-play/
StarStyle® Empowerment is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.