Be the change. Mentor.

“Every day, mentors in communities across our Nation provide crucial support and guidance to young people. Whether a day is spent helping with homework, playing catch, or just listening, these moments can have an enormous, lasting effect on a child’s life.” –President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, National Mentoring Month.

TGIM is so proud that our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program is now aligned to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. In alignment with those standards, we  provide an effective systemic approach to ensure the safety, well-being and growth of both our Mentors and Mentees. We also provide a wealth of ongoing resources to ensure our program participants receive all the support they need.

Mentors are the backbone of a successful workshop.  The Mentor to Participant relationship strengthens the engagement that participants have with the Workshop, and can also help facilitators better understand what motivates our participants.

A Background Check and certification is required for all workshop staff because it outlines the way workshop staff should interact with participants.  In that way, all of us that interact with the workshop are mentors for our participants. While “mentor” is a specific role within the workshop structure, the mentor certification process outlines what a responsible mentoring relationship looks like, and how their unique role and relationship with workshop participants strengthens the overall success of the workshop.

Successful Mentors:

*Accept the importance of the relationship they develop with participants in the Workshop, and understands the need to have honest, engaged and supportive relationships with Workshop Participants

*Protect the Workshop and it’s participants with professional, caring and honest interactions with all Participants, other Workshop staff, and members of the community.

*Relate to others in a way that is respectful and understanding of each person’s unique story and identity, while staying focused on a positive, pro-social communication.

*Illustrate our Workshop Operating Values in all that they do, and stays focused on the Mission of the Workshop during interactions, understanding that they represent Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in all that they do.

*Listen to feedback from all they interact with, understanding that all feedback is valuable to improving our success in communication with everyone associated to the Workshop, as well as the community we serve.

Benefits of Completing Training

Mentors receive a Certificate of Completion after successfully completing a Background Check and the four hour certification course. The Certificate allows our mentors to work in any of our workshops around the world.

  1. Have a better understanding of quality mentoring.
  1. Have a better understanding of the program.
  1. Be prepared to start their mentoring relationships.
  1. Better understand working with youth in challenging environments.
  1. Be prepared for a great adventure mentoring!

Mentoring is, simply, the right thing to do. You do not need a particular religious orientation or specific motive to be a mentor in our program. If you are in a position to give of your time—and many of us are—that is all you must have to begin. Use the Contact Form below to sign up today.

 

 

Hispanic Youth: Reversing the Damage of Adverse Experiences

Image result for children in traumatic circumstancesCan you imagine what it would be like to grow up in an area of armed conflict?  How it might feel as a child to deal with a constant threat of death, the stress of being surrounded by violence and loss?

What if I told you that almost one in four children in the United States today are in home situations just that stressful? That almost 50% of our children will experience at least one adverse childhood experience that impacts their ability to learn?  Children that have these experiences have higher risks of long-term diseases, such as diabetes, depression, asthma and high blood pressure due to the impacts of stress hormones on developing bodies.  It isn’t hard to understand that children in a constant stressful situation have higher rates of discipline issues, and are more likely to be diagnosed with ADD and ADHD or Oppositional Defiance Disorder.  To top it all off, the disciplinary systems in today’s schools will then re-traumatize the same child dealing with the behavioral issues spawned by the uncontrollable environment.

While these numbers are dire, Hispanic children in the United States are 38% more download-1likely to experience these adverse circumstances, according to a 2016 study in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine, when you add in the fact that more than 17.9 MILLION Hispanics are under the age of 18, this is a group that needs additional focus now to reduce the long-term impacts of trauma.

According to the last census data, Hispanics are the fastest growing group in the United States, and in Texas.  TGIM Digital Publishing understands how a Trauma Informed approach is imperative; this is why we are focusing our outreach efforts in Hispanic populations, ensuring a unique support approach to begin healing and empowering the next generation of Hispanic youth, through Writing for the Soul Workshop™.

Launch Our Workshop in Your Community

Many of the stories we collect through the workshop are written in Spanish, and we’re working to offer Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in Spanish, creating a multi-lingual support and mentoring system to support this population of at risk youth. We need your help to ensure that students here in Texas and around the world maintain access to Writing for the Soul Workshop™, and all of the wow factors available. Offering our program in Spanish helps to ensure youth in your community continue to access a program that offers better educational outcomes than school alone.  Through our Trauma Informed Approach, these youth will have access to the tools they need to reverse the damage of their adverse experiences and empower them to achieve the outcomes they dream of. Click here for more information on Writing for the Soul Workshop™, or use the Contact Form below to schedule a phone call to discuss implementing our program to your community.

 

 

Subscribe: TGIM Digital Content Shelf

Be the first to read every TGIM new release! We’ve created a digital book shelf and filled it with must read, page turning digital content. Get exclusive & unlimited access not only to our new releases, but these TGIM titles:

Your subscription includes the entire collection of eBooks by Writing for the Soul Workshop™ like Stories of Hope. Take a sneak peek inside the making of the book:

Enjoy all of our content at home, or on the go. You get great content -all while impacting youth around the country.  See, your subscription is one way that we are able to offer our writing program at no cost to youth. New content is added monthly. Access our audio and eBooks now right from your favorite device!

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It’s A Disease NOT a Decision

Imagine what would happen if you saw a teen athlete suffer a severe compound fracture, and then overheard the coach say “just shake it off… the pain is all in your head anyway.”  Or perhaps a father and son talking about the child’s recent cancer diagnosis, deciding not to treat the cancer because “I don’t want my friends to make fun of me for getting sick.”  For most of us, these conversations would seem ridiculous, because we don’t shame people who have an accident, or are diagnosed with cancer or diabetes; in fact, we rally around these individuals, providing comfort and support.

Sadly, these mindsets don’t hold true when it comes to our mental and emotional diseases, especially for children. Most people don’t think that children can suffer from things like depression; the reality is that 1 in 5 children will experience depression and other types of mental illnesses, but only 22% will receive treatment.  In many areas in the United States, there is a shortage of mental health professionals, with some states having only 1 mental health provider per 1,000 people.  Those who do receive treatment are stigmatized if they talk about their condition.  People with cancer are sick… but people with a mental illness are “crazy” making it shameful to admit and address mental illness.

Between the stigma of mental illness, and a lack of access to mental health professionals, youth face serious long term impacts due to mental illness, especially when it is unaddressed.

Mental Health has a direct long term correlation to physical health.  According to Health.gov “Mental health disorders also have a serious impact on physical health and are associated with the prevalence, progression, and outcome of some of today’s most pressing chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Mental health disorders can have harmful and long-lasting effects—including high psychosocial and economic costs—not only for people living with the disorder, but also for their families, schools, workplaces, and communities.”

It is time that we start treating mental illness with the same attitudes as other long term, catastrophic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  We need to ensure that youth who experience traumatic events like bullying, violent crime and natural disasters receive ALL the treatment that they need, adding mental triage to the physical triage we are familiar with.  We need to encourage our children to practice good MENTAL hygiene, in addition to taking care of their physical bodies.  Finally, we need to change the perception of mental illness away from some kind of shameful defect to what it truly is, a true physical problem that requires professional treatment, and long term support.

We offer Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a writing as therapy program. Our core program philosophy is based on the fact that powerful emotions have a powerful voice; and that when we get what is on the inside out, we take control of those feelings, and make smarter behavior choices as a result. Donors help us to reach youth actively engaged in at-risk behavior at no cost to them or their families. We understand that hurt people hurt people. No child is born bad. Help us continue our work around the US. Donate today.

Bullying Prevention Awareness: Bullying Hurts The Bystander Too

Would it surprise you to know that those who witness bullying may be more impacted than those who are victims or those who bully? According to the American Psychological Association, “Students who witnessed acts of bullying were more likely to report greater psychological distress than those students who were bullies or victims, according to the results. This was the case even for students who had not been victims themselves, although being both a witness and a victim did also significantly predict mental health problems.”

We may spend time talking to our kids about not bullying, or what to do if they are bullied, but do we talk to them about what happens if they witness bullying? Statistics show that every child will be a witness to bullying at least once during their school years.  As TGIM accepts submissions for The Bully Diaries Volume II, we know that many bystanders of bullying experience feelings of guilt, shame and helplessness.  They don’t want to simply stand by, but they don’t know exactly what to do.

About.com provides some ideas about how to handle being a bystander:

Avoid joining in or laughing. Sometimes kids will chime in or laugh at a bullying incident in order to avoid becoming the next target. Explain to your children that you expect them not to join in the bullying. Even if they don’t feel brave enough to do something, they can at least avoid giving in to peer pressure.

Walk away. Sometimes bullies are bullying simply to get the attention. And, if they don’t have an audience, they will stop. As a result, sometimes all it takes is to walk away from the incident or to ignore the bully. Still, your child should report the bullying incident to an adult so that it doesn’t happen again.

Tell the bully to stop. Usually if a bully is not getting positive attention from the crowd, he will stop what he is doing. It only takes one or two people to show disapproval and the bullying will end. Tell your children to use this method only if they feel safe in doing so. If the bully poses a physical threat, another option might be to find help.

Get an adult. Encourage your child to calmly walk away from a bullying incident and go find help. This can be done discreetly and keeps your child out of harm’s way.

Use a cell phone to call or text for help. Most tweens and teens have cell phones these days. If your child is one of these kids, tell him that he can always call or text an adult and ask for help. This keeps him from having to say something directly to the bully, but gives him a way to help the victim. Some schools have even implemented help lines where kids can text or call anonymously when someone is being bullied.

Request other bystanders to stand up too. Sometimes it’s safer and more effective if a group of kids confronts the bully. In fact, research shows that when peers intervene in a bullying incident, the bullying stops nearly 60% of the time.

Address cyberbullying. Keep in mind that your child doesn’t have to be physically present to be impacted by bullying. Witnessing a classmate being targeted online can affect your child too. Be sure you teach her how to report cyberbullying. For instance, your child should save the message or postings and report the cyberbullying to an adult. What’s more, many social media sites have mechanisms for reporting abuse. Help her become familiar with how to report harassment.

Support the victim. Sometimes the best way to get involved in a bullying incident is to be a friend to victims. In fact, research shows that having at least one friend can deter bullying. Give your child ideas on how to be a friend to the victim. This might mean walking to class together, sitting with them at lunch and inviting them to social events.

the-bully-diaries-cover-300dpiThe Bully Diaries

Chances are that you experienced bullying in your life. Whether your experience was as a victim, a bystander or the bully, if you search your memories, you will probably find instances when bullying was a part of your life. For many of us, these experiences have defined us and shaped us. Our experiences made us stronger, and helped us become who we are today.

When you are being bullied, it is hard to think about much more than getting through today. For others, there is no today. Their experience being bullied was too overwhelming, and drove them to a devastating and permanent solution to the temporary pain.

Through a community partnership with Stand for the Silent, Writing for the Soul Workshop collected stories, letters and poems from youth, teens and adults from around the world. These stories are pieces of lives impacted by bullying; written to show everyone affected by bullying that you are not alone, that you can survive the experience, that you are somebody.

A portion of the proceeds from book sales goes to support Stand for the Silent.

Details:

eBook: $11.99 USD
Soft Cover: $16.99
Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm) 
Color: Black & White on White paper
Page Count: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1539125297
ISBN-10: 1539125297
BISAC: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Literary
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Do you have a story about bullying?  Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is collecting stories from youth around the world for Volume II of “The Bully Diaries”.  Every voice is important, so submit your story today!  You can use the Contact Form below, or email us at: submissions@tgimonlinue.us.

 

TGIM says “Y.E.P.” to President Trump’s proposed 2018 Budget

No one wants to think that their tax money is being “wasted” through inefficient programs and bloated government agencies.  Making the government “efficient” sounds like a noble goal. Creating a new generation of jobless youth with fewer resources to learn marketable skills is the true result of the current proposed budget.  As reported by the Atlantic “The 2018 budget details around $500 million in cuts for the department (of Labor), which likely means that programs for disadvantaged workers, including seniors, youths, and those with disabilities, would be reduced or completely eliminated. The Senior Community Service Employment Program, training grants at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and technical-assistance grants at the Office of Disability Employment Policy would all disappear. Job-training centers for disadvantaged children would be shuttered and funding for more general job-training and employment services would move from the federal budget to states.”

In addition, the new budget also cuts after school programs that could prevent youth from falling through the gaps in the first place.  This means that even more youth impacted by poverty are less likely to change their outcomes without small businesses stepping forward with targeted efforts to impact the Youth Unemployment Rate.  This is one of the key reasons that TGIM Digital Publishing is working to launch Y.E.P. as a component to our Affiliates Program.

Our Presentation

When you think about the dire economic and social picture facing youth around the world today, it’s clear that we need to do better.  Around the globe, communities face government corruption, lack social services, and have growing unemployment issues in their youth populations.  Some communities are further devastated by natural disasters, and civil wars.  Impacting youth and creating change will require out of the box solutions. We need For-Profit companies that have the heart to create change, and that are willing to accept a mission that provides what our society needs.  We need companies who know that helping our youth is just as important as profits.  We need companies that are willing to focus on our society as humans, not just consumers. Companies that have a mission, that have a heart, and that produce results …like us. Call us at: 682.235.TGIM (8446) for more information and to discuss ROI.

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Legacy

“When I was a child, I used to sit on the floor at my grandmother’s feet while she told me stories of her life. She told me to never forget, but I only remember a few. She expressed how she had to defend herself because she was small. Through that story, I learned that I must use more than my fist; I must use my head instead. I sometimes wish I could remember more of those stories.” –Renée Walker, TGIM Publisher

Do you have stories and life lessons to leave to your loved ones? What if there was a way to leave “Timeless Memories” for your family?

For the first time in the history of our company, we are in position to impact four generations through our writing program. See, we’ve adapted our curricula to be accessed in a whole new exciting way. We call it: Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Legacy. This workshop allows all ages to leave a footprint of their history to this generation by submitting their stories during our writing program in Waco, Texas. Their stories will be published in ‘Timeless Memories: Our Legacy for Your Generation’.  The book is set for release July 7, 2017. Listen to what a couple of excited writers are saying about our Legacy Program:

More Testimonials:

“I enjoyed so much… The Writing for the Soul Workshop presented by TGIM Digital Publishing. Bro. Eric L. Jones along with Renée Walker were both very personable and transparent answering all our questions and giving good advice. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I signed up but I’m so glad I came to be a part. It is an excellent program.” – Jocelyn Long

“The Writing Workshop was very good. It is an enhancement to my writing. The Instructor, “Eric” was very good and inspiring. It was a very good session and I enjoyed it very much.” -Johnette Hunnicutt

“The program was a great experience. Because you share your personal story, it is enlightening and gives an opportunity to share with others. I believe it is a program that would be very beneficial to our youth.” -Florence Clarke

“The workshop today was on time as well as awesome. I learned so much in a short period of time and I feel encouraged to write more.” -Nettie Burton

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What’s your story?

We all have a story to tell. Let us help you tell yours. All ages are welcome to participate. You can share your story in memory of a loved one. Who knows …your story just may impact someone else’s life. Submit your short story, poem, music, and art to be included in our project for inclusion in the release of: ‘Timeless Memories: Our Legacy for Your Generation’.

Please do not submit manuscripts that contain any of the following: obscene or explicit material, unnecessary profanity, vulgarity, or inappropriate or graphic love scenes. Any material considered for publication that is found to be graphic  will require a mandatory edit of the material and may result in a rejection of the material.

Please note that we do not publish graphic material. Therefore, you may be asked to remove graphic material or language.

Submitting your story is easy! Simply use the Contact Form below, or send your story to our publisher via email at: submissions@tgimonline.us.  Everyone who submits their story will receive a complimentary Pieces of Me Anniversary Edition eBook for participating.