Implosion Imminent: Youth Employment

A 16-year-old girl is arrested for shoplifting. A 17 year boy is arrested for selling drugs at school. Most of us hear statistics like that, and just shake our heads at the poor choices young people today make just to have some fun. But what if it was survival, and not fun? What if they felt they had no other choice? Across the globe, youth unemployment has become an epidemic. As people around the world continue to feel the impact of economic issues, and cling to any job they can get, the youth that would normally fill entry-level positions have fewer and fewer options for employment.

As noted by the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment 2013, there are 1.2 billion youth in the world aged 15 to 24. They comprise 17% of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s unemployed. In 2010, 357.7 million youth were not in education, employment or training (NEET), and the number is increasing.  Jeffrey A. Joerres, chief executive officer of Manpower (MAN), a temporary-services firm with offices in 82 countries and territories, adds, “Youth unemployment will clearly be the epidemic of this next decade unless we get on it right away. You can’t throw in the towel on this.”

While most of us don’t consider youth unemployment to be a major social issue, Peter Coy of Bloomberg Business Week talks about the potential impacts of this global epidemic, saying “But the failure to launch has serious consequences for society—as Egypt’s Mubarak and Tunisia’s overthrown President, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, discovered. So did Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who in 2009 dispatched baton-wielding police against youths protesting his disputed reelection.” Coy goes on to point out that “ for the young jobless, enforced leisure can be agony. Musa Salhi, the Spanish soccer player, says, “I feel bored all the time, especially in the mornings. My parents really need and want me to start working.” In Belfast, Northern Ireland, 19-year-old Declan Mac­guire says he applied for 15 jobs in the past three weeks and heard nothing back. “I would consider emigrating, but I don’t even have the money to do that. It is so demoralizing.”

At TGIM Digital Publishing, we’re doing more than just talking about the youth jobless rate. We’re impacting those numbers by offering students ages 15-24 years old internships. And we challenge other companies to evaluate how they can impact this rising problem by partnering with us. So far, we’ve partnered with Kingdom Boxing & Youth Outreach to offer internships to students in Fort Worth, TX and Little Rock, AR. The experience they get as interns increases their ability to land their first job in a tough market. Through the Internship Program, students make accomplishments they can be proud of while earning money selling books written by their peers attending Writing for the Soul Workshop™.

Here are some of the benefits for students:

1. Learn Content Marketing

2. Learn eMail Marketing

3. Learn Social Media Marketing

4. Access to S.C.O.R.E. Mentoring Program

5. Job Skills for a Career in Sales

The more individual companies strive to find creative ways for youth to earn income, the better outlook for our growing youth population. The lack of traditional jobs available for youth stops being a problem when we all work to redefine that traditional job market, and show our support for youth taking positive steps to impact their future. Want to know how you can partner with us? Use the Contact Form below to get involved 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.

 

 

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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.

Are you using a trauma informed approach?

In our current school system, almost 50% of all children have experienced at least one ACE or Adverse Childhood Experience.  These include things like having a parent that is dependent on drugs or alcohol, abuse, neglect, and a dangerous environment.  Although these may sound like things only experienced in an urban, or high poverty area, the statistics are alarmingly clear.

Dr. Christina Bethell, Director of the National Maternal and Child Health Data Resource Center states,  “If more prevention, trauma-healing and resiliency training programs aren’t provided for children who have experienced trauma, and if our educational, juvenile justice, mental health and medical systems are not changed to stop traumatizing already traumatized children, many of the nation’s children are likely to suffer chronic disease and mental illness. Not only will their lives be difficult, but the nation’s already high health care costs will soar even higher.”

With the increase in school violence, many schools adopted a “zero tolerance” approach, which created an environment that actually increases the likelihood of issues, and creates further damage to already traumatized youth.  This is not a “feel good” approach, as science can now quantify that children exposed to the constant stress of an adverse environment.   Meg Walkley, MSW and Tory L,. Cox, LCSW / PPS, discuss the effects of trauma on the development of children and adolescents, stating “Trauma exposed youth are often hyper-vigilant, making it easy for them to become overwhelmed and undermining their capacity for self-regulation and anger management.” Often times, this leads to children being misdiagnosed with things like ADD, ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. This leads to medications that simply address symptoms, and not the root cause.

Our Trauma Informed Approach

Creating a trauma informed approach starts with changing the dialogue around behavioral issues.  Instead of asking the question, “What’s wrong with him/her?” the real question is “what happened to him/her?” This is where Writing for the Soul Workshop™ emerges as a viable component for organizations and schools to help better work with trauma impacted youth.  As a writing as therapy program, our workshop goes a step further than simply understanding what is driving behavior, we are able to promote a safe environment needed for healing, plus give at risk youth something no other program can… empowerment.  This is a key in truly changing outcomes for trauma impacted youth.  Instead of the constant stress of a “fight or flight” environment, our participants have the potential for financial independence not present in other programs.  This means better emotional outcomes, and better overall outcomes as well.  Teachers can better understand how traditional disciplinary approaches are seen as combative to trauma impacted youth, creating a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to youth dropping out of school, or getting into legal trouble, or both.

In schools that have already adopted a trauma informed approach, the results have been amazing.  Arnone Elementary, for example, which has 826 students from kindergarten through 5th grade, 86 percent of which are minorities, has seen a 40 percent drop in suspensions after implementing a trauma informed approach. When Lincoln High School  implemented a trauma-informed approach, suspensions dropped by 83 percent and expulsions dropped by 40 percent in the year following implementation.

An estimated two in three children are exposed to traumatic experiences that have the potential to impact brain development, social functioning, and ability to learn and engage in school. Recognizing and addressing this issue must become a focus for our educational system. Trauma-informed approaches, which have been supported by research evidence in fields such as mental health and child welfare, recognize and address the implications of traumatic experiences for students. Trauma has the potential to affect all students, and implementing a trauma-informed approach is imperative to change this cycle.  Test drive our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program to see  if it would be a viable component to what your school or organization already has in place. Call us at: (682) 235-8446 to schedule a free consultation today.