School Feature: Smith STEM Elementary School

Hello, Everyone!

Smith BRAVE had their first meeting and it was filled with so much positive energy! 

At this meeting, we challenged students to share with their classmates what is means to be brave. Here are some scenarios they performed demonstrating how someone could be brave!

We are so impressed with the examples they came up with and the bravery it took to present in front of everyone!

Keep up the great work, BRAVE!

Mar

Mar

Humans of BRAVE: Sadejah Blake

Hi BRAVE humans! 

This week's Humans of BRAVE feature showcases someone who has had to make some serious changes in her life. Changes that were very overwhelming for her, but she has become a better version of herself because of the lessons she's learned from them. Have you ever had to go through some tough experiences and learned lessons along the way? Lessons that were very hard, but still changed you for the better?

Stay awesome, 

Brooke 

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 1.55.06 PM.png

What is the hardest lesson you've ever had to learn?

"The hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn is I can’t always be the superhero in a lot of scenarios. I can’t always be the person that saves someone from themselves, I have a hard time grasping the fact that I can’t always help someone from grilling deeper holes. In terms of relationships or friendships, I am so passionate to the point where I start almost feeling someone’s pain for them which alters my personal behavior. That wasn’t healthy for my well being so I had to reflect and take a step back to realize that I can’t always be the hero and that is okay."

 

#SpeakUpChallenge

Hello BRAVE community. 

Today, I want to talk about something that is very serious and prevalent in our society today. Reading an article from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., killing more than 40,000 people in 2013. It is just as likely for middle school students to die from suicide as from traffic accidents.

For the last 20 years, suicide rates have increased at an alarming rate. In fact, since 1999, the suicide rates among adolescent girls aged 10-14 have tripled. Contributing to this epidemic, is the pervasiveness of social networking. This means that entire schools can witness someone's shame, instead of a small group of girls at the back of the bus. With continued access to social media sites, these pressures don't end when a child comes home in the afternoon. Social media amplifies humiliation and creates a much higher risk for suicide, than ever before. 

Another contributing factor is that girls are going through puberty at much earlier ages. This means that girls are becoming young women at an age when they are less equipped to deal with the issues that young women face. Because of this, the rates of self-harming, including cutting, have also tripled among adolescent girls, an injury that often leads to suicidal behavior. 

In our society, we have began to normalize suicide. People are beginning to become desensitized to it, because its such a common occurrence. That needs to change. So I have 3 challenges for you and anyone in your life who can benefit from them. 

1. I challenge you to have serious conversations with your friends about their feelings. They may act as if nothing is wrong, but they could be hurting, and they just need a friend to reach out to them and make sure everything is ok. 

2. I challenge you to take action if a friend has confided in you about having suicidal thoughts. Even if they have sworn you to secrecy, and you feel like you will be betraying them, get them help. Don't assume that they will get better on their own, or that it's something that they can just get over. A life is at stake and you may need to speak to a mental health professional and get them the help that they need in order to keep them safe.

3. I challenge you to say something nice to strangers throughout the day. It can be the smallest thing, such as a "thank you" or "have a great day". You never know whose life you might have saved or whose day you just made by being kind. 

Be kind to one another,

Brooke

Humans of BRAVE: Alexis Pinder

Hi BRAVE friends!

Today's Humans of BRAVE feature showcases someone who was given a piece of advice and has shaped her life around it, living authentically. Have you ever been given a piece of advice that has stuck with you forever and changed your mindset?

Stay BRAVE my friends,

Brooke 

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 10.54.34 AM.png

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

"It’s the quote I used for my yearbook blurb from my dad. He said, “All you have in this world is your name, once you prove yourself to be untrustworthy you will no longer matter to anyone”. I like this quote because it applies to everything that you do. All you have is your name, everything else is materialistic that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. Trust and character is everything. If you go around lying to people, saying one thing but really meaning another; you’re going to be known as a liar. When people hear your name, first thing that is going to come to their mind is “oh she’s a liar”. I don’t want that for myself. I try to live my life following this."

 

 

 

 

School Feature - Island Trees High School

Hello BRAVE humans!

So today we're premiering our very first school feature. School features are something new this semester, that we thought would be a good way for all of you to see what was going on at BRAVE chapters that you probably wouldn't see. Please enjoy this month's feature school, Island Trees High School, and see what all they've been up to. From coming up with handshakes, to having dance sessions, they've done it all.

Stay awesome my cool friends,

Brooke  

#HowtoMakeLifeGreat

Hello to all the BRAVE people in the world!

For today's Editor's Choice, I think I want to do something a bit different. I want to talk to you all about two tv shows that I've found and what thinking these shows have provoked in me. I never would have thought, that ordinary tv shows that are purely for entertainment, would make me think about how I view life and how I could change. 

The first is "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt". Kimmy is a 29 year old woman who moves to New York City after being trapped in a cult for 15 years in a small town in Indiana. Although she knows no one, and doesn't even know how the world works in the new decade, she is able to find a place to live, find a job, and even enroll into a GED program to get her high school diploma. 

unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt.jpg

Initially upon watching, I was convinced that this would be another comedic show with no plot, merely something for people to laugh at. I was rather surprised when I realized that Kimmy was actually teaching us to never give up. Hence the title "Unbreakable". I can tell you now, if I was kidnapped at 15 and forced into a cult where I was brainwashed and trapped for 15 years, I don't think that I would have as much resilience as Kimmy. I know this is merely a tv show, something fake, but it pulls from real life. After all she has been through, she still finds a way to put her past behind her and move on, trying to make her life better than what it was. I think that often times, we forget to keep going in life when bad things happen to us. We often dwell on them and in turn, they make our lives worse than before. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and relying on our bad experiences to shape who we are, we should learn from them and try to show how strong we are because of them. Be UNBREAKABLE! 

The second is "The Good Place". Eleanor is a young woman who wakes up in the afterlife, in a heaven-like utopia called The Good Place. This place is designed for people who have done the ultimate good in their life, people who are righteous. However, she soon begins to realize that she was sent there accidentally, and now has to hide her morally imperfect behavior from everyone, by learning how to be "good". 

TPG_01001_03.jpg

Like the first show, I honestly thought it would be something really funny, something that wouldn't make you think twice of your own behavior. However that wasn't the case. It almost makes you think twice about everything you do, but it shouldn't. We shouldn't only do good things because we're scared that we won't be able to go to the The Good Place once this life is over. We should do good things all the time because we should be good people all the time. I know it's impractical to be good all the time, but if we try our hardest, it's possible. No matter how small the task is, no matter how insignificant it may seem, every choice we make has the potential to be a good one, should we make it one. In the show, after Eleanor discovers she was placed there accidentally, she makes it her mission to be a good person. She wants to learn to be selfless, something that I think that everyone can benefit from being. We all should be good people, even if it means we don't get to go to The Good Place. We should be good because that's what the world needs. 

So BRAVE people, what can you change in your life to be unbreakable? What can you do to be a good person all the time, even if it means getting no reward? 

Stay awesome friends, 

Brooke 

Humans of BRAVE: Claire Cassidt

Hello BRAVE humans!

Today's Humans of BRAVE feature showcases an individual who doesn't let tough times keep her down, finding the good in all situations. Has a tough time in your life caused you to change for the better?

Stay awesome friends, 

Brooke 

Picture1.jpg

 

Can you tell me about when you've had a tough time in your life? How has this changed you? 

"Going into my junior year of college I got increasingly sick from my autoimmune diseases, especially Hashimoto's, which is an autoimmune disease in your thyroid. I had plans to study abroad and live in an apartment and everything was going well except for the fact that I felt so sick. I had to make a decision on whether to quit school and lose my opportunity to go abroad or stay in school but feel horrible. I decided to quit school and that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not only because I am not the type of person to give up on school, but the town where I grew up in, there is a huge focus on academics. I kept thinking that what if I lost the greatest opportunity of my life. I felt that my life had been taken away from me.

After a year off of school I got better and transferred somewhere new. I learned that I need to take care of myself and put myself first. School and opportunities to travel will always be there. It is not a race. I learned a lot more about myself and what I wanted out of life after focusing on getting better and losing everything. I think I am a stronger person today because of it."

 

 

The Power of Bravery

Hi BRAVE humans!

For our first Learn 4 Change post, I wanted to bring you all something (or rather someone) that was empowering. Someone that you could look at, and even if you couldn't relate, they could still have an impact on your life. Someone that could inspire you to be a better person, and look at your life differently. 

As I was scrolling through CNN, I found a section titled "CNN's Heroes". I thought this was a great way to highlight people who have done amazing things for their community and to showcase people who otherwise might not get any recognition. Low and behold, I found this amazing lady named Rosie Mashale, affectionately known as "Mama Rosie".

Mama Rosie pictured in the middle, posing with children who have grown up in her orphanage. 

Mama Rosie pictured in the middle, posing with children who have grown up in her orphanage. 

Mama Rosie is a former schoolteacher, known for starting a free daycare center, after noticing children in her community scavenging for food in a dumpster. After a decade of running this center, she considered retiring. However, the universe had something even bigger planned for her.

I know that normally we feature people for Humans of BRAVE, but I felt like Mama Rosie was also someone we could learn from. I feel like she's teaching us all lessons on what it means to be BRAVE and what it means to care and love for everyone, no matter who they are to you. 

Check out the source article by scrolling to the bottom of this post, and watch the videos accompanied. I have a good feeling that after watching, you'll be asking yourself, "What can I do, to make this world a better place? What can I do to be BRAVE?"

Stay awesome,

Brooke