Get to know your peers, co-workers, and people around you better by doing activities and sharing experiences together! Most of time, it involves unhealthy food and alcohol for people to relax and come together, but there are other healthier options that can still provide the same entertainment. Here are some ideas that can help break the ice and have everyone’s active participation:

  1. Volunteer together as a group! The best part about this option is that there are so many different kinds of volunteer opportunities that are available and locally nearby. Have everyone make a vote of which cause you all want to support and do it together to build relationships and contribute to the community.
    1. Walk or run a marathon!
    2. Build a community garden!
  2. Host a potluck! Encourage people to bring healthy snacks and dishes! It will allow people to be creative and try to create healthy foods to bring. And the best part is that it is a sharing event!
    1. Vegan Dishes
    2. Organic Foods
    3. Gluten Free Dishes
  3. Plan a field trip/event! Being able to share experiences together is a great way to bond with other people. It will allow everyone to learn a bit more about each other in a informal setting.
    1. Camping
    2. Fitness class
  4. Organize a club! If many people share similar interests such as sports, books, or foods then have a club dedicated to organizing group events for those topics.
    1. Book club
    2. Sports league team
    3. Cooking club

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“One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.” - http://healthfinder.gov/


Children obesity is a real problem and still exist. There are reasons why obesity is still common in the U.S. Such as organic and healthy food tend to be more expensive so lower income families tend to buy lower quality food. Fast food and high calorie snacks are very cheap to buy and widely available everywhere. And many people are still not informed or knowledgeable on how food can affect their health. As much as it is a financial and informative issue, it is also a mental struggle. People have to change the way they think about food within themselves, their family, their friends, and so on.

But no worries, obesity can be prevented! September is the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and organizations hope to spread the word of helping others! Here are so helpful resources that you can use and please share with others on social media:

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month

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Many people today are born and raised in a bilingual home. It not only enhances the communication within the family, but help build the concept of diversity and acceptances towards different people. Also, it helps English language learners in their education when they have something to reference to and therefore, can build a better understanding of English. By being to recognize that learning at home is a resource, children and adults can use it more often

“Research suggests children educated initially in their home language learn a second language more proficiently and achieve more academic success than those who have not had such a solid foundation. Once students have built basic literacy skills in their home language, they will be able to apply those skills to the new language.” http://mplswtg.org/

Here are some tips on how to learn your language at home:

  • Have daily conversations with your family members that speak to you in your native language. Try to have meaningful and deep conversations that can actually help you become better.
  • Listen/watch TVs, dramas, and music! By listening to your native language, you’ll learn how to speak it better. It naturally enhances your speaking skills without you trying.
  • Reading articles/books in your own language can help you with grammar and writing. One problem with being bilingual is not being able to to read and write in both languages. So only by practicing can it help the technical components in a language.

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Nagatsuki is the shortened form of Yonagazuki, meaning “long-night month” for what is today the month of September. Tsukimi or “Moon-viewing” parties are popular today but originally began in the Heian Era (794-1185 CE) to honor harvests and the beauty of the moon. At tsukimi celebrations, many feast on dumplings and celebrate the coming of autumn.

This month, two national holidays including Keiro no hi, or Respect for the Aged Day, and Autumnal Equinox Day are observed.



Respect for Aged day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in September and is one of many Japan’s national holidays. It’s a holiday that is spent respecting, honoring, and giving gifts to the elders. It highlights the longevity of Japan’s elderly population.

“With improvements in healthcare, Japanese people are living longer than ever and the number of people over the age of 100 is expected to reach 32,000 next month.

One in five Japanese are aged 65 or older and Japanese women can expect to live to see their 85th birthday.” - http://www.officeholidays.com/



Autumnal Equinox Day usually falls on Sept 22 or 23. It is a period of time where Japanese people pay respects to their ancestors, elders, and important family members. Also, it marks the day that daylight will be getting shorter as winter approach.

“The Japanese have traditionally called the period around the autumnal and vernal (springtime) equinoxes higan. There’s a saying that goes, “both the heat and cold end with higan.“ Higan lasts for seven days – beginning three days prior to the equinox and ending three days after it. It occurs twice a year, once when the blustery winter temperatures give way to spring and again when the heat subsides and the cool, crisp air of autumn arrives.

Higan has Buddhist origins. It means the “other side of the river of death.” This side of the river is the world where we live, and the other side is the realm where the souls of those who have passed away dwell. To pray for the repose of deceased ancestors, visits are made to the family grave.” - http://web-japan.org/

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Communicating effectively across cultures is important for public health professionals. People’s ideas about health and illness can vary by cultural group and sub-group, and can affect which health literacy skills are considered culturally necessary. When communicating with diverse cultural groups, public health professionals should be aware of and adjust for linguistic differences, beliefs, values, customs, and behaviors that can affect if the audience receives your intended message.

Here are some tips to make sure you and your materials are well understood:

  • Try not to treat culture as a negative or barrier that must be overcome. Your cultural background may not be the same as your audience’s, but you can learn about and adjust for language, beliefs, and customs as you would for other factors, such as age or gender, that might affect how the audience interprets the messages.
  • If your messages aren’t in the audience’s preferred language, consider if interpretation of oral information, translation of written materials, or a complete redesign to address cultural differences is necessary.
  • Adapt messages and materials for the literacy and numeracy skills people have in their preferred language.
  • Refer to the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards as you plan your communication strategy.

To read more about the role of culture in health literacy, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/culture.html

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STEP UP youth made an amazing collection of postcards this summer. Topics range from anti-tobacco to domestic abuse and more. We hope to promote bi-culturalism and positive messages to the community. Please check them out down below. Share this post with your friends and family!

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KSIiqJDAwolFwGLVfV2gXWCN9LnvFsfmwvME3DxwNtE,mStTiS_4YysUN6BaZHfv2Hw8gJA3eCCrkpcXudGRjtk,-Sv5y_4onW6l81mihNLS1YisPIZCUpko_TTKorxMI24,PYhnhQ5kVFna6vS84dXBW9smT9RmGJv52fd1OsYARIs 66-_x95fB5eKvyOrM91RaREVm1dYhjlFfJJNp4Mas-M



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It’s that time of the year where students are returning to school. Everyone wants to have a new start at school and have a positive experience. But it will be different for everyone. Are you worried about your schedule, making friends, joining sports, and such? Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Don’t be shy to ask for help whether it’s for something small or big. School nurses, staffs, and counselors are there to help students out.
  • Finding your classes can be easy or challenging. The best thing to do is ask the school staffs who can help guide you to the right classroom.
  • Want to a join a sport/club? Meet up with the staffs at the athletic/club office. They can help you with the paperwork and fees that may apply.
  • Having problem with or wanting to change your schedule? You are able to change it if you set pup an appointment and meet up with your assigned counselor. Just know that people who are grade above you will be in consideration first.
  • Trying to make new friends? Often time, you just need to reach out first (volunteer or partner work, speak first, invite others, etc.). It could be in the classroom, club, or sport team setting. You have more opportunities to make friends with people who share more similarities.
  • Stray away from drama, peer pressure, and negativity. Focus on important things such as your homework, grades, and friends. Don’t get too hung over school drama or with unwanted peer pressure because those things won’t do you much good.

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Thursday, August 13 2015 we are nearing the end of our summer with step-up. During the summer i learned about the concept of BALL. My photoshop skills have massively improved. one good memory i will have about this program is going to be the people. They were all so welcoming and it was good to know I’ve made new friends. In the future i want the concept of BALL (Bicultural active living lifestyle) to expand even further!

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Throughout the last 8 weeks of  working at Asian Media Access. I have learned many things, such as Tobacco prevention, drug prevention, alcohol prevention, and also about complete street. I really enjoy working at AMA for being in the STEP-UP program for the first time. I learned how to use photoshop, plus making postcard and making facts sheets. I also kind of learned about making film. There are many things that I liked about working at AMA. Something things that I liked about working at AMA was the field trip, the project, and making new friends along the way. One thing that I wanted to learn more about was Film making because it looked really fun. I think that the field trip is a very great ideas to have while working because it will be boring just sitting and staying at one place. I think that AMA is a super cool job to have for my first year of working in the summer.

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Final Blog

Hey Carvez here.

This is going to be my last and final blog with Step-Up so I might as well share what I’ve learned.

I’ve learned from Step-Up how to cash and deposit checks by myself or with an adult.

I’ve also learned how to become very professional when dealing with other people.

The skills that I received from this program are seen to me as extensive training in PhotoShop and PhotoShop Element.

Out of the many good memories and experiences with Step-Up I would choose the trip to Mall of America because browsing multiple stores and sight-seeing was great and, in personal opinion, a great way to spend time.

I would consider doing this program. It’s a great way to earn money and build experience with a job.

In my future I hope to see myself in college and collecting even more experiences on life.

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