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Today is Earth Day!



“April 22, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day ― a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, CA. in 1969.” – (

Time to show the Earth a little appreciation and do something good for the Earth. The more we can help out with out environment, the more it will help us back in return. Here are 10 facts to know about how people are trying to conserve resources, how energy is consumed, and how people help the Earth:

1. 5,456 = The number of employees in wind electric power generation, the most among the industries using renewable energy in 2012.

2. 56.8 million = Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by utility gas in 2013, which is 49.1 percent of all homes.

3. 4,000,459 = Estimated number of people who walked to work in 2013. This comes out to about 2.8 percent of the American workforce.

4.  52,906 = Number of workers employed in nuclear electric power generation (NAICS 221113) across the U.S. in 2012.


5. 2,598 square feet = The average size of a single-family home completed in 2013; 59,000 had two or fewer bedrooms and 251,000 had four bedrooms or more.

6. 8.4 billion = Product shipments value for recycled paperboard in 2013.

7. 1.5 billion = Estimated revenue for “waste collection – hazardous waste management collection services” in 2013 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was up 16.4 percent from 2012.

8. -32% = The drop in the consumption of coal in the U.S. manufacturing sector from 2002 to 2010, going from 1,956 trillion Btu in 2002 down to 1,328 trillion Btu consumed in 2010.

9. 25.8 minutes = Estimated average time for workers age 16 and older across the country spent getting to work in 2013, up from 25.7 minutes in 2012 and 25.5 minutes in 2011.


10. 9.8 billion = Revenues in 2012 for electric power generation industries that use renewable energy resources, such as hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation. This figure is up 49.0 percent from $6.6 billion in 2007.

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On April 10th, it was the National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. Social media, news, and all sorts of media posted about how it is “an opportunity to learn about HIV & AIDS and how young people are affected” ( But it is still great to pass on knowledge about these issues and to learn more about current updates and research. Here are some links to more information about HIV & AIDS.

Blog posts:
Additional resources include:

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Healthy relationships consist of trust, honesty, respect, equality, and compromise.1 Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States. A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year2 and approximately 29 percent of adolescents reported being verbally or psychologically abused within the previous year.3

Teen dating violence can be any one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Physical. This includes pinching, hitting, shoving, or kicking.
  • Emotional. This involves threatening a partner or harming his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling, controlling/jealous behaviors, consistent monitoring, shaming, bullying (online, texting, and in person), intentionally embarrassing him/her, keeping him/her away from friends and family.
  • Sexual. This is defined as forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when he or she does not or cannot consent.

It can negatively influence the development of healthy sexuality, intimacy, and identity as youth grow into adulthood4 and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.5

Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships. It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships. The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011
2 CDC, 2010
3 Halpern, Oslak, Young, Waller, Markin, & Kupper, 2001
4 Foshee & Reyes, 2009
5 CDC, 2012

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anti boys bullying 3 copy

Bullying Anthony Xiong


Bullying copy 1

Bullying copy

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Teen Pregnancy Factsheet



  • According to the CDC, 329,797 babies were born to women aged 15-19 in 2011 in the United States.
  • However, 2011 was also the year of lowest recorded birthrate in 70 years of tracking adolescent childbirth.
  • But the U.S. rate of adolescent pregnancy is still the highest amongst the most developed countries in the world, and is twice as high as the rates in Australia and Canada.
  • Approximately 82% of teen pregnancies are unintended, and they accounted for 1/5th of all accidental pregnancies in the U.S. in 2006, according to Planned Parenthood.
  • There are also many racial disparities in teen pregnancy, seen on the right (from the CDC).
  • Adolescent mothers are: more likely to have lower family incomes, more likely to be poor and receive public assistance, likely to be less educated, less likely to get married.

Preventing Pregnancy

  • Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and risk of pregnancy.
  • However, some adolescents may choose to engage in intercourse, which is totally fine!
  • There are several ways to protect yourself, but they have varying degrees of successful prevention.
  • These are only a few ways to reduce the risk of pregnancy. There are several other options not shown to the left, and it’s very important to find out which one is the best option for you. Whether it fits into your lifestyle, its convenience, its effectiveness, its cost and whether it is a safe option for you are crucial considerations.

pregnancy protection

In the Event of Pregnancy

  • Solutions to the pregnancy that teens commonly choose are adoption, abortion, or keeping the baby. It is crucial to decide which one is the best option for you and your family, should you decide to involve them.
  • Abortion is an option and does not make you any less moral should you choose to take it.
  • If you choose to keep the baby, you do not have to give up on a college education. You might have family willing to take the baby in, but there are options to get into college even if you choose to care for it yourself.
  • Teen mothers are often shamed for having engaged in sexual intercourse, however it is not your fault and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s important to build a supportive network of people who understand this.
  • How you handle the pregnancy is your choice, and you get the final say.

Things to Remember

  • Be aware of the risks of intercourse and take appropriate steps to keep yourself and your partner healthy.
  • Practice safe and consensual sex! Only engage in it when you and your partner feel emotionally prepared.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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hp b

Hepatitis B is the irritation and swelling of the liver due to an infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV). The infection is spreadable. It can spread though having direct contact with blood, sexual contact with in infected person, tattoo with unclean needles or instrument, shared needles during drug use and sharing personal items with someone who has the infection. Another thing is that the hepatitis B virus can be passed to a baby during childbirth if the mother is infected. It can pass down to the child through birth.

Risk factors that will increase someone with the infection is by being infected with HIV, having multiple sex partner or having parents who were born in regions with high infection rates. The damage from the virus happens because of the way the body responds to the infection. Once your body’s immune system senses the infection, it’ll send out special cell to fight if off the infection. With the cell trying to fight off the infection, it may lead to liver swelling.

There isn’t a symptom at first when you become infected with the virus, you may have no symptom. You may feel sick for a days or weeks. Along the way, you may become ill, which is called the fulminant hepatitis. If your body is strong enough to fight the infection, any sign of the infection should go away over a period of weeks or months. Everyone is different, not everyone’s bodies have the strength to fight and get rid of the infection completely, which is called the chronic hepatitis B. Many people who have chronic hepatitis B without any symptoms, they might not look sick at all. Because of that, they might not even know that they are infected. With that being said, they can still spread the virus to other people. Another thing is that the symptoms may not appear up to six months after the tie of infection. There are some early symptoms such as: appetite loss, fever, nausea and vomiting. Another thing is that since there may not be any symptoms to be notice, the liver is going through damage without knowing it.

There are some tests that are done to identify and monitor liver damage from hepatitis B. You should be careful monitoring the liver and other body functions with blood test. What you should do is get some rest, drink a lot of fluids and eat healthy foods. In some cases where there is liver failure, you may need a liver transplant, which will cure in some cases of liver failure. Some may be treated with medications from prescription.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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Heart disease plays a part of the heart and the arteries/veins. It is also known has cardiovascular disease. The coronary arteries carry blood and oxygen to your heart.  It is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries to your heart. Another way to call it is, hardening of the arteries. Because of the buildup of plaque the arteries gets narrow and it will cause the process of transfer blood to the heart to slow down or it can stop.

There are some risk factors that can’t be avoided due to gene or aging.  The risk of heart disease increases while you age, but this process starts with fat deposits in the arteries and may begin at a young age. Men have higher risks of getting heart disease than women who are still getting their menstrual period, but after menopause the risk for women is closer to the risk for men. If your parents or other close relatives had the disease, you are at higher chance to get it.  Another hand, there are many other risk factors that you have control over, which you can change.

Stop the habit of smoking and the use of tobacco because the more you smoke, the higher risk you put yourself to hardening your arteries. Be active and exercise more, at least 30 minutes a day on a 5 days week. With exercising make sure to maintain a healthy weight. The way you can figure out what weight is healthy for you are by calculating your height and weight to estimate how much body fat you have. (BMI) If you’re a drinker, you probably want to limit yourself to no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men.

Other things that increase the risk for heart disease is: diabetes cholesterol and being overweight. Heart disease is a major problem of diabetes and the leading cause of early death among people with diabetes. About 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease. When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in walls of your arteries. Overweight is considered a major risk factor for both heart disease and heart attack. By being 20 percent overweight increases your risk for developing heart disease.  Inactive individual is more likely to become diabetic, have blood pressure and or high cholesterol. With all three of these conditions combine it increase the chance of getting heart disease.

Symptoms may be noticeable, but there are times that you can have the disease without any sign of symptom. The most common symptom is feeling chest pain. The cause of the pain is when the heart is not getting enough blood or oxygen. The pain may feel heavy or like someone is squeezing your heart. The pain that you feel is under your breastbone, neck, arms and stomach or upper back. Another sign that you will get is shortness of breath and tiredness with activity. If you get short of breathes while climbing couple steps or in an activity, it means that you need to be aware of what you’re eating in order to gain the energy for your body to keep up with everyday life activities or routines.

Nutrition is important to your health and it helps you control some of the risk factors. Foods that consider as unhealthy food are: Fried chicken, pizza, burgers, French fries, deep fried, fried rice, backed goods and etc. Eating too much red meat and adding a lot of salt to your product isn’t healthy. Fruits, vegetables and whole gains are considering healthy food. Have more low fat dairy products and proteins. An example is, instead of milk get skim/Low fat milk. Instead of eating so much red meat, take fish, eggs/dairy, chicken and beans.

This is a preventable and treatable disease through medication and changing life styles. Each individual has his or her own way of how to recover and maintain from the disease.

Fast food is considered as unhealthy food, whish is not good for your body because the food there contains many salt and oil. Too many fat will cause problems in the body itself. Eat more greens and homemade food.

To all the youth out there, protect yourself by watching what you’re eating. Eat more vegetables and less French fries. Instead of drinking a can of soda, drink green tea. While watching television, eat fruits and vegetable rather than eating potato chips and popcorns. Try to eliminate burger, pizza and fried chicken. Switch it to rice, fish and veggie. Be active by playing sport, doing martial arts and Tai chi. Meditate to relax the mind and body, so that it gives the relaxation to the blood flow. Remember to stay healthy by staying active and choosing the right food for you to maintain a good BMI for your body.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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With the introduction of cigarettes, many negative effects continue to happen because of the toxic chemicals that are being made available and sold to people. Although the tobacco industry has been around more than 50 years, their customers probably have not made it that far. It is quite sad that the sacrifice for such riches are their customers who are the ones at risks. Here are some facts that you should know about cigarettes:


“Over the past 50 years, more than 20 million Americans have died as a result of smoking, including 2.5 million nonsmokers who died from heart disease or lung cancer caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.” -

  • Smokers now are more at risks compared to smokers in the past due to the change of ingredients in cigarettes.
  • The tobacco industry continues to thrive and increase the price of their brand(s) and in return, makes billions of profit each year off of their customers.
  • People who smoke put lasting effect on their teeth. Not only will the teeth began to stay yellowish, there will be a increase of plaque and tartar, risk of developing oral cancer and luekoplakia, and losing teeth involved.
  • The effect it takes on our society is the increased death rates, loss of productivity, and increased health care cost.
  • Cigarettes have been proved to be addictive with nicotine as one of the ingredients, therefore, it does explain one of the reasons why people still continue to smoke.
  • Factors that influence people to smoke even though they know it is bad for them is because of stress, peer pressure, temptation, curiosity, parental/surrounding smokers, false information, addiction, media, and comfort.
  • Tobacco related diseases are preventable! But it is really up to smokers to decide when to quit and let their body recover.
  • There is no real solution to shut down the tobacco industry, but we can decrease the rate of deaths, lower the risk of diseases, and cigarette customers.
  • Smokers will often cough up mucus that went wrongly into the lungs, therefore a continuous cycle of shortness of breath and having less oxygen in the body.
  • There are reasons why cigarettes don’t have the ingredients in it listed on the package. It is because they do not want their customers to know the chemicals and toxins that are put in cigarettes. If tobacco industries did such thing, it would undermine their point that “smoking is acceptable”.

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Do you know what you’re smoking in cigarettes?

Cigarettes contain nicotines which increases the chance of stroke. Also, your body will crave for nicotine over time that can lead to an addiction.

You will be inhaling carbon monoxide, the gas that is produced in the car exhaust.

One cigarette can damage your lungs and weaken your immune system.

Do you want to inhale arsenic which is found in rat poison? Ammonia which are found in toilet cleaners?

The more you smoke, the more you are at risk in cancer.

Stop smoking today.

For your health sake and those loved ones around you.


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