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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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According to, “the definition of a proverb is a short saying that is widely used to express an obvious truth”.

So why exactly are proverbs important to know? Well, they influence the way people interact with one another and the way we could perceive different situations. Often, they teach us important values in terms of respect, acceptance, love, responsibility, and more. Proverbs can teach us different aspects of many cultures and give us insights how people used to thought in the past. So here is a collection of proverbs from all kinds of cultures!

1. Korea : “A picture of a rice cake.”

In the Korean culture, rice cakes are loved by many people. If there’s only a picture of rice cakes, they can’t literally eat it. So the meaning behind this proverb is that you shouldn’t develop a desire that you cannot have.

2. China: “Do not do to others what you don’t want done to yourself.”

In Chinese cultures, there is an important emphasize of being a good nature person. That means that you wouldn’t want to do anything that would disrespect, harm, or possibly affect someone in a negative way because you wouldn’t want them to happen to you too. So treat people like how you want to be treated.

3. Vietnamese: “Ghosts have no pity on the sickly. Robbers have no pity for the poor.”

Life is about experiencing ups and down. It won’t be a smooth sail and expect to have good and bad situations because you can’t predict the uncertainly of what life may offer  you.

4. Thai: “As diligent as an ant.”

Thai people can see how little ants are and recognize that they work very hard. That is why even if it is hard work, be determined to carry out your responsibility.

5. Japan: “If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.”

You can’ expect life to give you everything. Sometimes, it is up to you to take the initial step. So if you don’t risk trying, you will not get what you want.

6. Filipino: “A monkey dressed up is still a monkey.”

You can change your outer appearances and what you wear, but you are still who you are. It takes more than that to change yourself.

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Ever thought about going green? If every person can do something for the Earth, we would greatly reduce our impact on the environment. It’s important to be aware of our human footprints because we can’t use too much of the limited natural resources. Over-production, harmful chemicals, un-recyclable products, and trashes has damaged our Earth and will continue to harm our environment. It has dramatically affected animals and plants in terms of their homes and their own species. Therefore, it is better and wise for people to try to save the Earth by using sustainable and recyclable resources.

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  • Bring your own recyclable/fabric bags to shop for groceries. It will help reduce plastic waste in the environment and you can use it over and over again. If it’s too much, there is the alternative to use the store provided paper bags.
  • Recycle what you can! Don’t forget about recycling common things such as papers, cans, cardboards, electronics, etc.
  • Purchase organic food when possible and support your local grocery stores/farmers. Not everyone can afford organic food since it is pricier in the U.S. But when possible, it is best to support those who have or produce chemical/hormone free products. It will be beneficial to your body as there is no/less toxins/chemicals/hormones that could affect your health.
  • Carpool with people or ride public transportation. It will help reduce the amount of carbon monoxide a.k.a the gas automobiles produce when burning gas, to transfer into the atmosphere. We can all decrease the rate of global warming by sharing vehicles.
  • Grow your own produces! If you have a green thumb or want to help the environment, it is always possible to have your own little garden. Seeds are widely available in great prices and it doesn’t take much time or space to plant them. You don’t have to be an expert at gardening, but just have the time and patience.
  • Compost your food waste. It would bring great fertile soil to your garden and you would not have to worry about wasting food. It’s not necessary, but will help decrease food waste in the environment.
  • Do chores the old fashion way! Sweep the floor with a broom, air dry your clothes if possible, and wash your dishes instead of using a dishwasher, etc. It is more time consuming and takes more energy, but it’ll be worth it.
  • Use energy saving objects in your daily life. It’s great to have or buy products that has energy saving features such as compact fluorescent bulb, energy efficient appliances, extra insulation, insulating blinds, solar panels, storm doors and windows, and water saving fixtures.
  • Reduce your water consumption. It’s great that we are provided with clean waters to use and drink. But it does come with a price because clean water doesn’t come for free. About 70% of Earth is covered in water and approximately 97% of it is salt water. We can’t drink salt water so it’s wise for us to conserve our fresh water as much as possible and not put harmful pollution in them.
  • Make things from scratch! You can always make things from scratch if you really don’t want any harmful things in your food/clothes/things. It can be quite hard to find the resources, but a fun project to try out. And it doesn’t have to be anything amazingly hard to do/make.
  • Have you thought about your own human footprint? Here is a website that lets you take a quiz to determine how many Earths necessary to support everyone if they followed your steps:

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The simple things in life are what everyone should take some time to appreciate and be thankful. You may no realize that these things is right in front of your eyes. Here are some things that make our lives a little brighter everyday:

1. Water

water bottle

Water is a limited resource. But since the U.S. have easy access to it and everyone has running water at their comfort, it can be over looked. Water is a resource that is increasingly being depleted by all living things. So water should be treated with conservation in mind.

2. Air


Precisely, oxygen is what our body really needs, but we can only breathe it mixed with other gas. Our body is not adapted to breathe in thin air or pure oxygen. Without air, we would not be able to survive on this earth. Therefore, our air should not be polluted since it will affect ourselves and other beings as well.

3. Life


It’s not easy to live in a world where it’s competition between all living things. Although sometimes people may think their life is insignificant, they should realize that no living organism is easily brought into the world. We all have to struggle to live.

4. Family


Family is something that we should all be grateful and thankful for. Without your family, you would not be able to make it this far. Every family have their rough times and arguments, but it doesn’t mean they stop caring about you. Although every family may have their differences, remember that it’s those people who will always support you.

5. Friends and Pets/Companions


Who ever is your companion whether it’s another human or not, they are the things that make your life a bit happier. You can laugh, cry, play, and make great memories with them.

6. Knowledge/Education


Knowledge is something people take for granted. Humans would not be where they are now if they did not learn to educate and keep knowledge that would eventually be passed down to another generation. People just assume that we have all this education to begin with, but that’s not true. It took years and years for scholars, scientist, teachers, and more, etc., dedicated to learning which has brought human civilization to it’s stage today.

7. Food and Produces


We live in a world, meaning the U.S., where food and produces are processed through being able to grow faster, being able to produce a massive amount, and being able to profit from it. Therefore, our food market have a lot of products which produces and animals are abused to feed us. It’s a huge issue that the food industry just ignores. Since organic and traditional farming is too slow and too expensive, the market’s standard for food has dramatically dropped for decades.

8. Music


Think about how much great sounds we would miss out on if we didn’t have music. Such things that would makes us excited to hear in movies, games, and songs would be quite lifeless.

9. Mother Nature/Outdoors


Sometimes we are stuck indoors to the point it stresses us out and we forget that there is a world out there outside of our comfortable home. Enjoy the outdoors while you can. Nothing beats a beautiful change of scenery.

10. Being able to forgive and forget


The best way to find peace is being able to forgive and forget. In that way, you’ll be holding less grudges and feel lighter. We should not focus on the bad things in life and be upset about it. There are better things to do then fuss over little issues.

11. Our Five Senses


It is amazing how our bodies can touch, hear, see, taste, and smell. Without these qualities we would not be able to do much and miss out on life. Technically, we would not be able to do much without them.

12. Electricity


Thanks to all the people who worked hard towards making electricity available to people. People take it for granted and we should appreciate how much effort it took just to turn on the TV or to start the car. Electricity is not something easily obtain and thanks to many people, we do not have to live in a world where we could only rely on fire as a source of light.

13. Medicine and Health


If you get sick, you can just go get medicine over the counter at a store. Now that is rather quick, easy, and cheap compared to bringing a doctor to your home and having them diagnose you. Also, thanks to our advanced health knowledge and system, people are able to live up to 80+ years! It is really quite the accomplishment for human health and convenient for us.

14. Time


We think we have so much time in the world. Yes, we do have a lot of time. But time is precious only when people are losing it. Therefore, time should be appreciated and do things that will worth spending time on. Because once times is loss, it is something that cannot be returned.

15. Freedom


People have many freedoms in the U.S. We are able to choose our own religion, speak out, organized our on groups, able to believe in what we want, etc. Our freedom is limited in other ways, but for the majority we basically could do or go anywhere we can.  Freedom is one of those little things that allow us to enjoy other wonderful experiences.

16. Communication


Communication is one of those things that humans learn to do from birth. It’s not always something that is considered making our daily lives better. It is quite amazing how we can communicate not only through language, but through the Internet, music, letters, cellphones, radio, etc.

17. Every Single Day


We should enjoy every single day we have. Why? Every day is a new start and there are many things you can do just for a day! So it’s best to enjoy it.

18. Memories of our own


We have the ability to remember specific things and then it becomes part of your memory. It is something we can all enjoy (or not) depending on what kind of memory it is. Regardless, we should enjoy remembering old memories and making new ones.

19. Sun


Sunlight can be dangerous sometimes, but when it’s just the perfect amount it feels great to bathe in it. The sun and its light is what gives us the light we need for our day. Also, it does warm our bodies, our earth, and give life to other organism.

20. Toilet and toilet paper


We have a place to deposit our waste and thankfully, we have toilet paper to wipe it too. Without both, well life wouldn’t be clean.

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Every culture has superstitions in beliefs of evil, good, spirits, etc. In the Hmong culture where it is closely related to the spirit world, superstitions are built off the reason to warn people of danger. Here are some superstitions that the Hmong culture have:

  • Never whistle at night or sing kwv txhiaj (traditional Hmong singing) in unknown areas because it might attract ghosts/spirits answering to your voice or cause them to follow you home. Or/and don’t exchange kwv txhiaj with someone you can’t see for it might be a ghost replying back to you.
  • Don’t play hide and seek (especially at night or in the woods) outside where it will attract another player from the spirit world.
  • Lovers should not drink each other’s blood because when one of them pass away first, he/she will come back to take their life. It’s called ‘blood promise’.
  • Do not point to the moon at night or else the moon will cut your earlobes. (Usually towards children).
  • If someone suicide, they’ll be unable to reincarnate unless a sacrifice is made to take their place. So their soul would be stuck and may haunt in that place if nothing comes replace it.
  • Pregnant women must not go near large bodies of water for water spirits/dragons will take away the unborn child.
  • Children with baby teeth are believed to be able to see spirits.
  • Don’t say tiger bite (tsov tom) when you’re in the forest, or a tiger will bite you.
  • When a ancestor who already passed away visits you in your dreams, it means they need something like money, clothes, or help, etc, or wants to inform you about something. You have to call a shaman for help on what you can do.
  • If you are of another religion besides Shaman, you should not live in their house (unless you’re married into them, then your automatically Shaman) or the spirit of the house will be unhappy.
  • Do not pick up random stuff outside because it may be a ghost’s trap.
  • If you say bad things to your parents, it will bring karma later into your life.

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Young couples used to marry at an early age because people did not know how long they were going to survive. With poor health systems, high infant mortality rate, and the rush to reproduce, it was reasonable why young couples would want to get marry so early.


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But fast forward into 2014, everything has changed and improved. People live longer, have more free time, and earn more money. The standard norm for the marriage age  has pushed further into the twenties and thirties. Still, there are many people out there that still marry at a young age.

This is not about people out there who are forced into marriages, but on their will, chose to marry at a young age (as in younger than 21). Here are some reasons young couples out there should wait to marry:

1. You are financially unprepared for living expenses.

2. You may not want to commit legally.

3. You’ll have to be more responsible and dependent on each other.

4. You don’t have the necessities to support each other such as a driver’s license, a car, your own shelter, a job, and more etc.

5. You are unfinished with your education, whether it’s high school or college, etc.

6. You are not yet fully matured enough to deal with matters of marriage such as understanding, caring, and loving one another.

7. You can wait for marriage because usually and naturally you will want children, which you may not be ready for. If having two people in a relationship where it is already difficult to handle, having a third person to take care of will be more stressful.

8. You are not independent and rely on much support from your family.

9. There are more to life than marriage, and you don’t need marriage yet to represent your commitment to your relationship.

10. If you haven’t learn and found yourself, you are most likely not ready to take care of another person.

11. You may think you’re mature, responsible, and independent at the moment, but that mindset will be different and change in the upcoming future.

12. You may think you’re in ‘love’, but you should not assume anything until you are able to identify the difference between love and your own fantasy.

The decision you make should be based on your true desire, your willingly to commit, to care for each other, to stay faithful, be honest, respect one another, to love, and should be carefully thought out as it is a matter that is involved in another person and it will last a long time.

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1. Changes/Improvement

Not everyone have resolutions for the New Year nor achieve them. But it is great to make small improvements in your life so it will make your daily life happier.

2. Graduation/New Grade


For those still schools whether it is college, high school, grad school, or middle school, etc., it means you can look forward to becoming closer to graduation.

3. Economy


The U.S. economy is gradually getting better from 2013. Therefore, 2014 is a better year to look for economic opportunities.

4. Healthcare


The government is stepping up with enlisting everyone in health plans, like the Obamacare. So that everyone can be covered, more affordable health care plans are made to fit people’s budget.

5. Entertainment Industry

2013 was filled with crazy celebrity news, amazing graphic games, great movies, awesome new music, and more, which literally shaped and defined how 2013 was. For 2014, you can look forward to these things again as they never really fail to entertain people as each industry always come back with more improved things to offer and share.

6. Food


Some of the biggest food company (Nestle, Campbell, General Mills) in the U.S. underwent calories cut to sell ‘healthier foods’. That means you can worry less about the calories you’re taking in and be healthier.

7. Sports


2014 will be an exciting year for sports because of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Brazil, 2014 Super Bowl, which will be held in New York and New Jersey, U.S., and the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Russia.







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People are generally in a good mood, but there are those days where everything just seems negative. Here are some ways to brighten up your day/mood:

  • Smile! Smile at the mirror and be thankful it’s another day for you to be happy.


  • Exercise your body! You may not know, but exercising your body will release stress and make you feel a lot better. Not only that your heart will be pumping and you’ll be using stored energy.


  • Watch comedy and laugh! When you laugh, your brain releases hormones that makes you happy. So laugh a lot!
  • Go out and do something! Whether its just walking or going out to the mall the change of scenery will do you justice.


  • Change your diet! Sometimes the things you consume affect your mood and makes you feel horrible. So eat something that your body will love and make you feel great!
  • Talk to friends! Talking, sharing, and having friends to communicate with is like releasing stress. So go ahead and rant because it’ll do you some good.


  • Change something about yourself you would like to improve on! It can be your weight, your hair, the way you eat, or something that you like to change up.
  • Cook and eat a great meal! Anything yummy you can cook will make you feel good because it’s delicious and you made it.

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  • Dress for yourself! Maybe it’s time to get out of comfy clothes like sweats and dress a little fancier/nicer and look at the mirror, appreciate yourself!
  • Read something! It can the newspaper or your favorite book! Reading books not only exercise your brain, but will keep you entertained.


  • Listen to your music! Whether it’s your favorite song or a happy beat, it’ll make your life a little bit more special!
  • At the end of the day, think about the highlights of your day. Wake up happy and sleep happy.


Remember the key about feeling happy is to think and act positive.









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What is New Year’s resolution?

New Year’s resolutions are things/goals that people set by the ending of the year to achieve/improve next year. It can be anything whether it is about yourself, financial, or lifestyle, etc.

What kind of things do people want to achieve/improve on?

  • healthier lifestyle – food choices, sleep/nap more often, drink/smoking less, weight loss, etc.
  • education – graduate, go to college, improve grades, etc.
  • work – promotion, change/new job, etc.
  • house improvement – rebuilding, fixing, installment, etc.
  • license – driver, teacher, doctor, etc.
  • change behavior – being more positive, a better person, more patience, etc.

What kind of goals should you make for yourself?

  • make goals that you are sure you will be able to achieve
  • make and have time to do
  • make small steps towards your goals
  • progressively keep up with yourself and how you can achieve our resolutions
  • actually do it!

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