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July 2019

UnMazed Magazine

Teen's Guide to the End of the Summer


C O N T E N T S Teen's Guide to Exploration July 2019

Featured: p. 8

The Lost Skills of Teens Today

p. 10

Educator Corner: The Books You Need

p. 12

Parenting: Don't Let Your Teen Sleep the Summer Away

p. 14

Parenting: 5 Ways to Get Your Teen Moving

p. 17

Infographic: Meaning Behind LGBTQ Pride

p. 18

Student Voice: If You Need a Reason to Study Abroad

p. 20

Parenting: Keep Your Kids Safe This Summer

p. 22  

Student Voice: Outbursts: Dealing with Emotional Confrontations





Letter from the Editor By: Dr. Amanda Sterk, Senior Editor and Founder of UnMazed Magazine asterk@unmaze.me

Ahh summer... Many of you are sleeping the summer away, and some are still working hard to build that college resume, through summer courses, internships, and volunteering. However you spend your summer, now is a great time to take stock in how your last school year went and what are some changes you need to make for this coming year. Did you excel where you wanted/ needed to? Did you fall behind in certain areas, and why? This evolution of self is an important area to continue to explore, even when you are my age! This month I republished the second edition of College UnMazed: Your Guide to the Florida College & University System. I continue to see how making goals, and dedicating time and energy into those goals can be so beneficial to your mind, spirit, and body. While it is exhausting at times, especially when you  are in the middle of the hard work, the rewards are worth it when you see it all come to fruition. This edition of UnMazed asked educational experts to discuss how students can focus on growing and changing academically and personally. As always, they provided some great tips on and areas that students should focus on to become the best version of themselves.   So my suggestion is to use the rest of this summer to relax when you can, but  to find 2 or 3 big activities you would like to accomplish this summer, and make a goal to complete them. Whether it is hitting the road for some college visits, working on your special talent, working on your college applications, or getting in those volunteer hours-  now is the time to get focused and regroup for a great new year!


Magazine articles and more can be found at www.unmaze.me Your complete set of Florida resources for student success.

Contact us: We enjoy hearing from from parents, students, and educators throughout the state. Send us your photos, letters, or comments to asterk@unmaze.me. Or visit us online: www.unmaze.me Do you want to collaborate? This magazine is designed for educators across the state to share their expertise on a variety of topics. We welcome those who would like to participate in creating this resource.


UnMazed Where Experts Meet for Teen Success

UnMazed Contributors Amanda Sterk, Ed.D., is author of College UnMazed: Your Guide Through the Florida College & University System. She currently works at Florida SouthWestern State College as Director of Accelerated Programs.. Dr. Sterk has been an educator for 20 years as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator. She is founder of the Florida teen resource, www.unmaze.me. Ashley McNaughton is an independent college counselor and founder of ACM College Consulting, LLC. She has her BS in Business from Bucknell,, and Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. Alongside her consulting work, she volunteers with ScholarMatch, a nonprofit helping high achieving, low income students get to college. www.acmcollegeconsulting.com. 

Rob Hicks, M.Ed.,has worked in public schools for 16 years. He is a school counselor at Fernandina Beach High School and the Ogburn School. He maintains the "Getting My Guide On" blog about all things school counselor at guidey.blogspot.com and writes about local history.

Jennifer Murphy, MS, AS, has been working with Sex Crimes victims/Survivors for over 30 years. She if founder of Fabulous Faithful Freedom Fighters, Inc. where she supports advocacy for 

Gabriella Baltodano is a striving Music Therapist and seeks out positivity for other people. With her life, she yearns to make the world better little by little and cause a “butterfly effect”. Her motto is “a smile makes someone's day better." One of Gabi's long term goals is to travel and learn different cultures while bringing her knowledge with her to make the lives of others better. 



The Lost Skills of Teens Today

As another group of young millennials are heading off into the workforce, there are a few traditional skills I’m afraid they’ve never acquired. These are skills that might seem archaic to young people who are quite adept at navigating a digital world. However, the types of tasks that are to follow are ones that are extraordinarily commonplace to the parents of these graduates and are likely to be needed long into the future. Unfortunately, I have come to understand young people’s attitudes towards these skills the hard way. So, for example, I once had an extended debate with a student as to whether there was ever a scenario in which one needed to supply

their own phone number in voicemail wherein they requested a return call. To this student, cell phones or caller ID were so ubiquitous that anyone who retrieved the voicemail would be able to see the numbers of the people who called the phone. Apparently, this student assumed that anyone who might work at doctor’s office or any company would naturally use their personal cell phone for all communications related to their work and that the main number of these businesses was simply that of an employee who worked there. In my work, the majority of my calls are from parents who do almost always identify themselves in their message and leave me with their preferred method to return contact. However, I would

   Rob Hicks, M.Ed.,has worked in public schools for 16 years. He is a school counselor at Fernandina Beach High School and the Ogburn School. He maintains the "Getting My Guide On" blog about all things school counselor at guidey.blogspot.com and writes about local history.


3 Things to Practice this Summer

Tip #1

Tip #2

Tip #3

Teach your student how to address an envelope and write a formal letter.

While it is easy to send money through apps, the art of writing a check and balancing a checkbook are necessary skills.

In a world of text messages and emojis, teach proper communication through letters, voicemails, and in-person meetings.

estimate that more than 90% of the occasional

business etiquette can be  somewhat lacking in

voicemails I receive from students do neither of

situations like interviews or formal meals. In other

these things. They are usually something simply

words, there are some skills young graduates will

along the lines of “Hi, I have a question for

be expected to know in the adult world, because

you. Please give me a call back.”

adults use these skills, but the schools are not doing much to teach these skills and young people

A parent once shared with me an anecdote that

are too connected to the alternative digital

she had tasked her son with addressing a number

versions of these skills to have ever needed to

of envelopes for an event she was having. The

acquire them.

teenager in turned placed the stamp in the dead center of the envelopes and wrote the return and

If schools are teaching these things, it’s probably a

recipient addresses in incorrect places as well. At

quick lesson on one day, perhaps in elementary or

first, the parent thought this was the act of a

middle school. If that lesson covers a skill the

careless young man until she realized he really

student doesn’t use again for a long time, it’s

didn’t know any better.

easy to forget. So, I think the onus of really teaching these types of things ultimately falls on

I’ve also seen students who seem unaware of how

parents. Consider teaching your child how to do

to write a check or how to properly use a phone

some things

that is not cell phone (or what“dial 9 to get out”

that are second nature to you that might not be to

means). They prefer to text and don’t do a good

them. You never know when they are going to

job of monitoring their email and their

need it.




Books You Need: I was excited to receive my copy of School Counselor Side Hustle: How School Counselors and Educators can Monetize their Time and Talents Beyond the Classroom written by Dr. Russ Sabella and Stephanie Lerner this past month. What made it a more exciting read is that I was able to hear Dr. Sabella discuss this book and his reasoning on why Stephanie and he wrote the bookto give a voice to what so many of educators/ counselors/ administrators do already- the side hustle. As you all know if you are reading this, UnMaze.Me is my side hustle. While not my intention at the beginning, it started as a way for me to provide information to my students and their parents through a question and answer blog. I never intended to write a book, create a magazine, and have online classes. My vision was and still is- to provide quality information to families and educators when they need it. As an educator, I was just frustrated there were no materials out there for my Florida student population- and I assumed if I put the pieces together that my families and other educators would find it helpful. I realize for the amount of time and energy I put into making these resources, sharing on social media, connecting and collaborating with others- it does not really pay the bills- but it definitely feeds my soul. I definitely enjoyed this book and learned some new ways to connect even further. It also helped me normalize and accept what I love to do as an "edupreneur". I highly recommend this book to any school counselor, educator, or administrator out there. It should be in your library of resources!

According to the books description on Amazon.com, the School Counselor Side Hustle spotlights several school counselors and educators who are already doing it. Their stories will help inspire you and give you insights into how side hustling is done. Our side hustle spotlights share the valuable lessons they have learned and then give us sage advice. School Counselor Side Hustle covers seven main areas which include: •Creating Resources •Authoring a Book •Public Speaking •Developing Tools •Selling Merchandise •Adjunct Teaching •Private Practice Counseling You’ll also learn about many other side hustles and side jobs that school counselors are currently engaging in that go beyond our “Big Seven.” And, we cover the “nuts and bolts” of side hustle development from beginning to end in a practical way. From setting up your company to promoting your product or service, this book gives you the detailed information you need to start a side hustle or get your existing one to the next level. 

By Dr. Amanda Sterk, Author of College UnMazed, Educator, and Counselor

The only high school to college guidebook created exclusively for Florida students


"Dr. Sterk has a gifted ability to understand the perspective of others which positions her as a true student advocate. College UnMazed will certainly guide the college applicant in a caring, confident, wise manner for their success." Nancy Jordan, Ed.D. Educator & Administrator




PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! Do you want to make sure you are ready for college admissions and scholarships? College UnMazed answers all your questions and provides you step-by-step guidance to maximize your student's results!

Topics include: 1. Academic & Career Planning 2. Developing a College List 3. Applying to Colleges & Universities 4. Scholarships & Financial Aid 5. Organizational Tools for Success

College UnMazed provides you comprehensive support through the entire college application process. From detailed charts, infographics, student examples, and resources, this is the most comprehensive guidebook on the market.



Don't Let Your Teen Sleep the Summer Away

By Ashley McNaughton, Founder of ACM College Consulting www.acmcollegeconsulting.com.Â


It may have taken some hard work convincing my students to attend a camp, job shadow or take a class over the summer, but all of them were thankful they did in the end. Why do I ask them to trade in their sleep for 'work'? The simple answer is DISCOVERY. At a time when students feel pressured to pick their career/course of study even before their senior year, exploration and self-discovery opportunities are important. Although they may not come out of summer with an exact plan, the students will at least have a clearer picture of what they want. Students often come to me having a long list of occupations they are interested in pursuing and they feel lost. I am not talking about a list of jobs all in the same field, I am talking about things all over the board (think dog trainer/accountant/doctor all at once)! Where do they start? How can they possibly figure out what they want to do at the young age of 16 or 17? The answer is not simple, in fact there isn’t that ONE thing they can do to help them make their decision. However, there are many ways they can develop it further. Summer camps, particularly those offered at college campuses, give students the opportunity to explore a subject they are interested in as well as experience a bit of campus life. They often get to sleep in dorms, eat in the cafeterias, use the campus labs and classrooms and meet professors. They get the chance to explore a subject they may not have had in high school or at least not enough of to make a decision on college majors. Enjoying their one year of high school biology is hardly enough to bet their future on! Whether or not they loved what they did at camp, at least the student will be one step closer to knowing what they want or do not want to do in the future. They will also have generated more ideas about what qualities they want in their future college. Better food, modern labs, single dorms, residential campus, small classes, urban location…? These are all things that could be discovered at a summer program on campus. If not a camp, a job shadow could easily be done. For nearly any occupation a student may be interested

in, their parents, neighbors or friends probably have a connection in that field. Reach out and ask about the possibility of a day or even a week of shadowing. The worst they can do is say no. This is the student's chance to get a glimpse behind the scenes and see the good, bad and ugly of the job. They thought they wanted to be a nurse but got squeamish seeing blood? They thought they wanted to work in accounting, but got tired of crunching numbers and staring at excel? They thought they wanted to be a teacher, but it turns out they don’t even like kids? These are all things they could discover through job shadowing or interning somewhere and are all things we should strive to help them discover before they spend 4 years studying. Volunteering for local organizations is another way to help students explore their interests. Not only do they get to see what these organizations do, they get the chance to give back to the community and boost their application. I have heard many stories from students who have gone on volunteer trips or spent time with a non profit and come out knowing exactly what they want to do. Of course this is not going to happen for everyone, but at least they are doing something good along the way. If students are thinking of doing these things solely for resume padding, they are missing the much bigger, more important picture. They should do it because it is a chance for them to explore their options and discover an interest they may not have known they had. Do it because if not now, when? Even if they already think they know what they want to do, there is no reason not to explore it further. In this case, they are demonstrating their passion to their future college too. The schools love to see someone who actually knows what they want! Don’t let the expenses and loss of summer break freedom sway you or your teen, these opportunities may indeed prove to be priceless. They should use their summer wisely and they won’t regret it.






Role Model







Child and teenage obesity is an epidemic and as a parent it can be hard to watch your child fall down a path of unhealthy habits and prolonged inactivity. Thanks to technology, video games and iPhones, teenagers are sitting longer than ever and spending hours inside instead of moving their bodies. You know want to motivate your child into fitness, but you don’t want to cross the line and push them into anything they don’t want to do. Luckily, there are easy and gentle ways to encourage and integrate activity into your teens life without sounding the alarm. Here are 5 easy tips to help your teen get moving. PUT FIT IN THE FAMILY Take your TV time outside! Get your teens moving by turning your family events into active adventures. You can go on hikes, visit cool museums, a theme park, play a seasonal sport, or something as simple as walking the dog after dinner together. Try to pick activities the entire family can partake in and try to make fitness fun a weekend habit. MAKE YOUR STEPS COUNT Walking is an underrated form of exercise but just 30 minutes a day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones and reduce




Purchase yourself and your teen a





challenge each other to reach between 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. This is a great way to see just how active you are being and






both is


cheapest and most convenient way to stay healthy and a simple day






wonders for your teens body and mind.



IN SPORTS If your teen like watching sports, he or she will most likely enjoy playing them as well! Not only are sports a great way to stay active, but they encourage new friendships,




sense of discipline that benefits young adults in all aspects their lives. If you find that your teen doesn’t enjoy the competitive nature of team sports, encourage them to try cycling, running, golf or tennis. What might start as a simple hobby could turn into a true passion and skill!

TRY A TRAINER If your teen wants to get started in the gym, set them up with a personal trainer. Strength training with resistance three days a week will help increase muscle strength, endurance and fat loss. A trainer will guide your teen through the gym and teach them all the basics of fitness so one day they can exercise by themselves. The right trainer will also make working out enjoyable for your teen and well worth the investment. BE A ROLE MODEL The best way to get your child active is to get yourself more active. Show them that you love going to the gym, going on walks and eating a balanced diet. The more you prove to them through your actions that being and feeling healthy is great, the more they will want to follow in your footsteps.   by Jenny Meyers, Fitness Expert



The Meaning Behind the 6 Colors of the LGBTQ Pride Flag The rainbow flag, commonly known as the Gay Pride Flag or LGBTQ Pride Flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) pride and social movements. The original 8 color flag was created in 1978 by San Francisco artist, Gilbert Baker, but was later revised to 6 colors. Here are what those 6 colors of the LGBTQ flag represent:







Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag_(LGBT_movement)



IF YOU NEED A REASON TO STUDY ABROAD You’ll never have this much freedom College is known for the freedom it provides. You are able to set your own rules and do near anything you please without parents looming over your shoulder, but don’t quite have to worry about a full time job, pets, or kids just yet, either. This is the one surefire time you have to travel for extended amounts of time. You’ll learn more than you ever could in a classroom You’ll learn more than you ever could in a classroom While it’s one thing to open a book and read about the cultural differences between nations, but another entirely to experience all that they have to offer. The term “It’s a small world,” is tossed around a lot, however, the world is so vast that there is no end to the amount of information you can learn. In addition to learning about other people, you can learn a lot about yourself, as well. Studying abroad will change you in ways you'll never imagine.  You’ll learn more than you ever could in a classroom  You’ll learn more than you ever could in a classroom While it’s one thing to open a book and read about the cultural differences between nations, but another entirely to experience all that they have to offer. The term “It’s a small world,” is tossed around a lot, however, the world is so vast that there is no end to the amount of information you can learn. In addition to learning about other people, you can learn a lot about yourself, as well. Studying abroad will change you in ways you'll never imagine. Study Abroad has a direct impact on employable skills

Study Abroad has proven to increase employable skills such as independence, adaptability, language competencies, and networking capabilities. Employers look for these skills when hiring people because they make potential hires stand out among people with the same degree. Not only will you be gaining an experience of a lifetime, you’ll also be increasing your chances of finding a great job after college.


Your life is forever changed I have made it my life's mission to see the world. The colors of culture and the excitement of new experiences have always drawn me to travel. However, as a college student, I know first hand how difficult it can be to afford it. Luckily, there are lots of ways to avoid an exuberant price tag. Look for Direct Credit programs Schools often offer two types of credit for studying abroad-Direct and Indirect. A direct credit is offered when the program is taught by professors from the student’s home college. The curriculum is that of the home college and therefore there isn’t the issue of credits not transferring over. In addition to a typically smoother experience, direct credits open the door for much easier financial aid. Whatever aid you can expect to receive for that semester should you have stayed at home is applied to the study abroad program. Look on your school’s study abroad page or talk to a study abroad advisor to see which programs offer which credits. Talk to Financial aid….often The Financial Aid office can be a scary and often times frustrating place. Most students avoid going like the plague, but going in several times a semester-especially when planning a trip abroad- could save you hundreds of dollars. Some colleges sneak an extra incentive into visiting Financial Aid by allowing students who speak to an advisor a chance to receive extra funding. Check with a financial aid officer frequently to learn of any new funding opportunities.

See if your school offers a study abroad scholarship The financial aid office offers a plethora of options for you to find funding through the university, but there are often other smaller scholarship offices within your college that are willing to help students fund their study abroad trips as well. Search your college’s website to see if they offer any major-specific scholarships. Traveling in college is an absolute must-and funding should never hold you back from those experiences. The opportunities and insight and memories you gain from going abroad are invaluable. Take advantage of every chance you get to see the world.  

BY MAKENNA LUTZ, University of South Florida student




Keep Your Kids SAFE This Summer

Schools out!! Or just about to be. Everyone is

lots of hot summer nights. We played hide & seek

ready for the summer break to happen,

and kickball with a dozen neighborhood kids. It also

especially the students in your home. As

meant lots of time to get into mischief on occasion.

working parents we have so many concerns

Sadly, those times are long gone and kids are more



engaged with their devices & WIFI than the

unlimited amount of free time. Who are they

neighborhood pals. Which is the purpose of this

spending time with? What activities or camps

particular article and a reminder to parents that

or vacations are planned? Do you hire a day

even though we are not on top of our kids 24/7 there

sitter or a day care or home sitter? The

are lots of things we can do to help educate them

questions can be endless. Here is a particular

about the dangers of online activity, and more

question I would like you to keep at the

specifically predatory behavior.





forefront of your mind as you are away from your children and they are at home with or

Here are some startlingly statistics from online

without supervision. Who are they talking/

child safety advocates:

chatting with online? Who are their “friends”?

1. 95% of all Americans between 12 and 17 years

Who do they “hangout” with online?  

old are online. 2. One in five U.S. teenagers say they have received

When I grew up in the 70s & 80s we played

an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web.

outside all day and most of the night. We had

3. In 100% of the cases, teens that are victims of

bikes and tree forts, the beaches and

sexual predators have gone willingly to meet with them.





While not a fun topic, during summer it is even more

relationship of trust, especially to kids that have

important for parents and teens to be alert to these

family problems, spend time alone and unsupervised,

dangers. Here are some tips to look for if you think


your child might be involved in something that could

isolated from their peers. They might offer goods,

be anything from, might not serve them well to

such as games, give rides, or buy treats and gifts as

grooming them from a predator.













community Kid & Parent Trafficking 101 from 1. BE PROACTIVE! Warn kids of potential dangers

Fabulous Faithful Freedom Fighters, Inc. is helpful in

(age-appropriate) of online activity before something



conversations. These can be scheduled locally or

globally through the internet.





2. Teach your kids about sex. Teach them your values and your beliefs. Then keep talking to them

5. There are safety apps that parents can install on

about sex and what is healthy and appropriate. Just

Android and iPhone products that monitor a child’s

talk straight to them. You might think it is hard but

mobile phone activity and sends alerts of key

talking about them being sexually violated by a

phrases, key words and videos by alerting parents

predator is a lot harder.

through their registered mobile devise. Also making anonymous





3. Trust your gut. You know your child. If you are

Facebook and Snapchat, etc. to quietly monitor your

seeing changes in your teen’s behaviors, attitude,

kid’s social media postings.

language, demeanor or the company they keep- pay attention-ask questions. Don’t interrogate. Just be

I can not stress enough how important it is to keep

curious. If you feel like there is a problem, there might

track of all the activity your teen’s are participating in

be a problem.


4. Talk to them about the tricks that predators use to manipulate and groom kids to lure them from the safety of their homes into the arms of monsters. Behaviors exhibited by predators are often lending a sympathetic,




relationship of trust, especially to kids that have










Dealing with Emotional Confrontations By Gabriella Baltodano, SW Florida student Follow Gabriella's blog at https://www.andrewsanthem.org/blog


"I started writing down in my notebook ways to stop those pent up emotions." I have been in Italy with my family and best friend for the past month-- a truly wonderful experience that I am eternally grateful for. However, now more than ever I notice how often people have outbursts of negative emotions at seemingly random times. I started to wonder why this happened so often. Where are we clashing too much? Was my family broken? Do I hate them? The questions racked up and I had no idea how to start addressing them. There is no simple answer to this question as every family, and every person is different. What I started to notice was that my family had a lack of communication. This led us to keep our reactions to someone's actions or words to ourselves. Then, when something would set us off, we would ruin our day or at least a couple hours of the day. To prevent this, I started writing down in my notebook ways to stop those pent up emotions. This, though, became difficult for me very quickly. I have a fear of confrontation, as many people do. Confronting people and telling them upfront about how I feel has never been my forte. I quickly realized that this fear was a wall that I put up to stop myself from seemingly "rash" decisions. In order to stop this wall, I knew that I would need to

TIME FLIES Where times goes Working hours How we work

ACTION PLAN Future-oriented Personal goals


be outspoken so that I could be thoughtful when I spoke, as not to have an outburst again. By confronting people and truly telling them how what they did/said made me feel, I am allowing myself to think over what I need to do, with body language, and say in order to correctly portray what I desire for this person to understand. Emotional confrontations, as I've chosen to call them, are situations where you allow your emotions to take the wheel and/or you are "confronting" someone about how you feel. Taking time to think about your words is vital to this task. Letting your emotions take over is what triggers these outbursts. In order to be in control of yourself, you must set boundaries and have ways to relax in stressful situations, like these emotional confrontations. Next week (maybe on a Sunday) I will be back with part 2. Continue looking out for it and for now, peace out you beautiful people! Writing piece of the blog: Mary Oliver- The Journey

USE A CALENDAR Know your role Task-management

From Outburst to Calm in 0-5

FOCUS Company goals Department goals



Profile for UnMazed

UnMazed Magazine: Teen's Guide to the End of the Summer  

UnMazed Magazine is an educator-led online magazine to help parents and teens navigate the high school to college process.

UnMazed Magazine: Teen's Guide to the End of the Summer  

UnMazed Magazine is an educator-led online magazine to help parents and teens navigate the high school to college process.