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Discipline. Empowerment. Success.

WINTER HOLIDAY EDITION!

New Year, New Chances Family Gatherings The Joy of Giving

High School

Musical! Disney’s Teen Titans

It’s in the Game Can video games help kids get in shape?

winter 2008

pop watch

Will Smith denzel washington tv on strike?


contents

departments 4

Best of the Web

5

For Your Health

6

Values Valores

Loading up the webcan lead to wasted time. Teen Vision takes a look at the benefits of start pages.

Teen Vision challenges its readers to discover the truth about prescription drug abuse.

12

Community service is a value that all teens should cherish. Here are a few ways to put that good value to good use.

7

Well Done

Impress Yourself

Prom night is coming soon. Follow these important rules and you will have a memorable night.

4

17 Shoulders, Ears & Hearts

When you need someone to listen and give feedback, Shoulders, Ears, and Hearts is the place to turn.

features

22 Fashion info here

8

Vessles on the Verge

9

Becca’s Heart

Best of the Web

A former student in the ReCapturing the Vision program is poised for great things.

Fashion info here here here.

28 Keeping It Real

The million dollar sports contract or record deal is a great dream, but is it a realistic one?

5

One teen’s effort to make a difference has expanded into something bigger than anyone could have imagined.

11 Let It Shine

For Your Health

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one company is out to change the viewpoint of young women across the country.

12 Well Done

Grammy-nominated artist T-Bone turned his life around and went from hopeless hood to bone-a-fide star.

15 Football Fever

Who cares if the start of the football season is months away? The 2008 NFL Draft already has fans excited.

18 Chris, Chris, Chris

On our cover: Grammynominated artist, T-Bone

Teen Vision takes a look at pop star Chris Brown and the album that millions of his fans have fallen in love with.

11

Let it Shine

2 teen vision magazine

29 Student Page

A student at Homestead Senior High-School shares a personal poem with the readers of Teen Vision.


editor’s letter

Winter 2008 Crew Publisher

ReCapturing the Vision, Int.

Editor-In-Chief

Jacqueline Del Rosario

There’s nothing like the holiday season. Something about this time of year just brings out the best in people. The holidays can also bring out the worst sometimes, but for the most part, people tend to come together. Rarely do we have a chance to sit down with the entire family and enjoy each other’s company. School, activities, and work keeps people moving around so much, they hardly have time to remind their loved ones that they care. Even though we have to deal with so many stressful occurrences, everything seems worthwhile when the family sits down for dinner. The Holiday season is also exciting because of what it represents. December was the time of year to stop and be thankful for all that we gained and built in 2007. By looking back on the good and the bad, we’re able to figure out the steps to take in the coming days. For some, looking back may show that they worried too much about school and brought on unnecessary stress. Others may see that they haven’t spent enough time on school and fallen behind. The beauty of the holidays is that it gives us a chance at reinvention. January brings a fresh start and chance to improve. People make a New Year’s resolution in order to take advantage of this opportunity and get one more crack at doing great things. The holidays give us a chance to take a short break to clear our minds and start again. I hope you enjoyed the good food and refreshing time off, because now it’s time to start all over again. In this issue, you will find a few ways to keep your mind alert and healthy without overworking yourself. Our “Best of the Web” department focuses on a few websites that will exercise your brain in a fun way. “Wii Will Rock You” shows ways that kids can make exercise exciting, which will lead to a healthier lifestyle and brighter future. They are both great tools for making things happen. Staying on point can be a challenge after so many great distractions, but try to stay on top of your game. I hope that you have made good use of the break and came back stronger than ever. Happy New Year! Wishing you well,

Jacqueline Del Rosario

President, ReCapturing the Vision Managing Editor

Andrew Kameka

Graphic Design

Tiffany N. Braguta

Contributors

Aaron Alexander

Jessica Brown

Cassidy Evans

Ria Harroldsen

DJ Phillips

Patricia Suarez

Photography

Dan Littlejohn

Hair

Raquel Rodriguez

Makeup

Frantzie Samson

Fashion Stylist

Karen Hurst

ReCapturing the Vision, International

Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Grant No. 90FEXXXX. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United states Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

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best on the web

A

fter staring at a computer screen for a while, you may feel burnt out. Maybe you’ve been studying too long (yeah right) or you’ve been wasting time on the web. Whatever the reason may be, you can turn things around by visiting sites that can be fun and beneficial at the same time. Several websites can help people break up their computer-caused boredom and strengthen their mind, too. It’s the best of both worlds! Below is a collection of places that will grant access to those worlds.

Braingle.com If you’re someone who enjoys moving things around or doing everything you can to solve a puzzle, then Braingle.com may be just the place for you to find what you love. Braingle is full of free online versions of popular activities like Sliding Tile, Sudoku or Word Search. All of these games are simple, quick to load and can give your mind a brisk workout. The classic approach even includes a system that let’s you play checkers online against other players from around the world. These brain teasers test your ability to think quickly and logically. But hey, most important of all, they are fun! Brainbashers.com How many words can you create with a certain number of letters supplied? How quickly can you spot the meaning behind a clue placed on the screen? Brainbashers. com has a steady stock of teasers that can help answer these questions and more. Welcome to Puzzle Player’s Paradise. For anyone hunting for a place to test their mind and have fun, search no more – this website has some of the coolest puzzle-based games available on the Internet. Choose from a steady stock of games that are easy, medium or difficult and keep your mind fresh over the holiday break. 4 teen vision magazine

Flipside.com If you don’t get your fix at one of these more challenging sites, visit Flipside.com for a new outlet full of potential fun. Flipside is a springboard to other websites that have games to keep you on your toes and having fun. Whether you’re an elementary-age kid or just a kid at heart, this site will point you in the direction of a game that is age appropriate. Flipside groups dozens of websites into distinct categories designed to target exactly what you’re looking for. Search through game shows, board games, kid’s games, card games or other areas until you find what interests you. This is a portal that organizes other websites to make them easier to browse, so if you’re interested in only solitaire, there’s no need to go to a site designed for playing Snake or and Sudoku. Whatever gets you going, flip it to your advantage. tv ...brain teasers te

st your ability

kly

to think quic

and logically.


for your health

A World

Gone Red The AIDS pandemic has become a global crisis. In recognition of World AIDS Day and the theme of the 2007 Teen Talk Symposium, Teen Vision has this special feature about the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness.

by Andrew Kameka

jenna bush photo: prnewsfoto/saddleback church

I

f everyone in the United States died, would you care? What if it were everyone in your city or family? What if it were your life at risk? According to UNAIDS, 5,700 people die from AIDS each day, and almost 7,000 more are infected daily. That means everyone you know or care about – including yourself – could be at risk to contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and become another victim of this unforgiving disease. On December 1, people across the globe participated in World AIDS Day, an international campaign designed to raise awareness about the disease. This was the 20th anniversary of the event, and many learned a valuable lesson about how HIV and AIDS can affect people. Hundreds of students who attended the 2007 Teen Talk Summit received a similar lesson. Students heard personal stories from Alesia Miller, an advocate at Care Resource who is also HIV positive. They listened as Ms. Miller told her shocking tale of abuse, drugs, prostitution, disease and eventual redemption. The Teen Vision staff would like to inform our readers about the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness. Teen Talk helped those in attendance to learn about protecting themselves against this dangerous virus, and we want to help more recognize “A World Gone Red.”

2. There have been more than 25 million AIDS-related deaths recorded since the disease was first discovered in the 1980’s. Despite efforts to educate the public about the risks, millions continue to die. In 2005, more than 3 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses. 3. Half of the people who contracted HIV in 2005 were between the ages of 15 and 24. This is especially troubling because this is a generation that has grown-up with a higher level of AIDS awareness than the generation before it. 4. There are 40 million people in the world living with HIV. Though stereotypes have led many to believe it is an “African problem,” the number of people infected with HIV continues to rise in all areas of the world, including the North America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia. tv

First Daughter Jenna Bush, author of “Ana’s Story,” addresses the next generation about the importance of education and awareness of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic at the first-ever HIV/AIDS Youth Summit on World AIDS Day

Despite efforts to educate the public about the risks, millions

continue to die.

1. HIV is contracted by having unprotected sex or sharing needles with someone who has the virus. It can be spread by any type of sexual activity in which there is an exchange of bodily fluids. Abstinence is the only way to completely avoid contracting HIV. teen vision magazine

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values valores

The Best

Christmas Ever Christmas gifts were on every teen’s mind last month, but one young man expresses gratitude for the greatest gift he has ever received – friends and family.

by D.J. Phillips

I

used to not have a Christmas. I heard about Santa Claus and Rudolph at school, but I never got any gifts. My dad died when I was young and my mom didn’t take good care of me, so I never expected to get anything from her. Christmas never meant anything to me until my grandmother got custody of me when I was 8 years old. She gave me my first gift ever and it was the coolest thing I ever got. I played with that bucket of LEGOs for hours that day. That’s why I’m grateful for almost any gift I receive now. I still hate getting these ugly sweaters that my aunties make, but I’m glad for the other stuff. At least it’s better than when I didn’t get anything. My friends complained that they didn’t get what they asked for, but they don’t know how it feels to get nothing at all. They don’t know how much it hurts to go back to school after the holidays when everyone’s talking about the new sneakers that they got or the new video game they’re playing. Meanwhile, you’re sitting there with nothing new – feeling like a sucker. If they knew how that felt, they wouldn’t complain about nothing. They’d just be happy somebody gave them something at all. I’m 17 now and a bucket of LEGOs wasn’t on my wish list this year. I wanted an Xbox 360 but didn’t get it. That’s cool, cause at least I wasn’t lonely like I used to be. Everybody’s got 6 teen vision magazine

to remember that Christmas isn’t about greedy kids trying to get as much as we can out of our parents. It’s about being thankful that you even have parents to give you anything at all. I don’t have a mom or dad to give me anything, and I wish either one of them were around. But I’m glad that I had my grandma, my aunties and some cousins who care about me. That’s why I volunteered my time to other people and made their holiday experience a little bit better. I know it wasn’t enough to replace what they were missing this time of year, but I think it helped. It helped me when other people were looking out for me before. A smile and a friendly hand can do a lot when it feels like nobody in the world cares about you. Knowing that I mattered enough for people to take time out on a day they could spend with their families meant something to me when I was little. I was happy to get my toys, but even happier to have someone to play with. That’s why I volunteered at my church’s holiday toy drive. It helped me feel better about myself and pass on the blessing I had already received. Think about that next Hanukkah or Christmas you get a gift you don’t want. Just smile and remember that there are people like me who never used to have anybody care enough about them to give a gift. Be thankful for what you got. tv


impress yourself

Tatted Up Everyone is getting a tattoo these days, right? Well, if they are, they better listen up and learn the truth about what they’re putting on their body.

by Ria Harroldsen

T

he sting of a tattoo needle hurts at first, but you eventually ignore the pain and focus on the future. In a short while, you’ll have a piece of art etched onto your body that you’ll love forever. Well, that love may end sooner than you think. A few years down the line, that tattoo that seemed so cool may turn out to be one of your biggest regrets. Look at past generations and you’ll see plenty of adults who wish they never “got inked.” The things that seem hip and meaningful often don’t matter when you’re older, so putting permanent marks on your body while you’re young is probably not the smartest thing to do. Back in the 70’s, it was popular for people to get tattoos of their favorite rock band. In the 90’s, the flavor of the month was a tribal arm band or Asian symbols. Today, those rock groups have broken up and gone their separate ways. Meanwhile, their fans are left with a foolish tattoo. And those tribal arm bands are now out of style. Thousands more are walking around with Asian character tattoos that are incorrect or meaningless to them. Tattoos are increasingly popular among teens, but many of us fail to consider how a tattoo could affect our future. There is still a negative stigma placed on tattoos, especially in corporate America. Many companies discourage employees from having visible body art, and they often demand that employees cover up once hired. Good luck getting a job if the person conducting the interview notices a tattoo and begins to doubt you.

Even the United States military, one of the first groups of Americans to view tattoos as desirable, is cracking down. The U.S. Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard have recently banned ink that is offensive or visible in uniform. Military recruiters will have to turn away qualified recruits because of the marks on their body, which means that there will be one less outlet for talented young people to prosper. The butterfly on your ankle or name of somebody you think you love may seem cute or cool now, but not for long. The day will eventually come that the butterfly costs you a business opportunity. There may even come a time when you and that special someone break-up. Then you’ll have to make a tough decision – should I walk around with a reminder of this jerk I’m no longer with or do I go through the painful and expensive process of getting that tattoo removed? The tattoo removal process involves lasers sent onto your body. When’s the last time you were excited about having those things on you? Well, you’ll have to get excited one way or another if you want your tattoo removed. Lasers will zap the body to destroy the ink that’s been injected deep into the layers of your skin. The ink will fade away over time, but it takes several visits to get rid of it completely, and some may still have marks, scars, or nasty looking skin. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not put my body through any unnecessary pain. Get that tattoo if you want. Just remember that you’ll end up paying for it in more ways than one. tv teen vision magazine

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I’m Worth

Waiting For

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thousands of teens across the country are deciding that premartial sex isn’t in their best interest. They are recognizing that working towards their dreams and a happy adult life is more important than placing themselves at risk. These teens are choosing to avoid sexual activity until they are wise enough, mature enough and comfortable enough to have sex in a healthy marriage. Some do it because of health reasons, others to fall in-line with their religious beliefs. Whatever the reason may be, more young people are pledging to not have sex until marriage. Staying true to an abstinence pledge is not easy, especially when peers make it seem like

As the abstinence message continues to spread throughout the country, we encourage Teen Vision readers to share their personal stories about avoiding premarital sex

“everyone is doing it.” So how do teens avoid the traps of premartial sex? That’s what we’d like to find out. Everyone is abstinent for their own unique reasons, and Teen Vision wants our readers to share why they have made that decision and how it has affected their life. With the inaugural Teen Vision Magazine “I’m Worth Waiting For” Essay Contest, the world will discover how Florida’s youth are embracing the abstinence culture. The contest will help young people share tips for dealing with peer pressure, encourage teens to remain true to their values and prove once and for all that you ARE worth waiting for!


VOH Rally 2007

...more young people

are pledging not to have sex until marriage.

Essay Rules • Write a 300-500 word essay explaining why you have pledged to be abstinent. Be sure to also mention what inspired your decision and how you have managed to remain true to it. Discuss what abstinence means to you and why you feel that you are worth waiting for. • You are allowed to ask your RTV teacher or parents for pointers and help, but make sure that your thoughts and feelings remain the focus. Remember, you are the one who has chosen to remain abstinent, so we want to hear your voice in the essay. • All entries must be typed and include the author’s name, age, and school. Two students, one in middle school and another in highschool, will be selected as winners. Winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to Best Buy and their article will be printed in the next edition of Teen Vision Magazine! tv

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Hair today,

gone tomorrow Cut, ripped and pulled, thousands of young girls are ruining their hair in the name of fashion.

by Cassidy Evans

There are thousands of girls who are like 16-year-old Tasha. Like Tasha, they sit down in a flea market salon or someone’s kitchen and have their hair treated with several products that could lead to lifelong damage. They go through painful and expensive procedures that can cause their hair to become brittle and eventually fall out. Despite all of this, the Tashas of America still sit down in the chair once a week and start down a path to ugly hair – or no hair at all. Motionless hair has become a popular style among many young girls. They use products that flatten the hair to prevent movement and leave a crispy, frozen appearance. It’s done so often that some girls suffer damage to the scalp and have to use “black spray,” a chemical sprayed onto the forehead that gives girls a cartoonish look. Why do young girls do it? “It’s the style,” Tasha says. “The hair’s got to stay down and stay put. Girls who use it want everything to stay tight.” To achieve this style, many girls use bonding, which glues hair extensions or a wig to the scalp. The glue often melts and becomes uncomfortable, and when removed, the person loses some of their own hair each time. Some girls get so upset, they just rip their hair right out. Walter Evanson, a Master Hair Designer at

Peter of London, says many young girls don’t realize that this technique is very unhealthy. The styles are usually applied in flea markets or homes by unlicensed stylists who do not inform clients about how to properly treat it. This leads to thousands of girls walking the streets with discomfort of the scalp. “And then you pass them on the bus stop [slapping] their hair and poking it with a pencil because it itches,” Evanson says. “And then they wonder why it hurts. That’s when I tell them ‘you went for a hair do, not hair care.’” It seems strange that someone would go through so much trouble and discomfort for a hairdo that they sometimes have to fix or redo a few days later. What’s even crazier is that they’ll pay $85 for it! You wouldn’t pay someone $85 to pull-out your hair strands one-by-one and torture you, but that’s what happens with this style. Girls also relax their hair too often to help them keep that flat look. They use no-lye relaxers and then coat the hair in a variety of gels, lotions, and product to keep the style. Evanson points out that no-lye relaxers can spell trouble for hair. No-lye relaxers tend to have high levels of calcium, so after constant use, hair loses shine and becomes “brittle and lifeless.” He stresses one point with hair care: choose the right product based on your type of hair. Whether oily or dry, thick or thin, it would be a big mistake to use popular products instead of what best suits your personal needs. “I just hope girls realize and think about what this is doing to their hair,” he says. “Once you start using all these products and bad weaves, you defeat the purpose – you’re weakening the hair. You’re locking yourself into wearing wigs for the rest of your life. If they stop the cycle now and go to a real salon with hair care and somebody who cares about them, they can rejuvenate the hair.” If girls don’t listen, they could have hair today and none tomorrow. tv teen vision magazine

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higher and higher Disney’s High School Musical franchise has become one of the biggest entertainment series in the world. School has never looked like so much fun. by Andrew Kameka

12 teen vision magazine


Monique Coleman D.O.B. – November 13, 1980 Orangeburg, SC

As these triple-threat teens start to venture out into more areas, Teen Vision has created a star-by-star guide to the cast of High School Music.

photos: high school musical fan, hsmusical.org

Monique Coleman is older than her HSM castmates, so it’s no surprise that she is also one of the more experienced actresses to appear in the movie. Monique earned an acting degree from DePaul University and put it to good use in dozens of plays and television shows. After dazzling viewers as Taylor McKessie in HSM, she displayed impressive footwork on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” in 2006. Though she finished fourth in the competition, Monique has the type of talent and personality sure to make her a winner in every sense of the word. Lucas Grabeel D.O.B. – November 23, 1984 Springfield, MO Lucas Grabeel’s career started with a dream and a ticket to California. After his high-school graduation, Lucas moved from Springfield to Los Angeles and landed the role of Ethan Dalloway in the Disney original film Halloweentown High. Appearances on “Boston Legal” and “Veronica Mars” soon followed before he played Ryan Evans, Sharpay’s twin brother in High-School Musical. With appearances in three new movies set to be released in 2008, Lucas may have more shining moments to come.

Self-esteem expert Jessica Weiner and High School Musical star Monique Coleman partner with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund and Step Up Women’s Network to conduct workshops for Los Angeles teen girls giving them a reality check and helping them understand what is real versus Hollywood magic.

photo: feature photo service

Rising to the top

The original High-School Musical attracted 7.7 million viewers, making it the most successful Disney Channel film ever. Well, at least it was until High School Musical 2 premiered to more than 17.5 million viewers! The second edition of HSM deals with Troy, Vanessa and many of their closest friends working at a country club for the summer. They have fun working together, catch some rays and overcome adversity along the way. The DVD is now in-stores and puts the formula of lovable pop songs and catchy dance tunes in a great package. Disney is even preparing to take the third installment of its super series to new heights in 2008 and create a feature film that will appear in movie theatres. The real power source of HSM is the collection of actor/ singer/dancers that star in it, and there are some great lessons for teens to learn from these characters. It’s important that young people learn to embrace their true self and not blindly follow what’s popular. Just as Troy resists pressure to do stuff that he doesn’t believe in, every teen has to act in his or her best interest. It is good to be loyal to a friend, but if someone is bringing you down, you may be better off cutting them loose. If your heart is pulling in a direction different from the crowd, don’t be afraid to walk that path. It worked for the kids of High School Musical, and it can work for you, too. tv

}

R

arely does a TV special takeover the world. Television has a great history of miniseries or one-time shows that became widelypopular, but there’s a short list of shows that have been able to crossover from popular to all-out craze. Disney’s High School Musical series sits at the top of that list, waving at all the other TV specials that could never reach the same level of popularity and influence. Powered by high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs, and a heavy-on-cute cast of young actors and singers, the High School Musical (HSM) franchise has become a global sensation. The made-for-TV movies have obtained a level of cool few shows, movies, or albums could match. The show is an empire. HSM started out as just another one of the Disney Channel’s original movies. Starring teen heartthrob Zac Efron as Troy Bolton and Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez, it tells the story of two students who like each other but are afraid to hang out because they are from different groups. They soon learn that sticking to high-school cliques and stereotypes doesn’t make sense because that causes teens to miss out on meeting some great people. Thankfully, they realize that no one should let peer pressure run their life.

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Monique Coleman

Ash

ley

Corbin Bleu

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Tisd

supe r

star s

Lucas Grabeel

ale

Ashley Tisdale D.O.B. – July 2, 1985 Monmouth, NJ Ashley Tisdale is famous for playing the mean-spirited Sharpay Evans, but she started her career as a sweetheart. Ashley first appeared in dozens of commercials and plays, which lead to appearances on shows like “Smart Guy,” “Ground for Life,” and “Charmed.” Since appearing in HSM and its supporting tours, Ashley has started a singing career with the album Headstrong. The album featured two Billboard hits that debuted at the same time, something that had never been done. She’s found her way to “bop to the top.” Corbin Bleu D.O.B. – February 21, 1989 Brooklyn, NY Corbin Bleu’s road to stardom started in the world of child modeling. Corbin posed in ads for Target and Tommy Hilfiger before moving to Los Angeles and landing roles in several family TV shows and movies. In May of 2007, Hollywood Records released his debut album Another Side, an R&B and pop blend that showed his budding musical talents. The album has sold more than 100,000 copies, and provided the first step for a gifted singer to start a promising career. Corbin is ready to push his gifts to the limits. Vanessa Hudgens D.O.B. – December 14, 1989 Salinas, CA Before she played the brainy math whiz Gabriella Montez, Vanessa Hudgens was already on the road to a promising career. After appearing in episodes of several television shows and a feature role in the movie Thunderbirds, Vanessa landed her most famous role to date. Singing in the movie came easy for Vanessa – she released her debut album V in 2006. V was the first album by a HSM cast member, and with hit songs like “Come Back to Me,” don’t be surprised if Vanessa belts out a few more tunes in the near future.

s

gen

Hud a s s e Van

Zac Efron

Zac Efron D.O.B. – October 18, 1987 San Luis Obispo, CA A teenager is encouraged by others to act and he discovers that he has a talent for it; does that sound familiar? It’s not just the plot for HSM, it’s also the true story of Zac Efron’s life. Zac’s father convinced him to participate in high-school plays, and talent agents started approaching him about working in Hollywood. With his light green eyes and bouncing brown hair, he was bound to earn a place on the walls of millions of teen girls. Zac appeared in shows like “CSI” and “Summerland,” and after landing the role of Troy Bolton, the rest is history. tv


wwiii ll rock

you The Wii is one of the hottest video game consoles around, but for many, it’s also a source of a good workout.

by Andrew Kameka

t

here’s jumping, moving from side to side and plenty of sweat. This isn’t a day at the park – it’s Wii mania. The Nintendo Wii console has given millions of videogame players a reason to get off the couch. Fans have traded in their controllers for a movement-response system that allows them to become an active part of the game. Considering the rising number of overweight teens in the United States, a fun way to increase activity couldn’t have arrived soon enough. Public schools and game developers across the country hope that videogames can continue to encourage young people to become more active Exergaming, a combination of exercise and video gaming (hence the name), may help get kids moving in ways traditional sports don’t. “Your body becomes the controller,” says Stephen Sanders, director of the University of South Florida School of Physical Education. “Although more research is needed to know exactly what the benefits may be, exergaming seems to be a fun alternative to exercise for teens.” The benefits may not be clear, but anything that gets kids involved in some kind of physical activity is a welcome change. Studies show that 17 percent of teens are overweight; that’s three times as much as their parent’s generation! USF runs the XRKade Research Lab to study how exergaming could help fight child obesity. Amid flashing lights, fun games and a heart-pounding soundtrack, kids move and enjoy themselves without realizing that they are working out. XRKade Co-Director Lisa Hansen says that visitors seem to enjoy exergaming more than traditional exercise. Two fifthgrade classes visited the lab once a week, and though students

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Dance, Dance, Revolution is the undisputed King of the Arcade. Created in 1998 by Konami, it has become one the most popular games in the world thanks to funky beats and flashing arrows. DDR is played by standing on a dance pad with arrows pointing in four different directions. As upbeat tunes pump out of the game’s speakers, an arrow flashes across the screen and players must step on the dance pad arrow that matches it. But this isn’t a walk in the park, guys. The music gets faster, the arrow patterns get tougher and players are often left dripping with sweat after trying to keep up with the rhythm. Still, it’s fun to dance the night away.

had the option to sit down if they became bored or tired, they all remained active. “The kids were ‘engaged’ in the exergaming activities,” Hansen says of a survey taken by the fifth graders. “[The children said] traditional jump rope was ‘boring.’” The Wii managed to tap into millions of people’s love of videogames, but it was never intended to become an exercise machine. However, that’s exactly what happened thanks to “Wii Sports,” a popular game that lets users play virtual baseball, boxing, bowling, golf or tennis. Nintendo will take the trend to new heights when it releases “Wii Fit” and Balance Board, a videogame and hardware combo that could do everything from monitor weight to simulate snowboarding. The excitement created by exergaming has even led to gym classes using popular arcade game “Dance, Dance, Revolution” to promote movement. “DDR” is known to get hearts

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prnewsfoto/nintendo

work it out

pumping as the music-driven pace rises and players’ feet scramble to keep up with on-screen directions. It’s common to see sweaty players finish the game as excited as they are exhausted. “I play it all the time because it’s so much fun,” says Yanni, a 15-year-old who frequents intense DDR sessions with his friends at a Miami movie theatre. “That’s the only reason that I use it for. I guess you can consider it exercise because I do sweat a lot, but it’s just a cool thing to do.” Yanni’s friend Jason, 15, agrees. “I’m skinny, but I don’t really play sports,” Jason says. “[Playing DDR] and P.E. are the only times I ever really move enough to sweat.” Exercising seems like a good option to get children active, but can you really fight fire with fire? How can video games, which are blamed for helping create a generation of idle and overweight children, help promote healthier lifestyles? “Your body does not care how the heart is raised,” argues Sanders. “We are discovering that participating in Dance, Dance, Revolution or pedaling a stationary bike while starting at an on-screen obstacle course certainly raises the heart rate to the same level as … jumping rope or running laps.” Youth football, baseball and soccer are still popular activities, but fiddling with game controllers takes up a huge chunk of the average child’s day. It remains to be seen if future generations will prefer bouncing basketballs or moving a controller to get their daily exercise. “Do them both,” says Sanders. “Exergaming is not intended to be a replacement for any physical activity…Our advice for teens is to do as many different physical activities as you can as often as you can – at least 30 minutes each day. This will help you lead a healthy lifestyle.” tv

The Wii Fit takes players off the couch. It comes with the pressure-sensitive Wii Balance Board which takes users through a wide variety of fun and physical activities, including aerobics, yoga, muscle stretches and games.


Happy Hectic

Holidays Family can be a little overwhelming during the Holidays, but it’s important to remember that they can be great, too. Here’s how one young girl made it through. by Jessica Brown

the smell of fruitcake was spreading all around my house and my little brother was actually doing his chores instead of being a spoiled little brat. He must have wanted something. That’s when it hit me. Fruitcake and a good little brother meant that the holidays were here. Oh no! Don’t get me wrong. I loved getting presents, but sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it considering what my family put me through. My uncles were always arguing with each other about something on TV and my little cousins were always running around the house, messing with my stuff, or getting on my nerves. The thing I hated most about the holidays was the adults who kept pinching my cheeks. My aunts, grandmothers, and every other adult who steps foot in the house always wanted to pinch me and talk about how much I’ve grown. Ugh, I hate that! I did like some stuff about the holidays, though. I got great

gifts and my family had a lot of fun when we sat down for dinner. My favorite part was New Years. We had a huge party at my house and everybody had a great time. Then we shared our New Year’s Resolution and I decided that I promised to work harder in softball. I want to become one of the best players on the team, so I decided to spend more time practicing instead of hanging out at my house or my friend’s house. It might be tough at first, but I really want to get better, so this is what I’m going to stick to. I had a great holiday and I can’t wait for things to get even better this year. Now I have a chance to start new and do the stuff I didn’t do last year. I can’t wait! tv

Tips for getting through 2008 Have a Game Plan. Make a strategy for 2008 and stick to it. Instead of just saying what your goal is, think of how you’re going to get there. And don’t stress the little things that get on your nerves. Always find time for yourself to relax so when it comes time to work hard, you’re ready to go do it instead of being tired. Get Better. Now is a great time to get fit. A lot of my mom’s friends try to get in shape this time of year but then quit before Valentine’s Day even gets here. But there are more people out there who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, so going outside more and eating less junk food can be a great way to get right for the New Year. Stay True. If you made a New Year’s Resolution, stick to it! Don’t just say that you’re going to do something and then go back to your old ways because that’s just a waste of time. Do like I’m doing and make a deal with one of your friends. We’re going to help keep each other on track and push each other to keep our promises. Also, keep in mind what friends are worth keeping. Some people just want to bring you down, so maybe now is the time to let them loose. teen vision magazine

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shoulders, ears & hearts

Support, help

guidance

&

always at hand. Dear Shoulders,

My best friend doesn’t want me talking to her ex-boyfriend anymore, even though I’m friends with both of them. I want to keep both as friends, but I’m sick of being stuck in the middle and don’t know what to do. –Feeling Trapped

Dear Feeling Trapped, It’s natural to feel lost when placed in between two people who dislike each other. If you don’t want to lose out on either person, calmly tell your best friend that she cannot tell you what to do. Make her understand that you won’t neglect her and will still be there to support her, but you won’t be mean to her ex-boyfriend. Though you can do your best to be sensitive to the hurt she feels after breaking up, you cannot betray one friend to please another. As long as you don’t bring him around or talk about him too much, your best friend shouldn’t have a problem. If she still gets upset, maybe she isn’t a real friend.

Dear Heart,

I want to go on a road trip with my friends, but my mom won’t let me. I’m 16 years old and capable of taking care of myself, so why isn’t she cutting me any slack? –Road Runner

Dear Road Runner, Sorry, but I have to go with Mom on this one. A 16-year-old is not ready to go on a road trip without any adult supervision. You may be able to take care of yourself, but can you take care of the other people in the car with you? Are you wise enough to deal with the mistakes and problems your friends may cause? It is one thing to be upset that a parent doesn’t let their child go out with friends, but there is rarely a situation where an entire group of teens can be trusted to hit the highway on their own. The road is a dangerous place, especially for a group of unsupervised teens. Be honest with yourself: what have you done to deserve that kind of trust? Your mother is right to not let you take on this responsibility yet. Maybe in a year or two when you have a little bit more experience or prove to your mother that you are trustworthy, she may let you take that kind of trip. Until then, you’ll have to find ways to have fun in your own town. tv —Have a question that you want us to answer? Send us an email at: recap7@aol.com

Dear Ears,

I can’t stand my mom’s boyfriend. He gets on my last nerve and tries to act like he’s my father. I always want to scream whenever he’s around. How do I get rid of him? –Fed Up

Dear Fed Up, Even though you are angry, trying to get rid of your mother’s boyfriend isn’t the answer. For some reason, he makes your mom happy, so you should at least try to get along. How have you dealt with him in the past? Do you automatically get angry or do you listen to what he has to say. Instead of getting frustrated, try letting him know – without screaming – that you don’t like the way he treats you. If that doesn’t work, tell your mother about it and see if she can mediate the situation. Like it or not, your mother’s boyfriend is going to be around, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to try to find peace.

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POP watch! The latest reviews on music, video games and more!

The Great Debaters – Rated PG-13 Starring: Denzel Washington, Forrest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Jurnee Smollett December 25th

Debaters. Denzel Washington directs the movie and portrays Tolson, a demanding but inspiring professor who wants his students to become great thinkers, leaders and people. Set in segregation-era Texas, The Great Debaters deals with issues like racism, widespread poverty and people who do their best to get in the way of someone else’s dreams. The movie follows the Wiley team’s challenging road to becoming an elite squad and rise above adversity, even though so many obstacles lay before them. – Patricia Suarez

In 1935, a gifted college professor named Melvin B. Tolson helped his students make history. While teaching Speech and English at Wiley College, a historically-black

Strike-Out! The Writers Guild of America is on strike, which may give people a chance to break away from TV’s grip.

hot movies! I Am Legend – Not Yet Rated Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga December 14th The world has seen plenty of vampire movies, but I Am Legend is not the typical film about the living undead. In this suspenseful adaptation of Richard Matheson’s sci-fi novel, Will Smith stars as Robert Neville, a scientist who accidentally creates a virus that kills much of the Earth’s population and turns survivors into vampire-like creatures. Neville is immune to the disease, which means he cannot be infected or killed, so he believes that he may be the last man on Earth who can save the world. During the day, Neville walks the streets of New York City to exercise, hunt for food, avoid the infected creatures that are out to get him, and try to discover a cure for the world-killing virus. I Am Legend is an action-packed film about a man struggling to make up for his mistakes and make sense of a frightening world he helped create. Though he feels doomed, lonely and under constant threat, he pushes on in hope of a better day. – Andrew Kameka

university in Marshall, Texas, Wiley formed a debate team. The team would go on to be highly-successful; so successful that they were invited to debate Harvard University, making them one of the first black schools to compete against an all-white school. This true story serves as the inspiration for The Great

Television is going to get a little light this year now the Writers Guild of America has decided to go on strike. Angry that they aren’t being paid enough for their work, the people who pen some of your favorite shows like “Heroes” and “The Game” refuse to go back to work. The means you’re going to see more reality shows like “American Idol” and “Survivor” because those shows don’t use script writers. If you’re like me, the last thing you want to see is more reality TV, so maybe it’s time to consider finding a new way to entertain yourself. Read a book, play a board game with friends, or play more sports – anything to keep from watching people eat bugs or bad singers parade around on TV. – Ria Harroldsen tv

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un-tangled

web It’s a New Year, A New Day, and these ladies are ready to start things off right. Epiphany, Sharon and Nuryel have to break free from a few things, but they’re excited about the promise of 2008.

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THIS PAGE: Arturo: Sweater by Express, Levis denim and Adidas sneakers. Sharon: Gray ensemble by Holister and Nike Dunk sneakers. OPPOSITE PAGE: Epiphany: Turquoise top by MYNT and shorts by Joie

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Nuryel: Top and pants by Wet Seal

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Sharon: Black polo shirt, jeans by Wax and Nike Dunk sneakers

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Epiphany: Anisette hoodie and shirt, Frankie jeans and Puma sneakers

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Sharon: Michele top and Paris Blues skirt. Nuryel: Black tank top and Theory jeans shorts

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keep it real

Life is Not a Game Fed up with two trends that he’s noticing, Aaron is twice as real this issue. Everyone needs to pay attention to this message.

by Aaron Alexander

A

lright, everyone. I’m going to have to switch things up on you guys a little bit. When I sat down to write this column, there was more than one thing that needed to be addressed. It’s kind of messed up that there’s so many people out there not keeping it real, so I have to go after more than usual. I actually had to limit myself to discussing only two things because there was so much more on my mind. There’s a lot going on, so let’s get to it. Dance, Dance, Revolution What’s with all the dances that are coming out these days? Every time I walk outside, there’s a bunch of kids in the park practicing some new step. Rap has suddenly turned into the hokeypokey set to a new beat. The last time I went to a party, almost every song was telling me to “do this dance” or “do that dance.” Then I get on YouTube and see thousands of people “cranking that Soulja Boy” or doing their best superhero impression – Superman, Spider Man… whatever, man. I like to have fun, but once I take care of business. How are you going to let little kids memorize a bunch of dance steps but struggle in everything they do in school? There are plenty of kids who can execute every dance move perfectly, yet they can’t figure out how to add 2 and 2 together. Unless you plan on becoming a professional

MTV

dancer, spending all day making or watching dance videos isn’t going to get you where you need to be in life. Dancing is supposed to be the fun you have after working hard. Before you do that Cupid Shuffle, shuffle yourself to the library! Hit the books. I can’t take anyone serious if they spend more time learning to dance than they do learning to get ahead. It’s a Dirty Game Out of all the fields in America, few are keeping it as un-real as the world of professional sports. It seems like everybody is lying or involved in some type of scandal. The media spends more time checking for people slipping up than they do talking about the great plays going down on the field. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is going to jail; Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones finally admitted to taking steroids; New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick got caught up in a cheating scandal for “stealing signs.” What’s going on? Pretty soon, the locker room is going to look more like the lock-up room. The reason seems to be clear to me – those people didn’t stay honest once they got to the top. They turned to cheating to get ahead, and in the end, it cost them big time – money, reputation and, in a few cases, freedom. And while we’re on the subject of Vick, he’s a reminder that you have to choose your friends wisely. Vick surrounded himself with people who weren’t looking out for his best interest and didn’t check him when he made bad choices. When the first sign of trouble came they all turned on him or ran away. A friend is supposed to share your goals and help you advance, not tear you down. Keep it real and surround yourself with people who are doing the same. Otherwise, you could be dogged out. tv

I can’t take anyone serious if they spend more time learning to dance

Soulja Boy

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than they do learning to get ahead.


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