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Vision Discipline. Empowerment. Success.


Count! Reasons why YOU matter





Your every move documented

violence Don’t become a victim


Successful Relationship Recipes AND Advice from Influential Entrepreneurs

spring 2012


Vision Discipline. Emp owerment.



Count! Reasons why YOU matter






violence Don’t become a victim


Successful Relatio nship Recipes AND Advice fro m Influential Ent repreneurs

Send check to: ReCapturing the Vision 9780 E. Indigo Street, Suite 301 Miami, FL 33157




Keeping It Real

4 Best of the Web Facebook Frenzy.

5 For Your Health Eating Disorders: Consuming the Teenage Nightmare.

6 Values Valores Redefining Beauty.

7 Impress Yourself


Unleash the CEO Inside You.

10 Shoulders, Ears & Hearts When you need advice from someone who’s been there, Shoulders, Ears, and Hearts is the place to turn.

It’s Time to Make a Statement

28 Keeping It Real True Fame.



8 Knowing the Signs of Teen Dating Violence

Best of the Web

12 Relationship Essentials: 5 ingredients for a healthy relationship.

13 Underage Drinking Making choices and living with the consequences.


Values Valores

14 You Count... In more ways than you think!

16 Senioritis Do’s and Don’ts How to make the most of your final year.

17 True Love’s Kiss? The science behind attraction.


Vision Discipline. Empowerment. Success.


Count! Reasons why YOU matter






violence Don’t become a victim


Successful Relationship Recipes AND Advice from Influential Entrepreneurs


2 teen vision magazine

18 The State of the Student: On our Cover: Danielle Sapah-Gulian wearing a Peach Chiffon Dress by Marchesa

You matter!

20 It’s Time to Make a Statement Fashion-forward trends for prom.

editor’s letter


Vision Spring 2012 Crew


ReCapturing the Vision, International


Dr. Jacqueline Del Rosario President, ReCapturing the Vision, Int.

Managing Editor

Kim HoSang

Graphic Designer

Tiffany N. Castillo


Carlos Obonaga


Witnie Bresil

Hair & Makeup

Tracy Bony


David’s Bridal; Formalwear Store


Daniel Mackey Robert Jones Mandy Marielove Dr. Margarita Gurri Ashley Jolicoeur Ronsades Hart Althea Birch / The Advocate Program Sondi Carter Jarine Baynes Giselle Fontalvo Megan Baumann Michael E. Parker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill Melyssa Ford Marjua G. Estevez

Special Thanks

Miami Beach Botanical Garden David’s Bridal Formalwear Store


ou Count is an edition created to empower you to begin to embrace your individual power to create, to change, and to shape the world around you. You need to know

that great things can happen when just one person takes a stand. The stories you will read are meant to stir you and motivate you to action. What can you do to be counted and where can you begin? You will hear from leaders not

 tephanie Almestica, Erin Burrichter, Aubrey Hoffman, Models: S Emily Lowman, Roniel Moreno, Marcus Postell, Gary Rambeau, Shelby Sapah-Gulian, Danielle Sapah-Gulian

unlike yourself, who stood up and were counted in politics, business, relationships and families. It is my sincere hope that you will no longer look at yourself as being too small or insignificant. Rather, it is my hope that you will begin to dream and then take actions that will cause you to become the leaders of our day. Who knows, soon we may be featuring you in the pages of Teen Vision Magazine. So stand up now because you count! Wishing you well,

Dr. Jacqueline Del Rosario

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.

teen vision magazine


best on the web

Facebook Frenzy Inappropriate information on Facebook can ruin your life.

by Ashley Jolicoeur

young person looking for a new friend to meet up with when in actuality, it is a person with bad intentions. According to Miami Northwestern School Police Officer Jerry Sutherland, “One good thing about social media is that it has helped put a lot of bad people behind bars. There have been many incidents where the people of the community have been arrested for things such as burglary, robbery and even murder because they boasted of their involvement on Facebook. Broadcasting your wrong doing on Facebook can ultimately hurt you in the long run.” What is a Social Network? The world of technology is changing as we know it and along with this change comes the use of social networks. A social network is an online community of friends, colleagues and others that all share the same interest. Social networking has contributed to the growth of many companies and businesses. Over the years, social networking communities have grown exponentially including the big names such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Facebook, which was originally designed for college students, has caught the eyes of nearly 73 million teens. Teens use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, find long-lost ones and to keep up with the latest trends. Unfortunately, Facebook has also been a platform for posting inappropriate information. While many teens think they are just sharing harmless posts, pictures and videos, they’re not taking into consideration the bigger picture and how this can affect them in the future. You never know who’s watching. According to USAToday, many companies, colleges and universities sometimes peruse Facebook profiles to find out if applicants are misrepresenting themselves. Many teens applying to universities and jobs overlook this. Admissions officers and potential employers have often denied applicants because they have inappropriate content posted for the world to see. So it’s always in your best interest to keep your Facebook posts very professional. Personal Dangers Beside the fact that colleges and major companies are watching you, there could be strangers watching you as well. Predators are always on the look out for young people to attack, and many of them use Facebook as their go-to source for prey. There have been numerous accounts of teens who are lured into online interaction under false pretenses, such as fake pictures, information and intent. Unsuspecting teens may think that there is an innocent 4 teen vision magazine

Protection Here are some simple tips to not only protect yourself on the internet, but also make a good impression to onlookers. Pictures: Do not post inappropriate pictures of yourself on Facebook. This includes pictures of you in revealing clothing or taking part in questionable acts, like drug use, drinking or illegal activities. As teenagers, you have to learn how to have respect for yourself, and pictures like these send the wrong message. Only put pictures you think your parents would approve of. Check In: Facebook is a great way to stay connected, find out what your friends are up to and let your friends know where you are. However, constantly divulging information can be unsafe, so stay away from broadcasting your every move. Language: The things you say on Facebook can hurt your image as well. Refrain from using vulgar, profane language in your Facebook posts. Many people are offended by such language, and universities and potential employers will frown upon your seemingly vulgar nature. Privacy Settings: An easy way to screen who can see the contents on your Facebook profile is by changing your privacy settings. You have the option to change what you want people to see and what you want kept private. Changing your privacy settings is the easiest way to protect yourself. Friends: Keep yourself on the safe side by only accepting Facebook friends who you are familiar with. Simply put, stay away from strangers, no matter how cute, nice or friendly they seem to be. Parenting: Officer Sutherland suggests that “Parents need to be more involved in their children’s social life. It is the parent’s job to build a bond with their children. Parents need to always let their children know about how to stay safe. Parents should have access to their child’s Facebook. They should also monitor what their child is posting on Facebook.” The objective is not to become a sheltered hermit, but to take precautions that could save your future. Now that is a “Status” to have. tv

for your health

EATING DISORDERS: Consuming the Teenage Nightmare by Mandy Marielove


rom tests, projects and papers to jobs, extracurricular activities and just trying to fit in, the teen years can be filled with stress. Many times, this stress translates into destructive behaviors, such as drug or alcohol use, excessive partying and even eating disorders. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, more than onehalf of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting or taking laxatives. Here’s the harrowing rundown of today’s most prevalent eating disorders.

Learn to love and accept yourself for who you are...

anorexia Health effects: low blood pressure; brittle nails; irregular heart rhythm; dehydration; dizziness and/or fainting; constipation; and in worst cases, death. Signs that someone may be anorexic: Following a severely restricted diet; hiding, playing with or throwing away food to avoid consuming it; obsession with dieting or preoccupation with food; making excuses to get out of eating meals, such as “I had a huge lunch” or “I’m not feeling well, so I’ll pass on dinner” could signal a harboring harmful eating plan. Binge eating Health effects: increased feelings of stress, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, depression or anxiety; type 2 diabetes; gallbladder disease; high blood cholesterol; heart disease; joint and muscle pain; sleep apnea; certain types of cancer; and weight gain. Signs someone may be binge eating: Eating large amounts of food; depression; anxiety; frequently eating alone in secrecy; feelings of disgust or shame in eating habits; eating when they are full; stock piling food; and “chipmunk” cheeks from repeated vomiting, which is a result of bloating and swelling of the face after excessive binging. Bulimia Health effects: immune system damage; menstrual problems; tooth enamel damage; weakness and dizziness; swelling of the hands and feet; acid reflux and/or ulcers; and irregular heart rhythm. Signs someone may be bulimic: lack of control over eating;

compulsive exercise; frequent trips to the bathroom during or right after meals; broken blood vessels in the eyes; pouch-like corners of the mouth; small cuts or calluses on the finger joints. Needless to say, these behaviors are dangerous, ineffective ways to deal with stress and anxiety. I speak from experience. At one point in my life, I was an anorexic. I became anorexic because I continually compared myself to other girls around me and subsequently developed depression and low-self esteem. I thought that I was fat even though my height and weight were normal, according to my doctor. I became nervous every time I ate, even if it was just a salad. As my self-consciousness grew, my appetite diminished. I started skipping meals and avoiding food, which resulted in dramatic weight loss. My choices even affected my family who became very concerned about my shrinking size. They would say to me that I was ‘just fine’ the way I was ‘before the weight-loss’ and would be angry when I picked at my food instead of eating it. It caused a lot of tension between us. My advice to someone who has an eating disorder is to STOP comparing yourself to others. Learn to love and accept yourself for who you are as opposed to wishing you were something else. As teens, we sometimes cannot handle it all by ourselves. Therefore, surround yourself with the people who love and care about you for who you are. Also, I suggest getting professional help. Treatment There are various resources if you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder. These programs offer one-on-one / group counselling, therapy, diet consultations, over-the phone services and even residential / inpatient care. Here are just a few of these organizations. If you know someone who has an eating disorder, make sure to research a program that best suits his or her needs. Remember, friends don’t let friends be consumed by the teenage nightmare! tv National Eating Disorders Association 800-931-2237 Eating Disorders Treatment 866-575-8179 Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. 630-577-1330 teen vision magazine 5

values valores

Redefining Beauty G Find what lies within

by Giselle Fontalvo & Megan Baumann

rowing up, I was mesmerized by gaudy fashion models who supposedly defined what beauty was, leaving me to feel pressured to try to fit into a certain standard. Our generation is relentlessly being barraged by the media’s perception of beauty. The constant bombardment of photo-shopped images, flawless movie stars, and stick-thin models has had an overwhelming effect on young people. These photo-shopped images have pressured people everywhere into feeling that the standards of beauty are too high, leaving us to feel uncomfortable in our own skin. Truth be told, I have looked at magazines and watched TV shows and wondered to myself, “Why can’t I be as pretty as her?” Simply put, I’ve felt that I’m not good enough. However, I’ve come to the realization that beauty is not external at all. Ironically, I work in the beauty industry. I’m constantly surrounded by fascinating people who express themselves through vibrant hair colors, crazy nail designs and exquisite makeup. I realized that they have learned how to embrace their differences and display them in a captivating way. They show off their bigger-than-life personalities from the inside and exemplify them on the outside. And so it dawned on me: Beauty comes from within. Beauty is not defined by how tall or short, or how big or small you are, your ethnicity, religion, clothes or skin color. It is what is inherent and unique about you. It sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. What you feel on the inside portrays how you look on the outside. You just need to have the courage to be authentically you. One way to embrace who you are is to discover what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Do you like to sing? Are you a

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mathematician or have an eye for design? Focusing on the activities that inspire you will help you learn that everyone has a niche that is special in its own way. Positive contributions to the world around you will make you feel confident in a way that superficial means may not. Part of the reason that we are not happy and feel pressured is because we are trying to fit in where we don’t belong. Find your niche, and you will find your place! You can also construct positive affirmations and repeat them everyday, even several times a day. Statements like “I am beautiful” or “I am unique and special” will help to reinforce what you already know. So whenever you revert back to doubting yourself or comparing yourself to others, think back

What you feel on the inside portrays how you look on the outside. to those affirmations, and the truth will come back to you. Embracing ourselves for what we are as opposed to what we are not is the only way to truly feel beautiful. tv

Unleash the CEO Inside You

impress yourself

You’re a leader waiting to happen by Michael E. Parker Michael E. Parker


he best way to prove that you can become the CEO of your own business is to tell you my own personal story. As a young child growing up in Richmond, California, I faced many negative situations and difficult challenges. If it were not for a select few who showed me unconditional love and care, I would not have had the opportunity to think differently. These concerned adults created a crossroads in my life where I had the opportunity to choose if I wanted to be a better person and a high achiever. Even though the odds were against me as a latch key kid without his father and a mom who was battling domestic abuse and drugs, I overcame these obstacles. Despite it all I went on to obtain my Master’s Degree, travel the world, work with top executives to improve Toyota, be featured before millions on NBC and FOX Business News, start and manage over 10 successful businesses, and write my own book, Who Said So? (Wiley, 2008) Although my book is about business the title of it directly applies to anyone who feels they cannot become a successful entrepreneur. Who says you can’t have a great idea? Who says you can’t manage your own business and have many employees one day? Who says you don’t have what it takes? The truth is, often times we provide the voice of doubt and fear that stops us from being great. We limit ourselves; we get in our own way. I know from experience that some of the greatest leaders in business can come from the inner city. They have developed critical thinking skills necessary to be a CEO by just figuring out how to get back and

Chairman and Founder, Lifeskills 411

forth to school without harm; or how to resist the temptations and distractions in front of them on a daily basis. What you need to understand is that you are already a CEO. It is you who has to make the executive decision to be successful or not. You are the CEO of getting up in the morning and getting to school on time. You are the CEO of participating in class and getting the most out of your education. You are the CEO of choosing who your friends will be. You are the CEO of doing your homework and studying. Basically, you are a CEO because you run the business of YOU! Once you understand that you are a CEO you can now take ownership for your own success. And it all starts with how you think. You have to develop character and commit to you keeping your mind on success. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, “We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.” So as you move through the hallways, cafeterias, and oversized classrooms, and thoughts of success enter your mental sky, always have a mind to strive for excellence and to do your best. Refuse to just get by. Refuse to be ignorant. Refuse to be overshadowed with clouds of anxiety and storms of confusion about where to start. Believe within yourself that you can be successful, and get around people who are where you want to be or are trying to get where you are trying to go. I will not rest until I expose as many youth as possible to this way of thinking. I will not stop believing that all youth can go against all odds to be the CEO of their own lives. For if I do, my own life would be a lie. tv

teen vision magazine


“No one deserves to be a victim of sexual violence.”


ophomore year in high school, Jackie began dating Daniel. They spent a lot of time together and Jackie felt that they would be together for a long time. One evening, Jackie was at home with family when she received a text message from Daniel asking “Where are you?” Jackie replied that she was with family and would talk to him tomorrow. Daniel sent her that same text message 10 more times that evening asking “Who are you with?” The next day at school Daniel approached Jackie, accusing her of being with another guy the night before. Jackie felt uncomfortable, so she decided to walk away. As she turned from him, Daniel quickly grabbed her arm, twisted it, and threatened to hurt her. Afterwards, Jackie felt scared, alone, and confused about her relationship with Daniel. She did not know what was happening or who to talk to for help. Within the past ten years, teen dating violence (TDV) has increased in Miami Dade1. One in five high school students have been in an abusive relationship and although this number appears high, TDV is one of the most underreported crimes. With the growing use of social networking, cell phones, and internet, rates of TDV is more frequent in this generation than ever before. Awareness must be raised to help teenagers identify the signs and effects of TDV, and where to find help.

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Dating violence occurs between two individuals in an intimate relationship with each other. This type of violence is abusive behavior that is used by one partner to gain power and control over another. TDV can happen to anyone. It is not confined to age, race, social class, or religion. TDV can also happen in straight, gay, and lesbian relationships. Types of Dating Violence Physical Violence - punching, slapping, and kicking. Emotional Violence - using threatening words, name calling,  embarrassing you, isolation from friends/family. Stalking - harassing or threatening you repeatedly. Sexual Violence - performing sexual acts against your will. Date Rape Date rape is a form of sexual violence. This may happen by someone you are dating, are friends with, or consider an acquaintance. Alcohol and drugs are common in date rape situations and they dull your common senses. There are also date rape drugs such as Rohypnol (ruthies) which can be easily mixed into a drink. This drug may cause you to black out and forget what has happened after taking it. Physical effects of the drug are feeling paralyzed, having blurred vision, and lack of memory.

Knowing the Signs of Teen Dating Violence by Althea Birch, MPH The Advocate Program, Inc.

To protect yourself from a date rape situation make sure that you are: • Always be aware of your surroundings • Stay sober •A  void being alone with your date in secluded areas (ex. Bedrooms, cars) if you do not yet completely trust them. •O  rder your own beverage and keep it with you at all times to prevent someone from mixing drugs into it • Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel threatened

Signs that you are in an Abusive Relationship • Physical signs of injury caused by a boyfriend/girlfriend •Y  our partner uses controlling behavior to have you stop or start doing something (this may include behaviors such as skipping school, using drugs and/or alcohol, having sexual intercourse) • Extreme jealousy • Isolation from your friends and family • Feeling hopeless and powerless in your relationship • Your partner must know where and who you are with at all times.

No one deserves to be a victim of sexual violence. It does not matter what type of clothes you are wearing or how you act while you were on the date. If you are forced to perform sexual acts against your will call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Effects of Dating Violence Dating violence can affect victims both physically and mentally. Victims may encounter physical scars, physical limitations, and brain trauma. Constant absences from school due to injuries or harassment may result in poor grades, poor conduct and a breakdown of social peer interaction. A healthy relationship has love, equality, and respect. It is important to remember that NO ONE deserves to be in an abusive relationship. If you are in an abusive relationship seek the help of an adult. This may be a teacher, guidance school counselor, or parent. There are resources both locally and nationally which are able to help you leave this relationship in a safe manner. If you are in a domestic violence relationship and need help please contact the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-500-1119. tv

Dating Violence and Technology Seventy-five percent of teenagers ages 12-17 years old own a cellular phone2. Sending harassing text messages and emails between partners, listening to your partner’s voicemail messages, and reading your partner’s emails also are forms of stalking. Also using websites such as Facebook and Twitter to constantly monitor your partner’s activity is UNACCEPTABLE. MDC Injury Surveillance System (2010) Miami Dade County Injury Facts: Teen Dating Violence, Miami Dade High School Students Youth Risk Behavior Study, 2001-2009.



Pew Research Center (2010) Internet and American Life.

teen vision magazine


shoulders, ears & hearts

d n a Support, help h t a s y a w l a & guidance Dear Shoulders, Since I was little my parents always told me that I could never sit still. Since I started middle school I haven’t been doing very well. I get in trouble for speaking out loud, getting out of my chair a lot, and my grades aren’t very good. I understand that I should be better behaved, but at those moments I can’t control my actions. My mom took me to a doctor last month and he told her that I have ADHD. Now I have to take medicine and I don’t like how it makes me feel sometimes. It makes me calm, but I don’t feel like me. When I was little I was told I was special and now I feel like being me is wrong. —Jumpy Dear Jumpy, You are not alone. With that, it is very brave of you to write in about ADHD. A lot of people, young and old, suffer from different illness whether they are physical or mental. What you have to remember is that there is nothing wrong with you. You are special no matter what challenges come to you in life. If the medicine you have been given makes you sick, make sure to speak to your parents immediately and be honest with them as well as your doctor. They are there to help you. It is very important to be well behaved, as this skill will prepare you for the future. If you still feel you have a lot of energy, take up a sport or hobby that keeps you busy. Activities that you enjoy will make you feel confident and soon you’ll find that even with medicine, you are special in your own way. Make it a habit to remind yourself that your ailments do not make you who you are. You define you.

Dear Ears, I ‘m worried about my family. My parents work so much that by the time they get home, they are in a bad mood or are too tired to talk. My older brother doesn’t mind because he is a teenager and I think he likes his video games more. I get lonely a lot when I am at home and wish my family could be together more. How do I bring my family together? —Lonely Girl

Dear Lonely Girl, It seems like you are going through some major changes in your home. Now that you are getting older, it is important to feel supported by family in your daily activities. There are a couple of things you can do to help your family come together more often. First off, it is important that you communicate your feelings to your family. Let them know how distant you feel from them, and then together you can come up with activities to do as a family. You can also begin helping around the house, and make sure to recruit your big brother. That way, when mom and dad get home, there will be less for them to worry about. Also, start a family game night or movie night. Doing activities together will strengthen your family communication and bond.

Dear Heart, I am 18 and graduating high school soon. All of my friends know exactly what they want to do once they graduate. Some already have jobs and some are going to college with great majors. I have no idea what I am doing and it makes me feel like something is wrong with me. I am starting college in the fall, but without a major. I don’t do anything special, but I do like reading and movies, and I work at a clothing shop on the weekend. I want to be successful in life and make my family proud of me. How do I pick the right path once I graduate from high school? —Need A Path Dear Need A Path, Congratulations! You made it to your senior year of high school and will be graduating into a big world. It’s not unusual to feel unsure about the major events in your life. It will take time to transition into the responsibilities of a young adult. It is very important to further your education. By doing so you are ensuring a bright and successful future. If you enjoy reading, movies, and your job in a clothing shop; you can study literature, film making, or business in fashion. If you still don’t know what major to choose, don’t be afraid to talk to a college advisor, your parents, and friends. They may peak your interest in areas that you may want to pursue. Whatever you choose make sure that you are happy and that you are the best that you can be! tv

...Life, Laughter, Learn 10 teen vision magazine

Relationship Essentials: 5 Ingredients for a Healthy Relationship by Daniel Mackey and Robert Jones


inding love and attempting to maintain a healthy relationship is a common challenge most of us face at least once in our lifetime, but when you have found your right match, where does the road go from there? When you are traveling down the narrow path of love with your long lost perfect match, ask yourself, “What are some things that my partner and I can both do to keep this relationship healthy?” Before you get into deep thought about this, the answer is very simple. There are five essential ingredients to maintain a balanced, healthy relationship: TRUST, HONESTY, SUPPORT, COMMUNICATION and SELF IDENTITY. These five components are vital to keeping your relationship in tip-top shape. TRUST A couple is a pair of people who can effectively coincide with one another in a sincere relationship with no insecurities between them. This statement means nothing without trust, which is the element that holds any healthy relationship together. In opposition, a lack of trust is the silent killer. It slowly depletes the bond day by day until the relationship is no more. Trusting each other means that without the slightest shadow of a doubt, you know that your partner will respect all boundaries under any given circumstance. It is also having the ability to share thoughts and feelings without worrying about judgment, depletion of comfort or confidentiality. HONESTY Without honesty there can be no trust, so think about honesty as a necessary building block of a trust based relationship. Being honest with each other allows you to open up to each other and know exactly where you stand in a relationship without confusion or miscommunication. Lying just leads to an accumulation of more lies and more pain. This tarnishes the relationship and slowly eats away at it until the truth is forced out and the parties are usually driven apart.

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SUPPORT Couples who give each other a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on, or even just an ear to listen, have the potential to have a strong union. Showing your partner that you are there for them 100 percent displays the commitment you are willing to give in the long run. Giving them your all and expecting them to give you their all is something both parties have to support and agree on. COMMUNICATION When communicating with your partner, it is important to listen, not just hear them but listen and give your honest feedback. Being able to talk to each other through easy and challenging issues alike is foundational to a healthy relationship. You must know that there are going to be times where you have to agree to disagree. So put yourself in their shoes and learn to empathize with their feelings. Lastly, learning how to communicate in a way where your partner can feel your love and hear it as well is essential. SELF IDENTITY Couples need to stay true to who they are as an individual. Just because you are in a relationship does not always mean both of your likings have to be the same. Combining each other’s individual interests into shared activities can also be a great option. The values, goals, and dreams you had for yourself prior to the relationship should not be pushed to the backburner when you become committed to someone. When the foundation is strong, your relationship is on the right path of becoming a long-term successful relationship. Being able to have the ability to portray these five important ingredients to maintaining a healthy relationship is also something to keep in mind when you are starting to date. Having these elements will create a sturdy foundation for a successful relationship. tv

Underage Drinking Making choices and living with the consequences

by Sondi Carter


lcohol is the drink of choice for many adults to unwind after a hard day’s work, to loosen up at a stuffy function, or to celebrate a special occasion with friends. But more and more young people under the legal drinking age of 21 are making alcohol their first choice as well… and the decision to drink alcohol can be a very dangerous one. Why teens drink can be summed up by the following 4 reasons: The adults in your life drink – You often see the adults around you drink alcohol so it’s something you’ve naturally come to accept as part of your life. You heard it helps you to relax or have fun – The daily grind of school, a breakup with your boyfriend/girlfriend, or a fight with your parents can trigger the desire for some booze. Or you’ve been told that alcohol “gets the party started.” Peer Pressure – This is a major issue for most teens. A lot of your friends are doing it, so in order to fit in, you may feel pressure to grab a beer and “be cool”. You’re just plain curious – You see people drinking on television, you hear about it in your favorite songs, and these people make it look and sound so cool. What can happen to me if I drink? First off, alcohol is a drug. A drug is a substance that affects the processes of the mind and the body. Specifically, alcohol is a depressant, which means it reduces the normal function of your brain and your body. For example, alcohol causes you to lose coordination, think less clearly, and slur your speech. Because a teenager’s brain has not fully developed yet, these effects are even more severe. The bottom line is, drinking alcohol leads to poor decision making, which leads to risky behavior and an array of bad consequences, the ultimate one being death. Here are just a few of the consequences you may face after choosing to drink alcohol: Injury to yourself and/or others – Because alcohol lowers your reaction time and clouds your decision-making, you are more likely to cause physical harm to yourself or to those around you. According to the U.S. Department of Health, nearly 5,000 teens die in car accidents every year because they chose to drink and drive. Also, there is a significantly higher chance for you to fall, burn yourself, or even commit

suicide or homicide when you are under the influence of alcohol. Becoming an alcoholic – Individuals who begin drinking at a young age have a greater chance of becoming addicted. Research has shown that youth who use alcohol before age 15 are five times more likely to become alcohol dependent than adults who begin drinking at age 21. Alcoholics face a number of health and social issues. Health problems include liver disease, heart disease, depression, alcohol poisoning, and ultimately death. The behavior of alcoholics can hinder their ability to keep a job and care for themselves and their families. Legal issues – Underage drinking is illegal. Point blank period. If you are caught drinking underage, you and whoever enabled your consumption can face serious legal ramifications. Social dilemmas – Teens who drink alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, which we all know can result in unwanted pregnancy, the contraction of STDs, a damaged reputation, and the loss of self-respect. As teenagers, you are faced with a lot of decisions everyday. Stress from school, pressure from your friends, and just the process of getting to know who you are can make these decisions all the more difficult. However, understanding the consequences of underage drinking can ultimately save your life. Why put your future at risk? Remember the choice is yours. tv

teen vision magazine


You opportunities because we all deserve the same kind of safety nets that I and others at this other school got. With these opportunities, it is easier to rise above your circumstances, and it is possible to change those circumstances.

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill


t’s easy to understand why it can feel like you are just another face in the crowd. But, you’re not! Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a native of the North Philly projects and current advocate for youth’s rights, public speaker, author, and professor at Columbia University, discusses the important role you play in the future success of our country.

Q. Please tell readers about you, your background, and how you became so interested in helping youth. I grew up in a North Philadelphia neighborhood in the 1970s and 1980s. You could say I was pretty familiar with gun violence, drugs, and poverty. What there didn’t seem to be a lot of were opportunities for myself and my friends. That’s not to say that we didn’t have some good times on the block. I look back and realize that I had some friends who were smart, talented, witty and gifted in so many ways, but they didn’t always show it. I had two parents who decided to have me take a bus to a school out of the neighborhood and I kept up good grades. That’s not to say that I didn’t get in my fair share of trouble. But, I did get hit up with a lot of luck while my friends didn’t. Early on, I realized that I wanted to change this for my friends and for other young people to come. After all, everyone should have access to these

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Q. Why is education important and what role can it play in a person’s life? Schools provide an environment where young people can gain knowledge and skills that they can use the rest of their lives. I attended an average school that had the basics, including books, healthy food options, safety and consistent teaching. The problem is that there are so many schools that do not even meet this average. The problem I see now is that schools are providing testing and lots of rules, but they are cutting back on what education is there to do. By taking away art, music, social studies and after school programs, young people are losing access to the opportunities, knowledge, and skills that they need to guide their success. Education is what this country was built on where tomorrow’s big ideas and where the next generation of citizens could have a say in our democracy. Q. What do you tell young people about what is happening in their schools today? I tell them that there is a conspiracy going on. Everyone knows that when you take away art, music, and all the lessons that make learning fun and then turn school into a prison with metal detectors, kids won’t want to come to school. This proves their point about why they shouldn’t provide programs. By dropping out, you become part of the conspiracy. It’s what the institutions are betting on and it’s why some teachers have such low expectations. Instead, beat the system and conquer the conspiracy.

Count... In More Ways Than You Think! An interview with Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

Q. How can youth get involved in their education to make it into what they want? There are two ways: 1) work as hard as you can in school, and 2) be part of the change. I’ll give you an example. I marched with 4,000 kids to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania who protested about their school conditions and demanded change. They gained their voices and showed they counted. Whether your books are old, you still can read them. Whether your school has no art programs, you can still pick up a paintbrush or make music together after school. Q. What does it mean to count? It means two things – the world needs you and you are the engine of change that has the power to transform the world. You count because you have the next big ideas. You have the ability to be the next president or nominate them. Everything you do is part of a social movement. And, while we saw young people throughout history bring change, today’s movement has the power to reach even more people. Think about how Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube posts are now getting attention in the media. You can use your voice and be heard by more people than ever before. Q. Can you provide some good examples of those who have made a difference in their youth? There are so many – from musicians and entrepreneurs and from those who brought down the President of Egypt or who are fighting for change in Libya and Syria. There are incredible musical artists like Lil’ Wayne or the founder of Facebook. There is the thirteen year old who found a way to get bicycles to people in Africa because he recognized that transport would help more people there. Every day, there are kids changing the world and showing themselves and others just how much they count.

Q. How can youth count in their communities and schools? Target issues that matter to you personally. Join local and national organizations that are doing something you feel passionate about. Maybe it has something to do with sports, the environment, or animals. You now have tools that bypass those in power completely because you can blog, tweet, and talk about how you feel, find others who feel the same, and join together to fight the system and their conspiracies. There are more opportunities today than ever before to have a voice. Start with a request, then demand change, and then work together to figure out how to make the change happen. Be present and active students. Form committees. Start a school newspaper with topics of interest to students. Find organizations to sponsor school programs or buy resources. Q. How can youth get started in making a difference? Small steps are a way to start and build confidence that you do count. Think about what gets you out of bed in the morning because you care about it. This is what will motivate you to go from thinking to talking to acting. Don’t leave it up to the world around you to tell you what is important. When you accomplish what you set out to do in that small step, it will feel like a victory and like you could take on the world. That’s when you realize you do count and you must keep thinking, talking, and acting to multiply how much you count. Add that to how much every person involved in your efforts count, and you can create change and build the future on your terms. tv

Dr. Hill will be the keynote speaker at RTV’s 17th annual Teen Empowerment Summit. Join us!

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Do’s & Dont’s How to make the most of your final year by Ronsades Hart Save Up Senior year is jam packed with responsibilities and activities. Aside from keeping your grades up and completing community service hours, there is senior breakfast, grad bash, prom, and finally graduation – the expenses for which add up! Here are a few strategies to avoid having to dig into your savings and alleviate the stress of having to forgo the activities all together: Set a budget for each activity. Try to allot for all costs, including admission fees, transportation, clothing, and accessories. Start saving early by putting aside enough money every month until you reach your goal. To earn extra income, obtain a part-time job or do odd jobs here and there, like tutoring, babysitting or yard work.

Stay on Track Understand that high school isn’t the end of the game. It is only a stepping-stone to your future successes, so stay focused! Do not allow laziness, partying, alcohol, or pre-marital sex to take you off course. Statistics show that a mere 1.5% of teenage mothers earn a college degree by age 301. Instead, imagine yourself walking across the campus of your dreams or learning a new skill or trade that will further your career. Make sure to consult with your guidance counselor often, complete any graduation requirements, and turn in your final transcripts and test scores, so you can be well on your path to success!

Give Back While senior year is a time to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments, you can also find fulfillment by giving back to those less fortunate. You can organize a commuinty service day for you and your friends by finding a local non-profit organization in need of a helping hand. You can also donate your prom wear to an organization like Becca’s Closet, which awards formal wear and scholarships to students in need. Whether it’s your time, clothing or intellect, think about ways of pledging your resources to help someone who really needs and would greatly appreciate them.

Make it Memorable There is so much going on during your senior year that it can be a blur. So along the way, make sure to capture those memorable moments and make the most of the time you have with your family and friends. Spend quality time with each other. For instance, you can plan, shop and get ready for upcoming events together. You can also host study groups and help each other prepare for tests and projects. In celebration of the big day, maybe you could host a graduation potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish. Be sure to truly cherish these special times. Your senior year in high school is one to remember. However, life is about balance. So as long as you plan, set goals and prioritize, you will achieve what is sure to be a memorable year. tv 16 teen vision magazine

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y the time that we become teenagers we realize that we develop romantic attractions to specific things. These attractions can be so strong that they alter the way we think and feel. Is it the sheer qualities of the individual that we see that causes these intense feelings or is it science? Let’s examine the reveal about love and attraction by answering three questions. Question 1. The Role of Biology. How much of attraction is biological? Sex appeal is more than a cluster of neurons in our brains. Still, we are hard-wired subconsciously to be attracted to body shape, movement, face, smell and hormones to produce healthy children. Body Shape and Movement Ancient Greeks favored a golden ratio such as girls’ hour-glass figures with noticeable hip-to-waist differences. Across cultures, graceful and coordinated body movements attract love. Face One look and we’re lost in a whirl of passion. What draws us? We prefer symmetrical, masculine and feminine faces as signs of good health and genes. Puberty makes boys’ faces longer with stronger chins and bigger brows. Girls’ faces become softer, cheeks and lips rosier. Who would guess that a girl’s special time of the month enhances attraction? Smell Did you know that girls like the smell of genetically-different boys? However, the same attraction doesn’t happen to males who are close relatives. Girls, remember your brother’s stinky t-shirt? To find true love, let your own scent shine. Avoid strong perfumes, colognes, and products that hide your own scent. Baths are still highly recommended! Testosterone, the love drug Kisses invite all senses to the party. We see, smell, taste, hear, and feel our partner. A boy’s testosterone-laden kiss can be a promising start, or it can bring an abrupt halt to a potential romance. Dopamine, the pleasure chemical While testosterone attracts and feeds the spark of love, a rush

of dopamine keeps us in the relationship. It makes us feel euphoric and energetic. Not in love? Don’t worry. Roller coasters, dancing, and new learning also produce dopamine. Question 2. The Power of Choice. Can we choose our behavior? Yes. It makes sense to put off the confusing biologically-primed input from touches and kisses until we’re in a trusting, loving marriage. Love and sex are great gifts. Why rush in? When is it safe to kiss someone? A fourth-grader reasoned, “When you can give a girl your entire video collection and know that she won’t play, sell, share, lose, or harm them, it is safe and wise to reach for that kiss on the cheek!” Question 3. The Role of Thought. Can our thoughts influence that spark? Yes. Brains are affected by optimism, loved ones, and a positive attitude. To find true love, happiness is the answer. We are biologically-wired to be happy. We appear more positive, attractive, and trustworthy. Five Steps Toward Happiness on the way to True Love... Count your blessings. Notice the good. Scan for the positive. Journal your gratitude. Be kind. It attracts kind people in your life. Laugh. Find a humor buddy and increase joy in the world. Exercise. Feel good, sleep well, and focus. Do good deeds. Contribute. Being a good family member helps invite great love. Bottom Line: To Thine Own Self Be True Instead of scanning the horizon for that one special person, take a look at yourself. Focus on the positive. Make yourself a better person, learner, friend, and loved one. Be that person you say that you seek. You will find your true love when you are ready. tv

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The State of the Student: You Matter! By: Marjua G. Estevez

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Panelists delved into the topics of education, personal finance, branding, relationships and love.

John Legend and Dr. Jacqueline Del Rosario

Moderated by famed TV model Melyssa Ford and Haitian comedic personality Se Joe, Florida A&M University’s The State of the Black Student Summit packed a powerhouse dialogue when it gathered a bevy of panelists that featured America’s Marriage Doctor Jacqueline Del Rosario, Grammy award-winning singer and philanthropist John Legend, highly regarded personal finance wizard Carmen Wong-Ulrich, host of Our World with Black Enterprise Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, and best selling author Omar Tyree.


he summit’s mission was to raise awareness about national and global issues directly affecting minority communities. It also challenged students to think critically and gave them a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with some of the greatest, most forward-thinking minds of their generation. A diverse audience, which encompassed Florida A&M University students as well as students from nearby Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College, partook in a rare conversation that had participants Tweeting for days. Panelists delved into the topics of education, personal finance, branding, relationships and love. The eclectic array of speakers allowed for students to walk away with an abundance of knowledge and feedback on these hot topics. Carmen Ulrich urged couples to discuss money matters and to be clear on their goals, both as couple and individuals. John Legend encouraged students to continually test and challenge the current issues facing the educational system today because, as he so eloquently put it, “education is the only way to break free.” Meanwhile, Dr. Del Rosario extended her advice to the sector of the night’s audience that was most prominent: women. Dr. Del Rosario reached a pinnacle in the conversation when she implored young women to know and love themselves first before stepping into any serious relationship. Her comment that women are different from men and have a natural inclination to play for keeps in romance brought down the house. Listeners were riveted when she explained that men are the choosers in relationships and women agree or disagree with their choice, so choose well.

The summit’s theme of Black Excellence was so empowering to the students that it simply transcended Black excellence… it resonated excellence, period. What was supposed to be only a two-day event surpassed 48 hours of elite learning to become the most talkedabout event around Tallahassee campuses with students still wearing their summit buttons and modeling their t-shirts. A more aware and vibrant body of collegiate pupils are now seemingly embracing the challenge that the panelists proposed: become a better you in order to serve as a better us. Unquestionably, every individual counts and as the saying goes, where one is weak another is strong. Like the uniquely astonishing working community of ants where one ant scouts for and gathers food, another is better at holding onto it. And while ants are known to dislike each other, they’ve mastered a peaceful co-existence. As humans, we can apply this ideology to our everyday lives: respect each individual, while also taking on the challenge to develop oneself into a respectable individual. Why? Because you matter. tv

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It’s time to make a statement Fashion-forward trends for prom

Photography by Carlos Obonaga Stylist; Witnie Bresil Red Chifon, Cinderelly Divine

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(TOP) From L to R: Spandex Midnight Glow, Poly USA; Red Chifon, Cinderelly Divine (BOTTOM) From L to R: Black Polyester Tuxedo, Cardi Collection; Spandex Midnight Glow, Poly USA; Red Chifon, Cinderelly Divine; Heather Grey Savoy Tuxedo, Jean Yves with Full Back Vineyards Watermelon Vest, Ralph Lauren and Grey Leather Shoes, After Six

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From L to R: Soft Chiffon Print Gown with Illusion Back, David’s Bridal; Yellow Chiffon Gown with Cascading Ruffle Detail, David’s Bridal

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Black Polyester Tuxedo, Cardi Collection with Royal Blue Satin Vest, Afton 6

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From L to R: Two In One Transforming Dress, David’s Bridal; Tuxedo and Vest, Calvin Klein, Formal Affair; Ombre Ball Gown with Glitter Tulle, David’s Bridal

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From L to R: Blue Sequin Tulle, Poly USA; Black Polyester Tuxedo, Cardi Collection; Black Polyester Tuxedo with Purple Vest and Tie, Cardi Collection; Purple Satin, Neblon USA

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Beaded Charmeuse Print Dress, David’s Bridal

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keeping it real

True Fame Ultimately, it’s up to you! by Melyssa Ford


e all know what it means to have fame or to be famous, right? You would think that the definition of fame or being famous would be something we could all agree upon. Just to be sure, I looked up the definition of both in Oxford’s Dictionary, because it seems that just about ANYONE can be famous these days! Here is how Oxford’s Dictionary defined fame: widespread reputation, especially of a favorable character; renown; public eminence. Similarly, the definition of someone who is famous, is defined as this: having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated. Let’s take Beyonce as an example; she is incredibly famous, and for good reason. She is beautiful and has a laundry list of talents, from song writing and singing to dancing and acting. She, alongside her equally talented and famous husband, Jay Z, is celebrated worldwide for these talents. On the other hand, another example of someone who’s considered to be famous is Snooki, aka Nicole Pilozzi, from MTV’s Jersey Shore. By all accounts, she certainly enjoys the perks that are bestowed upon the famous: big endorsement deals, walking red carpets, front row seats at awards shows, tabloid appearances, even speaking engagements at prestigious universities! But, if we compare Beyonce to Snookie, we quickly see where the lines have been blurred and the concept of fame has become quite convoluted. Snookie doesn’t sing or dance (unless she is on top of a bar, inebriated), she doesn’t act, and I believe her NY Times best selling memoir was ghost written. She has become famous for her foul mouth, intoxicated antics with her friends, irresponsible nature, and her seeming inability to resolve conflict like an adult or a lady. Basically, she is rewarded heavily for behaving badly. So we must keep it real when it comes to true fame. 28 teen vision magazine


Far be it from me to judge anyone; we all have to live with the choices and the mistakes that we make. But what I find to be most troubling is the constant example that the casts of reality shows set, and the hefty reward they seem to be paid for their obnoxious behavior. The notion that fame can be achieved simply by releasing a sex tape or finding other provocative ways to draw attention to yourself has consequences no one seems to ever want to discuss. I have a phrase that I use whenever I am asked about the path of my own career and how I look at the concept of fame and visibility: “Fame used to be a by-product of success, hard work and longevity; now it’s the ULTIMATE goal.” What frightens me most about the younger generation is the willingness to disregard your sense of privacy by posting your every move and personal photos on social networking sites. You spend more time texting and less time talking and cultivating strong interpersonal relationships. Plus, the constant barrage of negative imagery on TV is creating as sense of apathy within you. Your personal sense of self-worth, the cultivation of strong relationships, the ability to articulate thoughts and ideas eloquently and the ability to positively promote your greatness… these are tools you NEED in the real world as an adult. All of the photos and bad-mouth postings you put out now can come back to haunt you in the near future when you set out for the job market or start applying for higher education. It’s ultimately YOUR CHOICE how the world will perceive you. It is YOU who makes that initial introduction. And trust me, first impressions last a lifetime. Now that’s keeping it real. tv


ReCapturing the Vision Teen Vision Magazine is published quarterly. To learn more about ReCapturing the Vision programs and special events, send inquiries to: ReCapturing the Vision, International, Inc. 9780 E. Indigo Street, Suite 301 Miami, FL 33157 email: Or visit us on the web at:

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Teen Vision Magazine Spring 2012  

The latest version of the Teen Vision Magazine

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