Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Listen2Youth Brings Silicon Valley Social Media Tips to CALPA

I am a huge fan of California’s state parks.

It’s like our parks are part of my DNA. My mom worked at Henry Cowell, I served on our local Friends of the Santa Cruz State Parks board.

More importantly, as a resident of Santa Cruz County, I have been spoiled by the accessibility of our state parks. Natural Bridges is probably my favorite because I love those Monarch butterflies. I am frequent visitor at Henry Cowell  - we love splashing in the river during the summer and hunting for Banana Slugs in the winter. And Big Basin is one of our favorites places to camp. [Want to find a park near you? Oh yeah, there's an app for that!]

All of this is within 30 minutes of my home.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Advocating for Human Rights In Your Own Backyard

Heidi (left) with her two sons, her daughter and husband Ron.
Listen2Youth is pleased to support the 15th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards in Santa Cruz, California on May 12, 2012.

The Queer Youth Leadership Awards recognizes queer youth and allies across Santa Cruz County for being leaders within their community. Being a leader encompasses many attributes and spans across all disciplines and activities. I have the privilege of knowing one of this year’s nominees, Heidi Koronkowski.

Heidi is the mother of a 13-year-old transgender child. In the last few years, I have watched her morph from a private housewife with a rambunctious, sometimes challenging daughter, to an outspoken advocate for human rights as she supported her child’s transition to living as a male. Her unwavering support of her son has taken her down a path she never expected.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Get Technology Off My Back: Teenage POV on the Need for Tech Integration

Tyler Headley is a sophomore attending high school in the Pacific Northwest. He writes for us about tech, the user experience and social media - and his ideas about making changes that match the lifestyle of today's youth. If you have questions for Ty, please leave a comment below.

When you walk into a high school, you may first think that you’ve walked into a retirement facility. Why? All the kids are hunched over, trying to evenly spread the heavy weight of their backpacks over their backs.
When people think of individuals who have a lot of equipment, they often think of soldiers. Soldiers have to carry a ton of equipment ranging from their guns, to their boots and trademark sunglasses, to their backpacks.

What if I told you that the average high school student has to carry even more tools?

While this may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s not that far from the truth. On an average day, my school backpack exceeds 26 pounds! The two biggest culprits are the computer and the textbooks, both of which are necessary for school. My backpack is also home to my bulky calculator and cell phone - all four of which are necessities for modern life at a high school.

It may come as a shock to some, but the school library is almost never used (at least for research).