Archive | October, 2014

Happy Halloween From the Spooky Staff of Choices

In our November/December issue of Choices Magazine, we debate the pros and cons of Photoshop. Two teens weigh in on whether editing photos hurts teens’ self esteem. While we agree that photoshopping can have its downsides, it can also be used for lighthearted fun. To get in the spirit of Halloween, we’ve decided to use Google’s Halloweenify tool to transform our staff’s portraits. For your own spooky and scary photos, head to Google before this ghoulish app is gone!


Starting A Classroom Meditation Practice

“OK, I get it. The kids need to meditate… but how does that work, exactly?”

We live in some hyper-connected times; stress levels are on the way up as attention spans are on the way down. Equipping students with the skills needed to slow down and be mindful can help them as they struggle to find focus and calm in a world full of constant distractions.


This Teen is Paying it Forward & Creating a Scholarship for Grieving Students

After losing his father to a heart attack at age 10, Bobby Palmieri decided to pay it forward. He sold 1,000 red silicone bracelets with the phrase “Have A Heart” on them, raising $2,000 for the American Heart Association. He wanted to help prevent other families from having to go through the same thing.

Even years later, his life is still affected by the loss of his dad. That’s why he decided to revisit the Have A Heart concept. Now 19, Bobby is a student at Quinnipiac University and creating his own scholarship program with the help of the American Heart Association.


A Teen’s Home Life & School Life Are More Interconnected Than You May Think

While a teen’s home life and school life may seem like two separate situations, they’re more related than you may realize. New research suggests that if a student is having a tough time at home, that stress spills over into school too — and vice versa.

Researchers at the University of Southern California found that conflicts at school and with family members tend to happen on the same day for teens ages 13-17, or these dilemmas may spill over into the next day too. It can even have an impact up to two days later.


Learn How to be More Than Just a Bystander With This Bullying Prevention Game!

As we’ve mentioned in past posts, October is National Bullying Prevention Month. There are plenty of ways to get involved and take a stand against bullying (including this month’s #ChoicesChallenge). Another strategy? Participate in’s The Bully Text campaign! It’s an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure game that teens can play on their phones and learn how to be more than just bystanders.


WATCH: This Video Will Change How You See Health

Getting healthy isn’t about running marathons, lifting monster trucks, or eating nothing but kale—it’s about making small changes that lead you to a better lifestyle. Tricks as simple as carrying a water bottle and walking more often can transform how you feel about your health—and changing your perspective of exercise can completely change the way you work out.

These small steps are some of the ways that 15-year-old Eric worked toward changing his own health for the better.


What’s Happening in Today’s Health Class?

I remember my high school health class. Vaguely. I remember the textbooks, the worksheets, the videos — oh, the videos — and the awkward. I remember the awkward. I remember sitting there thinking how long until lunch? And I do I even feel like eating anymore after looking at all these pictures of gonorrhea?

I remember wanting it to end, because I just couldn’t see the point.

In other words, health was not my favorite subject. But it should have been. I needed it to be.


Celebrate Body Positivity With Fat Talk Free Week!

Back in September, Choices featured a story about body bullying — or the trend of judging, criticizing, and nitpicking other people (and ourselves) based on appearance. Along with that article, we featured a list of movements that spread body positivity. On that list was an annual campaign called Fat Talk Free Week, which is organized by Delta Delta Delta, a women’s fraternity. Now that week is finally here (Oct. 20-24) and we think it’s worth celebrating!


Can This Method Help Teens Drink Less Soda?

It’s a story we’ve heard (and told) plenty of times before: Teens should drink less soda. But how can you get that message across without seeming redundant or getting tuned out? Researchers from Johns Hopkins University may have discovered a solution. When teens were told how much exercise they would need to do in order to burn off the calories in a sugary beverage, they were more likely to opt for a healthier option or smaller size.

READ ON 0’s New Campaign Spotlights Girls & STEM

Studies show that as they get older, girls are losing interest in science and math. According to statistics, 66% of girls are interested in these subjects in fourth grade, but by eighth grade, they are only half as interested as boys. That’s why our friends at are teaming up with 3M to shine a spotlight on girls and STEM (science, technology, engineering, & math).

Starting today, they are launching their Science Sleuth campaign, which not only helps young people learn about careers in the STEM field, but also supports STEM programs in your area.