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Are the Kids Alright?

Posted by Cynthia Brian on
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Empowerment
Are the Kids Alright?
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MIRACLE MOMENT®

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” Marianne Williamson 


PEAR AND WINE FESTIVAL, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH&

Welcome pear festivalOur teen radio host and reporter, Sharayna Roy, is busy chairing the involvement of Be the Star You Are!® in the Pear and Wine Festival to be held Saturday, September 24th at the Moraga Commons Park in Moraga, not far from St. Mary’s College. Our booth will have a variety of super fun activities for kids including making pin wheels, planting seeds for literacy, reading circles, and spin the wheel. She is also organizing a lottery for great prizes, and a bargain book bin. Several of our hosts and reporters from Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio will be in attendance to talk to attendees. Cynthia Brian will be autographing the new picture book, No Barnyard Bullies along with her other bestselling books and there will be more surprises. The festival itself promises food, music, games, jump houses, inflatables, pie eating contests, and of course wine! Come play from 11-3pm for a day of family fun and love. Many thanks to our sponsors, The Lamorinda Weekly, www.LamorindaWeekly.comand MB Jessee Painting, www.MBJessee.com

More info at https://www.bethestaryouare.org/events-1/2022-pear-and-wine-festival-a-day-of-free-family-fun

Sharanya-STAR


SIMPLE KINDNESS

kindness quote 2It’s often the little things that brighten our moments.  We may wonder how a simple nod of the head or a good morning smile could make a difference.  But if someone is depressed or even feeling a bit down, that simple gesture can be a reminder that they are valued.

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Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com


See You At the Pear and Wine Festival!

We invite you to get involved, volunteer, make a difference and donate.

Thanks for being YOU!
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Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3

PO Box 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556
Are the Kids Alright?


A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CYNTHIA BRIAN

2021 Pear Festival-covid-masks down (1) 2Tattooed on seven time Formula 1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton’s chest is the phrase “Powerful Beyond Measure”. As a dyslexic Black kid in a predominantly white school, he struggled academically, was bullied by classmates, and told by teachers that he would never be anything. With determination, grit, and stamina, he proved everyone wrong to become one of the most famous athletes on the planet. 

Lewis’s trajectory is an admirable success story. He’s a role model with a lesson about believing in yourself, no matter the odds.

Today’s youth are in crisis with soaring rates of depression and anxiety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 10 high school students attempted suicide in 2021. Between 2010 and 2020 suicide rates rose 53%. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for teenagers.

This is alarming.

At Be the Star You Are!®, the majority of the people we work with are adolescents, many of whom are immigrants or children of immigrants from numerous countries, creeds, and cultures. On our unedited and uncensored teen radio broadcast, Express Yourself!™, our young reporters and hosts tackle and debate issues that concern them. The Supreme Court’s unpopular decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade has many high school seniors, both male and female, deciding not to apply to colleges in states where bodily autonomy and freedom of choice is not guaranteed. The political turmoil, sexism, racial intolerance, white supremacy increase, anti-immigration fervor, conspiracy theories, unabated lies, gun violence, Russia’s war, and the rise of autocracy have these young people understandably worried. Climate change and global warming instill a fear that our future Earth may not be hospitable to humans. By talking about these realities and sharing their opinions, our thoughtful and intelligent teens shine a light on how we can be powerful beyond measure when we embrace democracy, peace, and love. Select a topic and tune in at 

https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself . When teens talk, the world needs to listen.

As parents, teachers, and guardians we strive to understand, to guide, to be truthful. We need to be role models, share experiences, provide love, and show approval. The new children’s picture book, No Barnyard Bullies,addresses these and other complex issues in the hope of instilling kindness and inclusivity in children from a young age. No one likes a bully, not even in the animal kingdom. Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1615/New-childrens-book-addresses-complex-issues-of-kindness-and-inclusivity.html

For a joyful family day, come join us at the Pear and Wine Festival on Saturday, September 24th in Moraga. Our teen chairperson, Sharayna, has a multitude of free, fun activities to entertain kids.

Remember we don’t have to dim the light of others to have our own shine brightly. Be the unapologetically star you were born to be and be powerful beyond measure. 

Let’s help our kids be alright!

With gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


NEW CHILDREN’S BOOK COMBATS BULLYING!

FRONT COVER-sm-NoBarnyardBullies copyBe the Star You Are!® is excited to announce the launch of a new children’s picture book series, Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures, authored by Executive Director, Cynthia Brian, with proceeds benefiting Be the Star You Are!®. Each book is based on a true story that happened to adopted animals in Cynthia’s menagerie. Debuting in October will be NFT’s related to the series with exclusive experiences and empowerment events.

The animal kingdom is filled with timely and timeless tales that are relatable to humans. The animal family of Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures experiences complex encounters that challenge their integrity, individuality, and character while amplifying diverse expressions and original viewpoints to co-exist as a group. The barnyard animals address critical issues facing children including bullying, nature, power struggles, adversity, adoption, homelessness, creativity, justice, health, kindness, ethnicity, and being different through a cultural lens of hope and resolution. With visually rich illustrations, each picture book moves a child to appreciate all animals while learning the lessons the natural world teaches humans.

Back Cover No Barnyard Bullies

Each book is 32 pages peppered with lively conversations between the species. Glorious, colorful animated illustrations of the characters by the talented Jensen Russell bring the prose and poetry dialog to life.  Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1615/New-childrens-book-addresses-complex-issues-of-kindness-and-inclusivity.html

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Illustrator, Jensen Russell

No Barnyard Bullies follows a pampered piglet who lives in an apartment as she is re-homed to a barnyard filled with happy critters. Thinking that she is the Queen, she bullies the other animals until she is stopped by a tiny bunny who defends a three-legged goat from her attacks. Everyone is equal in Stella Bella’s barnyard where bullies are not tolerated and inclusiveness is paramount .  Advance purchases at a discount available in our online store. https://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store/No-Barnyard-Bullies-COMING-SOON-PRE-ORDERS-ONLY-AT-A-DISCOUNT-p486474870

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HELP CONTINUE THE POSITIVE WORKS! DONATE TODAY!BTSYA-Banner-Logo copy


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LIVE on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PT, be entertained, informed, amused, and educated on StarStyle-Be the Star You Are!. Then be inspired and motivated on

Sundays from 3-4pm PT, it’s Express Yourself! Teen Radio with our Be the Star You Are! star teen hosts and reporters.
 
VISIT https://www.StarStyleRadio.com for our line-up of topics and guests.

SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP!

We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.
1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

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5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

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6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

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Holiday With Kids – How To Make The Holiday Exciting

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Health & Wellness
Holiday With Kids – How To Make The Holiday Exciting

The holiday season is a very special time for families around the world. It is the time when you get the chance to meet your friends and families and celebrate the festive season with them. The festive season is on its way and it is wise to start making plans and preparation early so that you can have the best and stress-free holidays with your family. 

If you are planning a trip to one of the fantastic Inverness hotels you will have a long trip ahead of you. Here are some tips to make the journey more fun.

Packing

Packing the car for a holiday can feel like a chore. However, it does not need to feel like it. First, you should consider using soft bags since they are easy to squish into a packed vehicle. Do not forget to check accommodations beforehand so that you can carry essentials.  If you are traveling with a child (maximum 6 years), consider a travel stroller. They come in handy since they cannot walk for long.

Electronics

It is highly important to keep kids entertained on long journeys. You may hate your kids staring at the screen all day, but there are exceptions, like while traveling.

Music

Music makes a huge difference and plays a role in the overall entertainment. When it comes to music, you have to pick something that appeals to the whole family (not unless you are planning to use headphones).

Books

Books can help enhance the appeal of the whole trip. There are many types of books for all ages. For example, if you have young kids, consider having coloring books and other child geared books. For teenagers, you can consider magazines, comics, and others.

Backpacks

While on holiday, it is wise to consider letting your child pick their activity pack. For example, a child can do a lot with blank paper and colored crayons. In other words, consider what your kids are carrying for the trip. It is not wise to include sharp things.

Traveling Game

Ever since traveling became a thing, many traveling games have been created. Good examples are the Volkswagen Zap, I Spy, Twenty Questions, I’m Going On A Camping Trips and others. There are plenty of board games like Bingo, snakes, and ladders, crosswords, etc. These games are what make or create memorable moments in a road trip.

Snacks

When traveling, it is wise to consider your snacks options. The sad truth is that snacks tend to make a vehicle messy, but they are worth it. For this reason, consider healthier snacks such as grapes, cheese cubes, crackers, cereals, and others. To prevent the mess, consider carrying a rubbish bag rather than littering in the vehicle.

Bribes

By mentioning the word bribe, it makes people curious and shocked at the same time. However, when it comes to bribing our young ones, there is a way to do it correctly. In other words, the key to a bribe is using them sparingly and when there is an immediate reward, like promising sweets and magazines at the end of a trip.

Surprises  

We all love surprises. They help shake things up. While traveling, consider purchasing a gift that you can surprise them with. Taking this small action will make a huge difference in the whole traveling experience.

Never forget wipes

Wipes come in handy when you are traveling or going on holiday with your kids. For this reason, you can never have too many wipes. These are useful for wiping off sticky hands before and after a snack. It can be used to clean other areas like spills.  

Frequent Stops

Travelling, especially using a vehicle can be tiresome. This is why scheduling frequent stops can make a huge difference, especially for your kids. Take full advantage of rest stops and kids playing parks along the way. A little break will go a long way in making things easier for your kids.

Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty * Totally Engaging; Makes Us Want To See More

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Movie Reviews
Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty * Totally Engaging; Makes Us Want To See More

Continuing the dramatic tale of survival revolving around three families of meerkats who are descendants of the legendary meerkat matriarch, Flower. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dominic D. comments, The latest series, Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty, is totally engaging and makes us want to see more of our favorite mongooses.” See his full review below.

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Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty (2021)
By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Many of us live in areas where Mother Nature brings a variety of seasons which exposes us to a wide array of ecosystems. Because we’re used to this variety, we have become incredibly curious about areas of the globe whose ecosystems are perhaps not as vast; one area in particular is the desert. With its harshly hot and dry climate, we know that anything able to withstand such brutal weather has to be an amazing creature and that’s one reason we have completely fallen for the South African meerkat. The documentary series Meerkat Manor has entertained us for over 15 years and has brought the wondrous secrets of the Kalahari Desert right into our homes. The latest series, Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty, is totally engaging and makes us want to see more of our favorite mongooses.

Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty follows three families of the most charismatic desert mammals and showcases their family dynamics. In the spotlight of this series is Swift, the granddaughter of the original Meerkat Manor Whisker family matriarch, Flower. We’ve waited 12 years to catch up on what the Whiskers, Hakuna Mata and Ubuntu families have been up to and there are many surprises within this series as some things have changed. The new series continues to show us just how difficult life in the desert can be, yet with the perfect family dynamics and role assignments, animals can overcome these challenges. Just like in our own lives, people compete for space, food, and other resources, the meerkat families are no different. These episodes highlight that, despite the fact that the meerkats share a common bloodline, individual survival and the survival of their family is their main concern.

There are a lot of great things about this series, but my favorite part is the character led story telling by narrator Bill Nighy. The series humanizes the meerkats and gives each their own entertaining personalities. There are heroes, villains, babysitters, a Romeo and Juliet pair, and so much more. These personalities are hilarious and interesting to watch. The cinematography is also fantastic with its capturing of some of the most harsh weather conditions on Earth. I especially enjoyed the scenes where the camera was placed deep within the meerkat burrows. Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty is a captivating series about the natural world and I appreciate its educational value.

The message of this series is about teamwork. Of course, family, culture and perseverance are worth mentioning here also; however, if this species didn’t have a system of working together, they could not thrive within their harsh ecosystem. Each meerkat has a specific role to support its family. They work cohesively in a variety of ways to assure the success of their family. Whether their role is one filled with drama or with entertainment, one thing is for certain – these desert dwellers are sure to tug at your heartstrings.

I give Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults, especially animal lovers and nature enthusiasts, will also love this series. Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty is available now on BBC American and AMC+. Episodes 7 and 8 are coming out on September 4 and September 9, 2021.

5 Tips To Ensure Healthy Gaming Practices

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Health & Wellness
5 Tips To Ensure Healthy Gaming Practices

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially recognized gaming addiction as a mental health disorder. As a parent, you may feel worried about the behaviors your child experience around online gaming. You may also find it hard to create a healthy gaming balance for your kids. To help you out in this difficult situation, here are 5 tips to help you create a healthy gaming balance for your kids.

  1. Establish Limits

A Mott poll has recently revealed its shocking findings that most parents aren’t aware of the extent of their children’s gaming habits. Parents that know their children are gamers have reported that 54% dedicate three or more hours per day to gaming. Only 13% of gamer parents believe their child spends more time gaming than average, while 78% believe their child plays video games equivalent to that of peers. It is fine to have some level of gaming time and partake in some online gambling games so long as it is done with caution.

The poll also reveals that teen boys are twice as likely to spend their time gaming than girls. Meanwhile, parents of teen boys also admit that their child can spend three or more hours gaming in a given day.

It is important that parents limit screen-based entertainment for their teens to no more than two hours per day. Parents should actively limit their child’s playing time as not doing so may significantly impact other areas of their lives.

In order to successfully impose limitations on gaming, parents should not leave gaming consoles and systems in the bedroom. Most importantly, gaming expectations should be made clear from the start so teens aren’t left in the dark. It is also crucial to remove all tech gadgets from the dinner table. The idea behind controlling gaming habits is ensuring that teens don’t sacrifice schoolwork, spending time with friends, and interacting with family for gaming after school.

*Parents may also choose to hide gaming equipment in an effort to control negative gaming behavior.

  1. Disallow Violent Games

The jury is still out whether violent video games provoke teens to commit real-life violence, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Research has found, however, that teens who play violent games often end up lacking empathy and are more prone to handling weapons than those that don’t. As such, parents should help teens find fun alternatives to violent games.

There are non-violent alternatives to favorite games out there. For example, if a teen loves playing Minecraft, letting them only play creative mode versus survival mode will help reduce exposure to violence. Teens may love fantasy or strategy games filled with violence, but Common Sense Media can help parents find alternatives to these games.

It is crucial that parents are involved in their teen’s gaming behavior, but aren’t restricting to the point of suffocation. For example, parents may wish to see their children while they’re gaming or simply ask about the things they’re exposed to in the game.

About four in ten parents do their best to restrict video game playing. Usually, parents of teens aged between 13 to 15 will check maturity ratings on games to ensure they’re safe for their children.

  1. Know To Look For Signs Of Trouble

Parents need to constantly look for key signs of trouble that their teen is spending too much of their time gaming. Excessive gaming may often impact other areas of a teen’s life such as a lack of interest in other hobbies, less sleep, unfinished homework assignments, and less time spent with friends or family.

It is not uncommon for teens to play video games anywhere from four to eight hours, but this alarming habit often yields plenty of other problems. Apart from the non-stop sedentary nature of gaming, teens may gain weight, academics can suffer, and a lack of sleep may result in unhealthy behavior. It is important as a parent to act quickly at the first signs of trouble. Whether pulling the plug on gaming or asking for professional help, it is necessary to seek assistance in some way.

  1. Gaming With Parents

The ‘can’t beat them then join them’ mentality can do wonders for parent-teen relationships. Some parents may turn gaming into a whole family affair and that does allow a certain sense of control into the environment without becoming overbearing. When adults engage with their children using technology, it becomes a gateway to other interests and forms of communication.

Too much gaming is bad for any one person, but it can seriously impact the life of a teen. Parents should actively seek out ways to make gaming a relationship-building activity versus one that negatively impacts the life of their child. In fact, inviting other friends over for gaming sessions can make it into a social gathering. Many teens develop “online friendships” with gaming buddies, but this may make it hard for them to connect with others in real life. They should have the ability to separate their gaming activity from their friendships. A modern problem is that teens are having trouble communicating their thoughts and feelings as they’re too attuned to online interaction. Physically gaming with friends can help address this widespread issue.

In a hospital setting that treats mental health issues as a result of excessive gaming, virtual reality is employed. By giving teens video games and virtual reality, it teaches them to interact with peers once again.

  1. Create Alternative Solutions

Parents that have participated in a recent gaming study have revealed that they do actively try to limit their teens’ gaming time. From enforcing a time limit to encouraging other healthier hobby alternatives, most parents are aware of what their children are doing.

What many kids don’t understand is that video games are created with hooking people in mind. This means they always give some type of “reward” or “incentive” for spending more time gaming such as cool new weapons or a better score. Many studies and books have been written about the psychology behind gaming, and video game creators take advantage of this. Teens with attention problems or mental disorders are especially at risk for developing excessive gaming habits, which is why parents need to pay attention.

The best way to limit video games is to hone other interests. For some, this may be sports or group activities, and for others, it may be art or computer coding.

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It * Stunning In-Depth Look at One Of Hollywood’s Most Trailblazing Actors

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Movie Reviews
Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It * Stunning In-Depth Look at One Of Hollywood’s Most Trailblazing Actors

A-photo-of-Rita-Moreno-BTS-of-West-Side-Story-from-the-film-RITA-MORENO-JUST-A-GIRL-WHO-DECIDED-TO-GO-FOR-IT-Courtesy-of-MGM-Media-Licensing.s.jpeg

A photo of Rita Moreno behind the scenes of WEST SIDE STORY from the film RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT

Courtesy of MGM Media Licensing

Over a 70+ year career, Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and beloved actor, one of the rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Award Winners of our time. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Moreno and her seamstress mother immigrated to New York City when Moreno was five years old. After studying dance and performing on Broadway, Moreno was cast as any ethnic minority the Hollywood studios needed filled, be it Polynesian, Native American or Egyptian. Despite becoming the first Latina actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in “West Side Story” (1961), the studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent. Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It illuminates the humor and the grace of Moreno, as well as lesser-known struggles faced on her path to stardom, including pernicious Hollywood sexism and abuse, a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando, and serious depression a year before she emerged an Oscar winner. Moreno’s talent and resilience triumphed over adversity, as she broke barriers, fought for representation and forged the path for new generations of artists. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It is the ultimate in-depth documentary about one of Hollywood’s most trailblazing actors. This film is the absolute tear-jerking, hysterical, educational experience of the year.” Ashleigh C. adds, “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It is a trailblazing documentary that will inspire girls across the world who have a dream! Rita Moreno’s life story is a testament to her perseverance and others like her who had a dream and decided to go for it.” See their full reviews and Ashleigh’s interview with director Mariem Perez below.

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/OOsLO1i8cx8

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Rita Moreno in the film RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It is the ultimate in-depth documentary about one of Hollywood’s most trailblazing actors. This film is the absolute tear-jerking, hysterical, educational experience of the year. By the movie’s end, you just want to go for it too.

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It recounts the life story of critically acclaimed actress Rita Moreno. Rita, who is best known for her roles of Anita in West Side Story and Carmela in The Electric Company, stars in the documentary, along with stars like Whoopie Goldberg, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eva Longoria and more. The film features clips from a large variety of Rita’s films throughout her career as well as from award shows, and photographs and footage from her personal life, including interviews with her friends and family.

This film shines a light on how incredible Rita is, and how human as she leads the way for Puerto Ricans and all Hispanics in the 1960s, stands up for women’s rights and fights to be able to choose which roles she plays. She deals with being type-cast as an island or Hispanic character, and decides and turns down roles that would shove her into a tiny box. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly side of Rita’s life, not just grazing at the surface. It shows how Rita struggled with hating her Hispanic roots, because it limited her as an actress. She tells how she was sexually abused, was forced into an abortion by her then-boyfriend Marlon Brando, and tried to commit suicide. The film shows exactly why Rita is such a beloved actress and person. Despite all she’s been through, she never gives up and learned to value the woman she is. Rita grows into her own person throughout the movie, telling how everything that put her down at the time just made her stronger.

The moral of the film is to stay strong and keep fighting. Rita is not eighty-nine years old and one of 15 EGOT winners (acronym for the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards), just because she gave up. Being a Puerto Rican actress in New York and trying to find your way in the world wasn’t as easy as Moreno makes it look. She has maintained her humbleness and blossomed into a modern woman who fights for human rights and looks great while doing it.

I give Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters June 18, 2021.

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It
By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 17

https://youtu.be/AhPGxaPBH9A

Rita-Moreno-in-the-United-States-Senate-from-the-film-RITA-MORENO-JUST-A-GIRL-WHO-DECIDED-TO-GO-FOR-IT-Courtesy-of-Roadside-Attractions.jpg

Rita Moreno in the United States Senate from the film RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT

Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Girl Who Decided to Go For It is a trailblazing documentary that will inspire girls across the world who have a dream! Rita Moreno’s life story is a testament to her perseverance and others like her who had a dream and decided to go for it.

This documentary profiles Rita Moreno (West Side Story, One Day at a Time), following her life from its beginnings as a poor Puerto Rican girl to becoming an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) award-winning actress. We see her struggles and trials throughout her life and how she confronts and handles them.

https://youtu.be/jl0msIgW46o

Latina Mariem Perez Riera directs this documentary and brings a great deal of passion to it, making the film very personal and authentic. The film employs stop motion animation, film excerpts to show Moreno’s life as a young woman to a legendary entertainment icon and political activist. Not only are the scenes diverse, so are its features. I particularly enjoyed hearing from Morgan Freeman, Lin- Manuel Miranda and Hector Elizondo. My favorite parts of this documentary are actually the sad parts. So many people in the limelight tend to sugar coat the truth about their troubles, which makes them seem perfect. This film is raw to the point that, even though her life has a Hollywood spin to it, it actually tells a story that many young girls can relate to today.

The message of this documentary is in the title – be a girl (or boy) that goes for your dream. Rita Moreno came from less than many, yet lived a life bigger than most. You can do it! You won’t know unless you try. This film does contain a description of sexual violence and some profanity.

I give Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can watch it only in theatres starting June 18, 2021

How to Prepare for Divorce: Divorce Support Guide

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Empowerment
How to Prepare for Divorce: Divorce Support Guide

Are you going through a divorce? Here is a good guide to help you in the process.

1. Do not Believe What You Might Have Heard

There is a good chance you have heard a lot from friends, family, co-workers, and tv characters. This “legal advice” should be written down then shredded. You should not put any value in such advice. Lawyers are used to hearing people saying “my friend got X amount of money in spousal support, why am I not getting the same” or “my co-worker got sole custody of his children, why can I also get it?”

It is not a good idea to let those who have been through separation or divorce to set your expectations when it comes to legal entitlements and obligations. You will often end up disappointed.

Each case has to be analyzed individually by looking at the unique set of circumstances: the assets and liabilities of this particular couple, their income, and the interest of the children. Cookie-cutter or prototype approaches don’t apply in family law matters. You cannot relate two different cases because the outcome might not be the same. You can still listen to and value what it is they are saying because you can know how they felt about the process.

2. Making Sure You Have a Reliable Support Network

During the divorce process, you are going to need a lot of support; both emotionally and financially. Emotional support can be in the form of counseling, a solid core family and friends you share with, or even an online support group. There are times when you might start feeling like the walls are closing in. When you have the right people in your corner who are ready to listen to you during those bad days, then you can expect to have an easier time. It is advisable to look at any form of emotional self-treatment because it is how you are going to find your happy place. Visit clarityclinic.com for support.

It can be a challenge to deal with the legal fees involved with Divorce and Family Law matters. Make sure you choose a lawyer who is within your financial means. Make sure you have a plan for financing their fees, upfront payments, and other related costs.

3. Choosing the Right Lawyer

The lawyer you are going to work with needs to be someone who is experienced and ready to help you with your case. Take the time to choose the right lawyer because he/she is going to have a big impact on your case. Different lawyers have different levels of experience and also different styles. If you feel like your spouse is going to use the “scorched earth” approach, then it might be better to look for a lawyer experienced in cases involving high conflict matters. A lawyer with a more collaborative style is a great option when you have a good relationship that you want to salvage and cultivate even after you have divorced.

4. Distinguishing Battles from the War

There are Divorce and Family Law issues that might come with a high degree of urgency and have to be resolved in the shortest time possible. There are issues that can be considered as “low-hanging fruit” because the fair and just outcome can be seen by all. It is important to resolve them upfront, even if it is on a temporary basis, as you wait for the final decision.

Talk with your lawyer about your priorities and triage the issues. The genuine impasse is going to reveal itself with merit, urgency, and priority assigned to your case. The remaining part will be about solving these issues.

5. Looking at Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The court is not the only option for solving issues. The best way to look at it is as a final resort. There are many models of ADR out there and they are becoming more and more popular. This is usually referred to as “mediation”, and the forum is going to provide amicable, economical, and emotionally healthier ways for both parties to resolve any issues they might be having.

There are no limits on where ADR can be applied. It is going to be a good option whether it involves child/spousal support, parenting matters, or property division.

Spring Renewal from Be the Star You Are!®

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Empowerment
Spring Renewal from Be the Star You Are!®
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Spring Renewal
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MIRACLE MOMENT®

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

Anne Bradstreet

1612-1672, Poet


A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/

cyn-wisteria leaningSpring brings a rebirth of excitement, expectation, and anticipation after more than a year of pandemic, lock-down, and isolation. Hopefully you have been vaccinated or will be soon as we climb out of this winter of despair.

Be the Star You Are!® will be operating virtually until such time that the “all clear” is given. We continue to host our weekly radio broadcasts, book reviewers are reading, writing, and getting published through our literacy partner, The Reading Tub, and we continue our outreach programs to help Americans affected by the shut-downs and disasters.

2021 may become the 3rd driest year in California history. We need to be prepared. Other parts of the country will have floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. A resource for homeowners to save time and money preparing their homes for future weather-related natural disasters can be viewed here:

https://www.reviews.com/insurance/homeowners/how-to-protect-your-home-from-extreme-weather/

The past year has been challenging especially for parents and children, especially in areas where schools were closed and everyone was subjected to online-learning. A big shout-out of gratitude to all the teachers who pivoted to work via ZOOM or other platforms to continue the education of our world’s young.

We are happy to share a parent’s resource from safety.comon How to Talk to Your Kids About the News and Protect their Sense of Safety. A recent Safety.com survey reports that “More than three-fourths of parents claim at least one event in the past year has impacted their child(ren)’s sense of safety.”

The survey found that kids were exposed to distressing topics in several ways. Despite the fact that TV, the internet, and other news access were the top sources causing fear, the survey also uncovered that 90% of parents with children under 18 are aware of the digital content their children are consuming.  This guide can help parents manage these difficult conversations with a series of questions and resources included. You can view it here:

https://www.safety.com/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-the-news-and-protect-their-sense-of-safety/

If you are a gardener, you have probably been battling weeds as I have in my landscape. You may enjoy reading about preparing your garden for spring here: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1504/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Weeds-weeds-and-more-weeds.html

Finally, Be the Star You Are!® is extremely proud of our teen volunteer and Express Yourself! radio host, Diya Hituvalli, who developed a FREE app, KeepMeSafe, to keep women safe and has been recognized with awards both internationally and nationally. You can read more about her below and listen to the radio interview where she talks about her journey, motivation, and challenges in creating this app. https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/130853/meditations-for-the-soul-and-keepmesafe-app

April is Global Volunteer Month. We invite you to get involved with Be the Star You Are!® or other charities that you believe in. Make sure to continue making donations, no matter how small, as charities can not function without the monetary contributions of those who are able to give.  DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Mother’s Day is around the corner so make a donation in honor of the great women who do so much for so many.

Wishing you a healthy, happy springtime. Thank you for being part of our Be the Star You Are!® galaxy.

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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CONGRATULATIONS to BE THE STAR YOU ARE! NAMED a 2021 TOP NONPROFIT

2021-top-rated-awards-badge-Thanks to our volunteers, supporters, donors, and community Be the Star You Are!® is one of the first charities of 2021 to be named a TOP NON PROFIT. Congratulations to all,. Read reviews and witness what people are saying about BTSYA!  https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

Be the Star You Are!® has also earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar/Candid: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

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TEEN DIYA HITUVALLI CREATES APP, KEEPMESAFE

diya hituvalli 2021Be the Star You Are!® salutes our teen volunteer and Express Yourself!® radio reporter and host, Diya Hituvalli for developing an award-winning app. KeepMeSafe is a women’s safety app that aims to prevent sexual assault through voice recognition and location tracking. With KeepMeSafe, users can trigger a voice-activated  alarm to scare off attackers, send an emergency text to 911 with their location when they say the key word “Help”, anonymously report sexual assault to RAINN), America’s national sexual assault hotline, and browse resources to learn safety tips, self defense techniques, and more. It has received recognition as the Congressional App Challenge winner for District 19, a Technovation U.S. Semifinalist, and has been featured on ABC as well as several other stations nationally! Check it out on the App Store for free! www.keepmesafecorp.org

Instagram: @keepmesafeapp

The ABC7 Bay Area article and video:

https://abc7.com/10502915/

Diya's Keep Me Safe app


UNEXPECTED JOY-A SWAN STORY

swans - lt photoAn unexpected surprise came our way early Saturday morning when a pair of trumpeter swans appeared on the little lake behind our home.  For more than thirty years, we’ve watched geese, ducks, and colorful birds appear out our window.  Swans we saw in books.

Before long, neighbors appeared lakeside, and wide-eyed children couldn’t comprehend what they were witnessing. Photos aimed at capturing this phenomenon could not totally grasp the feelings of this incredible happening. For almost an hour, we watched these amazing creatures glide across the water and eventually take flight.

In doing a bit of research, we discovered this pair probably mated for life. In the 1930s, fewer than 100 trumpeter swans remained south of Canada. More recent efforts have focused on reintroducing the species to areas thought to be part of the former breeding range which includes Minnesota.  In 2015, an estimated 17,000 trumpeter swans were spotted during the nesting season. In November and December, most swans that nest in the USA, go south to spend winters in milder climates,

These majestic birds, which fly at speeds of 50-60 mph, stretch to six feet in length and weigh more than 25 pounds. Pairs are formed when they reach about three years old.  Their young can swim when less than one day old but are not capable of flight for 3-4 months.  The oldest known trumpeter swan is said to be a female who lived to be 32 years old in Wisconsin.

Why did this elegant pair come to visit us and where did they go?  That’s part of life’s mystery in never knowing what joys tomorrow might bring.

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. (Photo by Larry Teckenbrock) www.scatteringkindness.com


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SHOPPING?

We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

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5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

T-shirts

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6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4


REJOICE FOR SPRING!

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Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3

PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556

https://www.BetheStarYouare.org


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EDU_TAINMENT WITH BE THE STAR YOU ARE! RADIO

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LIVE on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PT, be entertained, informed, amused, and educated on StarStyle-Be the Star You Are!. Then be inspired and motivated on

Sundays from 3-4pm PT, it’s Express Yourself! Teen Radio with our Be the Star You Are! star teen hosts and reporters.
 
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You’ll meet authors, actors, artists, activists, musicians, poets, scientists, educators, and other creatives. Enjoy our upbeat, authentic, and fun radio parties on the Voice America Network Empowerment Channel or wherever you like to listen. 
Visit https://www.StarStyleRadio.com for our line-up of guests.
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DIRECT LINKS


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Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
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Hygiene Education For Kids Back To School Sharon Kleyne Talk Radio

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Health & Wellness
Hygiene Education For Kids Back To School Sharon Kleyne Talk Radio

Pandemic Hygiene Education Gets Children Back to School Says Talk Radio Host Sharon Kleyne. Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® Trade Secret pH-Balanced Water Sponsors Power of Water® Water Life Science® Sharon Kleyne VoiceAmerica.

The pandemic continues to rage across the U.S., yet Sharon Kleyne, host of the globally syndicated The Power of Water® & Your Health sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, FDA approved naturally pH balanced water technology for acid mantle protection, on VoiceAmerica World Talk Radio & Apple iTunes, a program that welcomes international scholars, researchers, physicians and teachers, is on a mission to get kids safely back to school.

“We must reopen the schools!” says Global Health Olympics™ lifestyle founder Kleyne. “Children are overeating stuck at home. They’re depressed and anxious. They miss playing with their friends and interacting in person with teachers and other people. Kids need to get back to being outdoors playing at recess, playing sports, while older kids need to be practicing their social skills in various school activities such as student council, music, sports, debate, pep clubs, student committees, dances and assemblies with exciting, well known and inspiring guest speakers. None of this can be duplicated at home.

“Because they are stuck at home,” Kleyne continues, “parents must deal with added stress, and incidents of alcoholism, drug use and physical abuse have skyrocketed. Getting kids back to school will free up many parents to get back to work so they can put food on their kitchen tables. But,” Kleyne reminds us, “we must prepare children by teaching them the proper hygiene habits they will have to follow from now on.”

These habits include washing the hands several times a day, learning to avoid touching the face (no eye scratching or nose picking!) and washing the face day and night with a washrag. It is important to teach kids that their complexions must be cleansed of harmful toxins.

Kleyne wants children to learn that they must wear their masks with pride because to do so protects others from possibly catching the virus, which is usually transmitted through the air we breathe. Wearing the mask is non-negotiable if we want to get on top of COVID-19. “Children must also learn how to clean their masks, or discard them regularly. Why? Because one’s spit accumulates in the mask and that spit can be contagious. Cloth masks must be washed with disinfectant. Kids must learn how to do this and why they’re doing it.

Kleyne also teaches children to drink lots of water every day. “Water is the source of life,” says internationally respected water and water evaporation researcher Kleyne. “Without water, there would be no life on this planet. The moment we are born,” Kleyne reveals, “we begin a process of evaporation that continues to the end of life. We need to teach children that they must drink at least 8-10 glasses of pure water every day to maintain their immunity strength protection.”

In this way, we’ll succeed in safely opening the schools and getting our children out of quarantine.

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Interested in immunity strength protection for the organ of the eyes, listen to these programs. They feature wisdom, knowledge, new technology and health tips for better living every week on the internationally syndicated The Power of Water® & Your Health sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, naturally pH balanced water technology for acid mantle protection on VoiceAmerica World Talk Radio & Apple iTunes with Program Director Rose Hong of Global Dragon TV with Sharon Kleyne.

LISTEN to the internationally syndicated The Power of Water® & Your Health sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, FDA approved, naturally pH balanced water technology for acid mantle protection, on VoiceAmerica World Talk Radio & Apple iTunes. This program features UCLA’s Dr. David T. W. Wong, DMD, DMSC

Follow this link: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/126500/encore-saliva-diagnostics

Some recent Sharon Kleyne talk radio programs feature:

Dr. Jill Maron https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/126368/the-power-of-neonatal-saliva

Dr. David T.W. Wong, DMD, DMSC https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/125933/saliva-diagnostics

Nancy Yonally Coleman & James Derick https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/125837/be-safe-strategies-for-you-and-your-families-to-go-back-to-school-and-work-safely-during-covid

If you would like to watch a brief, entertaining educational film that demonstrates the application of the new Dry Eye Solution® technology Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, sponsor of Sharon Kleyne’s talk radio program, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0gOr8TB45U

Truth Bomb Mom

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Empowerment
Truth Bomb Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are thrilled to bring on Kristina Kuzmic as our Special guest to discuss keeping our sanity while navigating the years of parenthood.

Kristina is energetic, funny, and obsessed with creativity, Kristina has an in-your-face perspective on issues of parenting and life in general.

She has become an internet sensation with her “mom-centric” videos about raising children and juggling all of life’s challenges. With over 600 million views across media outlets and websites worldwide, and over 2 million Facebook followers.

Kristina has quickly made a name for herself as a creative, yet unpretentious parent, as well as a world-renowned motivational speaker/comedian. In 2011, Kristina was chosen from over 15,000 applicants and crowned the winner of Mark Burnett’s reality TV competition: “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” Kristina’s first reality show titled “The Ambush Cook,” aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Kristina’s blog posts have been published on various websites, including Oprah.com and The Huffington Post.

Do you have a question for Kristina? Please submit them up until Monday the 14th at 1:00 MST to empoweredwithdesandjen@gmail.com OR call in live at 2:00 MST for a chance to ask her directly!!

The Gift of Friendship

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The Gift of Friendship

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Every week, Express Yourself!™ will bring you a stimulating program based on a chapter from our award winning book Be the Star You Are!® for Teens.

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What is friendship and how do we create life long relationships? Hosts Caiseen Kelly and Brigitte Jia discuss the meaning of real friendship. The Gift of Friends by Erica Miner from the book Be the Star You Are!® for Teens is read with tips on how to be a friend. The ladies then interview author, Erin Bow with her newest YA science fiction novel, The Scorpion Rules, that reveals how friends help one another survive. In Art Attack, Brigitte shares information on how movements in art were begun because of the friendship between friends, including Impressionism and Cubism.

“Choose your friends wisely. Then be there for each other. That is a gift that has no price: the gift of a lifetime.”
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Bio Erin Bow

Erin Bow gave up a promising career as a particle physicist to write books.  She has five of them — two books of poetry, two novels for teenagers, and a memoir, plus the brand new YA science fiction novel THE SCORPION RULES, out September 22nd.  Erin lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband James, who is also a novelist.  They have two small daughters, both of whom want to be scientists.  www.erinbow.com

Erin Bow scorpion Rules
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Listen, View Photos, Descriptions, & More at Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio
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Express Yourself! Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are! charity. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences. Dare to care!

Be the Star You Are! charity. It’s the Season of Giving Make a donation today. Buy books and shirts at StarStyle Radio

Starstyle, Be the Star You Are, and Miracle Moments are registered trademarks of Cynthia Brian
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