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Surviving Summer!

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Surviving Summer!


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“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 

                         Eleanor Roosevelt  1884-1962, Former First Lady

MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

CYNTHIA BRIAN SUNFLOWER 2According to reports, more that 1/3 of the population are currently depressed. With the deadly pandemic, civil unrest, political upheaval, unemployment, climate change, travel restrictions, school closures, and stock market ups and downs, it’s no wonder that people feel disoriented. Although we are all in this together, every situation is different. And when we feel burdened, sad, or disillusioned, it doesn’t hurt any less because others are experiencing the same.

We are in pain. We feel the ache, the anguish, the agony, the loneliness, the sorrow. We feel human.

The good news is that as long as you are feeling something, anything, you are alive with  the possibility and potential that things will get better. Summer is normally a time for fun, family, friends and vacations. This year, we all just want to survive the chaos.

Make an effort to get out of the shadows of fear and stand in the sunshine. Reach out to help someone and you will feel better. Being of service to others has that effect. Give yourself a break to walk in nature. Listen to the birds. Watch the passing clouds. Smell the roses. Feel the wind on your cheek. Taste a freshly-picked tomato. Roll in the grass. Run through a sprinkler.

“This too shall pass!” We just don’t know when. We will survive this horror. In the meantime, hang in there. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Stay at home when feasible. Be brave. Be strong.

Living with gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556




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As part of our Be the Star You Are! Disaster Relief Outreach program (https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste), StarStyle® Productions, LLC and Be the Star You Are!® are showcasing authors, artists, actors, poets, musicians, and many others, all of whom had had their gigs canceled and are out of work. We believe in supporting creativity that provides escape and joy, especially during tough times. You’ll even meet the cast of the new film by director, Sean McNamara, “Mighty Oak”.

Tune in to StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® on Wednesdays at 4pm PT for “Wednesdays with Writers and Performers” LIVE http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are as well as our teen program, Express Yourself!™ airing on Sundays at 3pm PT for “Super Smart Sundays” https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

Both programs broadcast on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel and will be archived on that site. You can also listen to all of our broadcasts on the following platforms:

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Places to Listen to StarStyle Radio:

Live Show: https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

Apple itunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are/id669630180?mt=2

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iftzhum24ektnw3ocfq3keduefq

Tunein: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Motivational/StarStyle—Be-the-Star-You-Are-p46014/

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/voice-america/be-the-star-you-are

IHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-starstyle-be-the-star-you-31083110/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4zDdwzlsHH44caWiMQdD25

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Places to Listen to Express Yourself! Teen Radio

Listen at Voice America Network: https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

Apple iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id481894121

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iiee6vo3fccc7qc4ac4naqvjnc4

Tunein: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Young-Adult/Express-Yourself-p401071/

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/voice-america/express-yourself

iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-express-yourself-31136273/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/24ol79nCzJ1wzao8pTYysj


andrea smith wetsuitby Andrea Smith

Living during a global pandemic can feel extremely isolating and lonely. We are social people living in a social world. Suddenly our world is completely turned around. Before quarantine we had never-ending things to check off the daily list. Think about it, when was the last time that you took 15 minutes just to sit and breathe? The society we live in is constantly moving at a rate so fast that we must sprint to keep up.

Unfortunately, the consequence of this is that the beauty of solitude is long forgotten. We lose sight of the bigger picture in life, what in the end will make us happy rather than what society says will make us happy.  If we aren’t attuned with ourselves, how can we possibly be truly attuned with others?

At the start of quarantine, I began writing each night in a journal. My diary acts as a best friend, for paper will always listen, never judge, and never tell. The act of writing brings you to a place where time no longer moves, where you can finally take a moment and breathe. Sadly it’s an art that has been lost, hidden under the shadows due to the boom in technology. But like any art, it has the power to change your life.

Art gives you relief from the pressuring norms of society and allows you to become more than your accomplishments or failures. Art liberates us, lets us go where we want to go, and be who we want to be. Grab a piece of paper, start writing, and let yourself free.

Andrea Smith is our newest reporter of the segment “In the Spotlight” and host on Express Yourself!® Teen Radio. She is a high school senior who loves swimming and everything related to the ocean. She is extremely passionate about Model United Nations and ways to live a happy and healthy lifestyle! https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

“I am so happy to be a part of this team! The past weeks have been an absolute blast and I can’t wait for what is to come!! 🙂 I am so grateful for you! Thanks again!” Andrea Smith


Priscilla Mac-gownBy Priscilla Mac

Being a responsible woman of virtue on the internet means being resourceful and giving back to others who are your audience. You can do this in any way that is in sync with your brand and talents but the best way to be resourceful is to make your audience think.


By sharing knowledge and allowing them to take action steps of research. Posting books, articles and blogs that you find online and even newsletters like the one you are reading now help your audience grow. It’s also a great conversation piece to share ideas, opinions and other virtual findings that your audience has access to that perhaps you do not. It all begins with the brave step of putting it out there. I know we tend to think that what we are interested in others aren’t but that’s not always true sisters. Being a Virtual Virtuous Woman involves being brave, bold, bright, and beneficial to others.

You must see yourself as the key that unlocks mysteries of the mind and do your due diligence to be a virtual contribution to the positive information load of the internet. We have been virtuous women for some time but today there is an additional platform to shine on called Social Media.

Be sure to share intelligent, fun and quality content so that you attract like minded citizens.

Continue reading at http://www.btsya.com/resources.html

Priscilla Mac is volunteer with Be the Star You Are!® and Christian Television Talk Show Host of a program called “Still Learning Still Developing” which airs on Preach The Word Worldwide Network.During her 5 years of service in the U.S. Army she specialized in Logistics and is currently a Digital Systems Analyst for Voice of America International Broadcasting.. www.priscillamac.com


BTSYA High Res Logo Read Lead SucceedBy Stephanie Cogeos

There are ways to help children develop literacy skills. Literacy is generally defined as being able to read, write, communicate. There are more deeper levels of literacy that are just as important.

Establishing predictable routines to help children learn to anticipate events. With routines, children can begin to learn about objects and vocabulary associated with certain activities. Participating in all steps of a routine can reinforce concepts and language skills. Routines can also help children learn about a sequence – first this, then this, or start to finish. Examples would be setting a table, laying out clothes or arranging materials for any activity.

Children who are visually impaired or blind also need the opportunity to experience things through hands-on activities.  They would need more instruction because of lack of learning through incidental learning. A book about a farm will be more meaningful if one can visit an actual farm, pet different animals, listen to their calls, etc.


Using a wide range of vocabulary and concepts are important to have good literacy skills. Using lots of adjectives and more detailed descriptions can help expand a child’s vocabulary. Examples would be “let’s put on your red rubber boots today” or “get the blue pitcher of cold milk”.

Many children benefit from reading aloud. It can give them special attention, reinforce language development and to work on book handling skills. Continue reading at http://www.btsya.com/resources.html

Volunteer Stephanie Cogeos is our Book Review coordinator. She is now doing research to provide resources for the public to learn about the importance of literacy, positive media messages, and empowering women families, and youth. You can keep up with the resources at this link: http://www.btsya.com/resources.html

karen kitchel with millennial bookby Karen Kitchel

Kindness is contagious. When we find simple ways to spontaneously bring joy to others, we bring joy to the world.

Lyrics in the play Hamilton raise the question:

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?”

Thought for today:

When my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell my story?

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


the reading tub logoOur Star Teen Book Review Team is busy reading and writing reviews for you to enjoy this summer. Reviews are honest and the personal experience of each writer.

Check them out at our website, http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html, and at our partner, The Reading Tub, https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/.

Many thanks to our Book Review Coordinator, Stephanie Cogeos, for keeping us on track. If you are interested in joining our team and you are genuinely interested in being of service to others, you can find the info at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html


2020 Garden Comm Award Silver LogoFire season is ramping up and with the recent winds, wildfires could easily ignite. Make sure to cut any tall grass or weeds, trim low hanging branches, clean gutters, and remove debris from around your property.

GardenComm: Garden Communicators International notified Cynthia Brian that out of 160 entries, she won the 2020 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for a Journalism Newspaper Article,  the Lamorinda Weekly article, Scary, scary night. 

Read the article to help you prepare your landscaping for fire resistance. With this Covid-19 pandemic, the smoke from wildfires has the potential to be extra dangerous or deadly.  Read Scary,scary nightat https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

Read about the award here:


Get in touch with the outdoors, nature, and gardening.

summer garden 2 Burned hills of Merrill Fire 2

Be prepared. Stay safe this summer.


Since we need to stay at home and only go out when absolutely necessary, these are on-line shopping portals that will sell you what you need, offer discounts, and assist our mission as a nonprofit. 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, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

& buy from your favorite stores.

4. Search and GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/be-the-star-you-are

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

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6. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks $19.99  and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/


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

Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact


GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

GUIDESTAR/CANDID: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

2020 Platinun Guidestar logo

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


t-shirt_btsya_outlinesBTSYA receives no government or corporate support. We count on YOU to help us help others. During this pandemic, all of our fundraising events have been canceled, yet we continue to support those in need. We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556


Classified Ads:

If you’d like to advertise your service or product while supporting Be the Star You Are!®, we are now accepting approved ads that will benefit readers. Contact info@BetheStarYouAre.org for details.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you won’t see the shadows. Stay strong and resilient,

Sending sunshine, sunsets, and starlight. SHINE!

You will survive summer!
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3shine logo.JPG
PO Box 376
Moraga, Ca.94556


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