houston high school

Annuals

Why you should get your photo taken every year

Families are often associated with the “yearly family photo,” but yearly photos are something everyone should partake in. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married with a family; you should get your photo taken every year.

Every now and then, there are stories about people who took a photo of themselves for years. One of those stories was about Noah Kalina. For 12-and-a-half years, Kalina took a picture of himself every day, and in 2012, he posted a compilation of those photos as a YouTube video.

The video is striking and, a bit, eerie—due in part to the soundtrack that accompanies the video. It lets you view how this man, Kalina, lived his life for 12 years. You see how his appearance changes, and you view some of the different life stages he passes through as the background changes and he ages.

In another similar case, Zed Nelson, a photographer, documents the life of a family in his project, The Family. Nelson photographs a family on the same day for 24 years. It’s a lovely project that shows the way members of a family change over time.

Both projects act as a record of the lives of the people photographed, and they carry flavors of the yearly school pictures you took in school as a kid. At the moment, school pictures seem bothersome and annoying, but looking back at the school photos, it’s hard not to smile. Yearly photos—whether school-themed or not—are a fun and easy way to document the changes you go through as time passes.

Yearly photos have the obvious benefit of acting as a way to record memories, but there’s more. Have you ever looked at photos and felt nostalgic? According to John Tierney, a columnist at The New York Times, feelings of nostalgia have psychological benefits.

“Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories. On cold days, or in cold rooms, people use nostalgia to literally feel warmer,” writes Tierney.

What about that bittersweet feeling you get when you hear an old song on the radio, and it reminds you of the good times you’ve had in the past? That feeling is also nostalgia, and you can get it by reminiscing over yearly photos of you and your pals. You could make it a tradition, like the five guys who took the same photo every year, for 30 years.

Taking your picture every year is the kind of thing that doesn’t seem useful until 20 or 50 years have passed. You’ll thank yourself for getting those pictures taken when years down the line you have plenty of photos to get nostalgic over. You’ll also get to see how you and your family have changed.

It’s not easy to see the use of this until years have passed. 20 or 50 years from now it will be nice to be able to look back at your life and reminisce about the changes you’ve experienced. You and your family will experience many positive changes, and it’ll be nice to look back and remember those times.

Mentoring Youth

Why Mentor Youths? Benefits For Mentors and Youths

If you attended your high school classes regularly, abstained from taking drugs or drinking, and attended college, you may have a mentor to thank. You’re probably part of the, approximately, 67-percent of people who’ve had a mentor growing up. However, 1-out-of-3 people are not as fortunate to have the positive influence of a mentor, according to Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Mentors and programs like Boys and Girls Club of America are important to the well-being of your communities. They are beneficial to all youths, but they have a marked impact on the lives of at-risk youth.

Mentors act as a positive influence for at-risk youths likely to skip classes, participate in recreational drug use, and drop out of high school. As a mentor you act as a listening ear, show an interest, and provide guidance that can make a difference to such a child. 

Mentor explains, “Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges and makes them feel like they matter.”

According to youth.gov, the benefits to youth are numerous:

·         Increased high school graduation rates
·         Lower high school dropout rates
·         Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
·         Better attitude about school
·         Higher college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
·         Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
·         Improved behavior, both at home and at school
·         Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
·         Improved interpersonal skills
·         Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use

There are also benefits to mentors:

·         Increased self-esteem
·         A sense of accomplishment
·         Creation of networks of volunteers
·         Insight into childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood
·         Increased patience and improved supervisory skills

Are you interested in becoming a mentor? According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell Ph.D., a Fellow at the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, there are six qualities that would make you a good mentor:

·         You are Supportive
·         You are an Active Listener
·         You Push—Just Enough
·         You Have Authentic Interest in Youth as Individual
·         You Foster Self Decision-Making
·         You Lend Perspective

If you have an interest in helping children and making a difference in your community, consider becoming a mentor. You may change the life of a youth for the better, and you’ll see some positive changes in your life, as well. 

High School

 

I had so much fun with these high school girls. Beautiful from the inside out!

I was so impressed by their ability to work together and how they complimented each other's strengths.  It was such an amazing experience working with them all.

And their favorite teacher?  She was priceless.  It was so nice to see leadership like this.  ...of course fueled by the passion to make a difference.  

And the mother that helped transport them?  She was awesome in so many ways.  Loved her!

Thank you for all your hard work ladies!