texas teenagers

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! 

 

Senior Portraits

Choosing a Senior Portrait Photographer

A high school senior's final year of their formal education is one of the most exciting times in their lives, and a staple of that busy year along with events such as homecoming, prom, and the finale of graduation is their senior portrait photo shoot. If approached distinctly, and with a knowledgeable photographer, such a photo session can be just as memorable as the aforementioned events and can incorporate a student’s unique personality and style.

A set of senior portraits can serve in a variety of ways, ranging from gifts given to family and friends, to uses in graduation invitations and announcements. Additionally, they also become great keepsakes between classmates allowing them over the years to reminisce on their friendships and times spent together. Such photos however, especially in a smaller community, can tend to imitate one another; which is to be expected when similar backdrops and themes are used; and of course student’s may wish to have photos similar to their peers. Similarity though, can still integrate uniqueness, and the completion of the session can remain a unique, fun, and engaging experience.

To ensure unforgettable and distinct senior photos, and have a fun and engaging experience with your photographer, there are a few points to consider:

1.       Choose a photographer who is capable of relating to the senior and engages them in an inclusive and attentive manner; such photographers generally have a witty and exuberant personality.

2.       Consult with your photographer regarding any backdrop settings you may feel are common in others’ portraits; they can assist in suggesting alternate settings that will set the final product apart.

3.       Discuss with the photographer any personal items, clothing, or themes wanting to be incorporated into the photos; this will assist them in preparation and ensure the needs are able to be met.

4.       Before the shoot, ensure communication is open and details such as time and place are confirmed; keeping on schedule allows the photographer and subject ample time to work together and not feel rushed.

Many photographers express a genuine enjoyment in working with high school seniors, as they feel there’s an exuberance and vitality not found when shooting other subjects: seniors are excited to be photographed in such a professional fashion, are generally in the know of the current styles and fashions, and enjoy interacting with the photographer, a professional working with them in a mature and inclusive way.

Ensure a matchless set of photos by working with an engaging photographer and consulting with them on the key points mentioned before. By doing this, undoubtedly the student’s senior portrait session will be one they remember, and the final product will become a cherished keepsake in their and others’ personal belongings.  

 

Check out more of these images taken in Hermann Park at:  http://tak-ful.com/balloons/

SHOOT PREP

How to prepare for a photo shoot

1.       Pre plan outfits paying attention to color schemes.  Colors that compliment your complexion/s are best.  When deciding what to wear for the special day, you may want to concentrate on whites and creams, or consult Pinterest for an array of color schemes and ideas.  Please note accessories and shoes are just as important as the outfit.  It is also a good idea to choose colors that contrast with your hair color.  For set, styling, outfit, and accesory ideas, please visit our Pinterest page at:  https://www.pinterest.com/takfulphotos/

2.       Professional Hair & Makeup is always strongly recommended:
Schedule a hair & makeup artist with your appointment ending 30-45 mins before you have to leave for the shoot.  (pad the timing between)  Also plan to keep powder and lip colors handy on the set.

3.       Enjoy a manicure and pedicure the night before.  Keep in mind your toe nails are just as important as your fingernails.

4.       Note:  Be sure to coordinate the timing of your shoot with your routine hair maintenance.  a.k.a.  If it’s time to touch up your roots, and you need to schedule your color treatment, make sure your shoot is scheduled after your highlights and color.

5.       If there are small kids involved, set expectations with the kids beforehand.  Let them know how important it is to look at the camera, and the photographer holding the camera. 

6.       Also, when children are involved, be sure to set expectations with the adults as well.  Make it very clear to all the adults how important it is to only have the photographer talk to the children.  It is too common that the parents stand to the side of the photographer, and think they are helping, and in the end the child/or children look away from the camera as there are too many people trying to get the children’s attention.

To book a session, kindly fill out the "Schedule" form on our Connect page at:  http://www.tak-ful.com/connect/