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Latest Blog Post

Introducing Stemagora

The human voice is the oldest communication tool, used before we picked up tools to chip away at our cave blogs.  In a world of multitasking, it’s hard to stare at a screen all the time. Audio allows us to interact, learn and convince others while still noticing the flowers that dot our paths. If you’re already familiar with podcasts you know you can ride the bus, bake muffins or try to measure electron spin while you listen. 

Science and technology are reaching us better today because of the hundreds of audio podcasts with STEM topics. Many of these audio programs have great presenters and material, but it’s difficult or impossible for people to get involved in their production. Stemagora will be an audio program with an open contribution system. You can record a segment on any science, technology, engineering or math topic that intrigues you enough to share. Even better, it allows you to combine the topics you want with the format that you use best. 

Your contribution can be an audio site-visit, a short story, a tutorial, even a song about Mars! If there is a scientist that interests you, try calling her up for an interview. Do some research and debate a friend on the technological singularity. Try to explain epigenetics to your uncle. If it interests you, it will interest others. Stemagora will edit the audio contributions together into thematic episodes for listeners around the world.

The first contributions to Stemagora are now being accepted through an audio science contest called Jawbreaker. You can upload your entry in .mp3 format until June 15th to be eligible for prizes, and any time thereafter to contribute to the podcast as a volunteer science journalist. For rules and more information visit www.quilla.info

Keep making noise!

Renovating a Home

On Valentine’s Day, Levi Haros along with The Hispanic Business Students Association at Arizona State University volunteered with Habitat For Humanity.  Levi and HBSA renovated a house in Casa Grande, Arizona for a woman and her family in need.  The organization was split into different teams.  While one team laid down protection in the newly installed wood floors, other members scalped the backyard of any weeds, and lastly, others leveled the front yard and poured new rocks in the front yard.  Within six hours, The Hispanic Business Students Association at Arizona State University transformed the bare house into a home ready to move in!  

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit that was founded 1976 by the Fuller family. The organization is committed to eradicate the issue of poverty housing.  The organization renovates old houses and builds new buildings in urban areas. Within the nonprofit, there are a number of programs such as: A Brush of Kindness, Neighborhood Revitalization, & Disaster Response.  The houses that they build are modestly-sized and built to reflect the local culture.  

The Hispanic Business Students Association is committed to build students at Arizona State University personally, professionally, and academically.  The organization regularly volunteers to build its community through service projects. 

High School Senior Gabreal Hughes Changes Culture at Norco High School

Every moment presents itself with the opportunity to make a difference, should we have the courage to boldly venture into the lifestyle of service. For high school senior and varsity football player Gabriel Hughes, the choice was clear when he saw freshman Nathan Clark impacted with visual impairment.

Gabreal noticed Nathan struggling with trying to get to his classes, as he would require a walking stick to guide his movements. Since August, the boys have formed a powerful duo. As Gabe would help him walk to his classes, they formed a friendship unlike any other. In November, Gabe worked personally with his football coaches and language arts teacher to arrange Nathan being able to run through the football banner before a game, as well as gave him a football with the signatures from the varsity team.

His kindness didn’t go unnoticed. Gabe’s willingness spread to the rest of the football team, as Nathan is now surrounded with friends willing to support him. Even more, students at Norco High School individually are taking time out of their day to meet and befriend Nathan.

Opportunities are all around us to make a difference, and all it takes is a smile and willingness to help. What will you do to help make the world around you a better place?

One Invitation Made a Huge Impact

In July 2014, I signed up for an incredible volunteering opportunity that completely revolutionized my perspective. I saw a simple invite on a Facebook group I was a member of asking for volunteers for something known as the World Kindness Youth Conference. However, I was completely unaware of the impact it would have on me.

The World Kindness Youth Conference is an event hosted by the organization Simple Acts of Care and Kindness (SACK). The organization was created by Shirley and Don Zink in 1999, after experiencing the loss of their child Steve to suicide. Their pain and grief was transformed to a mission to prevent bullying and promote goodwill to the next generation.

Each year, the organization puts on a huge conference to teach fourth grade students from around Southern California the values of honesty, confidence, and positive thinking. At the conference I attended, there were about six hundred fourth graders ecstatic to learn, grow, and have fun with their friends.

While I only assisted in food delivery, the event overall had a remarkable impact on me. From seeing the kids willingly help one another to the hearts of the coordinators; it became clear that this is a mission that’s revolutionizing the world. It’s more than just a four hour day to help deliver lunches, it’s a lifetime effort to spread kindness and hope to the next generation.

Each moment presents the opportunity to either be a victor or a victim. While losing a son is tragic in itself, the founders of Simple Acts of Care and Kindness directed their energy to providing hope across generations to come. With one simple act comes the chance to change someone’s life forever!

For more information about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness, visit www.simpleacts.org  

The Power of $100

Frosted glass, cold feet, and pulsing hands graced across the ice rink in an effort to sponsor a family on CommuniGift.com and provide gifts for those who are underprivileged. VolunTEEN Nation Ambassador Sharlena Luyen coordinated this family event to create a type of cheer worth spreading. She wanted to show everyone what this holiday season was all about -- giving happiness. With this in mind, Sharlena had over 100 supporters come out to the rink and skate, along with special guest Miss Teen Regional US Shayauna Mellin to support the cause. At the end of the night, Sharlena raised enough money to sponsor nearly three families on CommuniGift, purchasing essentials from shoes and educational toys to coats and pants.

After the event, she realized the power of a single hundred dollar bill. With this, she challenges everyone to take part in an upcoming project, "Feed 100 people for 100 dollars."