Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sun Life Rising Star Award: Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

Sun Life Financial Seeking Grant Applications from South Florida Non-profit Organizations for Sun Life Rising Star Awards
Sun Life Financial invites organizations to apply for $220,000 in grants and scholarships that provide educational opportunities and promote financial stability in under-served youth 

Wellesley, MA (May 24, 2011)Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) and the Miami Dolphins announced today they are seeking Sun Life Rising Star Award grant applications from non-profit organizations in South Florida that advocate for youth from under-served communities. Applications are now available at The deadline for submissions is July 1.

The Sun Life Rising Star Award program is designed to improve the lives of under-served youth by providing financial resources and education to students and non-profit organizations committed to increasing success in high school and beyond. Each winning organization will receive a $50,000 grant and other unique resources. Additionally as part of the application process, each organization will nominate an exemplary student for a $5,000 Sun Life Rising Star scholarship to help finance a college education, with the goal of helping students achieve long-term financial stability.

Now in its second year, the program will again invest more than $1 million to outstanding students and non-profit organizations in major markets across the country, including Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and South Florida. The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program is the educational cornerstone program of the Miami Dolphins Foundation. 

“Financial security and sustainability are the building blocks of the Sun Life brand, and that’s why it’s a priority for us to continue investing in and improving the lives of these outstanding students who are committed to furthering their education,” said Sun Life Financial U.S. President Wes Thompson. “It is our intention that the Sun Life Rising Star Awards serve as a catalyst to help these incredibly talented and deserving students and organizations embark on a path to a sound financial future.”

To be considered for a Sun Life Rising Star Award grant, organizations must have 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status and promote skills that directly translate to educational success in high school to students under the age of 21. Applications will be reviewed by a local judging panel consisting of community leaders and senior-level educators.

As part of the application process, each non-profit will nominate an outstanding student from its organization for a chance to receive a $5,000 college scholarship. Nominees must be high school seniors actively involved in an organization that shares the Sun Life Rising Star Awards’ mission; they must also plan to pursue post-secondary education, exhibit leadership qualities, and demonstrate a strong commitment to their communities. Nominated students are required to submit a 750-word essay on how financial education contributes to future success.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

50 Parenting Blogs: From Pregnancy to toddlers to teens

Far more than a subject for an MTV show or platform for the daughter of a former vice presidential candidate, teenage mothering is a very serious topic. The practice of babies having babies can affect the whole family from parent to child and even grandparent. With times getting more difficult, it can be increasingly hard to find the time and/or money to speak with a professional.

If struggling with the issue of teen parenting, have a look at these top 50 blogs for teen parents. No matter if you are the teen parent, the parent of a teen parent, or even the grandparent, there is something for you written by everyone from teen mothers to pediatricians.

Top Blogs for Teen Parents by Teens

Get a blog just for or by teenage parents in the below.
  1. I’m a Teenage Mom Abby O’Neill likes to talk about immaturity and being a parent with plenty of it. In the blogging business since 2006, she has loads of posts to share on it. Words of wisdom and recommendations are often given through blog posts.
  2. Teen Parent TV Because teens would rather watch television than read, there is this blog. Entries come in both written and video form. There are also channels for teen mothers, fathers, and even grandparents.
  3. Teen Parents Blog Visit here for the official blog of the Capital District YFC’s Teen Parents Team. It features news, updates, prayer requests, and the occasional random thought. Be sure to visit their main site with more.
  4. Teen Advice Blog Loads of bloggers stop by here to write about many issues surrounding teens. There is also a special section for teen pregnancy that has loads on what to expect. Other categories include health issues, school, family, and more.
  5. National Teen Pregnancy Get the latest headlines in teen parenting and pregnancy from the Examiner. It gathers all the relevant news from all the contributors to one convenient place. A recent one was on the Freedom Condom.
  6. Teen Parenting is a site that has loads of blog entries concerning the family. In this special section, they focus on teen parenting. Recent entries contain a true story of a teen mom and changes in attitudes towards teen pregnancy.
  7. Teen Diaries This blog is a life guide for young urban women. What guide would be complete without a section on teen parenting? Several bloggers take on the topic as well as many others important to teen girls.
  8. Teen Mom Blog If you love the MTV show “Teen Mom” and all its spin-offs, click here. The blogger here keeps news updates and details on girls from the show. Links to whole items are often shared.

Top Blogs for Parenting Teens

Because teens still have parents of their own, there are these blogs.
  1. Parenting Teens Denise Witmer has worked with adolescents for years and is active in teen development and living programs. Her goal is to help parents with the various issues surrounding their teens from sexuality to answering real questions. She even has videos on projects to do with teens and how to teach them to drive.
  2. Sue Scheff Blog She is the founder of Parents’ Universal Resource Experts. Sue has tons of knowledge on parenting and has more on teens including at risk teens, bullying, cell phone dangers, and other topics. Be sure not to miss her main site and podcasts with more.
  3. LA Parenting Teens Examiner Published author Evelyn B. Block has almost 30 years of experience working with teens as a child and family therapist. She also spends her time as an educator, consultant, and parent when not authoring this blog. Recent entries were on how to teach teens money skills.
  4. Teen Advice Parenting Barbara McRae is the bestselling author of “Coach Your Teen to Success,” host of Bridging the GAP Radio Show, and founder of Teen Frontier International. Her blog is full of success stories of parents who have overcome obstacles in teen parenting. There are also many podcasts containing her expert advice.
  5. Parenting my Teen This blog and podcast is all about you and your teens. Categories include everything from divorce to teen dating. In addition to regular blog posts, you can also get many episodes available over the web.
  6. Troubled Teen Blog Get support with families with troubled teens on this blog. It is a place to share stories, gain support, and help others in their parenting teen journey. A recent entry was on a rebellious teen leaving home.
  7. Parenting Teens Online Visit here for many resources for parents of teenagers. Podcasts and articles cover everything from alcohol to technology. A recent entry was on how parents can make a difference in teen pregnancy.

Top Pregnancy Blogs for Teen Parents

Learn more about the scariest nine months of a mother’s life in these blogs.
  1. Pregnancy and Childbirth Robin Elise Weiss is a childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, doula trainer, and lactation counselor. With eight children of her own, she knows all about pregnancy and childbirth firsthand. Check out her blog for topics such as what to expect during labor, dealing with doctors, and much more.
  2. Pregnancy Health Examiner Jasmine Jafferali is a maternal, child, and family health educator. Her mission is to teach women to take charge of their health and well-being. With a growing family of her own, she often shares news items of interests as well as expert thoughts.
  3. Belly Itch JJ is many things, including a leading pregnancy blogger. Her site often gets notoriety for unique entries on pregnancy in the news, expecting celebrities, and much more. She often also shares true stories of mothers to be.
  4. Fit Pregnancy All expecting mothers gain weight, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing by stopping here. Popular articles include the first trimester, product recalls, and pregnancy hunger. Be sure not to miss the many sub-blogs.
  5. ABC Family Arwen first began this blog years ago as a way to document her conception journey. It is now a family blog that is all about her two little blessings. With a third on the way, it is also a top notch pregnancy blog.
  6. Pregnant Women and Babies Lily of the Valley is a philosopher by training, counselor, wife, and mother. She often blogs on the spiritual aspects of it all. Popular posts include sinus infections and mastitis.
  7. Pregnancy Weekly This is an online magazine about pregnancy, baby, and parenting. Part of a site of the same name, they offer quick links such as an A to Z of topics and a baby name finder. You can also use it to customize your very own pregnancy calendar.
  8. ItsaBelly Melissa Moog thought of this blog when she was searching for a car seat. After doing loads of related research, she decided to share what she has learned with other expectant mothers. The blog is now a leading choice for those overwhelmed with information and needing to make sense of it all.
  9. Good Pregnancy Guide Pregnancy advice and information on expecting is shared here. In addition to the many guides on pregnancy, you can get tips for after baby as well. The latest news includes saving money and natural pain relief.
  10. Pregtastic Get loads of radio programs over the web by visiting here. Sunny is both host and producer of this weekly show celebrating the road to motherhood. Get information on topics such as prenatal nutrition and birthing options, or check out the blog for the newest.

Top Expert Blogs for Teen Parents

These medical professionals have loads more to say on pregnancy and parenting.
  1. News Moms Need Everyone knows the March of Dimes has a mission to help mothers and mothers in training get up to date health information. The blog continues in that tradition. Categories include planning for a baby, pregnancy, and even a Mother of the Day.
  2. Pediatrics Vincent Iannelli is a board certified pediatrician and part of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is the author of “The Everything Father’s First Year Book” and has loads of advice for parents. Must reads include a symptom checker, height predictor, and symptoms of measles.
  3. 10 Centimeters and Beyond Nurse Lochia is a night shift labor delivery nurse in the Midwest. She is also a mother of four children and has seen the stirrups from both sides. A standout choice for entries as both a parent and a healthcare professional.
  4. At Your Cervix This blog is often a popular choice and probably has much to do with the title. However, Joy also includes expert entries on the experience of giving birth. She is also studying nursing and shares more.
  5. Life and Times of an L&D Nurse Deb is a Southern California mom who works as a labor and delivery nurse. She writes about both her daughter and life at the hospital. She is also studying and writes all about it.
  6. Doctor Mama She is a physician, mother, and educator with a son. Everything she says “is right, especially if it’s about running.” Get entries on work, mommy life, and more with a visit.
  7. Painfully Speaking Jessica is a mother of two boys and a labor nurse. She is also a sufferer of chronic head pain. She first experienced it during her second pregnancy and has written about it since.
  8. Stand and Deliver Rixa shares reflections on pregnancy, birth, and mothering here. She even has a special section on breeches. Popular posts include what giving birth feels like and a ring sling tutorial.
  9. Ob/Gyn Kenobi Dr, Whoo plays one in real life but alters names and places for privacy. An actual OB/GYN, there are loads of expert advice on the blog. One of the most recent was on do’s and don’ts.

Top Midwife Blogs for Teen Parents

Also experts on childbirth, check out the blogs of these midwives, doulas, and more.
  1. Birth Sense Aka the Midwife Next Door, she features a common sense guide to normal birth. Sections include what to expect from a midwife, cesarean births, and more. A recent entry was on the evidence of risk on vaccinations.
  2. Dou-la-la In addition to being a doula in training, she is a birth advocate and childbirth educator. Also a lactation consultant, she is gravitating towards becoming a midwife. Blog posts are on related items and things that interest her.
  3. Conscious Birth Blog This blog is authored by a nurse midwife and certified lactation consultant. Kristina’s philosophy is “empowerment through knowledge, birth by instinct.” She is also the author of a book on breastfeeding and has more.
  4. Enjoy Birth Visit here for a more empowering and enjoyable pregnancy and birth. Sheridan is the mother of three boys and a hypno-doula. Learn more about what she does and how she does it with a visit.
  5. Hypnobabies Stop here for another blog on hypno-birthing. In addition to the blog, you can get a free CD on the topic. There are also many birth stories to keep you busy.
  6. Navelgazing Midwife She is a licensed and certified professional midwife who is currently doing monitrice and doula work. With a work history dating back to 1983, she is no stranger to the subject. She is also a proud grandmother and shares more.
  7. Birth at Home Don’t think you can give birth at home? Diana, a homebirth midwife, runs into that a lot. See more on the topic as well as natural childbirth with a visit.
  8. Birth Unplugged Brittany is a stay-at-home mom of two and a former preschool teacher. She is currently studying to become certified as a birth doula through Childbirth International. A recent entry was an instructional on how to get your partner to agree to a birth plan.
  9. Midwifery/Comadrona Eunice Romero provides holistic traditional homebirth midwifery care in Florida. She specializes in home birth and water birthing services. Get true life stories on what she does with a read.
  10. The Unnecesariean Jill and others author this blog for patient advocacy and on the practice of cesarean surgeries. Click to get an overview and tips for avoiding one. One of the latest posts was on the perceptions of giving birth at home.

Top Grandparent Blogs for Teen Parents

    Because many teenage parents turn to their parents when pregnant, check out these blogs by and for grandparents. Although many of the above top 50 blogs for teen parents are written by professionals and medical experts, see a licensed physician of your own before following any of the advice they give.
    1. Nanahood Learn about the second half of the mothering journey in this blog. Teresa has loads of tips and product reviews for mothers. A recent entry was on the joys of napping.
    2. Nana’s Corner This grandmother is a high school special education teacher with three grandchildren. Proving that you’re never too old to learn technology, she blogs on parenting, grandparenting, and teaching. Useful posts are on activities, recipes, product reviews, and much more.
    3. Grandparents Susan Adcox is a former English and journalism teacher with seven grandchildren. She believes that grandparents can greatly enrich the lives of their grandchildren, and her goal is to help them find more ways to do so. Must reads on her blog include choosing a grandmother name and visitation rights.
    4. SandwichINK This blog is written exclusively for the Sandwich Generation. That is, those who are dealing with the issues of caring for both their elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren. Categories include issues, caring, Bible verses, saving money, and more.
    5. A Grandparent’s Voice Pam Loxley Drake is a 63 year-old grandma living in the state of Oregon. She provides a unique voice for women at this point in their life. A recent entry was on the “Once Upon a Time” of parenting.
    6. Grandma’s Briefs Get “bits and bytes of life’s second act” here. Lisa is a laid off newspaper editor looking to keep her writing muscle flexed and finding a way through her blog. Children and grandchildren are often the topics of posts.
Source:  Online Classes for College visit

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fresh Air Fund Summer 2011

If you or someone you know is able to host, please sign up now. In 2010, The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family program, called Friendly Town, gave close to 5,000 New York City boys and girls, ages six to 18, free summer experiences in the country and the suburbs. Volunteer host families shared their friendship and homes up to two weeks or more in 13 Northeastern states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences.

Although you are giving a so much to a child, what you give to yourself and your family is priceless.  Giving is about feeling good and when you pay it forward, it does come back to you.

Friendly Town host families are volunteers who live in the suburbs or small town communities. Host families range in size, ethnicity and background, but share the desire to open their hearts and homes to give city children an experience they will never forget. Hosts say the Fresh Air experience is as enriching for their own families, as it is for the inner-city children.

There are no financial requirements for hosting a child. Volunteers may request the age-group and gender of the Fresh Air youngster they would like to host.

Stories about real Fresh Air host families and their New York City visitors are just a click away!

Click here to learn more about becoming a host or call (800) 367-0003!

Fresh Air Children

Follow on Twitter at @FreshAirFund and join them on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Give a to gift your family: Quit Smoking

Because of the dramatic impact that tobacco use has on families, Tobacco Free Florida is airing an advertisement called  “Separation” around Mother’s and Father’s Day—a time when families are paying particularly close attention to togetherness and special memories.  

We want to remind parents that the most valuable gift they can give their children is time.  If they are smokers, then quitting now will give them more time to spend with their children.  More time for more special moments, more memories, more Mother’s Days together. It is our hope that smokers will be inspired by this ad to visit to learn more about how to quit tobacco use.  

Isn't it time you quit smoking?