An Assault on Youth: “The War on Women…” or It used to be “Our Bodies Ourselves”

As a teen advocate and national health educator I have been focusing lately on two dangerous points regarding youth. There is a political and media assault on young people that is affecting not only how society perceives them but also in the rights and power they are entitled to. …

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Is it Real If it’s Not Required?

The hot debate these days seems to be whether to require service programs in schools or to encourage participation in service that occurs outside of school hours. I have worked in schools with both programs and believe it should not be a debate at all. We don’t debate whether or not to require math or to provide time in a student’s schedule to master its skills and concepts. …

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Charis Denison Speaks to Parents
Crossways, Branson School

If you’ve ever wanted to have that certain conversation with your student but couldn’t find the right words, or worse, found yourself shutting down a conversation with the wrong words—you’re not alone. You may have wondered why, when it comes to discussing issues such as drugs, alcohol and sexuality, it can be so uncomfortable. …

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What Does “Service” Really Mean?
Punahou School Speech

I understand you have been celebrating the opening of the Luke Center for Public Service. That’s exciting. I am sure, as a result, you have had many conversations about “service,” what it means, and why it’s important. … I am someone who spends a lot of her time talking about service for a living, but I’m not here to talk about service. I’m here to share something about one of my favorite subjects — me. …

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What You Taught Me
Urban School Graduation Speech

After eleven years of teaching I have discovered two signals that indicate to educators that we have done our job right regarding high school seniors. Both express themselves around the first week of May. I bring these signals up because they are directly relevant to the words I choose to share with you today. One is that by the first week of May you (the seniors) have decided that you now know everything and so virtually anything I (or anyone) might say at this point is superfluous. …

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Community Service News
CSEE Connections, October 2004

Those of us in the community service profession have always known its value for students. We have spent many passionate hours with administrations, parents, colleagues and students discussing the merits of service as experiential education. However, from many conversations with my own students and from talking to dozens of service directors over the past few years, I am deeply concerned about a trend I see. …

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Community Service News
CSEE Connections, October 2003

I recently got a letter from an old student of mine. He’s a med student now with plans to work in a free clinic when he finishes his degree (if there are any by the time he finishes his degree). In his letter, he wrote about how service learning allowed him to do things. It allowed him to enter this career path with confidence and to test the opinions he was being raised with in his family. He said that teenagehood was so full of “grey areas.” …

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