Last week we talked about voting and how important it is for the youths to vote this year.

Ways Communities Can Help Prevent Youth Gang Activity


In the past couple of years, there has been an increase in youth gang activity and participation. According to the National Gang Center (NGC), younger adults are more likely to join gangs depending on how many “risk factors” are exposed to them. These “risk factors” include struggling in their homes, schools, social groups, or within themselves. The more risk factors that are exposed to a young teenager, the more they will try to seek protection and a sense of belonging in gangs.

While these activities can include dangerous actions, there aren’t many gang prevention resources in the state of Minnesota. However, what we can do to help is make community resources more accessible to them. This could be raising funds for lower-income schools so that they can offer financial or academic support for their students, or providing all lower-income schools with a food resource room where food is accessible to students struggling with food insecurity.

It could also be helpful to make sure that young adults are heard and know that they’re being heard. Many individuals join gangs because they want a sense of belonging and providing resources for people in the community where they know that their thoughts, struggles, feelings, and opinions are heard may give them that sense of belonging.

“Gang Prevention: An Overview or Research and Programs” Youth.gov

National Gang Center

How to Support the Ones You Love


The year 2020 has felt long and hectic, yet quick and eye-opening for many. There has been an overwhelming amount of information across many different topics these past couple of months. While some may feel stressed or exhausted by the new information, many have found 2020 as the year of opportunity. It has been the opportunity for new voices to speak up, the opportunity for silenced voices to be heard, and the opportunity for all voices to have more conversations than ever before. However, even with the new encouragement for these voices, constantly using your voice can be over-exhausting and can have an incredibly negative impact on your mental health.

September is the National Suicide Prevention Awareness month and with the world at its most vulnerable state, it is important that we stay connected to the ones that we love and care about. There are many ways to show your support towards people and here are two effective ways that can show people you support them:

1.) Reach Out to Those You Love:

Reaching out may be hard for some people, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve talked, but there are multiple ways to reach out to someone and let them know that you care about them. It’s always good to be straightforward and tell people that you’ve been thinking about them and want to know how they’re doing. However, I also understand that people want to have different kinds of conversations. A couple other alternatives are messaging someone a thoughtful compliment. It can change someone’s day and will let them know that you support them. Another option is reaching out to someone to tell them that something reminded you of them. This can be super meaningful and will let them know that you are thinking about them.

2.) Take Action: While it’s good to verbally tell people that you support them, it’s especially important to also show them that you support them. People tend to reject help when asked so taking action to show that you care about them can make them feel loved. Of course, you have to keep in mind of people’s boundaries so instead of taking action without their consent, ask them if they are okay with you helping them. For example, if you know your friend is going through a tough time, ask them if it would be okay for you to drop them off some treats. Doing this instead of simply asking, “How can I help you?” will be more effective in showing them that you care about them. It let’s them know that you’ve already thought about them and are willing to make an effort to help them. Plus, people don’t always know what they want or how they need help, so this makes it easier on them and their mental health.

Youth Gang Activity


Gang violence and crime rates have increased in the U.S these past couple of years as well as the youth participation in gang activity. There are many programs and resources that help prevent gang activity around the world. While I think that these organizations are great, I also believe that if I want to help prevent gang activity, I should also understand the main factors that can lead a young teenager to participate in the lifestyle. Here are some things that I’ve learned:

While there are many reasons why an individual can choose to participate in gang activity, the National Gang Center states that one of the main causes are the risk factors. They define these risk-factors as “characteristics, variables, or hazards, that if present for a given individual, make it more likely that this individual will join a gang”. The more risk-factors that one is exposed to, the more likely they are to join a gang. Among these factors there are five domains: individual, family, school, peer, and community. Negative factors within these domains can negatively impact someone’s mental and physical well-being. Someone who is more likely to experience risk-factors among all of these domains are 40 times more likely to join a gang than those with risks in just one.

Although gang activity may not always include substance and alcohol abuse, many teenagers who join a gang at an early age are more likely to be exposed to substance and alcohol abuse. Many ex-gang members have admitted to abusing alcohol and drugs because it gave them a sense of belonging.

This is surface-level gang violence and substance abuse information, but I think that it is important to know the root of these issues. If you want to help prevent youth gang violence and substance abuse, below is a link listing many organizations around the U.S.


“Why Youth Join Gangs”,
Young, Michelle Arciaga, Gonzales, Victor “Getting Out of Gangs,
Staying Out of Gangs: Gang intervention and Desistence
Strategies” National Gang Center Bulletin, January 2013.

Week 5 Day 3


Yesterday I worked a double shift and was able to get a bunch done! Although I really wanted to throw my computer a couple times, I am happy to say that my story is coming along very well so I am pretty hyped about everything right now.

Week 5 Day 2


Been working hard on my animation and my health and have forgotten to post on here but I am almost at the half way point so I am excited!

Helping a Loved One With An Addiction


I chose to write about this because I wanted to open my eyes more to the things than my school, the media and friends tell me.

If I am completely honest, hearing about having to write about this made it seem easy but the more I thought about it. I don’t want this to be some prevention post full of stats and things I have heard many times.

Although, this won’t exactly be an outstanding post but my intentions with this is something to share about the things that I don’t know about and shed to light to it.

One of my biggest questions, how do you help someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol or both? And more importantly how do you approach it to them in the most loving and harmless way?

According to my research from many articles, the first step to approach it, is to mention how their changed behavior makes you feel. When you do this you want to highlight the positive things that they use to do and the times that this person was there for you and vice versa. Hear them out and don’t judge them. Along with all of that it is important to stay calm because if the slightest wrong saying or change of tone, the person will get defensive.

Second thing is, remind them that you still love them and will continue to be there for them. This can give them the confidence they need to overcome their addiction. Studies show that many addicts feel alone, make sure to reassure them that they are not alone in this situation and that there is no shame in getting help.

All through out this the person may feel that this is their fault, the only thing that they are responsible for is recovering and supporting them is the thing to do so.

Do all of this under the right circumstances and what I mean by that is, talk to them first thing in the morning or when they feel clear-headed, DO NOT do this while they are on the influence.

If a loved one of yours is battling through their addiction and is in denial and care deeply about them, using these steps may save their lives. Listed down below are the articles I got my research from and more info about addiction.


Week Five Day Two


Today I worked on scene 11. The character doesn’t have a pose that looks natural when falling. For now I used a sitting pose. I might change the background, since it’s a moving background, into a still one..

Week 5 Day 3


Today we continued working on our Hmong story animations. i enjoy working on this because it improves my skills on making animations.

Week 5 Day 3


Right now I am working on my animation, but I’m a little confused on what I exactly need to complete.