Meet Gloria Malone, an advocate for teen and young parents. She was a teen when she had her daughter. She says that while being a teen mom wasn't easy, it didn't stop her from going after the life she wanted for herself and her daughter. She graduated from high school and college and moved to New York City. She also runs a blog called Teen Mom NYC that gives teen moms the support and information she wishes she had when she was younger, because all parents — no matter their age — need support and encouragement. Gloria talks about some of the challenges she faced being a teen mom and what others can do to support young parents.
What is sexual bullying and how is it different from other types of bullying? Sexual bullying focuses on things like someone's appearance, sexual orientation, or sexual activity. It often involves unwanted sexual comments, attention, or physical contact. It can happen in person or online. If anything like this has happened to you, it's not your fault. No one ever has the right to bully you in any way.
Emily Lindin knows what it feels like to be sexually bullied. Her classmates started bullying her when she was 11 because her boyfriend and his friend spread rumors about her. The bullying lasted until she was 14. Read Emily's story about dealing with bullying and what she’s doing to help other people who are bullied feel less alone.
Have you ever considered a STEM career? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Maybe you're interested in studying animals or you like working with numbers — or maybe you really want to travel into space. Mary Cleave, Ph.D., P.E., can tell you what that's like; she's been to space twice.
Dr. Cleave believes it's never too early to start exploring your interests and passions. Before she realized she wanted to look into a career as an astronaut, she thought she wanted to study plants. Check out Dr. Cleave's advice about pursuing a STEM career and what it was like to be one of the first American women in space.
How do you express your feelings, thoughts, and ideas? Maybe it’s through dancing, singing, art, your clothes, or your hair style. Self-expression can take many forms. It’s all about finding something that you enjoy and that makes you feel proud. Belissa, Rhiannon, and Zariya like to express themselves by writing poetry then performing their poems in front of lots of other people. It’s called spoken-word poetry, and there are competitions across the country. Belissa, Rhiannon, and Zariya are Teen Poetry Slam Champions, and they’ve performed on live television. Learn more about spoken-word poetry, what it means to be a Teen Poetry Slam Champion, and why Belissa, Rhiannon, and Zariya think it’s important that all girls have a way to express themselves.
What does it mean to be transgender? Transgender people say that the gender of their body does not match who they feel they are as a person. Take Jazz Jennings, for example. She was born with a boy's body, but that's not who she feels she is inside. In her words, she has a boy's body but a girl's brain. That means she identifies as a girl. She says it's just how she was born. Jazz wants other girls to know that it's okay to be different and that we should accept people for who they are. Read Jazz's story about growing up transgender.
Meet Radhika Mitra. At 16, she started her own nonprofit organization called Renaissance Now (RenNow). RenNow helps artists in developing countries who make handmade crafts like jewelry, pottery, or dolls. It provides the artists with the training and tools they need to work faster and create better products. This means they have more to sell, they’re selling a nicer product, and they can earn more money. Radhika’s main goal is to help artists make more money so that they can take care of themselves and their families. Learn more about Radhika’s story and what inspired her to start RenNow.
Surviving sexual assault
Content warning: This interview includes content about sexual assault.
Sexual assault is any kind of sexual activity that you don’t agree to or feel forced or pressured into. Some examples include unwanted touching or kissing, and rape or attempted rape. Sexual assault also can be verbal or visual. No matter the situation, sexual assault is never your fault. You have the right to decide what you do and don't want to do sexually. Even if you agreed to have sex with the person before, it’s not okay for them to force or pressure you into having sex if you do not want to.
Neesha Arter was 14 when she was sexually assaulted by two boys she knew and trusted. It took Neesha a long time to understand that it wasn’t her fault. She shares ways she learned to deal with her feelings and advice on how to help a friend who has survived a sexual assault.
Recovering from an eating disorder
Eating disorders are real, treatable medical illnesses. A girl with an eating disorder tries very hard to control the foods she eats, and she may worry a lot about her weight. She becomes so focused on eating (or not eating) that she hurts her body. The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa (say: an-uh-REK-see-uh nur-VOH-suh) , bulimia nervosa (say: buh-LEE-mee-uh nur-VOH-suh) , and binge eating disorder.
Laura Boyer developed anorexia as a teen. She was very afraid to gain weight, and the disorder took over her life. Laura thought about food nearly all the time and became depressed. But with treatment and support from friends and family, Laura recently celebrated her five-year anniversary of recovering from anorexia. Read Laura's story.
Spotlight: Paige Rawl
Living a positive life with HIV
Paige Rawl liked middle school. She was an athlete. She sang in the choir. She had lots of friends. But at age 12, her life changed when she learned she was born with HIV.
Paige shared her status with one of her friends. In no time, it seemed that the whole school knew. Her classmates bullied her and her teachers didn't protect her. Paige's soccer coach even made a "joke" about her HIV status. But Paige didn't let any of this defeat her. She decided to speak out to end the stigma, or shame, around HIV/AIDS.
Paige doesn't want anyone else to experience what she did. That's why she's joining the Office on Women's Health as an ambassador for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Read Paige's story about living with HIV and why she doesn't let her status define her.
Setting out to change the bra industry
Finding the right bra, especially your first bra, isn’t always easy. When Megan Grassell took her 13-year-old sister shopping for her first bra, Megan was disappointed to find that there were no age-appropriate options. Everything had padding or underwire. And most importantly, her sister didn’t feel comfortable in any of them.
Megan decided something needed to change. She didn’t want girls to feel pressured to grow up too quickly. Instead, she thought they should be able to find cute bras in fun colors that would make them feel confident. So Megan started her own bra company called Yellowberry. Read our interview with Megan to see what it’s like to start your own company as a teen.
Get moving to boost your self-esteem
How physically active are you? Being active has lots of benefits. It helps you look and feel your best. It keeps your body healthy, improves sleep, and fights stress. Plus, it can boost your self-esteem. That’s right — moving more may help you improve your overall opinion of yourself. Sounds good to us!
Monica Wright is a professional basketball player for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. And she wants to help you feel more confident about your talents and abilities. She knows that staying active is a great way to do just that. Check out Monica’s tips for moving more and feeling great.
Content last reviewed January 01, 2015
Page last updated January 01, 2015