in your own words

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Abbie

This week's Spotlight on Scarleteen interview will be with Abbie a.k.a. JamSessionVT. A self-proclaimed "recycled" hippie, Abbie embodies many of the characteristics commonly associated with her progressive, idyllic home state of Vermont: she’s open-minded, hardworking, supportive, and maple syrup loving. While that last part was stretching it, even she admits that the long, cold winters, as picturesque and perfect for skiing as they may be, sometimes leave her pining for warmer days. That said, Abbie has no plans to leave Vermont or Scarleteen for greener pastures– in fact, just as she considers the Green Mountain State her down-to-earth home, Abbie considers Scarleteen her warm and welcoming virtual home. This is great news for Scarleteen users and volunteers alike; in addition to dishing up great advice on the message boards with an upbeat tone, Abbie's glad to pitch in behind-the-scenes. She's more than willing to lend a hand to a fellow volunteer or fix broken links– the web equivalent of mucking out stalls– so we can focus on the prize ponies.

I always look forward to Abbie's blog entries, which are truly a refreshing mix of eloquence and profoundness. That may seem like a grand statement for some words on a page; however, I encourage you to read them here, here, and here to see for yourself. Time and time again, Abbie turns an everyday event– often an unpleasant or unfortunate occurrence– into a positive educational experience that really resounds with Scarleteen readers. Her blog entry on how an unexpected visitor opened the door to an important discussion with her boyfriend, "An Unfortunate Combination: Periods and Pants," was published a year ago but remains one of the most popular and commented on blog entries at Scarleteen. It has encouraged many unregistered users to sign up to leave comments, which have taken on an empowering, you-go-girl life of their own. Those positive words of support include the following, from "Thank goodness I found this blog… Finding this blog makes me appreciate womanhood and that ladies can be open to discuss this experience," to "These stories from each and every one of you have made me smile. The embarrassing moments happen to all of us." Step back Seventeen magazine's awkward Traumarama; step forward, Abbie, to take a bow for this positive piece!

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Joey

Our first Spotlight on Scarleteen interview will be with Joey, whom you may also know as September from the message boards. Joey is an incredibly multi-faceted and multi-talented individual who has been active at Scarleteen since 2005.

You probably wouldn't notice it based on reading her flawless English, but multilingual Joey's mother tongue is German, although her educational background has been international and multi-faceted. She's not just knowledgeable about sex ed, but has many unique interests and experiences, from modeling to being a huge Buffy fan. At Scarleteen and in person, Joey is not one to shy aware from challenging issues that might intimidate less confident people; in fact, she candidly discusses these things warmly and with grace. I've had the great fortune of meeting her in person, and can say that Joey’s even more awesome in person.

Without further ado, the transcript to our recent interview follows. Please feel free to comment or ask Joey any questions directly by leaving a message on this page or in the Staff Stuff area of the message boards.

Coming Soon: Sexuality in Color & The Scarleteen Voting Guide

Sexuality in ColorNewsflash: I'm white. Who cares, right?

Well, I do. Because one thing that means with the work I do is that I hear it, see it, compile it, write it all through the lens of a white person. I can be as mindful, sensitive and careful as I want, but that still doesn't change that.

Abortion Stories

Hundreds of real women bravely tell their own abortion stories so that you can better understand abortion from a real-life, first person perspective.

Self-Injury & Relationships

What is self harm? How does it -- and can it -- fit into a loving relationship? Will I ever be comfortable with my scars? One self-injurer speaks her pain and her peace.

It's Between God and Me

I used to know God was real. And I knew sex outside of marriage was wrong. Then I lost my faith, and fell in love, and everything turned upside down. One readers story of her struggles to resolve her conflict between sex and religion.

The Reality of New Mommyhood

I painted a picture of pure, perfect mommyhood to anyone who would (or had to) listen. He rides in the sling all day! I never get tired, I'm too happy! I grow all of his food in my backyard and I have a nice, hot dinner on the table for my partner when he gets home from his hard day at work! And we never, ever fight. I was born for this job! Yeah, right.

From Victim to Survivor

Sometimes we have no idea how things will affect us, no idea about the million ways in which one event can influence our lives. When I ran out of the driveway that day, across the street and to our house, I had no idea that the hard part was still to come. One volunteer's story of her history with sexual abuse, and her journey to healing.

Black College Wire

Black College Wire is a news service established in 2002 to promote the journalistic work of students at predominantly black colleges and universities and link those young journalists to training and employment opportunities in the field.

Not a Faceless Disease

I started to grasp that AIDS hit very diverse people from lots of different backgrounds, but AIDS had no face for me. No real face, I mean. Only a face hidden in a shadow, or behind glasses, with a wig or a base cap and a weird, computerized voice, without a name. But it did get a name for me. And a face.