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I'm excited to introduce and welcome Robin Mandell as our new volunteer Assistant Director!
Robin came to Scarleteen as an intern in early fall of 2011. After completing her internship, she immediately came on board as a volunteer, primarily focusing on copyediting (or, as she calls it, tidying our "stacks"), content development and our direct services. Robin's kindness, great attention to detail, and dedication to doing all she can to help sustain and grow Scarleteen and support holistic, humane sex education and caring support have blown all of us here away right from the start.
In her new position as AD, Robin will continue with the work she has already been doing, and will also bring her fantastic people skills to volunteer management and, unsurprisingly, will be...well, assisting the director, including with aspects of Scarleteen I've mostly or entirely managed alone for our getting-close-to-15-years tenure.
If you contact us and hear back from Robin, it'll probably be becauseRead more...
1. We are a fully pro-choice organization, resolutely supportive of everyone's -- at every age -- right (even when they legally do not currently have that right) to choose to remain pregnant or terminate a pregnancy; to choose to parent, to choose to arrange an adoption, or to choose abortion. We feel that any and all of those choices are potentially best and most positive for a given person who is pregnant, that no one is unilaterally better than the other for all people.
2. We recognize that unintended pregnancy can and does happen to anyone who can become pregnant; that it happens to those who use contraception and those who do not, that it happens to those who choose to engage in sex and those who were not given a choice, that it is not a "punishment" for anything, nor a mark of anyonRead more...
As we're rolling out some redesign we've been working (and working to fund) over the last year or so, we thought we'd celebrate by sharing some of our history.
Mind, it's probably more fun for our readers than it is for me, since showing designs from times when the tech to do design blew, and one's (notice how I avoid saying my?) skills were less honed is a bit like streaking naked through a busy city street, or winding up at the ER after an accident when wearing the rattiest undies in your drawer.
Thank goodness, I came to web design with some solid design skills already -- though some not-at-all-solid coding skills, I pretty much had to learn that by the seat of my pants -- so I was better equipped than a lot of people making sites, but that still doesn't mean everything was awesome, and that I don't shudder a little bit to see some of my designs of yore.
However, I've at least resisted the attempt to embarrass myself less by showing screenshotsRead more...
Last December, we began our end-of-year fundraising for Scarleteen with a goal to raise the minimum we needed from online donors for 2012, $35,000, a very modest ask compared to other organizations or projects of or near our tenure and level of service.
Unfortunately, we still have not yet been able to raise even half of that sum. As of today, we have raised almost $15,000. We're so very grateful to the 135 individuals who donated generously to help us get to that sum, but that total just won't do. We run our organization and services far more cost-efficiently than similar organizations or groups, and can stretch a dollar like nobody's business, but that can only get us so far.
We need that minimum of 35K for this year -- which, combined with a private grant and existing donors, still giv us only $80,000 to do everything we do -- in order to sustain and maintain our services and those who provide them, create new content and tools, and to keep our organization afloat.
We don't like tRead more...
And here's the second part of our volunteer profiles (part one is here) so all of you can better get to know some of the people we're so lucky to have on Team Scarleteen!
Where do you live? Melbourne, Australia
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2004
What made you want to volunteer? I went through high school and the first couple years of university completely clueless about pretty much everything to do with sex and relationships. When I finally found Scarleteen and had my own questions answered so brilliantly, with so much information and so much obvious care, I knew I had to help out.
Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: That I can learn from them, really - I'm not always going to be the "expert". When I first started volunteering, I was so worried that it meant I'd have to know *everyRead more...
This summer, Arianna, who is one of our readers, wrote and produced a play at her college about sexuality which also included a fundraising ask for Scarleteen.
This month, Marlena, another Scarleteen user, surprised us with this incredible video she made as part of Project for Awesome, to do what she could to help support what we do and express her experience of what Scarleteen can offer to young people, particularly in a world which is so often unsupportive not just of youth sexuality, but of youth as a whole.
And now, in the last week, yet another fantastic young person began an ingenious self-designed fandom auction to help us here, an effort a host of creative, generous folks have hopped on so far to pitch in with.
We feel the information, support and services we provide for young people are things that young people truly are owed: things they should be able to receive for free from any of us who have the ability to provide them for them. Ideally, our hope is always that olderRead more...
Our volunteers are a huge part of Scarleteen, and I call them superstars with very good reason. They're all incredible.
They play a big part in providing our direct services at our message boards and through our text-in answer service. They are our invaluable collective editorial board: even when volunteers aren't part of writing a piece, every piece we publish goes past at least some of them and their input is priceless. They're an equal part of all conversations about how we run things here, collectively informing and making decisions about how we manage and administrate the site and organization. They are a strong support circle: for all of us as a staff, for each other, for our users. They are a brilliant hivemind: our backend chat channel for staff and volunteers has had some amazing, inspired conversation about the issues we address here at Scarleteen. Most of our volunteers also started out at Scarleteen as users, so they come in with a lot of knowledge about being a user here,Read more...
Things slow down a bit here around the holidays. So, this is one of the main times of each year when I try to review all the content we have at the site and map out articles I, and the volunteers, feel we should aim to write or have written to add in the next year.
To do that, I look at the running notes I keep from observing what our users ask for in direct services and our social media; places where they ask for things and I don't feel we have just the right pieces to refer them to, or what we'd want to be able to give when it comes to on-site resources.
I also like to ask our more general readership what they want, too. While our direct services are very busy, they only make up a very small percentage of our daily readers, so we might miss some expressed needs or wants when we pull only from the readers we most often interact with.
What would you like to see here in the next year that isn't here already, or where there isn't as much content here as you'd like?
That can be about:
Some of our staff and volunteer's fave links and reading from our Facebook and Twitter feeds this week:
Stephanie's Fave: 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence:
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence are commemorated every year around the world to raise awareness and trigger action on this pervasive human rights violation.
This year, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet unveiled a 16 Step Policy Agenda to address the issue. Ending violence against women is one of UN Women’s priority areas. UN Women also coordinates the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign and supports widespread social mobilization through its Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women platform. In addition, UN Women manages the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women which commemorates its 15th anniversary in 2011.
Karyn's Faves: Abstinence education does not lead to abstinentRead more...