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Summering Safe and Sound

Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season. As an alternative educator all my life, though, I miss out on that thing where teachers get summers off (though I've also known few teachers in the public sector who could afford to take the summer off, anyway), and as the Executive Director and lead educator at Scarleteen, I really don't get downtime. Summer is and has always been our busiest season. Eh, so it goes.

It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. I'm a lot more concerned about those of you in that space than I am about my feeling occasionally ripped off of a summer vacation. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it'

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Why I Escort

I am a volunteer abortion clinic escort. This means I am there to walk with women coming into the abortion clinic. It's usually no more than a minute's walk from their cars to the front door of the clinic. Under normal circumstances, my help would hardly be needed. Except the circumstances outside an abortion clinic are rarely "normal."

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Karyn

If you've ever come to the Scarleteen message boards in a jam or just happen to like reading up on expert sex ed advice, then chances are you already know Karyn a.k.a. Karybu from her compassionate, knowledgeable, and very personalized responses in Ask Scarleteen or Emergencies and Crises. In fact, since 2004, Karyn has been lending her ear and dolling out advice at Scarleteen. Since then, Karyn has earned her college degree, turned her volunteer work here into an awesome career and moved halfway across the world for love, but she still finds time to return to her beloved online home-away-from-home, Scarleteen.

As caring and compassionate as Karyn is, there's so much more to this multifaceted "child of the universe," as she once so fittingly called her personal thread on the boards. To continue a theme of alliteration, some other choice "c" words that come to mind to describe Karyn include Canadian, coffee-loving, committed, curious, and creative.

A Canadian citizen who currently ca

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Jacob

This Spotlight on Scarleteen interview features the one and only Jacob! Also known as PenguinBoy on the message boards, Jacob is an engineering student living in Leeds, UK. A big influence on his identity, both at the site as well as in person, is his rejection of labels. (You’ll hear more about this soon!) At Scarleteen, Jacob puts his diverse background to use by offering an introspective take on topics such as sexual orientation and relationships, while also being one of the few male volunteers at the site.

Currently taking a break from his studies, Jacob is a Jack(ob)-of-all-trades who manages to fit volunteering into his busy schedule, which includes recently having worked in the neonatal ICU and maternity area of a hospital, regularly creating art work and graphic design commissions, teaching English to asylum seekers and refugees, writing poetry­ and hanging out with his beloved friends. (Of course, this is to be expected from someone who is such an open, welcoming frie

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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 we

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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

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Going the Distance in LDRs

Going the Distance: A Few Thoughts on Long-Distance Relationships by Joey

Do you know that Cake song that goes, “He’s going the distance… he’s going for speed… she’s all alone (all alone!) in a time of need…”? If you also listened to a lot of alternative rock in the mid-nineties or just love clever trumpet-y tunes, the chorus to Cake’s “The Distance” may pop into your head upon reading this Scarleteen Take Two! article’s title. I’m not sure if author Joey had that song in mind when penning her piece, but “going the distance” to make long-distance relationships work is something she knows firsthand. In her article, “Going the Distance: A Few Thoughts on Long-Distance Relationships,” Joey shares personal experience as well as great general advice for people in or considering long-distance relationships.

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Bingo!

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute and other reliable sources, a sexually active young adult who does not use contraceptives has around a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within just one year. That's not a new statistic or anything a lot of people don't know, but it's one that makes clear how important it is for sexually active teens to find, have and use a birth control method which works for them.

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