Breakfast Club Blog

Meet the BLT: Frances Vasquez

Frances Vasquez Vice President of Programs, arc, Torrance, CA Who or what inspires you? Young people! They are incredible, resilient humans. I want to make the world better for them. I had a lot of opportunities growing up, and I want to be able to give them as many opportunities as I can. I had some incredible people in my life who poured so much love into me. I want to do the same for others. How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization? I have a sign in my office that says,...Read More

It’s Not Enough Just To Make More Stuff….

Learning through making and doing is important, but so is teaching our students to make a difference in the lives of others. In the maker world, it’s not enough to just make “stuff,” we need to teach students the importance of making things that matter. As part of our three-level STEAM sequence of courses, I teach a Physical Computing/Wearables class, in which students learn electronics and how to program Arduinos. Both of these things are difficult and can be glitchy, even more so w...Read More

It’s Time To Wake Up! A Teen Suicide & How Teachers Can Make A Difference

Editor’s Note: We all share deep sadness when we lose a young person to suicide.  Suicide knows no race, creed or class. In this blog, we have asked permission to share Breakfast Club blogger Kathy Bihr’s personal Facebook post and reflection about a young man in Orange County, CA who took his life in the first week of February. Our hearts and souls live with the family who lost their son. Please share carefully, but share far and wide. Patrick’s story is not singular.   I was ...Read More

Surviving Your 20’s For An Even Better 30’s

At the age of 31, I moved back with my parents. Sleeping on the couch in my parent’s basement, I reflected on the “dumb” choices I’d made. I realized that at the root of my problems was my inability to manage my impulses. However, had I not fallen on my a** – several times – I don’t think I would have been able to see the error of my ways. My 20’s was a crucial time in my life; full of temptations and distractions. But with great reflection, I realized all the decisions I...Read More

Meet the BLT: ElizaBeth Phillips

ElizaBeth Phillips Senior Program Development Director, Child Development Centers, Sacramento, CA Who or what inspires you? My Grandma inspires me. She was a teacher for many years and believed in John Dewey’s learning theories. I would spend my school breaks, afternoons, and sometimes my mornings with her before school and she always had fun things for me to do. And lo and behold I always learned something too. But, she inspires me in more ways than just her teaching style. She has a true love ...Read More

Hands-On DIY Wellness Projects: The Ultimate Life Hack

In the month of January, Alliance for a Healthier Generation is celebrating #NewDaysResolution. Gone are the old New Year’s resolutions that are ultimately broken (and leave us feeling terrible). 2018 is about making a daily commitment to achieve one simple healthy change that leaves us feeling fulfilled and proud. For example, on the first day of January, I used all of my leftover veggies to make this delicious smoothie (ignore the color). On January 2, I used my lunch break to get a 25-m...Read More

Hate Your Data? There’s A Toolkit For That!

We’ve all been there. Frustrated with maintaining 15 different spreadsheets, 30-word documents, and 19 Survey Monkey Surveys, a nonprofit leader says, “Enough! Let’s just get a database.” Yes! Finally! A centralized place for all the program’s data will help the team serve clients better and make reporting to funders a breeze. Joy and excitement fade to sadness as the team struggles to fathom how to go about getting a new database, much less implementing one. And the stakes couldn’t be higher: n...Read More

Serving Through Hands-On Projects

Editors Note: A special thank you to author @jillgordon for sharing one of four of Youth Philanthropy’s webinar series. Today’s post focuses on service learning models that can be implemented in your program too!  Click on the webinar link below “Serving through Hands-on Projects” for the full program.  And, keep your eyes open in February for the next special webinar from Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana.  Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII) created a 4-part webi...Read More

My Resolution For A Better Me

As we begin 2018, how many of you made a New Year’s resolution? I know I am taking advantage of this opportunity to make a commitment to myself and to make changes in myself. A new year is a perfect time to engage in a fresh start. I, like many people, could resolve to eat better, exercise more, or curb frivolous spending, but instead, I am going to take steps toward better mental health in the new year. For inspiration to help with my resolution I am turning to Mahatma Gandhi. His gentle approa...Read More

How A CEO Integrates Leadership and Sports On An Everyday Basis

Editor’s Note: We welcome first-time Breakfast Club blogger Jeffrey L. Jordan, CEO of Sportika Sports in Manalapan, New Jersey. We had the chance to interview Jeff about his work managing a 170,000 square foot elite sports facility serving 1000 families /kids a year. In this interview blog, Jeff shares how he integrates leadership and life skills with youth and staff simultaneously. Q: How do you use leadership and life skills when you are coaching your athletes at Sportika? JLJ: As if we ...Read More

The Terrifying Click of Heels in the Hall

When I was site coordinator at an elementary school in San Francisco, we were not afraid of the mice in the office, or the cold air that whipped through the poorly insulated windows on a foggy SF morning, or the cafeteria full of wildly enthusiastic pre-teens. No, but we were afraid of the click, click, click of the principal’s heels on the linoleum hallway. We could hear it about 2 minutes before she turned the corner into our closet-like office.  We’d look at each other across our desks, each ...Read More

What Kind Of Mark Did You Make Today?

Checking in with your kids each day is a great way to help them remember their values and to focus on the type of person that they want to be. And a great question to ask each day is – “What mark did you make today?” You see, every time we are with someone we leave a “mark” – either a “gold heart” or a “grungy mark” depending on how we treated them. When I was a young girl, my Dad loved to talk about the Golden Rule – “to treat others as I would want to be treated.” The Golden Rule was rea...Read More