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Job searching and social media, how social media can make or break a job search [INFOGRAPHIC]

Job searching and social media go far beyond searching company social accounts for job openings. Personal posts can come back to bite prospective employees or even current employees and impact future employability. Just think, you or your teen might be excited about a social media post getting hundreds of likes or retweets, but who will end up seeing the post? Will a future employer come across it and use it as a reason to not hire your teen? What anyone posts on social media matters more than they might think. The number of employers searching social media accounts has increased 500% in the last decade.

93% of hiring managers review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. So that “joke” your teen and their friends find funny might cost your teen employment. Maybe tomorrow, maybe years down the road. However, if social media is used appropriately, teens will have a leg up on the competition.

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Job Searching and Social Media Infographic

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Job searching and social media, how social media can make or break a job search

Job searching and social media are a perfect pair for success or failure. Prospective employees can utilize social media to come across as a great fit for a company or social media can hurt the chances of a prospective employee, depending on what job recruiters find on social media profiles. Employers are searching social sites and what they find can impact their perspective of potential and current employees.

Businesses use social media for various reasons

Businesses utilize social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn extensively to recruit talented employees.

LinkedIn’s career focused interaction is makes it the most popular social network for employers keeping tabs on candidates. Facebook and Twitter are also utilized during most aspects of the hiring process, but Facebook is utilized much more than Twitter.

Social media used most in IT industry

The Information Technology industry is the most likely to check social networks to research applicants. If your teen plans to enter the IT industry, they should consider high privacy settings on their social media accounts. Other industries most likely to use social networks to screen employees include:

  • 76% of IT companies
  • 65% of Sales companies
  • 61% of Financial Services companies
  • 59% of Health Care companies
  • 59% of Retail companies
  • 56% of Manufacturing companies
  • 55% of Professional and business services companies

The retail industry figures are important to note as 21.7% of teen summer jobs fall in that category. Additionally, 32.2% of teen summer jobs are in accommodation and food services.

What sites do recruiters search?

When used appropriately, social media can actually help your teen land a job. There are numerous ways teens can capitalize on a recruiter’s presence on social media. Again, LinkedIn leads the way:

  • 94% of recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates
  • 66% of recruiters search Facebook for candidates
  • 52% of recruiters search Twitter for candidates

When job recruiters see experiences and qualifications they like on social media, they may offer a position through that same social media platform.

Inform your teens to understand that what they post can both qualify and disqualify them for a position.

What do job recruiters search for?

What stands out most to job recruiters? Recruiters generally aren’t searching for reasons not to hire someone; conversely, recruiters are looking for reasons to hire employees. Recruiters search professional experience, length of professional tenure, industry-related posts, mutual connections, examples of previous work, and cultural fit.

  • 44% check candidate’s background information
  • 44% check that a candidate conveys a professional image
  • 43% check that a candidate fits the company’s culture
  • 40% check that a candidate is well-rounded and shows a wide variety of interests
  • 36% check candidate’s communication skills

Also worth noting:

  • 65% of recruiters have reconsidered hiring a candidate after seeing on their social profile that they volunteered or donated to charity.

Be sure your teen’s social profiles are cohesive with resumes and job applications and that profile pictures convey a professional image. If there are conversations that show weak communication skills, delete them or set your privacy so others can’t see.

7 costly social media mistakes

While employers are looking for positives on social media, certain posts stand out to potential employers. The following often result in a candidate being reconsidered for a position.

1. Drug references

83% of job recruiters say any sort of reference to illegal drugs is “the worst thing you can do.”

2. Sexual posts

70% of recruiters say they count sexually inappropriate posts against a candidate.

3. Profanity

63% of the time recruiters reconsider a candidate when they come across social media accounts filled with profanity, they will reconsider a candidate.

4. Racist or sexist posts

33% of the time candidates are turned down when discriminatory remarks related to race, religion, or gender are found on their social media account.

5. Aggressive or derogatory remarks about previous employer

31% of the time talking poorly about a previous company or fellow employees results in a dismissal from candidacy.

6. Poor communication skills

29% of the time job recruiters turn down applicants who display poor communication skills such as broken language or poor punctuation.

7. Absence of an online presence

41% of job recruiters are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find any information about that person. This lesson is clear. Tell your teen to have fun with social media respectfully and wisely.

Employers check employee’s social media accounts

Employers don’t stop watching individuals on social media after hiring them.

5 Job searching and social media tips

Teens should manage their social media image to stand out to employers:

1. Scrub personal social media profiles

Inspect social profiles for questionable images or posts and delete anything that could negatively influence a recruiter or employer.

2. Monitor what friends say

Have your teen limit their friend’s ability to tag or post on their profile. If friends don’t respect your teen’s personal privacy and post negative things, your teen should consider blocking them.

3. Fine tune privacy settings

Have your teen make accounts as private as possible. Facebook has a handy tool that allows users to view their own profiles as the public would. Tell them to consider: Is my profile representative of who I am?

4. Create professional accounts

Have your teen create professional accounts. They could create a professional Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram, using them as mediums to talk about, and engage in, the industry they’d like to enter.

5. Be active with social media accounts

Your teen should commit to staying active on professional-style accounts. Inconsistencies such as not posting for an extended period of time may come off as suspicious.

Social media for the win!

Successfully managing social media profiles is a valuable tool for teens. It allows them to focus on future opportunities without worrying that something from their past might be used against them when they’re searching for jobs or up for a big promotion. Social media is a powerful tool and growing exponentially. With such opportunity, it’s a waste not to use it to benefit your future.

17 educational websites for kids: a parental guide

Children and teens are spending more and more of their free time on the internet with each passing year. Yet, is it productive use of time, or are they merely posting selfies? Better options do exist. These 17 Educational Websites for Kids (from K-12 or all ages) links to some of those options.  These websites can make your child’s internet time educational, safe, fun, and productive.

1. Scratch

Scratch, designed and maintained by the MIT Media Lab, is a programming language and an online community. Scratch was designed for ages 8 to 16, but all ages use it. Kids and teens can create games, animations, interactive stories with the program, and share their creations with the online community. Scratch could inspire a future career in science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M).

Young people develop creative problem-solving skills, systematic reasoning, and collaboration.

2. Spatulatta

Spatulatta Educational Websites for Kids

If cooking or baking interests your teen, consider Spatulatta.com. Fun, creative, and educational recipes teach users cooking skills. Recipes feature conventional treats like bread pudding and fun-themed treats like Sea Turtle Taters and Firecracker Fruit Pops.  Maybe Spatulatta.com will inspire your kids to make the family dinner!

3. How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works Educational Websites For Kids

HowStuffWorks.com is the perfect website for your Curious Carl or Wondering Wendy. HowStuffWorks.com explains the “how” and “why” of things like why we eat three meals a day or why scary music is scary. How Stuff Works provides articles regarding current events, games, quizzes, and videos, keeping your kids occupied with quality information as long as you’ll allow. If only HowStuffWorks could explain why your son or daughter can’t make his or her bed!

4. Teen Reads

Teen Reads Educational Websites for Kids

If you’d like to encourage your teen to read more or if your teen is looking for new books, TeenReads.com is a great resource. They offer book reviews, recommendations, and many “best of” lists. TeenReads.com also encourages teens to write blogs, FAQs, and reviews on their web site.

5. National Gallery of Art for Kids

National Gallery of Art for Kids Educational Websites For Kids

National Gallery of Art for Kids (NGAKids) offers entertaining and informative interactive art pieces that teach art history and encourage creativity. NGAkids gives kids the chance to create abstract paintings, animated portraits, collages, and other artwork they may share on their personal online gallery.

6. Lego Build

Lego Build Educational Websites for Kids

Lego Build allows kids to build Lego creations on the computer and share what they build with their friends. Now you’ll never have to worry about stepping on a Lego! Playing with Legos can help:

  • Develop lateral thinking in a fun environment
  • Teach kids to think in three dimensions
  • Improve creativity
  • Enhance communication and critical thinking
  • Develop problem-solving, organization, and planning

7. Google Earth

Your son or daughter can explore outer space without leaving the comfort of home thanks to Google’s Mars, the Moon, and the Sky program. They can virtually orbit around Mars and soar through the solar system, perhaps nurturing a future astronaut.

Google Earth can also nurture your youth’s curiosity by exploring earth’s geography. Google Earth offers:

8. Curiosity Machine

curiosity machine educational websites for kids


Curiosity Machine aims to challenge children and young adults to build engineering designs through household objects. There are a variety of design challenges, videos, and a guide that supports children. Curiosity Machine is a great resource for parents and educators.

9. Do Something

Do Something Educational Websites for Kids

DoSomething.org educates young people about social causes and they make a difference. 5 million globally dispersed members participate in campaigns that impact causes such as poverty, discrimination, and the environment. Teens can participate with donations or by raising awareness through social media posts or spreading the word at their school.

10. Kahn Academy

Khan Academy is an online “personalized learning resource for all ages.” This website offers educational opportunities through practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized dashboard that allows students of all ages to learn at their own pace.

Kahn Academy covers a wide variety of subjects and recently partnered with The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, MIT, and NASA, offering specialized content that helps pupils learn in new and exciting ways.

11. Brain Scape

Brain Scape Educational Websites for Kids

BrainScape.com offers over 1 million educational subjects that can help people learn effectively and quickly. A team of top learning scientists, software engineers, user experience designers, and education industry executives built Brain Scape to redevelop the way people study. The site uses various flashcard models, helping with subjects such as foreign language and driver’s education.

12. My Hero

My Hero Educational Websites For Kids

MyHero.com celebrates positive moments happening throughout the world. This site’s mission is “to use media, art, and technology to celebrate the best of humanity, one story at a time.” MyHero.com offers stories that provide hope, inspiration, and encouragement for others to be heroes as well. Over 194 countries participate and over 40,000 essays have been collected so far.

13. Play Kids Games

play kids games Educational Websites For Kids

Parents with young kids designed PlayKidsGames.com to provide a place where younger children can learn math, reading, vocabulary, geography, and problem solving skills in a fun way. Interactive, games build cognitive skills and knowledge such as:

14. Brain POP

brain pop educational websites for kids

Another educational web site, BrainPOP.com strives to make learning fun. It provides animated and interactive movies, games, quizzes, mapping, and more to achieve their goal. Subjects on Brain POP include:

Once the user chooses an educational category, they can explore different topics and spend an afternoon expanding their brain.

15. Tinkercad

tinkercad educational websites for kids

Tinkdercad is one of the more unique educational websites for kids. Tinkercad offers users a simple, easy to use, 3D design websites. Tinkercad can be used for 3D printing as well if applicable. Tinkercad is great at teaching young learners design and construction as well as giving them an interactive tour of 3D design techniques.

16. IXL

IXL Educational Websites For Kids

IXL.com is a website for preschool through 12th grade which uses a variety of technologies, taking real world problems and turning them into educational opportunities. IXL emphasizes Math and Language Arts for all Pre-K through 12th grade courses, but provides extra courses on Science and Social Studies for 2nd through 5th grade.

17. Energy Kids

Energy Kids Educational Websites For Kids

If your son or daughter is interested in science, consider showing them Energy Kids. The website provides educational games, activities, and articles regarding energy—the history, sources, and types. They’ll learn about energy types such as coal, electricity, natural gas, and oil. It also provides tips on reducing energy consumption. While your son or daughter is there, they can take a virtual field trip!

Tell Us Your Favorite Websites for Kids

The websites above offer fun, educational opportunities young people can use during their screen time. Monitor your child’s internet activity to ensure they are using their time wisely, and let us know if you have any favorite sites we left off the list!

5 tips on how to stop cyberbullying

70% of teens reported being cyberbullied at least once in 2013. Cyberbullying is defined as the use of electronic communication to bully another individual. It is known to cause anxiety, depression, pain, and insecurity; and has led to teen suicides or suicide attempts. Thankfully, teens and parents can take measures to stop cyberbullying. If your teen is cyberbullied, reassure them and  remind them they have a safe place to collect themselves before they react to the situation. From there, record all instances, cut off engagement, and report all incidents. Be your teen’s strongest ally.

How do you know if your teen is being cyberbullied?

Only 16% of parents are aware of cyberbullying incidents involving their teen. Teens might hide occurrences because they are embarrassed or worry about their parents’ reaction. A few warning signs may indicate your teen is cyberbullied:

  • Exhibits mood swings or uncharacteristic behavior after internet or cell phone use
  • Avoids activities they previously enjoyed
  • Makes lower grades unexpectedly
  • Refuses to attend school
  • Checks phone far less than they use to

Nobody should experience cyberbullying or face it alone. Talk to your teen about the issue and let them know they can come to your for anything. If your teen needs help to overcome and stop cyberbullying, these five steps can help.

1.     Teach teen to not respond

Telling teens to ignore cyberbullying is easier said than done. 21% of teens check social media solely to see if someone was saying mean things about them. Often, cyberbullies just want a reaction. If your teen does not react, the bully does not get the “thrill” for which they are looking and will move on. Responding to the bully with rude, angry or any type of comment only encourages more bullying. And any rude or derogatory comments your teen makes may haunt them later.

2.     Record all cyberbullying

Track all incidents of harassment towards your teen, especially anything threatening. Monitor the progression of the cyberbullying, log ALL incidents, and collect evidence. Print a hard copy of all cyberbullying incidents if possible.

Take photos or screenshots of:

  • Time and date cyberbullying occurred
  • Cyber channel(s) used (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.)
  • Profile of the individual doing the cyberbullying

Contact the website where cyberbullying occurs and report all incidents to the site host.

3.     Reach out

If you witness your teen being victimized online or notice warning signs, talk to your teen. Ask them what is happening and how they’re feeling. Instruct teens follow the steps above if they’re not already. 66% of teens have witnessed cyberbullying and saw others join in. If you see your teen’s friends are subjected to cyberbullying, reach out through a private message or inform their parents. Ask your teen to take action as well.

4.     Block cyberbullies on social media

After you have documented the bullying with screen shots, photos, and written logs, it may be time to block the bully from seeing your teen online and vice versa.  Blocking people on social media is easy.  Either click on a person’s profile or settings icon and select the ‘block’ option. Watch the video above for how to block on specific media sites.

You can block people on smartphones as well.  iPhones have a built-in feature to block numbers. If your teen uses an android phone, they may download one of the many apps available to block numbers. Phone companies will also block a phone number for you.

5.     Report cyberbullying

Many websites will ban cyberbullies from their site once it’s reported. Report the cyberbullying with detailed evidence. The site will review the claim and take action.

If a fellow classmate is the offender, report their cyberbullying to school administrators. When cyberbullying turns racist or threatening, all incidents should be reported to the police.

Additional tips on how to stop cyberbullying

These additional tips can also help protect your teen from cyberbullying:

Cyberbullying is a dangerous, modern-day threat that can have effects such as depression, helplessness, and a feeling of isolation. Teens victimized by bullies are also twice as likely to commit suicide. Too much is at stake to let the cyberbullying continue if is shows up in your teen’s world.

The legend of Bart Starr [INFOGRAPHIC]

When you think of “America’s Quarterback,” who comes to mind? Is it Aaron Rodgers? Tom Brady? Russell Wilson? Before any of these players were born, that distinction belonged to Bart Starr. Bart Starr is best known for quarterbacking one of the first dynasties in the National Football League: The 1960s’ Green Bay Packers. Bart was a fearless leader in an era when football was rough and still trying to attract a stable national audience. But off the field, Bart Starr shines even more. He was, and remains, a quiet supporter of numerous charities, a strong supporter of the local community, and a one of a kind, All-American icon who has given hope and special memories to thousands of individuals throughout his decorated life.

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The Legend of Bart Starr Infographic

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A Starr is born

Bryan Bartlett Starr aka Bart Starr was born January 9, 1934 in Montgomery, Alabama to Benjamin Bryan and Lula Starr. During Bart’s childhood, his father pushed him to develop a mean streak, clashing with Bart’s introverted personality.

Bart attended Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery and tried out for their football team his sophomore year. After two weeks, he decided to quit. However, Bart’s father’s influence weighed on him yet again. Bart was given the option to either work in the family garden or play football. To the future delight of many, Bart chose football.

Roll tide!

After a successful senior year of high school in which Bart was named All-State and All-American, colleges from across the nation sent him scholarship offers. The University of Kentucky was the front runner, but Bart’s heart pulled him elsewhere. His high school sweetheart, Cherry Louise Morton, was planning on attending Auburn and Bart wanted to be close to her so he chose the University of Alabama.

Bart became Alabama’s starting quarterback, punter, and safety during his sophomore year, ranking second in the entire nation with a punting average of 41.4 yards per kick. This was Starr’s best year in college. A back injury his junior year prevented him from playing, and a coaching change his senior year limited playing time for the former starting quarterback.

The biggest bargain in NFL draft history

Despite his lack of playing time, the Green Bay Packers saw enough in Bart to select him in the 17th round, 200th overall in the 1956 NFL Draft. Many experts consider Bart one of the biggest steals in NFL Draft history. Initially, Bart backed up quarterback Tobin Rote, and then split time with Babe Parilli, until the Packers hired Vince Lombardi  in 1959. Lombardi knew Starr was his man from the start and benched starter Lamar McHan, giving Bart the starting quarterback position until 1971.

Bart Starr captains a dynasty

It only took Bart one year to lead the Packers to their first championship game. On December 26, 1960 the Packers traveled to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles in front of 67,325 fans. Despite out-gaining the Eagles 401 yards to 296, the Packers lost 17-13, the only playoff loss in Bart’s career.

Bart brought the Packers back to the NFL championship in 1961 against a New York Giants team that never stood a chance. The Packers won 37-0, their first of 5 championships over the next 7 years.

The 1966 Green Bay Packers

In 1966, Bart Starr had a career year, leading the Green Bay Packers to a 12-2 record en route to earning the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. Starr’s statistics for the year are incredible:

  • 62.2% Completion rate, highest in the NFL
  • 14 Touchdown passes to only 3 interceptions for the lowest interception percentage (1.2%) in the NFL
  • 9.0 Yards per pass attempt, highest in the NFL
  • 105.0 Quarterback rating, highest in the NFL


But it was in the postseason that made Bart Starr entrenched his legacy. The 1966 NFL Championship matched the Green Bay Packers against the veteran Dallas Cowboys in Texas. The winner earned a trip to California to play against the AFL champions in the first ever Super Bowl. Bart Starr put on one of the greatest playoff performances of all time by an NFL quarterback, completing 19 of 28 passes for 304 yards, 4 touchdowns, and compiling a quarterback rating of 143.5.

The Packers won 34-27, and were off to the first Super Bowl.

Super Bowl I

Bart continued his strong play two weeks later, passing for 250 yards, 2 touchdowns and earning the game’s MVP award. Behind Brett’s leadership the Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 to capture the first ever Super Bowl Championship. But Bart, Vince Lombardi, and the Green Bay Packers weren’t finished.

The Ice Bowl

After another successful regular season, the Green Bay Packers faced the Dallas Cowboys for a rematch of the 1966 NFL Championship. Only, this game wasn’t under the warm Dallas sun. It would be the game that earned Lambeau Field the nickname “The Frozen Tundra”.

The game-time temperature at Lambeau was -13 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill around -36 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature was brutal:

  • The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse marching band had to cancel their halftime show as many instruments froze
  • The heating coils under the field broke
  • Before the game, many Packer players were unable to start their cars, forcing them to find alternative travel arrangements
  • The referees were unable to use their whistles during the game as they froze to their lips
  • CBS announcer Frank Gifford said on air, “I’m going to take a bite of my coffee”


Bart attended an early church service with his father before the game. Bart recalls, “It was so cold that neither of us talked about it. Nobody wanted to bring it up.” The conditions proved difficult to play in and late in the game things didn’t look good for Bart and the Packers. With 4:50 left in the game, the Packers needed to move the ball 68 yards down the field, something they’d struggled to do all day. The wind chill fell to -70°F and players on both teams had trouble staying upright on the slippery field. But Bart was up for the challenge.

He completed short pass after short pass, bringing the Packers to the 1 yard line with only 16 seconds left to play. It was 3rd and goal and the Packers were out of timeouts. A failed run play would end the game, but Starr saw something in the Dallas Cowboy’s defensive line he knew he could exploit. Packers radio announcer Ted Moore gave the play-by-play:

Here are the Packers, third down, inches to go, to paydirt. 17-14, Cowboys out in front, Packers trying for the go-ahead score. Starr begins the count. Takes the snap. He’s got the quarterback sneak and he’s in for the touchdown and the Packers are out in front! 20-17! And 13 seconds showing on the clock and the Green Bay Packers are going to be… World Champions, NFL Champions, for the third straight year!

Bart didn’t tell the other players he’d be keeping the ball. He clutched the ball in his frost bitten fingers and dove in for the game winning touchdown. On Bart’s back, the Packers headed to their second consecutive Super Bowl.

Super Bowl II

With Bart, Lombardi, and an experienced team, their Super Bowl opponent never stood a chance. The Green Bay Packers dominated the Oakland Raiders 33-14. Bart Starr was named the game’s MVP for the second consecutive year, passing for 202 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 96.2.

The playing career of Bart Starr

Super Bowl II was the last playoff game of Bart’s playing career. Despite a run of poor seasons for the Packers, Bart led the league in both completion percentage and quarterback rating in 1968 and 1969 before retiring in 1971.

Bart retired as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in NFL history. In his career, he amassed:

  • 3149 pass attempts
  • 1808 pass completions
  • 57.4% completion percentage (An NFL record when Bart retired)
  • 152 touchdown passes
  • 24,718 passing yards
  • 80.5 passer rating
  • 1x MVP Award (1966)
  • 2x Super Bowl MVP Awards (Super Bowl I and II)
  • 1x First Team All-Pro (1966)
  • 2x Second Team All-Pro (1962, 1964)
  • 4x Pro Bowl


Bart’s postseason records truly cement his legacy. He amassed a 9-1 record and a 104.8 passer rating in the playoffs, an NFL record unbroken to this day (nearly 50 years!). In 1973, the Green Bay Packers honored Bart by retiring his number and in 1977 they inducted him into the Packers Hall of Fame. In 1977, Bart was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Bart Starr shines off the field

The Legend of Bart Starr MVP Corvette

While a legend on the field, Bart had even more of an impact off. Bart is a supporter of Rawhide Boys Ranch and was instrumental in its foundation. It all started with a call.

Rawhide founders John and Jan Gillespie were trying to get Rawhide started and were looking for a notable supporter. Jan told John just to call Bart. John was hesitant, saying, “You can’t just call Bart Starr!” But the Gillespie’s looked into the phone book, found his number, and did just that. Before John knew it, he was talking to Bart Starr, and Bart invited John and Jan over to dinner that night. John declared his vision to Bart and Cherry Starr and they agreed to help out almost immediately.

In a stunning move of selflessness, Bart donated the Corvette he received as MVP of Super Bowl II. Bart’s charitable heart has impacted Rawhide for over 50 years. He held fundraisers in the early years to get Rawhide started, donated vehicle after vehicle, and showed up to support numerous events.

Bart has meant so much to Rawhide Boys Ranch, its on-campus school was named after him: Starr Academy.

Bart’s legacy

Without Bart’s help, Rawhide and the Green Bay Packers would not have the strong foundations and successes they enjoy to this day. Bart even has a week named after him. But he is always quick to give credit elsewhere, much like he made his triumphant return to Lambeau Field all about Brett Favre. Bart Starr is a football legend and someone who has left a positive mark on the world.

Please leave a comment or share a special memory about Bart Starr to inspire more people to live life with a similar passion and charitable spirit. Thank you, Bart. For everything.

Armed forces suicide rate skyrockets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Suicide is an often under-discussed and increasingly prevalent issue for armed forces personnel. Armed forces suicide rates have tripled since 2001 and are often tied to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or depression. Warning signs of these conditions shouldn’t be ignored. Help is available for armed forces personal facing mental health issues. It’s time to talk about suicide and the armed forces.

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Armed Forces Suicide Infographic

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PTSD and depression in armed forces

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common problem in armed forces veterans and unfortunately many struggling with PTSD are undiagnosed or don’t seek treatment.

Military mental health counselors believe these numbers are even higher, especially when taking into account Traumatic Brain Injuries or TBIs. But underreporting and an overall stigma of weakness prevents many armed forces personnel/veterans from discussing their concerns and symptoms.

Armed forces suicide rates triple

The Army’s annual death toll from suicide has more than tripled since 2001. In addition, a concerning amount of non-fatal suicide attempts are reported on a daily basis.

Suicide demographics

Armed forces suicides occur more often in male veterans 50 years or older.

While a suicide often comes as a shock to friends and family, some warning signs may appear.

Warning signs

Suicide attempts often have warning signs, though many are subtle. Many armed forces personnel contemplating suicide display at least some of the following warning signs:

  • Appears sad or depressed often
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Withdraws from friends and family
  • Frequent mood changes
  • Expresses feelings of guilt or shame
  • Talks about feeling trapped

Who to talk to

If you or someone you know experiences the warning signs, or you’re concerned for any reason, there are many options available for life-saving help.

Depression, PTSD, and suicide are not issues to gloss over. Please take note of the statistics and warning signs to help prevent more lost lives. Suicide in the armed forces is too big of a problem to ignore.

175 Pokémon Go statistics for family fun (February 2017) [INFOGRAPHIC]

Here at Rawhide, we value family and family activities. That’s why it’s almost impossible to ignore the impact Pokémon Go can have on family activities! No mobile game has had as big of an impact on the world as Pokémon Go. Since the much anticipated release, Pokémon Go continues to break download records, set unprecedented usage-rate marks, and even caused real-life stampedes. With download numbers far exceeding apps like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and Hearthstone and an engagement rate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can’t help but drool over, we couldn’t help but compile all the Pokémon Go statistics you need to know in our all-encompassing guide. Check out our infographic below to discover: How big Pokémon Go has become and where this cultural phenomenon is headed. We’ve also included stats on the Generation 2 update!

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Pokémon Go Statistics Infographic

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Pokémon Go statistics that will blow your mind

The Pokémon Go sensation is only beginning, and so are the mind-blowing Pokémon Go statistics surrounding the game. Everything from record-setting download rates to unprecedented usage and engagement rates have occurred since the initial release. Only time will tell where the app will go, but the rumored updates and potential for 7 Pokémon generations worth of game-play make Pokémon Go a game not to take lightly. Dataminers discovered lines of code in the recent updates leading to “daily quests”. More reports surfaced that revealed Pokémon Go earned $1 Billion in a little over 6 months.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based mobile game that encourages users to walk around and explore their surroundings in hopes of finding digital monsters called Pokémon. It’s the first mobile game attached to Nintendo, and certainly won’t be the last.

But who is the average Pokémon Go player?


Pokémon Go players earn experience points through tasks such as catching Pokémon, hatching eggs, and visiting PokéStops. Once a Pokémon Go player earns enough experience points to reach level 5, they may join one of three teams: Mystic, Instinct, or Valor.

  • 43% of players joined Team Mystic
  • 32% of players Joined Team Valor
  • 25% of players joined Team Instinct


Pokémon Go Statistics What is Pokemon


Players pursue 151 possible Pokémon by visiting locations where Pokémon are known to spawn. Once a player encounters a Pokémon they would like, they use their finger to throw capture devices known as “Pokéballs” at the Pokémon. The overall goal is to “Catch ‘em all”.

Players may also battle gyms, hatch eggs by walking either 2, 5, or 10 kilometers, collect items at “PokéStops” and  much more as Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go, continues to add new features to the game. The highest level or combat points a Pokemon can attain is 4,144. Currently, only legendary Pokemon Mewtwo (not currently available in the game) can reach that level. The highest level or combat points currently available is 3500 by dragon type Pokemon Dragonite.

Players may also declare one of their Pokemon their “buddy” and earn rewards for walking 1, 3, or 5 kilometers. Niantic included an Easter Egg in the game where if a player walks 10 kilometers with a Pikachu, the Pikachu will hop on their shoulder.

A handy Level Speed Calculator was created to track how long it will take players to reach certain levels. Many estimates show it may take players years to reach level the maximum level possible: 40. 20,000,000 experience points are required to hit the level cap. Reaching 20,000,000 experience points is equal to:

  • Visiting 400,000 PokeStops
  • Capturing 200,000 Rattatas


84 possible medals exist for players who achieve goals such as walking a certain distance or catching a certain amount of Pokémon. 

Pokémon Go first week

Pokémon Go was released on July 6, 2016 in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The initial popularity created such a strain on the game’s servers that Niantic delayed releases in other countries until they resolved the issues. Just how popular was the initial release? In the first week, Pokémon Go was downloaded:

  • Once every 81 seconds
  • Every 55 seconds on Apple devices
  • Every 26 seconds on android devices


Within 5 days, Pokémon Go was installed on:

  • 16% of all android devices in New Zealand
  • 1% of all android devices in Australia
  • 8% on all android devices in the United States


Apple declined to release how many times Pokémon Go was downloaded on their devices, but they did announce it was downloaded more times in its first week than any other app in history.

The initial Pokemon Go traffic was 50 times higher than Niantic’s expectations and 10 times higher than their worst case scenario. Pokemon Go reached peak traffic numbers within 15 minutes of launching.

Pokémon Go usage

Pokémon Go was slowly released to users across the world and is now available in over 100 countries. Having millions of users is great, but how much time do they spend on the app? More than any other app, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Roughly 7 out of 10 people who download the game continued to play the next day. In comparison, the average rate for next-day return on other apps is approximately 3 out of 10.

Pokémon Go Statistics comparing apps

Pokemon Go released the Pokemon Go Plus accessory on September 16th, adding an extra wrinkle to the game, allowing players to play the game without checking their mobile devices.

After slipping in the top grossing rankings, Pokemon Go climbed back to the number one spot after running a Halloween theme update that gave players:

  • More spooky “Ghost Type” Pokemon
  • Double candy earned


Shortly after Halloween, Niantic added a new system that provides rewards to daily users:

  • Catching a Pokemon every day earns a player 500 Experience Points (or XP) and 600 Stardust
  • Catching a Pokemon every day for 7 straight days earns a player 2,000 XP and 2,400 Stardust
  • Visiting a PokeStop every day earns players 500 XP
  • Visiting a PokeStop for 7 straight days earns a player 2,000 XP


Due to this success, Pokemon Go released a holiday themed updates for Christmas, and on December 12th, added 8 new Pokemon to the game. The Pokemon are from the second generation (Gold/Silver) and must be hatched by users. The Pokemon added are:

  • Tyrogue (Becomes Hitmonchan/Hitmonlee/Hitmontop, however, it’s unsure when Hitmontop will be available)
  • Smoochum (Becomes Jynx)
  • Cleffa (Becomes Clefairy)
  • Igglypuff (Becomes Jigglypuff)
  • Elekid (Becomes Electabuzz)
  • Magby (Becomes Magmar)
  • Togepi (Becomes Togetic, however, it’s unsure when Togetic will be available)
  • Pichu (Becomes Pikachu)


The update also added a festive Pikachu donning a Santa hat. A Valentine’s Day update is rumored as well as user activity peaks around holiday events.

25 quick Generation 2 Pokémon Go statistics

The full Generation 2 update of Pokémon Go went live February 17th, 2017. The update added approximately 85 new Pokémon as well as:

  • Genders for Pokémon
  • New evolution items that modify the evolution of Gen 1 Pokémon. The evolution items are:
  • Nanab berries, which slow Pokémon down (trust me, some of these Pokémon are FAST)
  • Pinap berries which doubles the amount of candy you receive if your next catch attempt is a success
  • New avatar items such as hat, shirt, pants, and shoes users can purchase with coins
  • A new catch bonus has been added.
    • 50 EXP for a catch on the first throw.
  • Users will receive additional candy when they catch an evolved Pokémon
  • Users will also get extra stardust when catching an evolved Pokémon
  • Users can now evolve Eevee into Espeon and Umbreon by giving them specific nicknames
    • Naming Eevee Sakura evolves it into an Espeon
    • Naming Eevee Tamao evolves it into Umbreon


Smeargle and Delibird are yet to appear in the game. It is rumored that their unique moves are difficult to put in the game, causing a delay similar to that of Ditto.

Pokémon Go benefits physical health

Can playing a game for extended periods really be healthy? The answer is yes. Pokémon Go’s requirement to go outside and move around positively impacts health for many users. Players have extra incentive to walk as eggs in the game hatch once a player walks either 2 kilometers, 5 kilometers, or 10 kilometers. A new study found that over 30 days, Pokemon Go added 144 billion steps to U.S. physical activity. Pokémon Go players have lost weight, visited areas they admit they wouldn’t have in the past, and many remark it has improved their mental health.


Playing for 43 minutes a day, 7 days a week burns:

  • 1795 calories for males (equal to 7 small chocolate doughnuts)
  • 1503 calories for females (equal to 6 small chocolate doughnuts)


Playing 43 minutes a day and catching around 22 Pokémon a day translates to:

  • 1 pound lost for males every 13.75 days
  • 1 pound lost for females every 16.27 days


Pokemon Go could add approximately 2,825 million years of total additional lifetime to users in the U.S. if the game sustained engagement of its user base.



Recently, Niantic revealed the total walking distance of every Pokémon Go player combined is 4.6 billion kilometers, roughly the distance from Earth to Pluto. Particularly engaged users increased their daily steps by more than 25%. Using Pokémon Go as a workout tool can save users money as well. The average monthly gym membership is $58. Depending on individual data plans, playing Pokémon Go for an hour a day will likely save a few bucks.

Pokémon Go benefits mental health

Roughly 43.8 million adults in the United States experience mental illness every year: equal to 1 in 5 adults. Mental illness is especially prominent in the video game world. But Pokémon Go players are finding the game helps them cope with:

  • General Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety
  • Depression


Exercise helping manage mental disorders isn’t a surprise to many mental health experts. Dr. John Grohol, an expert on how technology impacts human behavior and mental health, said, “The research is really, really clear on this, that the more you exercise, the more it would help decrease feelings of depression.” But what does surprise Dr. Grohol is that Pokémon Go is helping people so profoundly.

In terms of the phenomena of people expressing the benefits of playing the game to their real-world mental health status, I think that’s very unique and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that.

Pokémon Go is a social experience for many as well. Players meet and share what they’ve learned about Pokémon and other features in their neighborhoods. Meeting and interacting with new people has always been a personal struggle. However, since the games release, I’ve had long, detailed, Pokémon related conversations with complete strangers. Before Pokémon Go released, the thought of spending that much time with strangers induced anxiety. But the social world of Pokémon Go created a healthy community for individuals like me who struggle to meet new people or socialize with strangers.

Pokémon Go benefits business


Businesses are using Pokémon Go to attract new customers and then interact with both new and returning customers. Many businesses will attach a “lure module” on a PokéStop at or near their business and watch the foot traffic roll in.Pokémon Go Statistics at businesses

Restaurants and bars are taking note.


The financial benefits are huge. One 30 minute lure only costs $1. Derek Fridman and Michael Koziol attached $49 worth of lures to Huge Café and saw a great return on their investment as customers playing Pokémon Go provided steady traffic the whole day. Stores that resell used Pokémon video games are also benefiting.

  • Prices of all used Pokémon games have gone up 100%
  • Sales of old Pokémon games have increased 200%


Sales of external, portable battery packs for smartphones are also rising. In the first two weeks, portable power pack sales increased 101%. Over 1.2 million portable power packs were sold in that short period of time.

RAVPower has seen their overall charger sales through Amazon double. The company Lifeproof also saw sales for their LifeActiv bike/bar mounts for smartphones increase by double digits. When users become comfortable spending money on in-app purchases, this often benefits more than one app, and competing apps are reaping the rewards of player’s spending money in Pokémon Go. The following companies saw a sales increase on in-app purchases thanks to Pokémon Go:

  • Peak Games
  • Google
  • King
  • Supercell


Some estimates show Pokemon go is still bringing in around $2 million a day.

Pokémon Go takes social media by storm

If you’ve been on any social media site, you’ve probably seen at least one (but probably more like 500) post mentioning Pokémon Go. Since Pokémon Go’s launch, there have been 645 million Facebook posts, reactions, comments, and shares related to the app. It’s also taken over Twitter. In Pokémon Go’s first week:

  • 3 million tweets related to the app


This overshadowed one of the biggest European political and cultural events of 2016:

  • Brexit only had 7 million tweets
  • Euro 2016 had 5 million tweets


Music streaming service Spotify saw an increase in Pokémon related usage.


Negative Pokémon Go statistics

Unfortunately, Pokémon Go has not been free of negative publicity. Some are using the game at inappropriate times while others are encountering dangerous situations.


Players aren’t just playing the game when they shouldn’t; they’re playing the game where they shouldn’t.


While the app is free, some players experienced data overages from constant playing. The most newsworthy story occurred during the 2016 Summer Olympics when Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura racked up $5,000 in data roaming charges while playing Pokémon Go in Brazil. (Though, that didn’t stop him from winning two gold medals.) But real world concerns turned dangerous, if not fatal.

Teen issues
Pokémon Go Statistics headlines

Teens make up a significant number of the Pokémon Go community. 1 in 5 players are between the ages of 13-17, but stories of teens encountering issues appeared since Pokémon Go launched.


These stories emerged within a short amount of time after the game’s launch. While some are extreme, there is one Pokémon Go statistic that hits close to home:


That is New York City alone. Similar figures are found in:


With over 5 million PokéStops in existence, and more on the way, there’s a chance your teen may play near a registered sex offender. Family Watchdog is a helpful resource that shows where sex offenders live to help you guide your children where to play safely.

11 tips to catch em’ safely

1. Beware of lures

PokéStops are a great place to stock up on items catch Pokémon once lures are placed on them. Once a “lure module” is placed on a PokéStop, more Pokémon appear there, often followed by more players. But armed robbers have used this feature to lure unsuspecting people to secluded locations. If a PokéStop raises any concerns, use caution near it.

2. Be respectful of where you’re playing

Locations such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, Arlington National Cemetery, and even Auschwitz Memorial Museum ran into issues with visitors coming solely to play Pokémon Go. It’s reached such a level that memorial sites asked for the removal of all Pokémon from the area.

3. Keep off private property

Police continue to remind the public not to trespass, as some Pokémon Go players wander off paths and over fences.

4. Do not catch and drive


85% of players admit to playing Pokémon Go while driving and 4% of players admit to being pulled over while playing. Deaths have already occurred from drivers playing Pokémon Go. There’s a reason the game has a speed limit. Please do not play and drive.

5. Play the game with friends and family

Enjoy the game’s social aspect and play with your friends and family. This allows younger players to get out and play in adult-managed groups. For teens, encourage them to play with a friend, and impose other rules such as, not playing late at night or in remote places.

6. Watch where you are going

Tracking Pokémon through the game has changed significantly and causes players to walk distractedly, turning around, backtracking, and not watching where they are going.

7. Beware of in-app purchases

While free to download, Pokémon Go does make money via in-app purchases. It is possible for a player to spend $99 a pop on “Pokécoins”, the game’s digital currency, accidentally. This kind of spending may accidentally happen with younger players.

8. Be mindful of personal privacy

Don’t let your family or teens use real names for Pokémon account names. Encourage them to flex their creative muscle and come up with fun code names or Pokémon Trainer-style names. Or use this fun name generator.

9. Monitor when teens play the game

Pokémon Go provides a time-stamp down to the minute the action took place, which means parents have a complete log of when children play the game.

10. Watch data and battery consumption

Pokémon Go uses a large amount of a phone’s data and battery life. Consistently playing Pokémon Go,


This can cause players to be left far from home with a dead phone or end up using more data than they’re allotted.

11. Read the Pokémon Go arbitration clause

Parents should be aware of an arbitration clause in the Terms of Service detailing when the right to sue the company or join a class action suit against it (for example, if you’re injured while playing) is waived. To opt out of this clause, you need to send an email to termsofervice@nianticlabs.com with “Arbitration Opt-Out Notice” as the subject line and clearly state you are opting out of the arbitration clause in Pokémon Go’s terms of service. You must do so within the first 30 days of agreeing to the Terms of Service.

Good luck catching ‘em all!

Pokémon Go is more than just a game. It’s become a cultural phenomenon that’s given complete strangers a way to connect and celebrate accomplishments with one another. It’s encouraging people to get outside and interact with their environment and neighbors, creating a sense of community and togetherness.

While Pokémon Go is limited to your phone, its impact on our culture is incredible. The most important thing is to enjoy the game safely. Good luck on your journey! Hope you catch ‘em all!

Police officer suicide, number one threat to officers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Suicide is the #1 killer of police officers. A variety of factors such as PTSD, stress, and depression are linked to this growing concern. Police officer suicide occurs 1.5 times more frequently than among the general population.

(click to enlarge graphic)
Police Officer Suicide Infographic

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Demographics behind police officer suicide

When analyzing police officer suicide rates since 2008, a few common trends appear:

  • 91% of suicides were by male officers
  • Average age of officers committing suicide was 42
  • Average length of career in law enforcement for officers committing suicide was 16 years

Older male officers well into their career on the force have a higher risk of committing suicide than newer officers.

Police officer suicide prevalence

Roughly the same amount of police officers take their lives every year. Many officer suicides come as a shock to a vast majority of people who knew the officers.   

    • Over 100 police officers take their lives per year, dating back to 2008
    • 15%-18% of officers that committed suicide suffered from PTSD
    • 64% of police suicides were completely unexpected

Warning signs

Police officers who contemplate suicide sometimes display these common warning signs:

  • Neglect personal welfare
  • Withdraw from friends and family
  • Lose interest in hobbies or passions
  • Mood changes
  • Deep sadness

These signs appear in many individuals before they commit suicide. Unfortunately, police officers tend to be more withdrawn by nature, making it harder for friends and family to identify any problems.

Who do police officers turn to?

When police officers are facing issues, they discuss the issues with a variety of different people. That is, if they choose to discuss it at all.

  • 56.9% turn to family members
  • 44.1% turn to nobody
  • 42.1% turn to a friend at work
  • 37.2% turn to a friend outside work
  • 17.6% turn to professional help outside work
  • 10.8% turn to a direct supervisor

An alarming 44.1% turn to nobody at all. This might be due to pride, denial, or many other factors causing an officer to not feel comfortable discussing their mental health issues.

How can law enforcement agencies help?

Law enforcement agencies can and have taken steps to address the high number of police officer suicides. Some methods found to be effective include:

  • Law enforcement agencies can endorse, develop, and encourage peer support programs.
  • Overcome unwritten Police “rules”.
  • Remove the stigma that accompanies seeking help.
  • Train officers in healthy self-care rather than poor coping strategies such as excessive alcohol consumption, avoidance, and distancing.
  • Raise awareness about motivations and risk factors for suicide so fellow officers will recognize them before it’s too late.
  • Encourage agencies to investigate and report suspected LEO suicides using a psychological autopsy format similar to the one outlined by the U.S. Department of the Army.

How can officers help?

If you are an officer experiencing mental health issues or you know an officer who is, refer them to the two numbers below for potentially life-saving support:

  1. Safe Call Now (Crisis hotline specifically for first responders) 1-206-459-3020
  2. COPLINE (“There is always a cop on the other end of the line”) 1 -800-267-5463

Also, visit Talk2EndStigma to read Chris Prochut’s story and share many of the resources on his page. Chris experienced many of the issues police officers face when dealing with mental health and provides valuable insight on situations officers may not know how to handle.

There is help available. It’s a matter of recognizing something is wrong and admitting help is needed. There is too much at stake to ignore the threat of suicide.

11 winter car tips to conquer harsh conditions

Winter is coming. Weather (pun intended) you like it or not. With freezing temperatures, icy roads, and scraping ice off your car until your hands freeze, one question should be asked: Are you ready for all the obstacles winter throws at you and your car? If you’re worried you’re forgetting something this winter, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with our 11 winter car tips to face harsh conditions.

1. Create a winter emergency kit

Your winter emergency kit may resemble your usual emergency kit with the addition of warm clothes. Put together a few basics in case cold weather and icy conditions leave you stranded. A good winter emergency kit should contain:

A variety of issues may leave you stranded during winter. Prepare now to get out of any troubles you might encounter.

2. Check engine coolant and antifreeze levels

Inspect that your engine coolant and antifreeze levels are at the recommended levels. Antifreeze excels at preventing rust and corrosion from building up on your cooling system and prevents other fluids from freezing in your engine during winter. Coolant keeps your engine from overheating and allows it to run smooth, even in very harsh climates.

3. Check tires

Winter Car TipsMake sure your car is equipped with all-weather or winter tires. Summer tires will guarantee slipping and sliding all winter long. All-weather or snow tires have deep grooves, giving you great traction during not-so-great weather. Consumer report offers a handy rating guide for various types of tires.

If you have appropriate tires for winter conditions, great! Next, use the penny test in the image above to see if your tire tread will be adequate for the weather to ensure your car stays on the road.

4. Use winter windshield wiper fluid

What’s the difference between regular windshield wiper fluid and winter wiper fluid? Winter wiper fluid is ready for the harshest conditions. Winter wiper fluid allows for use at a lower temperature (check bottle for exact temperature) and can even help melt light frost and ice.

5. Inspect windshield wipers

When examining your wiper blades, check for:

Lift carefully. If your car is older, the wiper arm might be more fragile than you’d expect.   Also, clear off all snow before turning on your windshield wipers. Using wipers to clear off snow adds extra wear to the wiper motors. If you notice any of the before mentioned issues, or if your wiper blades aren’t clearing the windshield well, consider buying new wiper blades.

6. Switch to synthetic oil and durable oil filter

The colder it gets, the more important your oil becomes. In fact, Ramon Nenez, spokesman for Purolator Filters NA LLC said, “The most obvious point to consider when temperatures dip very low is your choice of motor oil… and filter.”

At 20°F, most oils have the thickness of maple syrup, causing the oil pump to force cold, thick oil through the engine.  Synthetic oil has friction modifiers that allow the oil to flow smoothly through the engine and continue lubricating parts to prevent an engine breakdown.

7. Invest in a quality ice scraper

It might seem silly, but having a quality ice scraper will make your life much easier on ice-cold mornings. Many options are available:

  • Gloves attached to the ice scraper
  • Telescoping arms
  • Heavy Duty Brushes

Think back on your experiences scraping your windshield and consider what you need most. Be sure to find a scraper that you know won’t crack (literally) under the pressure.

8. Check the battery

Cold weather puts extra stress on your vehicle’s battery, making it extra important to check that your battery has significant charge. A battery with little life left can put a driver in danger of being stranded in the cold as harsh weather puts extra stress on batteries. Also examine that the battery isn’t cracked. A cracked battery can leak and malfunction. An average car battery lasts about 5 to 7 years, so if your battery is around that age, or older, consider replacing it with a new, reliable battery.

9. Test your car’s heating system

You don’t want to spend all winter driving in a freezing vehicle. Inspect the entire heating system for cracks in hoses or any loose connections. Run your heater and defroster to make sure both work. The defroster is essential to guarantee peak visibility. Heating vents make sure you don’t have to thaw yourself off your seat.

If there is an issue with your car’s heating mechanisms, take the vehicle to a mechanic for further inspection. If you’re a DIYer, you can try some of these tips from Chris Fix.

10. Wash and wax vehicle

Waxing your car before winter provides an extra layer of protection against the ice, salt, and dirt winter brings. A layer of wax keeps paint protected; handy if you plan on reselling your vehicle.

11. Consider a roadside assistance membership

While a roadside assistance membership may not seem like a necessity, consider this scenario: It’s below zero outside, and your tire is suddenly flat. Wouldn’t it be nice to call someone to change that tire for you while you sit in a nice warm car? A roadside assistance membership is a nice assurance  if a family member is stranded during severe winter weather.

Still don’t trust your vehicle after our winter car tips?

These 11 tips can help keep you and your car on the road this winter. But if you’re looking at completely upgrading your vehicle to a better equipped winter machine, consider sending your old one to Rawhide. Vehicle donations help fund programs that give at-risk and troubled youth a second chance.


5 back to school tips for helping teens adjust to new school year

Stores are fully stocked with backpacks, folders, and notebooks. And that can only mean one thing: It’s time to go back-to-school! But school supplies aren’t the only thing your teen will need to prepare. A new school year is filled with new mental stresses around every corner. Help quell those worries before the year even starts so your teen has an A+ school year with our 5 back to school tips to help your teen adjust to the new school year.

Is Your Teen Facing Back to School Stress?

If your teen is stressed about the impending school year, they may display it through their actions or feelings. Your teen might:

  • Show irritability or a short temper
  • Be disagreeable or withdrawn
  • Display uncharacteristic behavior such as silliness or rebellion
  • Have reoccurring stomach pains or headaches

These behaviors may be your teen’s way of communicating their nerves and often disappear after a short time. However, if they persist or get worse, consider speaking to the school counselor or a medical professional. School avoidance or school phobia is a real issue that affects 5% of all children.

What Causes Your Teen Stress?

Many teens feel stress, worry, and anxiety before a school year. Teens might feel:

Lost and confused – New challenges such as a new locker, finding classrooms, and adjusting to a new schedule can cause anxiety and confusion for your teen.

Lonely until new friends are made – Making new friends is not easy. Your teen may initially experience hardships that come with trying to make new friends.

Worried they can’t cope with new schoolwork demands – A new school year comes with new, unknown demands. Teens encounter stresses they didn’t anticipate with new class loads, packed schedules, homework, or large projects they’ve never encountered before.

Worried they won’t “fit in”Changes in style or physical or emotional changes happen over the summer that may make your teen worry they’ll not fit in.

Afraid they won’t meet expectations of parents – New school years bring new expectations, especially if a teen is gearing up for college. They may fear failing to meet parental expectations.

Many of the stresses and worries teens face stem from the unknown. They don’t know if they’ll be able to adjust, who they’ll talk to, how much work they’ll have, or what their parents expectations are.

5 Pre Back to School Tips to Help Teens

Help ease your teen into their school environment before school starts so they can adjust and get comfortable with their surroundings. Bring your teen to school a few weeks before the year starts and:

  1. Allow them to choose school supplies – Allowing teens to pick out their school supplies can help them get excited for school to start. Have them pick out a fun backpack or trendy supplies they’ll want to show their friends.
  2. Take a tour of the school – This helps your teen experience school before it actually starts and gives your teen a mental picture of where their classrooms are.
  3. Get their locker ready – Encourage your teen to have a little fun and decorate their locker. Allowing your teen to decorate and put their school supplies in their locker before school helps them comfortably establish their own space in the school.

  1. Meet teachers before school starts – Meeting teachers before school starts helps teens get a feel of for the teacher. This helps establish comfort between the student and teacher that extends into the first day. Teachers are often in their classrooms a few weeks before the school year starts.
  2. Get sleep on track – Try to get your teen to sleep at their normally set school bedtime. Start a few weeks before school begins, allowing their body time to adjust to their school schedule.

If your teen is attending the same high school you attended, share stories involving your time there. Show them where your favorite hangout was, tell them a funny story of something that happened to you in school, or show them a trophy you helped win. Remember to remind your teen that they’re going into an exciting learning environment full of friends and peers to direct them in a positive direction.

Encourage Teens During School Year

Once the new school year begins, open daily dialogue about their experiences at school. Ask them about their favorite classes, if they met anybody new, or what their favorite moment was from the day. Remain encouraging and positive to ease their worries about meeting your expectations. If they’re struggling with something, share personal stories of struggles you may have faced in school. Opening up to your teen helps them know they can come to you.

Help Rawhide Guys Transition Back to School

Rawhide’s Starr Academy has year round school, but as the summer comes to a close, students gear up for new classes. You can help ease the transition back to school for our guys. A donation to Rawhide helps fund Starr Academy, allowing our guys to learn and grow in a safe environment. Click below to learn how you can play a role in their education!

Back to School Tips donate to Rawhide

20th Annual Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Raises Funds for Rawhide

The 20th Annual Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing was one for the record books. 148 golfers from across the country teed off to support charities in Northeast Wisconsin. Funds raised from the event were split between three non-profits:

But what was so remarkable about this year’s outing? A whopping $200,000 was raised, setting a new single event record!

20 Years of Benefiting Charity

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing 2016

The Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing began as a memorial for a former Kimberly-Clark team member and fundraiser for cancer research. But in 2010 the focus switched to benefit local charities, Rawhide included. Total funds raised since the event formed sit at over one million dollars, with the event growing larger every year!

A Hole-in-One Event

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Color Guard

The day began with two Rawhide guys presenting the colors for the national anthem. A shotgun start signaled the start of the golfing as golfers hopped into their carts and sped to their first hole. Once the clubs came out, the golfers took in a little friendly competition. Contests such as longest drive, straightest drive, longest putt, and best team scores resulted in a lot of talk and even more laughter.

After golfing, the silent auctions drew much of the attention. Prizes included autographed Packer memorabilia, drones, gift baskets, and vacations. The Rawhide guys were fortunate enough to have a new dart board come back to their recreation center. All proceeds from the silent auctions went to benefit the charities.

Tech Sponsors Make Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Possible

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Charities to benefit

The event couldn’t have happened without the generous support of the sponsors. This year’s sponsors included:

These sponsors helped cover expenses for the event and provided some raffle prizes. Thank you to all sponsors who helped make this event such a resounding success!

Rawhide’s Impact on Display

Rawhide is a consistent benefactor of the KC Charity Golf Outing for one reason: Rawhide programs work. An assessment of all the organizations benefiting from the KC Golf Outing found that Rawhide provides services crucial to helping at-risk youth. Committee Chair member Kim Iverson said,

“Seeing the impact Rawhide has had is a reason we keep bringing them back for the event. They make such a positive impact on so many young men’s lives.”

The Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing helps fund many programs that continue to help make Rawhide a leader in at-risk youth care. We couldn’t be more grateful for their continued help and support.

Rawhide Guy Learns to Golf

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Golf Lesson

The night prior, a Rawhide guy spoke to a large crowd at Lambeau Field. It was only his second ever public speech, but he delivered it with confidence. After the speech, he asked Rawhide Executive Director John Solberg if he could attend the golf outing. John said yes.

While at the golf outing, John took time to teach the Rawhide guy, and first-time golfer, how to golf. By the end of John’s lesson, he was driving the ball over 200 yards! He had never hit a golf ball prior. When asked what his favorite part of the whole event was, he gave two responses:

  1. Learning to golf
  2. The food

Support Rawhide Programs Your Way

Opportunities to fund Rawhide programs go beyond special events like the Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing. Whether you attend a famous Friday fish fry, donate a vehicle, view our eBay store, or show your support through social media, all methods are helpful and much appreciated ways to support Rawhide.

To stay up-to-date on Rawhide events and discover ways to help Rawhide give at-risk and troubled youth a second chance, join our online community. You’ll receive all the latest information and ways you can give at-risk and troubled youth a second chance.

2016 Iola Car Show Attendee Wins Chevy Silverado

The 44th annual Iola Old Car Show saw thousands come from across the country to see classic cars, trucks, and, for the first time in Iola Car Show history, live music! As if that wasn’t enough excitement, Iola Car Show attendees that visited the Rawhide Boys Ranch booth had an opportunity to add to their vehicle collection. Rawhide continued a tradition started last year and gave away another vehicle to thank supporters both old and new.  This year, the prize was a 1996 Chevy Silverado in peak condition.

Honoring Chet Krause: A Rawhide Friend for Decades

Iola Car Show Chet Krause Memorial

Sadly, Iola Old Car Show founder Chet Krause passed away shortly before the 44th car show. Chet and Rawhide have had a longstanding relationship since Chet first visited the ranch in 1987. Chet pulled aside Rawhide’s co-founder, John Gillespie, and challenged him to develop an expansion plan for more boys’ homes. If John could do that, Chet promised to lead the fundraising efforts.

John, never known to back down from a challenge, immediately accepted. He presented Chet with a plan and shortly after, Chet led the fundraising and personally contributed several major financial gifts.

Chet’s support helped provide our guys with opportunities they never thought possible. We are incredibly grateful for everything Chet has done. He will be greatly missed by everyone at Rawhide, Iola, and the many other organizations and charities he supported throughout his lifetime.

Rawhide Guys Give Back to Iola Car Show

Rawhide Booth at the Iola Car Show

As a way to honor Chet’s generosity, Rawhide’s About Face Residential Program has been helping at the Iola Old Car Show since 2000. Rawhide guys set up fences, keep the grounds clean, and handle whatever else Iola’s Managing Director Larry Fechter needs done to prepare for over 100,000 yearly attendees.

This year, many of our guys got the chance to work the booth with Rawhide staff. They talked about the truck and other vehicles with visitors expressing interest at the Rawhide booth. They also educated visitors about Rawhide’s programs and provided an excellent representation of Rawhide.

Rain Can’t Stop this Parade!

Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts, the Iola Car Show had a strong turnout. Thursday and Friday saw rain, but the sky’s cleared to beautiful weather on Saturday, bringing a giant crowd. Costumed Star Wars enthusiasts delighted the crowd with a replica Millennium Falcon and podracer and provided photo opportunities for all attendees. Unfazed by the weather, car enthusiasts came from all over to make it another Iola Car Show to remember.

Iola Car Show Star Wars motorcycle

About that Chevy Silverado…

Iola Car Show Win Me Truck

As exciting as Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone performance was, Rawhide’s Chevy Silverado giveaway was “Just a Little Bit Better.” On Super Saturday the Iola Old Car Show team drew the winning entry card and notified the winner of the truck. Thank you to all who entered. We hope to see you next year!

Grow Your Vehicle Collection

Even though you didn’t win the 1996 Chevy Silverado, Rawhide can still help grow your car collection. We have many vehicles on our eBay site, from classic cars to everyday drivers. The right one for you might only be a click away. Every purchase from Rawhide’s eBay store helps fund programs that benefit at-risk and troubled youth.

view vehicles for sale

13 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Disc Golf

The sound of a Frisbee colliding with a chain-link net is followed by a congratulatory high five from a group of disc golfers. As the group moves to the next hole, they marvel at the scenery surrounding the course. You might think this takes place in a city park. However, this unique 18-hole disc golf course is located on the 700-acre Rawhide ranch property! Rawhide strives to provide new experiences and healthy activities for students at its Starr Academy. Disc golf, a.k.a. Frisbee golf, is one of those activities.

18 Holes of Fun

During the 1990s, disc golf became the fastest growing sport in America. New courses appeared every year, and the sport’s growth continues today. New courses are appearing in parks and attracting new visitors.

trick hole on disc golf course

Rawhide’s disc golf course features 18 wooden holes that are maintained through Rawhide’s woodworking elective. The course spans the ranch and is open to Rawhide guests. The holes are challenging but offer a fun and relaxing time for all skill levels. Playing disc golf at Rawhide Boys Ranch is by permission only, but it allows the public to tour Rawhide while enjoying a fun game.

Here’s a fun glimpse of the game:

Rawhide students also play disc golf for physical activity and fun. Rawhide instructor Jeff Schillinger even incorporates disc golf in his physical education classes. Many people don’t realize the physical and mental health benefits of disc golf.

13 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Disc Golf

A young man recently shared how playing disc golf is changing his life. He struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. However, after he started playing disc golf, his mental health and outlook on life improved. He said that “a new love of being and inner peace—acceptance of life and self—have started to crowd out the negativity and fear.” These are welcomed mental health benefits of disc golf.

Playing disc golf helps individuals by:

  1. Building an appreciation of nature
    A course’s natural settings force the player to work around trees, bushes, hills, etc. They actually interact with nature rather than simply look at it as on a walk or hike.
  2. Providing another exercise outlet
    Studies show that people are more apt to stick with exercise if it’s fun. Disc golf is so much fun for some people that they never think of it as “exercise.” A round of disc golf can burn between 400-600 calories.
  3. Allowing the player to be part of a like-minded community
    It’s always fun to be around others who share an interest or passion for an activity. Players from across the nation spend time reviewing courses and discussing strategy. It produces a sense of camaraderie.
  4. Helping the player understand and get in touch with his or her body
    The game requires the player to become aware of body alignment and position in order to make the shot. This requirement can ground individuals who have a tendency to drift mentally.
  5. Developing confidence
    Learning and honing new skills builds self-esteem with each level of success. There’s no better feeling than throwing a long drive or sinking a long putt.
  6. Developing patience
    Disc golf is full of ups and downs. Courses may present challenges that take time and patience to master. Patience on the course often helps build confidence
  7. Building independence
    The only person you can rely on to win at disc golf is yourself. As your confidence builds, the more confident you are as an individual.
  8. Providing a break from the daily routine
    If you are able to play disc golf daily, bravo! For the rest of us, it’s a nice break from routine as is any pass time activity.
  9. Seeing practice put to work
    The joy of seeing practice making perfect is undeniable! We highly recommend it.
  10. Providing a positive stress reliever
    Heavy use of technology, oddly enough increases our stress levels. Disc golf provides a healthy outlet for reducing stress and working out those kinks in the neck, arms, and shoulders. Unplug.
  11. Providing a crash course on physics
    Whether you know it or not, as you figure out how to adjust your throw for a windy day, you are applying physics principles.
  12. Building problem solving skills
    Figuring out how to adjust your throw on a windy day builds those problem-solving skills.
  13. Providing a sense of achievement
    Successfully throwing a disc on a windy day and making the hole, gives the player a real sense of achievement!

Disc golf is also an inexpensive hobby for new players. Players don’t have to spend much money for a set of new discs and used sporting goods stores often have inexpensive discs as well.

Why Disc Golf at Rawhide?

Many of our guys have had limited opportunities for building self-esteem by the time they arrive here. Disc golf teaches them a healthy alternative to the poor activity choices they made in the past.

If you would like to help troubled youth in your Wisconsin community, you may donate in various ways—cars, trucks, RVs, boats, cash, life insurance, estate planning, etc.

Thank you for your interest in our mission!