Tools for Success

Use the information and resources offered here to get informed, build your skills, and become a more effective change maker! Suggest tools for success that you use to create change in your life and community.

  • LGBT people have overcome so many obstacles — tobacco use doesn’t have to be one of them. Learn more about the This Free Life campaign and spread the word that you have the freedom to be tobacco free.

Advocacy

  • Get up and do something! Get guidance here on how to be involved in the causes you care about. 
  • You want to make change in your community but don’t know where to start. This guide can get the gears moving.
  • Creating change is not easy. This guide has tips and ideas that can help.
  • GOOD is an online community for people who want to create change. Start projects and interact with other people doing amazing things.
  • Join the conversation about how you and people in your community can work together to improve the lives of youth. 
  • If you're over 18, use this site to register to vote and voice your opinion in national and local elections.
  • This tool helps you learn how to speak up and advocate for yourself. With this tool, you can map out personal goals, learn about your rights and responsibilities, learn the best way to ask for help, and get organized.
  • The problems of the world won’t solve themselves. Find out how you can promote change in a variety of areas, including peace and conflict, health, and education. 
  •  This document helps foster youth, and other young people, learn how to effectively and safely share their stories.
  • Have you started an innovative initiative you want to share with the world? Post your initiative here and see what others around the world are doing.
  • This guide can help youth who have been involved with different systems advocate for issues they feel are important.

Bullying

  • The way other people label you can shape how you think about yourself. Stopbullying.gov has created two new videos, Labels Don’t Define You and Labels Don’t Define You 2, and an animated GIF that share the harm that labels can cause. Don’t let labels define you. 
  • This website provides information on cyberbullying and gives young people a place to share their experiences.
  • This website provides information about bullying, including what bullying is, who is at risk for bullying, and what can be done to prevent it.
  • This interactive site features stories from young people, both victims of bullying and bullies themselves, and resources to help you cope with being bullied and learn how to take a stand against it.  

Community Service

  • You’d be amazed at how many projects have started all around the world to create change. Check out this map of people who participated in Global Youth Service Day and join in. 
  • Check out the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) page to learn more about environmental serving learning and community service opportunities. 
  • American Indian and Alaska Native youth, ages 13-21: Do you have a great idea for an event or project that could have a positive impact on your community? Apply for a We R Native Community Service Mini Grant and you could receive up to $475 to make your dream a reality! Find a group of friends, and an adult mentor, who share your passion and brainstorm your ideas before submitting an application. After your event, share your videos and photos with We R Native and they may be published on the We R Native website!
  • Get others involved in community service in your area. If you don’t know where to start, these toolkits help with every step of the way. 

Culture

Disabilities

  • As a young person with disabilities, thinking through your travel plans beforehand can help you get around more safely and independently. This resource provides tips on using public transportation, buying a car, and more. 
  • Knowing your rights is important. This resource presents 10 important things to know about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including the history of the ADA, what “reasonable accommodation” means, and how you can file a complaint if you feel you’ve been discriminated against.
  • As a youth with disabilities, you should know that creating a plan for your life after high school can make that transition easier. This article can help you think through your options for college, internships, and future careers; find a mentor who can give you helpful advice; understand your benefits; take charge of your own health care; and find resources that can help you live independently. 
  • This site provides information and technical assistance on provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Use this website to access comprehensive information on a broad range of disability programs, services, and issues nationwide.
  • Graduation is a time for celebration and excitement, and also an opportunity to reflect on all you’ve learned and accomplished. This blog post highlights advice from adults with disabilities for young people with disabilities who are graduating and planning their next move in the real world. Read advice on getting a job, building a “team” of people who can help you when you need it, living on your own and challenging yourself. 
  • All the options for your life after high school can feel overwhelming. But gathering information can help you make informed choices about your future! Written by teens for teens, this resource can help youth with disabilities think about options for their education and career after graduation. Learn how to make choices that are right for you, find activities that can help you start getting ready for the real world now, and access the supportive services you need.
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) protects the rights of children with disabilities and guarantees them free and appropriate access to education. Learn about a website, created by three seventh-grade students, that provides information about IDEA, including information for students with disabilities about their rights. 
  • You’ve heard of financial aid, but you might have some questions about how it works, who qualifies, and how to apply. This guide can help you understand your options for funding your education and find specific opportunities and information for students with disabilities.

Education

  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan shares advice for students when picking a college, laid out in five steps.
  • Congratulations, you’ve filed your FAFSA! What’s next? Five next steps here.
  • This blog provides tips for getting your student loans paid off faster while saving money at the same time. Some of the tips include signing up for an automatic debit payment plan, using your tax refund to pay off some of your loan, and paying more than the minimum payment. 
  • Increase the chances of receiving money for your education by applying for the right scholarships. This scholarship database offers more than 12,000 scholarships that may be taking applications. 
  • So, you filled out the FAFSA — now what? Get informed about the next steps. Learn how to check your status online, what a Student Aid Report (SAR) is, what to do if you receive a federal loan, and — most importantly — how you will receive the money.
  • The American Indian Graduate Center is a national organization that provides educational assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native graduate and undergraduate students throughout the country. Visit this website to learn more about scholarship and employment opportunities and to access other student resources.
  • Watch out for scholarship and student loan scams when filling out the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA); here’s how.
  • Check out these tips and resources that can help you apply, pay for, and complete college.
  • Read this blog post before you turn to a debt relief company to manage your student loans. Written by a representative from Federal Student Aid, the post provides tips for avoiding scams and managing your debt.
  • College is expensive. Learn to be mindful of your daily expenses by creating your own budget and being prepared for emergencies!
  • Starting with the 2017-18 school year, there will be big changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process that might affect you, including a new requirement to provide income information from two years prior instead of one year prior like the current application.
  • “College prep” is about more than the classes that you take. It’s also about developing the skills that will help you succeed in college and life. Get helpful checklists to help you prepare financially for college.
  • This website from the Department of Education can help you see which colleges have the highest and lowest tuitions and net price, which is the cost of attendance after grant and scholarship aid.
  • This resource provides a roadmap to help you plan for life after high school, every step of the way. You and your parents can use these checklists to make sure you are on track to apply and pay for college. 
  • Starting your college search? Use the College Scorecard to find reliable information on the things that matter to you in a school. Search for colleges and universities and then compare items like cost, how much graduates earn, and how much debt students have when they graduate to find the school that best fits your needs.
  • Choose the right school for you! Here, you can access information about more than 200,000 public, charter, magnet, and private schools, serving grades K-12 across the country.
  • Participate in challenging "hands-on, mind-on" activities in aviation, science, technology, engineering, math, and space exploration. The program provides you with 20-25 hours of stimulating experiences at National Guard, Navy, Marine, Air Force Reserve and Air Force bases across the nation.
  • Are you currently in foster care or an alumnus or alumna of care? Do you need help paying for college or career school? You may be eligible for the Educational and Training Vouchers Program, which can provide up to $5,000 per academic year.
  • Join the live #AskFAFSA Office Hours Q&A session on Twitter to get your federal student aid questions answered by experts. #AskFAFSA Office Hours are offered on the last Wednesday of every month at 5:00 p.m. EST. Each session features a new topic. Use the hashtag #AskFAFSA to submit questions, join the conversation, and access transcripts of past Q&A sessions.
  • Ever wondered what the FAFSA is and how it can help you pay for college? Get a quick overview of what the FAFSA is, what you need to know about it, and how your college decides how much financial aid you will receive.
  • Do you know if you are a financially independent or dependent student? Before you complete your FAFSA learn how to determine your dependency status since your status greatly affects how you will complete the FAFSA and for what type of aid you are eligible.
  • Did you know the Department of Education changed the way users log in to Federal Student Aid websites? Students, parents, and borrowers are now required to use an FSA ID, instead of a Federal Student Aid PIN, to log in. Check out this blog post for answers to some common questions about the new FSA ID. 
  • Being in college was probably more fun than paying back your loans. These new loan tools from the Department of Education can help make paying them back easier.
  • College Affordability Guide ranks how afforable colleges are by looking factors like cost, graduation rate, and if students can pay back loans. They consider affordability not only for the average student, but for the lower-income student as well. 
  • Have you thought about your ideal college location? How about your ideal school size? Here’s a tool to help you score colleges and universities on the basis of key information and make your choice a bit more manageable.
  • First Generation Student is resource for kids who will be the first in their family to go to college. Learn about how to find the perfect campus for you, the admissions process, how to pay for college, and how to succeed once you're there!
  • This blog entry explains why students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to help you access the more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds provided each year.
  • This resource provides information about the educational benefits available to people who have served in the armed forces and their families.
  • “Campus brochures and websites weren’t enough for me to fully grasp the reality of college,” says De’Rell Bonner, special assistant and youth liaison for the Department of Education. De’Rell discusses his own experience with Escape to Mecca (E2M), a spring break college visit program, and the advice First Lady Michelle Obama had for 2014 E2M participants when she joined them on their tour of Howard University. 
  • HBCU Connect is the largest social network for Historically Black College students, alumni, and supporters! Access scholarships, thousands of internships and jobs, and connect with the HBCU student and alumni community.  
  • Worried about managing your student loans? You have options! Learn about the variety of payment plans and options available like forbearance, deferment, and loan consolidation. Also, know that you can always contact your loan servicer for guidance.
  • President Obama joined David Karp, founder of Tumblr, for a live Q&A session, answering questions submitted by Tumblr users about education, college affordability, and more. Hear the President’s advice for students on choosing a career and managing student debt as well as the plans that his administration has for helping students make decisions about their education. 
  • The Financial Awareness Counseling Tool has five interactive tutorials that will help students better understand financial aid. 
  • With a mother in prison and little support for his education at home, Russhaun Johnson always felt behind in school. As he describes in this video, the support of caring teachers allowed him to discover the power of education. Now he is student body president of his high school and plans to go to college to become a teacher. He even got to introduce President Obama at a recent event focused on college access and affordability! 
  • The Department of Education’s College Navigator is an online tool that can help high school students like you find, organize, and keep track of the schools that will fit you best. 
  • Are you a tinkerer, inventor, or entrepreneur? The first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18 celebrated America’s students and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future by using new tools and techniques to make just about anything. In their video for the event, the members of the band OK Go say “the President likes it when you make stuff,” so continue the spirit of this Day of Making by posting photos of your current projects or learning a new skill. Use #NationOfMakers to share your work and connect with other young Makers across the country. 
  • This website connects American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian youth to resources that will help them learn about their culture.
  • Explore the world through books, hear from leading authors, and even access classic books online!
  • Taking out a federal student loan is a big commitment. Learn how to be an informed, responsible borrower and what factors to consider before you take out loans.
  • This search tool can help you search for more than 7,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other types of student financial aid and filter search results for opportunities specifically for students with disabilities.
  • “Some practices are best practices no matter where you intern.” Get more advice from Marina, an intern with the Department of Education, on how to make the most of any internship. 
  • Yes, it is really possible for your student loans to be forgiven. Check out this blog post to learn more about student loan forgiveness and government programs that can help you with repaying your loan. 
  • With only five clicks, figure out the best student loan repayment plan for you and get on your way to pursuing your dreams!
  • If you work for a public service organization — like a nonprofit or a school — you may be able to have your federal student loans forgiven. This blog post explains who qualifies and how to apply.
  • If an online company claims it will let you buy a high school diploma, make sure to do your homework before paying up. The federal government has charged many of these “diploma mills” for selling invalid diplomas. 
  • If you are struggling to repay your student loans, you have options! Switching your repayment plan, consolidating your loans, or postponing your payments are all options that you may be able to take advantage of. Read this blog post to find out more, and contact your loan servicer for free advice. 
  • You’ve been accepted to college, and your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA) is complete—now what? This blog entry provides tips from a school counselor on the final steps that you should consider as you prepare to head off to school. 
  • Did you know that the Office of Federal Student Aid offers more than $150 billion in the form of grants, loans, and work-study funds? Find out what federal student aid pays for and the different types of aid available.
  • This information from the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth can help unaccompanied youth apply for federal financial aid in order to attend college.
  • A wide variety of scholarships are available for talented African American students. Don’t skip the opportunity. 
  • Did you know that there are colleges and universities, foundations, and organizations dedicated to providing an equal opportunity for African Americans to achieve a higher education? Learn about the different resources available to you. 
  • A group of young Native Americans recently met with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to share their thoughts on how to make their schools more welcoming, relevant, safe, and supportive for Native youth. 
  • Having a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field can help you be part of exciting discoveries and technological innovations while also making a difference in people’s lives. Read the stories of 13 women who work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and pursued STEM careers in public health and the advice they have for girls and young women interested in STEM.
  • This guide provides information to help Hispanic students get ready and pay for college. Available in English and Spanish, this guide helps students prepare a college application, choose the right college, and understand options for paying for school. The guide also includes information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. 

Employment

  • This booklet, targeted to workers ages 13-18 in non-farm industries, can help you learn how to stay safe and healthy at work, what your rights are under Federal child labor laws, and how to recognize common work place hazards.
  • This website provides resources that can help you find a job and build digital skills, like building resumes online and using the internet for professional networking.  
  • This tool from the CareerOneStop center provides opportunities for students to explore what their interests are, learn about potential careers, learn how to get job experience, and find  educational opportunities to support career development.
  • On the job hunt? Find Your Path connects you to multiple online resources that can help you find jobs and training opportunities. Use the website’s locator tool to find an American Job Center near you.
  • CareerOneStop is the federal government’s website for information about your career, training, and job search. Discover what jobs might be a good fit for you and how to gain the work and educational experiences you need to make your future career a reality. 
  • The Virtual Career Network helps people interested in the health care field to explore jobs, training programs, current job listings, financial aid, free online courses, and ways other experiences can be applied to their future careers.
  • What’s your purpose? Nursing students from the Jacksonville Job Corps show you a day in the life of a nursing student and share what they love most about their program and future profession.
  • Kevin shares his plan for the future— including making the world a better place by protecting the environment — and how Job Corps has given him invaluable experience to apply to future aspirations.
  • CODE.org is a new nonprofit created that promotes the teaching of computer coding in America’s schools and highlights the need for computer scientists and programmers in our society. A promotional video for CODE.org’s awareness campaign features Mark Zuckerberg, Will.i.am, NBA All-Star Chris Bosh and other tech leaders and trendsetters explaining how learning to code can be the gateway to a career.
  • Figure out what it takes to become what you want to be in the future and how much you can expect to get paid depending on where you live. 
  • If you want to start your own business, this site offers training material, tips, videos, profiles of student business stories and more for you to turn your ideas into business ventures.
  • Changing your career path may be easier than you think. Most skills you learn at one job are transferrable to another. Find out which skills you need for that next job and which ones you already have.
  • Check out this student-based communication network that fosters idea sharing, innovation, and professional development for current and future student employees of the National Park Service (NPS).
  • Retirement sounds far away right now, but why wait to start planning? Setting up an online Social Security account lets you track your earnings and access information about your benefits. Check out this video to see step-by-step instructions on setting up an account and start planning for your bright future today!
  • The website provides resources for young entrepreneurs that want to learn more about starting or growing their own business. You can learn about business mentor programs, writing business plans, finding funding for your firm, and networking with other entrepreneurs.
  • Communication. Teamwork. Problem-solving. These are all “soft skills” that you will need to develop as a young worker. These engaging, online activities can help you master these skills and be successful in future jobs.
  • In a three-part series called “The Intern Chronicles,” the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth is following Craig, a resident-turned-intern at a runaway and homeless youth program. Read Part One to learn about Craig’s on-the-job training and to see tips for youth workers on how to help youth prepare for summer jobs.
  • The second installment of the “Intern Chronicles” series features an update on Craig, a youth with an internship at a transitional living program, as well as tips for young people on overcoming on-the-job challenges.
  • The third and final installment of the "Intern Chronicles" features information about what young people can do at the end of an internship to consolidate the skills they've learned and prepare for the next opportunity, by doing things like requesting references and updating their resumes. 
  • Use this app at work to track your hours and make sure you are being paid correctly by your employer.
  • Learn about one way youth and young adults with disabilities can follow through on their interest in a career with the Federal government.
  • Have you ever wondered why we pay taxes and where the money goes? This resource from the IRS explains the “hows” and “whys” of taxes. 
  • Looking for an encouraging environment to earn your GED and find professional direction? Brittany, a young mother of two, shares how Job Corps helped restart her life by helping her earn a GED while providing support and encouragement after she lost her job.
  • White House interns get to work with mayors and governors across the country, the First Lady, and even the Vice President! Watch previous interns reflect on their extraordinary experiences at the Executive Office of the President.
  • Interested in conservationism and protecting the environment? This guide can help you follow your passions by exploring opportunities to pursue “green jobs” that promote sustainability. The guide discusses the skills you will need to develop to get a job in this field and provides worksheets you can use to map out your own green career path. 
  • It is important to know your rights when you start work, especially because there a plenty of safety hazards to consider in some occupations. This resource answers questions often asked by working teens. Resources on the hazards that you could encounter, worker's rights, employment laws and educational tools can also be found here. 
  • As a young worker, you have certain rights and responsibilities. This website can help you learn about your rights, the types of discrimination that young workers face, and what you can do to help prevent it.

Finances

  • Written by a summer intern in HUD’s Department of Public Affairs, this blog entry explains exactly what a mortgage is and explains terms such as “principal” and “interest.” It also features videos about mortgages and the home-buying process.
  • Did you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment within the past few months? Your student loan grace period may be ending soon. This blog entry outlines four things you should do as you prepare to make your first loan payment.
  • Congratulations! You’ve completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). What’s next? This blog post can help you think through the next steps. 
  • Check out this blog entry to get tips for saving on college, including going to a community college first, applying for scholarships, and working while you’re in school. 
  • Understanding the details of your student loan repayment plan can help save you time and money in the long-run. Learn how to find out when you should expect to make payments, who to pay, how much to pay, and more. 
  • Make a solid plan for repaying your student loans, and you will save yourself time and money in the long run. This blog post can help you think through the details of repaying your loan, including when, how, and whom to pay. 
  • Filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not the time to make mistakes. This blog entry can help you avoid the seven common errors that students make when filling out the FAFSA and find the information you need to make sure you complete your application correctly.
  • Saving is one of the most important things you can learn to do. America Saves is a national campaign involving more than 1,000 non-profit, government, and corporate groups that encourages individuals and families to save money and build personal wealth.
  • Tribal youth can use this site to find scholarships for college.
  • The 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available on January 1, 2014. Check out these resources from the Department of Education to hear about the 5 Reasons You Should Complete the FAFSA, 6 Steps to Filling Out the FAFSA, and the 7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the FAFSA.
  • Did you know there is no income cutoff to qualify for financial aid and that most federal student aid programs don’t consider your grades? Check out this post for tips from First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
  • Don’t miss out on money! Use this tool to find out about federal and state deadlines for submitting financial aid applications, and don’t forget to check with your college about its processes and deadlines.
  • Financial aid may cover some of your college costs, but the reality is you may still owe more. This blog post offers some recommendations for filling that gap, including scholarships, part-time work, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans. 
  • To help students who are reaching the deadline to begin repaying their student loans, the Department of Education created a resource about the basics of student loans. It includes information about the types of loans, interest rates, and more.
  • Learn how to stay on top of your finances by ordering a free Financial Self Defense Kit from USA.gov. Get credit reports, debt calculators, information about fraud protection, financial tips, and more. 
  • Income-driven repayment plans allow you to adjust your student loan payments based on how much you currently earn. Your monthly payment depends on when you borrowed and the plan you choose, but it should be something you can afford. This blog post explains more about income-driven repayment and how to apply. 
  • How do I prepare for college? Do I qualify for aid? If so, how do I apply? Find answers to these questions and more information about financial aid for college. 
  • Managing money is important for your personal success and many of the things you want to accomplish as a change maker. Here are some tips to get you started. 
  • Do you have a plan for how you want to spend and save your money? Mymoney.gov features resources that can help you learn how to create a financial plan, cut back on spending so you can save for the things you really want, and prepare to pay for college in the future.
  • Have you ever wondered why you receive your federal student loan bills from a company instead of from the Department of Education? Learn about how companies called “loan servicers” work to manage your loan and help you repay it successfully.
  • Retirement may seem like it’s years away, but saving now will pay off in the future. Get tips for saving money and financial planning. 
  • There is no such thing as starting too early when it comes to financing and saving for retirement. This easy-to-understand publication starts you on the way to setting goals and putting your retirement high on the list of personal priorities.
  • Learn more information about the importance of saving for retirement and how to get started. The video also has links to additional online tools to help workers take full advantage of their employer-sponsored benefits.
  • Financial responsibility is a valuable skill for effective leaders. Here are some resources to help you learn about managing credit cards, developing good spending practices, and dealing with financial fraud. 
  • One of the things a lot of people dread about growing up is paying taxes, but it has to be done. Find out why, how to fill out a tax return properly, how to claim credits, and how refunds work.
  • A blog entry from the Department of Education explores the different kinds of loan repayment plans for federal student loans to help you understand which ones might work best for you. 

Foster Care

  • Read stories from real youth who have experienced foster care and adoption.
  • Young people offer advice on staying connected and living independently
  • This site provides updates about events and news for foster care youth. Youth can also use this site to nominate a case worker of the month.
  • Use this document to create a "permanency pact" between a young person in foster care and a supportive adult.
  • This toolkit can help youth and the adults they trust design a plan to help them successfully transition out of foster care and into adulthood.
  • As a youth in foster care, you have rights. These include rights related to your safety, family, health, personal choices, education, and more. This resource compiles information from Bills of Rights from states and youth advisory boards across the country. Learn more about your rights, or share the tools with your youth advisory board to create your own bill of rights. 
  • Four youth talk about the adults who helped change their lives. The first video in the series features Marcus, a former foster youth, describing how his adoptive mom has helped and supported him.
  • The Youth Port provides helpful resources to young people in foster care, those who are transitioning out of the system, and youth who have aged out of it.

Health

  • This English and Spanish fotonovela, called “Ana’s Story,” can help you learn how to avoid sports injuries.
  • This Web page, developed with input from teens, gives you the information you need to know before you begin having sex. Access information about abstinence, healthy relationships, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and talking to your parents and your doctor about sex.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), sometimes called Food Stamps, is a national food help program that provides people who need it with a debit card to buy food. This question-and-answer document can help you see whether you are eligible for SNAP benefits and how to apply.    
  • "Grow strong together and stay strong forever!" with information on this site about bone health.
  • The Body Weight Planner is a new tool developed by USDA and NIH that can help you reach your weight goals through healthy eating and exercise. Enter your age, weight, height, physical activity level, gender, and weight goal to get personalized results. Then use the SuperTracker to track your food, physical activity, and weight as you work toward your goal!
  • CDC’s GetTested website can help you find free, confidential HIV and STD testing near you. Not sure what you should be tested for? Take the testing locator quiz and get informed about your health. 
  • Are you smarter than a public health nerd? Show off your skills by downloading the free Health IQ app from CDC! Challenge yourself to trivia questions and word scrambles that test your health knowledge.
  • This resource provides healthy snack and meal ideas, as well as tips for healthy eating, that can help you take control of your health and look and feel your best.
  • Early detection is your best defense against some of the diseases that are out there. Do you know your family's health history?
  • Visit the Facebook page of We R Native, a comprehensive health resource for Native youth,  by Native Youth.
  • Did you know that some people have serious skin problems after getting a tattoo? Before getting a tattoo, consider these facts published by the FDA. 
  • You and your girlfriends talk about everything — don’t forget to make health a part of the conversation. Find out how you and your friends can encourage one another to eat healthy, exercise regularly, make healthy choices about sex, and more. 
  • Learn about girls’ health, like fitness and nutrition, as well tips, news, quizzes, and more.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created this PSA, featuring Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, to educate parents, kids, and teens about concussion and serious brain injury. 
  • Stay healthy with these resources about nutrition and how to stay active.
  • Healthy People 2020, an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services that established 10-year goals for health promotion, includes 11 objectives specifically related to improving the health of our nation's adolescents.
  • Learn about how smoking can directly affect your health. This site includes an infographic that describes how smoking negatively affects specific parts of your body.
  • Did you know that under the Affordable Care Act, young people under the age of 26 can now be insured through their parents’ health insurance? Learn more about how young adults will be affected by the Affordable Care Act by reading this fact sheet.
  • Will you grab a donut or a granola bar between classes? This infographic shows what foods you will see in the cafeteria now that the USDA has created new standards for foods sold in schools.
  • This site educates young people about the different kinds of eating disorders.
  • This website features helpful information and fun games to help you learn about hearing and  the importance of noise protection.
  • Talking to your doctor about your sexual health may be uncomfortable at first, but it is a necessary part of staying healthy. In this video, both health care professionals and young patients talk about the importance of being open with your doctor about your sexual history.
  • Take health care into your own hands, explore insurance coverage options and learn about how the Affordable Care Act impacts you.
  • The National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth compiled this list of recommended resources for teens on sexually transmitted diseases,  including information geared specifically to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth
  • Did you know that exercise not only keeps you healthy, but can also help you do better in school by improving concentration and problem-solving? Check out videos of sports superstars Drew Brees and Dominique Dawes explaining the benefits of physical activity.
  • You can make the world a healthier place by getting physically active with your friends. Take the President’s Challenge to stay active. The more who join, the better. 
  • Some of the vaccines you got when you were younger wear off over time, so you need to get them again to make sure you’re protected from serious diseases. Learn more about the vaccines you need and when you should get them. 
  • Summer is a time for having fun outdoors, but the warm weather can bring a lot more than just outdoor barbecues and time at the pool. Ultraviolet (UV) exposure and poor air quality can worsen your health conditions. Check the Environmental Protection Agency’s UV index forecast to prepare for sun exposure and monitor Airnow.gov to track local air quality and plan your outdoor activities.
  • Quit smoking and take control of your health with helpful facts and support right from your phone using this mobile app.
  • Going to college might be the first time you make your own choices about what you eat and how you spend your time. MyPlate On Campus can help you learn how to make healthy food choices and find creative ways to exercise while you’re at school. Interested in helping other students on campus learn about ways to be healthy? You can join the more than 1,700 Ambassadors on campuses in all 50 states who host events and educate their fellow students about health.
  • Did you know suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10-24 year olds? Learn the warning signs of suicide. It could help you save a life one day.
  • Learn how to eat healthy, be physically active, and take charge of your health.
  • TeenCentral.net provides young people with information on topics that affect them, like bullying and tobacco use. This site also provides a forum where youth like you can ask questions and get advice from experts, as well as from other young people who have faced similar challenges.
  • This infographic describes how the Affordable Care Act will have an impact on teens and improve your access to better health care.  
  • Protecting yourself from too much exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds can help keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful. Learn the truth behind many common tanning myths and help spread the Burning Truth by sharing posters and buttons on your favorite social networks. 
  • Yellow teeth. Stained fingers. Wrinkles. A weakened immune system. Emphysema. These are the real costs of smoking. Get the hard facts about smoking and resources to help you quit. 
  • Young people should check with their doctors to make sure their immunizations are up to date. Learn more about the vaccinations recommended for pre-teens and teens. 
  • Get information and resources about access to quality health care, health insurance, and how to get involved in health promotion, self care and decision making.
  • Human trafficking — a form of modern day slavery — is estimated to affect hundreds of thousands of victims in the United States every year. Many victims are too scared of the consequences to come forward. This toolkit can help you use your voice to spread awareness about human trafficking on your college campus. It includes information and resources you can use to host events, create a student group, and inform your campus community about human trafficking and resources for victims. 
  • You know that reading nutrition labels is important, but do you know how to use that information to find out whether a snack is healthy for you? This video can help you crack the nutrition label code and make healthy food choices.
  • TeensHealth.org reached out to over 1,000 teens to get tips on snacking healthy, like when (and when not) to eat and what kinds of snacks to reach for. Check out these tips from young people like you.

Juvenile Justice

Leadership

  • Learn about the Youth Farm and Market Project in Minneapolis, MN, a program empowers youth while teaching them how to grow their own food.
  • You don’t have to be academically gifted or a popular spokesperson to be a leader. This guidebook, made by youth for youth, emphasizes that anyone can become a leader. It also teaches how to be inclusive of people with varying abilities through interactive activities. 
  • This document can help youth leaders as you build the "brand" for your youth group. Learn about creating logos and advertising.
  • This document contains tips and tools for planning and conducting focus groups, which can be used to infuse youth voice in service improvement.
  • This document can help young leaders learn how to encourage other youth to join their group.
  • This document can help youth leaders prepare for speaking engagements.
  • Foster youth have precious and hard-earned stories. Strategic Sharing teaches youth how to present their stories with meaning and purpose.
  • This document contains strategies for including youth in meetings and events. It discusses preparing youth and adults before events, using youth as co-facilitators, how to foster youth involvement during events, and how to follow up after events.
  • Youth 'Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience' (M.O.V.E) National is a national youth-led organization, with 46 statewide chapters, that is dedicated to uniting the voices of youth with lived experience in order to improve the systems they are involved with, like mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. Find your local chapter, or start a new one, connect with your peers in the site forums, and learn more about youth advocacy.

LGBTQ

  • Everyone’s coming out experience is unique. This guide can help LGBTQ youth consider their gender and sexual identity and organize their thoughts about coming out in a safe, thoughtful way. 
  • Bryan Samuels, commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, and Andrew Barnett, executive director of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, discuss the need to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth in teen pregnancy prevention efforts.
  • Get resources to create safer school environments for LBGTQ youth.
  • This Q&A from the Department of Health and Human Services explains how the  federal rule, “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” will benefit youth.

Mental Health

  • This guide empowers and encourages young people to take an active role in their treatment and treatment planning process. "Treatment" encompasses everything from substance abuse treatment, to taking medications, to therapy, and more.
  • Find information on positive social skills, depressive symptoms, depressive episodes, and suicidal thoughts, attempts, and resulting injuries on adolescent mental health by state.
  • This CDC website provides information on youth mental health, including information on school policies and programs to support youth mental health.
  • Are you passionate about mental health? A young man from Youth M.O.V.E. National shares his experiences with mental health care services and reflects on the importance of supporting young adults' mental health while encouraging all to become mental health advocates.
  • Sharing can be powerful, and help is available. Johanna from Youth M.O.V.E. National discusses living with mental illness and finding relief in peer support, family support, and mental health services. 
  • Sharing your mental health struggles with supportive peers can open the door to a world full of help. Lacy from Youth M.O.V.E. National shares her experiences with mental illness and encourages others to do the same.
  • This guide helps youth in foster care make decisions about their health and what medications are right for them. It also provides information on alternative options for treatment.
  • Are you struggling with mental health? Don't give up. It gets better. Malika from Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina shares encouraging words of hope for those who are struggling with mental health. Find resources for help on YE4C.
  • Take control of your health and life. Nina, the president of Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina, shares why she believes youth should be involved in the organizations that provide mental health services to them. 
  • Celebrity Demi Lovato shares her struggle with bipolar disorder, self-injury, and anorexia and bulimia and encourages young people struggling with mental health challenges to reach out for help.

Mentoring

  • We all need positive influences in our lives to help us make the right choices. Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization that connects youth with caring mentors. Learn how you can work with an adult mentor, or even volunteer as a mentor for a child.
  • Find out how peer mentoring works, how to become a peer mentor, and how to create and maintain a strong peer mentor network. You can make a difference.
  • Mentoring can help young people stay in school, get better grades, avoid using drugs, and improve their communication skills. Visit Mentoring.org to learn how you can work with an adult mentor, mentor younger teens in your community, or even start your own mentoring program. 
  • In this interview, President Obama and Noah McQueen, a teen from Washington, D.C., and a White House mentee, talk about overcoming tough circumstances, rebounding from setbacks, and what it takes to have a successful future.

Positive Youth Development

  • So you want to develop a new program to help young people in your community. Now what? This guide can help you work through the important steps to turn your idea into a reality.
  • Xavier got into trouble with the law and was expelled from school for trying to make money selling drugs. Then he participated in YouthBuild AmeriCorps, turned his life around, and is now the chairman of a national council designed to increase college opportunities for other YouthBuild AmeriCorps graduates. Learn more about Xavier and how the YouthBuild AmeriCorps program has helped other young people from low-income families succeed. 

Runaway and Homelessness

  • Need help getting home? Watch the staff at the National Runaway Safeline explain the Home Free program and how it can get you home for free. 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).
  • Need help with runaway issues, but don’t feel like talking on the phone? The National Runaway Safeline Live Chat is an alternative to a phone call and is a good way to talk with experts in times of crisis. All chats are confidential and anonymous.  http://www.1800runaway.org/
  • Homeless and runaway youth age 16-22 can get help becoming independent with the Transitional Living Program for Older Homeless Youth.
  • This article can help you understand the implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for runaway and homeless youth.

Safety

  • The best tool you have to help avoid risks online is your brain. This blog entry talks about some of the dangers you can face when communicating online and suggests questions you can ask yourself before you post. 
  • Read this blog post from Mary Lou Leary, acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs, on the issue of campus violence and how the Department of Justice and other organizations are working to protect students and help victims.
  • Staying safe online is important, whether you’re chatting with friends, sharing pictures, or updating your status. The games, activities, and tips here can help you stay protected.
  • Learn about emergency preparedness and what you can do to make sure you are ready for any kind of emergency.
  • Find out how to stay safe when taking the school bus and get questions answered about seat belts and other things you’ve wondered about bus safety.
  • Check out these tips for students from State Department on staying smart and safe while vacationing for Spring Break.
  • Stop before you post, share, or send: do you trust the site you are on? This website has important information about staying safe online and protecting yourself from cybercrimes.
  • To click or not to click? Hackers may try to access to your personal information through scams, spyware, and phishing attacks. Learn how to spot online threats like these and protect yourself online.
  • What are your spring break plans? If they include a trip to a foreign country, the Department of State wants to make sure you stay safe. This list of tips can help you learn how to prepare for your trip, ways to avoid risky situations, and who to reach out to if you need help while you’re traveling. 

Substance Abuse

  • BeTobaccoFree.gov brings together the best information on the health effects of tobacco use and the benefits of quitting smoking. Check out the information on the site specifically for teens about the risks of using tobacco products.
  • Would you take medicine not prescribed to you? Would you give in to peer pressure if a friend offered you drugs? Choose Your Path uses interactive videos that help you practice making these tough decisions in a virtual world so that you are better prepared to face them in real life.
  • Check out this profile from the Office of National Drug Control Policy of a community that held an alcohol-free quinceañera, a special event that honors Latina girls as they turn 15.
  • Get advice from health experts on drugs, rehab, counseling, health, depression, and more.
  • You have questions about marijuana, and this resource has answers. Separate myth from fact, and learn about why people use marijuana, its effects, how it can be sometimes used as medicine, and more. 
  • Macklemore speaks about his experience with drug abuse and the life lessons he learned during his struggle. Learn how to deal with emotional issues and drug abuse and how to avoid slipping into drug use. 
  • This resource provides information about young people and tobacco.
  • PEERx is a national initiative to empower young people to avoid prescription drug abuse. Learn more about the effects of prescription drug abuse and how you can spread awareness of Rx abuse in your community.
  • This resource educates about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs and dispels some of the myths associated with prescription drug abuse.
  • This report from the Surgeon General summarizes the latest findings on tobacco use among youth and young adults, including the causes and the solutions.
  • Too Smart to Start features straight talk on underage drinking, including information on alcohol, myths, and the consequences of drinking. Take quizzes, hear from other youth talk about their experiences, and get answers to common questions about underage drinking.
  • This resource explains the risks of inappropriate use of prescription drugs, and provides tips to young people in college about keeping their medicines safely from other students.

Suicide

  • The Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service, in partnership with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, have created THRIVE: Tribal Health Reaching out InVolves Everyone, a suicide prevention and anti-bullying prevention campaign for American Indian/Alaska Native youth.
  • The goal of the You Matter campaign is to educate young people like you about the signs of suicide, what can be done to prevent it, and the resources out there to help you and your friends get through tough times.

Teen Dating Violence

  • This PSA produced by the White House features President Obama, Vice President Biden, and multiple professional athletes talking about the need to eliminate dating violence. 
  • This free online course features interviews with leading experts, dynamic graphics and exercises, and compelling storytelling to describe what teen dating violence is and how to prevent it.
  • Do you know what it takes to have a healthy relationship? Find out and start putting what you learn into practice.
  • This website provides information about dating violence, such as facts and data, warning signs, and recent news and videos.
  • This website features resources, games, a comment board, and a place where youth dealing with teen dating abuse can ask for help.
  • Watch The Halls web series and follow Justin, Quincy, and Tyler, three young men living in Boston, as they struggle with issues related to relationships, trauma, violence, and their own identities. When a student at their school is raped, the teens are forced to face questions about gender-based violence and how we should act in relationships.
  • Dating abuse is about power and control. If you feel trapped in an abusive relationship, you can take back control by calling the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1.866.331.9474 and getting connected with a peer advocate for help and resources in your area. 

Teen Driver Safety

  • Whether you are walking, biking, or driving, you could probably be doing it safer. This video by the Federal Highway Administration reflects on the dangers of distracted walking and driving. 
  • Get the facts on the dangers of distracted driving and learn what you can do personally and in your community to prevent it.
  • Each year nearly 10,000 people die on the road due to drunk driving. This website can help you learn more about the dangers of drunk driving and how you can get involved in preventing it.
  • When you send or receive a text, you take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving blindfolded for the entire length of a football field.
  • When Brittanie was 19 years old, she was a sophomore in college who loved to dance. She died tragically after being struck by an oncoming car while talking on her cell phone. Hear the stories of other young people who have died as a result of distracted driving and learn how you can prevent distracted driving.
  • Life's most meaningful moments can happen in three seconds. Like that killer dance move. Your first kiss. That trick shot. Three seconds is also all it takes to buckle your seatbelt and keep doing the things you love.
  • If you’re texting, you’re not driving. Liz Marks shares how texting while driving changed her life forever. 
  • Get information about driving safety, including marketing materials your youth group can use to encourage safe driving in your community.
  • The cast of the hit TV show “Glee” has partnered with Distraction.gov to spread the word that texting and driving don’t mix. Check out their joint campaign and learn more about the dangers of distracted driving.
  • Learn how you can stay safe on the road, take the pledge to be a distraction-free driver, and speak up about the dangers of using cell phones while behind the wheel.

Teen Pregnancy

Transition

  • Employment. Housing. Education. Juvenile justice. Peer support. These are all important issues that affect young people transitioning to adulthood like you. In this webisode, experts talk about these issues and other challenges that young people face.

Trauma

Violence

  • Life skills we all need: learning how to protect ourselves from scammers. Their tactics might change, but all scammers have the same goal: to get your personal information. This article explains phishing and vishing, two kinds of scams in which scammers steal your information while you use your devices. It also provides tips for what you can do if you think you may be a victim of one of these scams.
  • Use this resource to find local service providers, useful bulletins, help from the federal government, or litigation services.
  • The Teen Action Partnership for Teen Victims program puts youth leaders at the forefront of changing the way communities respond to teen victims of crime. This toolkit can help your group, along with adult partners, find new ways to solve problems and support teen victims in your community. 
  • Get information about the consequences of joining a gang and how to leave a gang once you've joined.

Youth Adult Partnerships

  • Have you wondered whether youth-adult partnerships really make a difference? This resource can help. It explains what youth adult partnerships are, how they benefit youth, adults, and communities, and also provides helpful tips for working to create them.
  • Check out these 8 tips to partnering effectively with adults.
  • Have you effectively partnered with an adult ally to make change in your community? Learn about what’s needed to make a youth-adult partnership work well.  
  • Get tips for youth and adults to keep in mind when working together to create change in communities.