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Who’s Caring for your Children? Do you know?

Who’s really teaching and growing our children? Do you know?
I often think about the unsung heroes who work with our children every evening, who teach our children every morning, when we are not present as parents. We drop our little precious cargo off on our way to work and expect that they get what they need to be one day smarter, one week taller and one year wiser without knowing who’s responsible for their development. Realize that most teachers, youth workers and recreation professionals are not paid as much as you are, do not necessarily enjoy their work the way you do and have struggles in life just as we do. The next opportunity you have to meet not the supervisor, the front line staff person working part time at minimum wage, stop and ask – how are you today? if everything going well in your career,? life? family? That will mean so much to the recreation leader, recreation attendant or part time TES “Temporary Employment Services” worker. We all love our children, remember often times we pay children to 

care for our children, these are GED, College Students, children form all walks of life trying to get out of mom and dads home, pay rent at their new apartment, pay car notes on the first car and paying off student loans. Stop and take a moment out of your busy day to say, how can i help you on your path to success? or They have a job opening at my company are you interested in applying. That will increase the care and support for your loved ones, remember recreation leaders and teachers aides are human beings also, in fact they are the human beings that spend the majority of the time with your children….. Love them, respect them care for them and they will return the favor when caring for your children..



#A Recreation Leader


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How America Kills Black Men Without Lifting A Finger


Experts say stress levels among Black men are related to social conditions imposed upon them by the country.

03/10/2017 09:30 am ET Updated Apr 06, 2017

Tim Cook

In 1996, hip-hop trio A Tribe Called Quest released “Stressed Out,” the tale of a black man looking to remain optimistic while dealing with the repercussions of his criminal record, trying to provide for his family, and doing his best to not be a victim of neighborhood violence. For many African-American men, this narrative — whether in part or in full — is gospel. Environmental concerns keep African-American men in a perpetual state of fight-or-flight, and studies show that this chronic stress has led to health disparities, with diabetes being one of the most insidious.

“There’s substantial evidence to demonstrate the environment we live in has direct impacts on our health,” says Rebecca Hasson, an exercise physiologist and director of the Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

About 13 percent of African-Americans age 20 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. About 9 percent of all Americans are diabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. African-American men are 1.7 times more likely than white non-Hispanic men to have diabetes.

When Protective Hormones Harm

Hasson’s findings point to cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands, as a contributing factor in stress-related onsets of diabetes. Cortisol temporarily increases energy production required for immediate survival — like running from a bear, or escaping a house fire. For the average person, cortisol levels begin high in the morning and taper off as the day progresses, fluctuating appropriately. In African-American men living in socioeconomically depressed communities, cortisol levels start and remain high — the bear is always chasing; the smoke alarm’s always screeching.

Debra J. Barksdale, professor and associate dean of academic programs at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Nursing, has been examining stress in African-American men for three decades. Like Hasson, she cites cortisol and its role in chronic stress, stating that it’s like “having your stressors turned on all the time.”

“The fight-or-flight response is more of an acute reaction,” she says. “Whether it’s related to the pressures from society, increased chances of being stopped by the authorities, trying to provide for their families or trying to find a job or sustain a job, when a stressor occurs, there are physiological processes that occur in the brain that trigger the release of cortisol. What we have found was in certain people who are constantly stressed, cortisol levels do not go down throughout the day. It will remain high.”

The Broken Thermostat

When cortisol levels remain high without the presence of imminent danger or without some physical activity to offset the effects of chronic stress, Type 2 diabetes may be the consequence. According to the American Diabetes Association, higher cortisol results in higher insulin resistance, forcing the pancreas to produce more insulin to get a response. With ongoing insulin resistance, the insulin-producing beta cells wear out, causing Type 2 diabetes.

Briana Mezuk is an associate professor in the division of epidemiology at VCU who has studied the relationship between stress and blood sugar. She explains it this way:

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“Think of stress like a hot summer day. Your thermostat has to keep working harder and harder to keep your house cool. Eventually, it can’t get the temperature back down to where you want it anymore; it can’t get back down to 68 degrees. It can only get down to 69 degrees, (because) the system is worn out. Sixty-nine degrees is not bad, but then it keeps creeping up and eventually the body isn’t able to respond because it’s chronically activated. Those are the folks who are going to be more likely to progress to diabetes,” she says.

Mezuk partners with the YMCA of Greater Richmond’s diabetes control and diabetes prevention programs. The diabetes control program helps adults living with Type 2 by providing education, support and care management. The diabetes prevention program is for those at risk for Type 2 diabetes. They learn how to make lifestyle changes to reduce their chances of developing the disease.

Know Your Status

Learning to identify and manage stress positively is the first step to a healthier outcome. That can be exercise, playing in men’s sports leagues, practicing yoga, or seeking talk therapy. If no change occurs, African-American men run the risk of epidemic levels of diabetes diagnoses — 50 percent — by 2050, according to the diabetes association.

Caroline Fornshell, a registered dietitian and diabetes fitness and nutrition expert in Williamsburg, calls those who catch the disease before its onset “the lucky ones.”

“They are the ones that got the warning. So often, people are walking around with undiagnosed full-fledged diabetes, and so it is really an exciting opportunity for individuals who find out they have pre-diabetes to take control,” she says.

Pre-diabetics can exercise more and evaluate their diet. They also should reduce stress, get the proper amounts of sleep and seek out supports, whether it’s through a program or even some sort of wellness buddy, says Fornshell.

Mezuk encourages African-Americans who think they’re at risk due to family history or who live with chronic stress to consult a physician. Many men don’t know that they have the disease and when left untreated, it can lead to a host of other health problems, including hypertension, heart disease and kidney failure — three more conditions that African-American men suffer at higher rates than their white and Latino counterparts.

“It’s really scary to go to the doctor [and find out that you have] diabetes. People call it ‘denialabetes’ for a reason. People don’t want to believe that they’re sick,” says Mezuk. “But there is good news. We can take what we are learning about how stress and depression affect the body and actually turn that into improved health for people in terms of managing this condition better and hopefully being able to prevent this condition better.”

Originally published in Richmond Magazine

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Build to Last


In creating a new idea, company, project or product,  our process is similar to building a new home. The essential tools needed to accomplish this task is an architect, a builder, a series of inspectors to comply with safety and compliance in addition to the specifications from the client.  At times there will be a difference of  opinion between the architect and the builder regarding budget, materials time and compliance, there are change orders that need to be addressed to meet the clients needs and code compliance that will adjust the initial plans.  To insure that this process goes smoothly we need a set of core values and principles to guide the process and to keep the integrity of the project on track.  Our company guiding principles are Trust, Mutual Respect, Integrity, Consistency, Knowledge and Self Esteem.



Trust your partners

Respect the unique talents of your partners

Integrity towards the client

Consistency in communication

Knowledge of specific skill areas

Self Awareness, Self Esteem and Self Efficacy “learn from mistakes”



Never forget who the ultimate client is – “the buyer” who has to live in the home, without their input the project fails in a self deprecating pool of materials with no substance, sustainability or good reference.   In all we do, the families, mothers, fathers, children are the recipients of our great projects and services from retail, to wholesale, to end user. Satisfy your clients and the rest will take care of itself.


Reminder: With these keys you will find a more cohesive, collaborative and successful project, company, program or work team, Let us show you how to build TRICKS to last….206-850-3626

Build it to Last or it’s doomed to fail…



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