Junior Achievement Celebrates 100 Years

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Ask any young person what they want to be when they grow up and you most likely will get lofty answers, such as a pro-football player or a You Tube star. While admirable, it may be worthwhile to temper these expectations and get kids thinking about a Plan B that incorporates their dreams into the real world.
Enter Junior Achievement (JA), a non-profit organization that is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Since 1919, JA has made it its mission to prepare youth for future jobs by helping young people understand business and finance so that they are “work-force ready.”
Currently, the JA network reaches approximately 5 million students a year in the United States, and 10 million students in total in more than 100 countries.
To understand its current mission, we have to look at the organization’s history, which began as the Boys’ and Girls’ Bureau of the Eastern States League, founded by AT&T chairman Theodore Vail, Strathmore Paper Company founder Horace Moses, and Massachusetts Senator Murray Crane.
Today, JA aims to educate youth with the knowledge and skills to achieve economic success in a variety of ways, whether that means going to college, starting a business, or learning a trade. JA programs are taught by volunteers whose goal is to help students make smart academic and economic choices as they plan for their futures.
According to the organization, “Junior Achievement’s programs – in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy – ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.”
JA began in 1919 with a focus on younger students, but shifted focus to after-school programs for high-schoolers who were encouraged to start student-run businesses with guidance from volunteer business advisors in the community.
However, JA expanded its reach to include younger children in financial education in the 1970s.
Project Business, a program aimed at teaching business concepts to middle-schoolers during in-classroom sessions, and Business Basics, a program for elementary school children taught by volunteers from the high school programs, were introduced. By the 1990s, JA had developed in-school programs for grades K-12 in the United States.
JA’s international expansion began in the 1950s with the opening of an office in Canada, followed by the first overseas Junior Achievement-affiliated organization, Young Enterprise (YE), in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. JA Worldwide currently provides volunteer-run programs in countries throughout the world.
“Today, JA is pushing the education envelope with the implementation of blended-learning, augmented reality and project-based programs,” according to a company statement.
Current programs include simulations in which elementary and middle school students have the opportunity to test out making adult financial decisions or manage a town.
In addition, high school students have opportunities through JA to shadow professionals on the job in a variety of fields.
Visit JA.org to get more information about the programs, to donate, or to volunteer.

Student Preparation Program Yields College Scholarships

(NewsUSA) – Many high school students who might not have seen college as an option are now ready to pursue advanced education as Dell Scholars, thanks to a unique nonprofit education program.The Dell Scholars Program was developed by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to assist high-school seniors who have overcome significant obstacles to obtain a college education.In 2018, of the 500 scholarships offered through the Dell Scholars Program, 281 were awarded to AVID students.Students in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program work to overcome challenges, including limited funds for college and limited family experience with college and college preparation.AVID is a nonprofit that provides training and support to educators, so they can ensure that all of their students are college-ready. AVID educators are trained to tutor as well as mentor students, and to provide opportunities for the students to develop friendships and support networks with peers. Many of the AVID participants are first-generation college students who benefit from the mentoring and social support as well as from the academic instruction."The Dell Scholars are an inspiration to all of us at AVID. These students have overcome significant obstacles to succeed, and we’re honored to be a part of their college journey," Dr. Sandy Husk, CEO of AVID, says in a statement announcing the scholars. "I’m excited to see what they will achieve in the Dell Scholars Program."All students who become Dell Scholars receive not only financial assistance to help defray the cost of college, but also resources and mentoring throughout their college experience. These supports reinforce their study habits and relationship-building skills from AVID and similar high school programs that will help them succeed and earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject of their choice.According to the Dell Scholars website, "Our support is constant until they leave campus with a degree in hand."Dell and AVID share the common goal of leveling the playing field for promising high school students who might not otherwise have been empowered and motivated to prepare for and attend college.For more information about AVID, visit avid.org.For more details about the Dell Scholars Program, visit https://www.dellscholars.org.

Fifth Annual Fire Department Contest Highlights Grain Bin Safety

(NewsUSA) – The risk of becoming trapped in a grain bin while trying to remove clumped or rotting grain remains a real hazard for farmers and their employees, who could be buried within seconds by fast-flowing grain.To help reduce the risk of death and injury from grain bin accidents and to educate first responders about rescue procedures, Nationwide, the number one farm insurer in the United States, is sponsoring its fifth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in conjunction with Grain Bin Safety Week.The goal of the campaign is to educate farm workers and first responders about safe bin-entry procedures, including maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases, and wearing proper safety equipment.Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training sessions to 48 fire departments in 18 states."It felt like an eternity," Glenville Fire Chief Matt Webb, of Glenville, Minnesota, a recipient of Nationwide’s grain bin rescue training, said in an interview.Webb put his skills to the test when he saved a man who had fallen into a bin of rotting corn."The grain rescue training came back quickly, and it was a relief we had our own equipment. The program that’s out there for these tubes and training is such a life-saving resource in our county," he says.Grain Bin Safety Week 2018 takes place February 18-24. Grain Bin Safety Week and the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are hosted by Nationwide and made possible by the donations of industry sponsors."Grain Bin Safety Week would not happen without the generous support of our sponsors," Liggett adds. "We would like to thank every sponsor for making this week and contest a reality."Grain Bin Safety Week has been officially recognized by governors of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Each year, the NECAS director visits training locations with a grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube to conduct training sessions in rescue and safety procedures."Nationwide created this program and joined forces with partners across the country to make it happen for a single purpose – to save lives," says Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness.Applications for the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30, 2018. Winning fire departments will receive grants for grain bin rescue tubes and training for grain bin rescue procedures.For more information about the contest or the nomination process, visit grainbinsafetyweek.com.For more information about Nationwide, visit nationwide.com

4 Tips for Cutting Your Home Energy Bills Even in Winter

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – You know it’s cold when it snows in Florida.Which is exactly how the new year unfortunately began thanks to a "bomb cyclone" that hammered much of the East Coast with heavy snow, howling winds, and temperatures so frigid that Niagara Falls on the Canadian border actually froze. Meanwhile, Embarrass, Minnesota – yes, that’s really the town’s name – was busy winning the unofficial title of "The Last Place in the Freezing Midwest You’d Want to Go Skinny Dipping," by hitting a low of 45 degrees below zero on New Year’s Eve.Forty-five degrees. Below. Zero.While you’re imagining the heating bills in Embarrass and with winter far from over, read on for some tips for lowering your own home energy costs that you may not have thought of.* Easiest money-saver ever. "Aside from the furnace, a laser printer draws the most standby power in the house at $131.07 watts," SaveOnEnergy.com reports. And yet, even though that translates into about $131 a year, a new survey found that only 14 percent of respondents unplugged their printers when not using them.* Pellet stoves aren’t just for environmentalists. ThisOldHouse.com likens them to the family pet — "they require a regular feeding schedule" — but Fido won’t heat a 3,000-square-foot ranch house, say, for perhaps less than $120 a month. And with the weather turning chillier in most places, curling up with a glass of wine in front of one of these babies in the living room could be as appealing to romantics as their eco-friendly heating is to greenies.What’s a "regular feeding schedule"? Depending on the size of the hopper and how often you use the stove, you’ll need to load in pellets — made from super concentrated sawdust — every four or five days.* Make sure your attic is properly ventilated. Homeowners might as well just send utility companies a blank check if they lack what GAF’s Jason Joplin, program manager for the Center for Advancement of Roofing Excellence, calls "a continual flow of air to help protect the efficiency of your attic’s insulation."The culprit working against achieving that: excess moisture buildup that clings to your roof’s underside in winter from seemingly benign sources — i.e., appliances, showers and cooking vapors — before ultimately soaking the insulation when the condensed moisture falls.Don’t be one of the 86 percent.Joplin’s suggestion to help ward off the problem? A properly balanced ventilation system consisting of Cobra Ridge Vent (installed at the ridge) and Cobra IntakePro (installed at the eave) by GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. "Both products work in tandem to allow cool, fresh air to enter at the eave edge while forcing moist, super-heated air out of the ridge vent," he explains.* Adjust door thresholds. "Sneaky" is the word Popular Mechanics magazine uses to describe this hint. The theory being, if you can see daylight beneath your front door, it means the indoor air –which, remember, you’re paying to heat or cool — is escaping outside."A little light in the corners is okay, but don’t raise the threshold so high that it interferes with opening and closing the door," the magazine notes.

Michelin Drives the Holidays Home

(NewsUSA) – For the third consecutive holiday season, Michelin North America, Inc. (Michelin), is recognizing the people in the transportation industry who work "like busy elves" behind the scenes to make the holidays memorable. Michelin marks the season with its #KeepThanksMoving conversation in social and digital media and encourages people to share this appreciation via Facebook and Twitter. See full-sized image here

Fire Department Saves Farmer with A Grain Rescue Tube from Nationwide

(NewsUSA) – Fire Chief Matt Webb was heading to work when he heard the 911 call come in over his pager.It was 9:53 a.m. on Aug. 8. A local farmer had just fallen into a bin of rotting corn in a small, rural community on the outskirts of the county. By the time Webb arrived on the scene less than 10 minutes later, the farmer was engulfed in corn up to his neck.But thanks to a grain rescue tube and training provided by Nationwide almost two years earlier, Webb and other first responders were able to rescue the man in 1 hour and 44 minutes."It felt like an eternity," Webb says. "But the (grain rescue) training came back quickly, and it was a relief we had our own equipment. The program that’s out there for these tubes and training is such a life-saving resource in our county."Webb’s fire department is one of dozens in some of the country’s top farming communities that have received lifesaving grain rescue tubes and training as part of Nationwide’s annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest. Another one of those winners — the Westphalia Fire Department in Kansas — also used their new skills in 2015 to rescue a man who had become entrapped in a grain bin."It only takes seconds to become entrapped in grain and less than a minute to become completely engulfed," said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness, the No. 1 farm insurer. "Once grain is above knee level, it is nearly impossible to get out without assistance. Until we can convince all farmers and other grain handlers to develop a zero-entry mentality, we will strive to make tubes and rescue training as widely available as possible."Since 2014, Nationwide’s annual safety contest has awarded tubes and training to 48 fire departments across 18 states. Now, these fire departments are well-equipped to help rescue people who may become entrapped in grain during the normal course of their jobs. A record 883 nominations were submitted this year in the fourth annual contest, and Nationwide chose 16 winners in 10 states with large rural farming communities.The winning fire departments in 2017 are: Dieterich Fire Protection District (Illinois), Marion Center Volunteer Fire Department (Pennsylvania), Alexandria Volunteer Fire Company (Pennsylvania), Elgin-Beaverdam Hose Company (Pennsylvania), Livonia Fire Department (New York), Union Fire Company No. 1 (New Jersey), Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Company (Delaware), Florence Township Fire Department (Ohio), Braymer Volunteer Fire Department (Missouri), Jamestown Rural Fire Protection District (Missouri), Jasper Fire Protection District (Missouri), Blanchard Township Gilboa Fire Department (Ohio), Number One Fire Department (Tennessee), New Albin Fire Department (Iowa), Thorp Fire & Ambulance District (Wisconsin), and West Burlington Fire Department (Iowa).Grain Bin Safety Week 2017 is supported by Nationwide, CHS, West Side Salvage, Specialty Risk Insurance, ABIS, KC Supply Co., The Scoular Company, Arthur J Gallagher & Co., NOHR Wortmann Engineering, Heard Insurance Agency, Ruff & Assoc Inc., Triple M Farms, Sukup, Sump Saver, National Farm Medicine Center and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. For more information about the program, purpose or nomination process, visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com

Vets Can Make A Difference Through Volunteer Firefighting

(NewsUSA) – Patriotism is in the air during the summer months. It starts with Memorial Day and flows into July 4th. But it’s not just about fireworks, cookouts and parades.The heart of patriotism is helping others, and like our veterans, volunteer firefighters, EMS personnel and rescue workers are all about helping those in need.In fact, for veterans looking for new ways to give back, becoming a volunteer firefighter can be a great choice to serve their communities.According to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services, volunteer firefighters enjoy many of the same benefits veterans found in the military.These include a sense of accomplishment, achievement and pride in the work they do. Volunteers get to learn new skills, make new friends, be a part of a tight-knit team, give back to their community, and make a difference.And there is a significant need across the country for more volunteer firefighters, EMTs, and rescue personnel. That is why the NVFC has launched a nationwide recruitment campaign called "Make Me A Firefighter." The campaign is supported by a federal SAFER grant."Recruiting new volunteers is a critical challenge facing many fire and EMS departments," says NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn."NVFC research has shown that a key hurdle is many people simply don’t realize their department needs volunteers. Another challenge is that volunteer departments often don’t have the time or resources to develop a robust recruitment campaign. The Make Me A Firefighter campaign helps alleviate these obstacles by putting ready-to-use, message-tested resources in the hands of local departments."One audience the Council is trying to reach is veterans.There is a natural fit for those who have served their nation abroad and are now looking for ways to serve their communities locally. Communities served by volunteer firefighters depend on them to be their first line of defense for many types of emergencies.Volunteer firefighters are summoned to a wide array of emergencies across the country every day, including fires, medical incidents, terrorist events, natural disasters, hazardous materials incidents, water rescues, and other public service calls.The public relies on these volunteers, who receive special training to prepare for what may come.To lend some perspective:* Volunteers comprise 70 percent of firefighters in the United States.* The majority of fire departments in the United States are volunteer. Small, rural communities especially rely on volunteers to provide an array of services and protection.* The time donated by volunteer firefighters saves localities across the country an estimated $139.8 billion per year. For many communities, switching to an all-career model is not feasible.Volunteer firefighters come from all backgrounds and professions, and encompass all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. Members of the public, including veterans, who are interested in serving their communities as fire service volunteers can find opportunities by visiting www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org.Fire departments can add their opportunities to the database and access ready-to-use recruitment resources at http://portal.nvfc.org. 

Stop Pests This Spring With These Safe, Simple Steps

(NewsUSA) – Spring is here, and that means not only getting a jump on your cleaning, but also having a reason to check all areas of your house and garage for signs of pests that might have made themselves at home over the winter.Take a tour through your house and try these simple steps suggested by Kari Warberg Block, pest prevention expert and founder of EarthKind and Stay Away natural pest-prevention products for a few pest-proofing techniques for each room of your house* Outside: The best defense is a good offense when it comes to protecting the outside of your home from pests. Inspect the exterior of your house and patch any cracks or other openings that may have developed over the winter.* Living room: Keep ants from becoming unwanted guests in your living room by vacuuming the entry/living room areas thoroughly to get rid of any crumbs, and clean up any sweet, sugary spills which are the number one culprit for attracting ants in this area. Also, try a non-toxic ant repellant such as Stay Away Ants pouches. All Stay Away products are made in the USA from essential oils and plant fibers, so they are eco-friendly and have no known risks associated with use in the home.* Kitchen: Use natural ingredients to keep your kitchen clean and repel rodents and other pests. Be sure to clean under refrigerators, stoves, and sinks because these are the areas where rodents frequently make their nests. Dog food is the number one attractant to hungry rodents. Try using a plant-based Stay Away Rodent repellant pouch, and you may avoid becoming one of the 21 million American homes invaded by rodents each winter (according to the National Pest Management Association). After pest-proofing your kitchen, proceed to the pantry, where moths might try to make themselves at home. Prevent problems by storing food in airtight glass, metal, or plastic containers; cleaning and checking packages for signs of holes; and placing a non-toxic Stay Away Moths pouch nearby.* Bedroom and Closet: Moths also can consider closets a place to call home, but a Stay Away Moths pouch can keep them at bay. In the bedroom, the non-toxic Stay Away Spiders repellant offers a similar strategy. After vacuuming to remove any existing webs, use the repellant to prevent additional infestations.* Garage and Basement: These areas can harbor a variety of pests. To keep them out, avoid storing items in cardboard boxes, which can attract rodents (they use cardboard to build their nests) as well as cockroaches (they like to feast on the glue ). Also, repair any leaky pipes to prevent the development of mold and moisture.Visit earthkind.com for more ideas for safely pest-proofing your home.

Wellness Program Rewards Healthy New Year’s Goals

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As we start the New Year, we have thoughts and make plans about resolutions. Many people with health-focused resolutions will head to the gym for a workout, turn to a weight-loss program or swap soda for water.
While these are worthy steps, it can be hard to maintain enthusiasm over time, leaving you short of your goals. In fact, more than half of the people who make resolutions will break them in less than six months.
Here are a few tips for meeting and keeping your health goals: set personalized and achievable milestones, incentivize yourself and get rewarded for your progress. Programs such as Go365, a wellness and rewards program by Humana, make getting and staying healthy, fun.
Go365, which launched Jan. 1, 2017, motivates members to make positive lifestyle changes by tracking simple wellness achievements. Members are able to choose their level of engagement and participate in personalized activities tailored to their specific health needs and interests.
The program is designed for everyone, so members can benefit whether they are training for a marathon or just getting up off the couch. When they reach a goal, such as running a 5K or participating in a sports league, they get rewarded. Go365 awards its members “Bucks” that can be redeemed for items such as gift cards, movie tickets and compatible fitness devices.
“We want members to stay engaged in their health. Wellness programs such as Go365 make it easier to start with healthy activities each and every day,” says Joe Woods, Chief Executive Officer of Go365. “Go365’s special features make healthy choices and working towards personal health goals rewarding.”
Go365 is available with most Humana commercial insurance plans, and employers can even purchase it as a stand-alone wellness program. Ask your employer to explore Humana programs and you could reap the benefits.
To learn more, visit www.go365preview.com

New Medical Supplement Offers Advance in Bladder Control

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Bladder control is something few people want to talk about, but urinary incontinence is a huge and underreported problem. Studies show that 50 to 84 percent of elderly people in long-term care facilities suffer from unwanted urine leakage. In addition, younger people, especially women, are affected too. Seven to 37 percent of women aged 29 to 39 report some degree of urinary incontinence.
Sometimes urine leaks out when physical stress is put on the abdominal cavity (and, therefore, the bladder) from laughing, sneezing, coughing, or climbing stairs. In other cases, urine flows out before people can act on their sudden urge to go, a condition called overactive bladder. Incontinence can also be the result of other medical conditions, such as psychiatric disorders or urinary infections.
Overall, urinary incontinence affects 26 million Americans, while 33 million suffer from overactive bladder, according to the Simon Foundation and the National Association for Continence.
To prevent or control urine leakage, people can try exercises that strengthen the muscles that control urination. They can opt for drugs that calm overactive bladders or that allow the bladder to be emptied more easily. They can wear absorbent underwear or insert a disposable plug in the urethra. They can even have surgery to keep the urethra closed with a pelvic sling or an artificial valve.
But now there’s a more natural approach to solving this problem — a dietary supplement called UriVarx from Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB Venture Market: INNV). UriVarx contains Cratevox stem bark, Horsetail herb, and Lindera strychnifolia root — ingredients shown both to strengthen the connective tissue that supports the bladder and to relax the muscles in the bladder, thus allowing it to hold more urine.
And unlike most dietary supplements, UriVarx has proven results from rigorous clinical trials that show reductions of up to 50 percent in urinary incontinence and feelings of urgently needing to go.
“UriVarx is a real medical advance for bladder health,” says Dr. Bassam Damaj, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innovus Pharma. “For the first time, people can confront this enormous problem of bladder control with a natural solution.”
For more information, visit www.urivarx.com