THE RENEWABLE READER
TO COMBAT RISING RATES OF UNDEREMPLOYMENT: We Create 21st Century Entrepreneurs
For approximately 14.1 percent of the population, it’s a difficult time to be a part of the American workforce. This difficulty doesn’t just stem from high unemployment rates. Instead, it stems from underemployment, a trend that negatively affects a number of families, particularly those who live in urban communities. Unlike unemployment, where a person is actively seeking a job and cannot find work, underemployment describes a situation where a person is working, but they are either high-skilled employees with low-skilled and/or low-paying jobs or part-time workers who want full-time jobs. While these workers technically have a career, they aren’t often offered a wage that allows them to make ends meet. Mounting bills, expenses, and responsibilities require people to take any job they can get, even if it is not in line with their respective skill set or career interest. In many cases, folks who are underemployed are forced to get a second or even third job in order to keep a roof over their heads, and this workload can drastically impact their quality of life. To try and help those who are struggling with the pains of underemployment, I created Urban Career Institute with the mission of creating 21st century entrepreneurs. The courses revolve primarily around renewable energy and personal development. In just the last year, companies and individuals all across the globe have made huge strides in what is now known as “The Green Revolution.” Simply put: The world is going green, and, earlier this year, a bill was introduced to Congress for the “The New Green Deal,”— a callback to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s introduction of The New Deal in the 1930s . This legislation is strongly supported by the masses, and, just as its predecessor did, it will create massive job growth within The Green Revolution. In fact, it’s already started. In March 2017, Tesla unveiled a new 13MW solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, which was a huge step in bringing the state closer to its ambitious goal of sourcing 100 renewables by 2045. The farm includes nearly 3000 Tesla Powerpack batteries, and the company estimated that the farm will offset 1.6 million gallons of fossil fuel per year in the state. Tesla’s CEO says that
the batteries’ stationary storage “will actually have a growth rate probably several times that of what
the car business is per year.”With more emphasis being put on renewable energy sources like these, there’s no doubt that the availability of jobs will soar.
The courses at Urban Career Institute exist to connect those who are underemployed with a rapidly growing industry. Between providing
resources for mechanics working with electric motors and rechargeable batteries, and coaching business owners on ways to incorporate sustainable products in their company, our students will use their hands-on education to combat the rising rates of underemployment. Still, Urban Career Institute isn’t just about putting coursework online for people to buy. The courses are there to coach the underemployed and help them get the job they want and need. These courses are there to offer people a new livelihood and a new reality, which will allow them to spend more time with the people they love most: their families.
3 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day
On March 8, people around the world will honor International Women’s Day. Adopted by the United Nations in 1975, the holiday is meant to highlight the immeasurable accomplishments of women throughout history and draw attention to the ongoing struggle for global gender equality. International Women’s Day is celebrated differently around the world. Some nations, like Nepal, give all their citizens the day off. Most countries, however, including the United States, treat it as a normal day, at least officially. Even though we don’t have the day off, there are many ways for everyone to honor International Women’s Day this year. Here are a few of them.
Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring- cleaning. Banish the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away. Charities have a big problem with well-meaning citizens dropping off items that are better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include: DONATE WITH CARE The Right Way to Donate After Spring-Cleaning
Talk About theWomenWho Inspire You
From major innovators, like Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, to megalithic literary icons, like Maya Angelou, women throughout history have shaped how we live our lives. Whether you’re inspired by famous historical figures or the women in your own life, take the time to talk about that influence. Which women helped get you where you are today? What female leaders do you look up to? What are some lessons you’ve learned from them?
Make Room for Conversation in theWorkplace
Many of the challenges women face globally happen in the workplace. If you think your company has room for improvement in its treatment of women, now is a great time to do something about it. Even if you believe your company treats women and men equally, there’s no harm in empowering your colleagues to talk to give their opinions. If you’re an employer, this could mean giving women in your workplace an avenue to discuss issues, air grievances, and make suggestions. If you’re an employee, consider asking for such a forum. In either case, providing both public and anonymous avenues for women to express themselves is a great way for your company to take a step forward in fostering gender equality.
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Loose remote controls
Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup
Join the Conversation
Tangled cords or phone chargers Any broken, damaged, or dirty items
Regardless of your gender, March 8 is the perfect time to tune in to the larger conversation surrounding gender
These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway. This process can be expensive for organizations with already-strained resources. Some local charities spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations. While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring- cleaning eco-friendly, even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can’t take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out Call2Recycle.org to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste.
inequality, if you haven’t already. This could mean attending meetings or demonstrations in your town, reading works that capture the female struggle for equality, such as Roxane Gay’s “Difficult Women,” or seeking out blogs and social media accounts from gender equality activists online. International Women’s Day is about appreciating the contributions of women to society and envisioning a more equal world for the future.
However you decide to celebrate women this March, keep in mind that no matter who you are or where you come from, we all have the
Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.
power to change our world for the better.
LLAMAS, PIGS, AND HORSES … OH, MY!
3 Unique Therapy Animals Everyone has heard of therapy dogs and cats, but did you know virtually any critter can be a therapy or support animal? Therapy animals help humans cope with PTSD, anxiety, depression, injury, high blood pressure, and chronic pain, as well as a wide range of other conditions and difficulties. Therapy animals range from guinea pigs that can fit in a purse to dolphins that swim with amputees. Here are three unique companions who make a difference in the lives of people who need them.
beneath his desk to pet Buttercup. Afterward,
Rojo the Llama
the child spoke to the class for the first time. “It was a remarkable breakthrough,” says Brady.
Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas in Portland, Oregon, has conducted over 1,500 visits during the last decade and helps over 10,000 people each year. Their star llama, Rojo, is one of just 14 llamas registered as a therapy animal in the United States. Rojo’s exceptionally gentle temperament is calming to everyone who meets him. He’s so well-loved and has become such a big deal that he has his own Facebook page and two children’s books!
Rocky the Miniature Horse
Buttercup the Pot-Bellied Pig
At just 32 inches high and 325 pounds, Rocky packs a lot of cuteness into one small package. He’s not a pony but rather a breed of miniature horse historically used in coal mines in the 17th century. His specialty is working with retired veterans at the VA Community Living Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where the residents know him and look forward to his visits. For some, Rocky’s visits are bittersweet. “I wish I could have had more time to spend with horses,” says one veteran as he scratches Rocky’s ears. “There’s something calming about them.”
Lois Brady, a speech pathologist who works with special needs students in San Francisco, has a secret weapon in her arsenal: Buttercup, her black, 70-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. His docile nature makes him the perfect companion for autistic children, who are often easily startled. Because Buttercup is an unusual sight in classrooms, children find him fascinating. In 2017, an autistic student who had never spoken to his classmates before felt compelled to crawl out from
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine.
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3/4 cup popcorn kernels 2 tablespoons flaky sea salt 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
• • • •
2 teaspoons granulated garlic 2 teaspoons granulated onion
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. In a large saucepan, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cook over medium-
high heat, covered, until popcorn kernels start to pop. Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve.
Solution on page 4
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Creating 21st Century Entrepreneurs
Why Charities Hate Spring-Cleaning 3 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day Llamas, Pigs, and Horses … Oh, My! Everything Popcorn
The Most Iconic Super Bowl in NFL History
One for the Ages
How Super Bowl XXXIV Made an Icon Out of a Grocery Store Clerk Going into the 1999 NFL season, no one expected anything from the St. Louis Rams. When starting After going up 16–0 against the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, Warner and the Rams looked poised to coast on their way to the Lombardi Trophy, but the late Steve McNair and the Titans had different plans. The Georgia Dome was rocking after two Eddie George touchdown runs, and a field goal brought the Titans level at 16–16, with just over two minutes of play remaining. In response, Warner dropped back and found receiver Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 23–16 with 1:54 left on the clock. But the Titans weren’t done fighting. quarterback Trent Green went down with a gruesome knee injury in the preseason, ESPN The Magazine slated the Rams to be the worst team in the NFL that year. With
few options, coach Vermeil named a virtually unknown player as his new starting quarterback, humbly stating in a press conference, “We will rally around Kurt
Quickly moving the ball down the field, Titans quarterback Steve McNair found himself with a third and 5 inside the Rams 30-yard line with 22 seconds left. Scrambling around and fighting off two players trying to pull him down, McNair threw the ball to Kevin Dyson at the 10-yard line. A quick timeout left six seconds on the clock, and the Titans were one play away from tying the game. What proceeded was a play that will be forever known as “the tackle.” McNair found Dyson on a quick slant, and when he caught the ball at the 4-yard line, it appeared a touchdown was imminent. Suddenly, linebacker Mike Jones wrapped the receiver up at the hips. As he fell to the ground with the ball in his hand, Dyson extended his arm, but when he hit the AstroTurf, he was 1 yard short of the goal line. The Rams had pulled off the impossible, earning their first Super Bowl title ever.
Warner, and we’ll play good football.”
Five years before his start, 22-year-old Kurt Warner was stocking shelves at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for $5.50 an hour. However, he had amassed a whopping 16 snaps in the NFL prior to taking the reins for the 1999 season, and what proceeded to transpire on the field was utter pandemonium, giving the Rams the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf.” This improbable season and the resulting MVP award for Warner set the stage for one of the most dramatic games in Super Bowl history.
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