2018 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients

2018 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients

By

Jake M.

Image result for presidential medal of freedom

The presidential medal of freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States.

from the White House website is a list of the 2018 recipients:

Miriam Adelson – doctor, philanthropist, and humanitarian. Founder of the Adelson Medical Research Foundation. Part of the American Jewish community supporting Jewish schools, Holocaust memorial organizations, Israeli Defense Forces, and Birthright Israel.

Orrin G Hatch – Utah Senator and one of the longest serving senators in American History (41 years).

Alan C Page – Pro-Football Hall of Fame inductee. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice (Retired).

Elvis Presley (posthumously awarded)  – American music cultural icon of the 20th century. Also dubbed the King of rock

Babe Ruth (posthumously awarded)  – former American baseball athlete. One of the most iconic athletes of the 20th century.

Antonin Scalia (posthumously awarded) – United States Supreme Court Justice.

Roger Staubach – Hall of Fame quarterback. Played college football for the Naval Academy.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-names-recipients-presidential-medal-freedom/.

 

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How Do You Handle Holiday Stress?

Although the holidays are such a joyful time of the year, moments of stress are often inevitable. At SEEDs for Autism, we help our students develop coping skills which empower them to better handle stressful situations. We asked SEEDs participants if there are any parts of the holiday season that they find hard or difficult. If so, how do they handle them?

BRIANNA
For me, the part of the holiday season that is difficult is to find the right gift for someone in my family. I handle it by going early in the month, and that gives me plenty of time to do some thinking. I ask them what do they want and write it down!

MATTHEW
It’s always hard trying to live up to other people’s expectations and find a present that they’d really enjoy. Sometimes you just don’t want to hand over too much money. So I try and find something that would be related to what they need or are interested in, and can be bought at an affordable price. Something that would actually show some appreciation towards them.

JAKE
The hardest part of the holiday season is the anticipation of the gift giving and receiving. I get really anxious toward getting the right gifts for people. I also get anxious about the types of gifts people might give me. To deal with this I ask my parents to not put my presents under the tree until after Christmas Eve.

 

Bipolar Story

 

By

Jake M.

Image result for bipolar symbol

I was diagnosed with Bipolar at a very young age. For a long time I never understood the symptoms, implications, or consequences of my diagnosis which has caused me to do some very harsh and irrational things that I can’t take back. I still don’t understand all of it.

During my early childhood I had poor communication skills. This prevented me from effectively communicating with others my diagnosis and how it affects me and those around me. People always appreciated the good and gentle side of me but when I would go into one of my mania episodes people would freak out and it sometimes turned them away. At this point in my life I was still developing my cognitive thinking so I had a hard time identifying when I was having a manic episode, which prevented me from being able to deal with it effectively and appropriately.

I’ve been through various therapy sessions over the years to help me develop awareness and manage myself when these manic moments happen. Managing emotions in the moment is not easy. A very direct way to do it is to remove yourself from the situation or avoid situations that lead to mania. Unfortunately, you don’t always have the luxury of avoiding situations or stepping aside. This is where you use coping skills such as deep breathing, counting to ten, and letting other individuals know what you are feeling and ask if you can step aside for a few moments.

Something that has helped me along the way is talking to individuals who I trust. I got comfortable doing that so I decided it was ok to tell more people. Not only has it helped me manage but it becomes an open communication line so that people understand if they see me going through an episode. People now have the chance to cue me in if they think I’m in a manic stage. Telling people helps erase the stigma surrounding people with bipolar or other mental illnesses.

Our culture is constantly influenced by celebrities. Celebrities influence religion, politics, and civil rights movements. Bipolar awareness is no different. Some celebrities who are or were diagnosed with Bipolar and were open about it include the late actress Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) and female pop artist and actress Demi Lovato (Camp Rock, Sonny With a Chance). It’s important to have role models because having friends regardless of how many doesn’t always contain depression or bipolar.

People who have bipolar need a community of other people who have it in order to feel more comfortable about their diagnosis. Unless you have Bipolar you’ll never understand the full scope of it.

What Are You Thankful For?

“I am thankful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Thanksgiving is a time where we share a meal together and celebrate our families, friends and the people we care about. In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked SEEDs participants to reflect on their lives and share their thoughts on what they are thankful for. 

MATTHEW
I’m pretty much thankful for the life I even have to begin with, having the family I was born in, and the world that I live in. Sure with all its ups, there’s also downs, but that’s just a part of everything. It’s what everyone goes through. Everyone is different, so not everything will be the same for them. Maybe they won’t even be born in the same reality. Over time, people will realize that there’s always gonna be some hardships they have to go through, but sometimes the point is to actually go through them and maybe come out somewhere on top. It’s all part of learning and knowing what to do when the time comes. We all just need to be thankful about what we have while we have them.

ANNA
I am thankful for my counselor and psychiatrist because they have in their own ways helped me feel better and lessen my OCD thoughts. My counselor has talked with me about my OCD and how I can stop it from affecting me. My psychiatrist has prescribed medicine that has lowered my compulsive OCD thoughts.

I am thankful for the internet because with its access I can find things I never knew about that I will enjoy. The internet can answer questions I have without paying money for a book that will answer my question or going to the library and looking for a book they may not have that could answer a lot of questions I have.

JESSE
I am thankful for my friends & family because without them life would be really boring.

RYAN D.
I am thankful for my family and my girlfriend and my friends.

BRIAN T.
I am thankful for Hot Wheels and I really like them because they are my favorite cars.

BRIANNA
I’m thankful for my family because they’re sweet, helpful and very kind! I’m thankful for SEEDs because it is a really fun place to learn, and also the instructors are really friendly and supportive!

JAKE
I am thankful for Seeds because I have friends.

Wombat

Wombat

By Chris M.

Image result for wombat
This little furry critter is called a Wombat. It’s an adorably short-legged quadrupedal, or four-legged, mammal that is native to Australia.

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Australia is the only continent that’s home to the Wombat.

 

These little vombatidae members belong to a family of Australian animals called Marsupials, like the Kangaroo and the Koala.Image result for wombat
If you think a Wombat is too stubby to move around quickly, then you haven’t seen them running away from you. Their speed can reach maximum when threatened. But if they can’t escape, they can curl up into a furry ball. What is fascinating is that wombats have  super solid behinds that protect them from predators, like Dingos.

Image result for wombatUnfortunately, not even a protective behind can save a wombat from getting hit by a car. Many wombats get killed when crossing busy roads, with lots of cars going from left to right. In fact, more wombats are killed by cars along with any other animal unfortunate enough to cross a busy road.

Image result for wombatBut there will be hope. Many conservationists in Australia are rescuing wombat babies that could’ve died inside their dead mums’ pouches. Then they get released back into the wild when they’re old enough.

Image result for wombatI do volunteer work at the AZ Humane Society where we rescue many pets and care for them until they are ready for adoptions. So I feel relieved that there are many people out there who care for these animals.

NCAA: The Profit Machine

By Jake M.

I’ve been a big fan of college sports since I was eight years old. I always supported Arizona State University (ASU) athletics. There are many reasons to watch college sports from atmosphere to hot dogs but my favorite part of college sports is the purity of sports. Student athletes play for the love of the game and the fans rather than money. Unfortunately, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) doesn’t share the same view. The NCAA has turned from student athlete driven to profit driven.

In the 2015 fiscal year, the 231 Division one (D-1) programs amassed a total $9.15 billion. 24 D-1 schools make upwards of $100 million compared to most programs that make $50 million or less. The NCAA March Madness produces roughly $900 million making it the most profitable. Most of the money for March Madness comes from CBS and Time Warner.

College football is also a good avenue. The top six college bowl game payouts per team ranges between $4 million to $6 million. The universities receive this money so there is no guarantee that all profits will be put back into the athletics department.

Just because college sports is a multi-billion dollar industry doesn’t mean everyone wins. In fact the biggest losers are the athletes. The athletes play for free due to the “students before athletes” ideology while they are being coached by men who earn multi-million dollar salaries. The argument is further extended by the emphasis on the word “scholarship” in athletic scholarship.

Another reason why people are against paying athletes is for the concern of bribery of players and other incentives that could manipulate the recruiting process. While this is a legitimate concern, with the right regulations in place we can protect the integrity of the recruitment and provide fair compensation to the players.

The farther a team advances the more money they make. Championship teams make the most. Fair compensation for student athletes should be dependent on a team’s success. Teams in college basketball, for example, should give athletes a 10% share for advancing through the first and seconds rounds. A team that advances to the third round should compensate athletes 15%. Finally, teams advancing to the quarterfinals or beyond should give athletes a 20% compensation. In football, each of the four teams selected to compete in the playoffs should award athletes 10% of the profits and the runner-up should payout athletes 15% and the Champion should payout 20%. Players deserve their fair share. Those who’re resistant to this concept are making it sound more complicated than it really is.