Posted by admin
Posted on October 28, 2013
Brenda Brown, Board Member

Brenda Brown, Board Member

I previously wrote the following on Tuesday March 13, 2001. I had children in High School at the time of this writing.  I was living in Northern California, it was published in 16 Bay Area County newspapers.  I wanted to share this as October is NationalBullying Prevention Month.  My children are currently 28, 31 and 38.  I have my first grandchild on the way due in April.  Parenting is the hardest job in the World, in my opinion.  However, it is a privilege as well.  Please read on:

Have your kids been the victim of a bully?  Have they witnessed this behavior?  Maybe your child is a bully.  I want all parents to remember when you were in school and ask yourselves the same questions.

I’m a parent of three.  I’ve heard of kids being in class and struggling to understand the work, and a teacher says, “Of course you don’t get it,” all you care about is sports.  Teachers need to be mindful of what they say to our young people as well.  Parents, (you) need to look within yourselves and ask, is there anything you are doing to demean your children as well?

Some of you may think, this (bullying or abuse) could never happen in your home with your children.  Trust me, it can.  Take responsibility and be accountable.  Whether you have an athlete or maybe one who some might consider a nerd, both types of kids have similar issues.  They’re the same.  Stop hearing and start listening to your children.  There is a difference.

Kids, if your parents won’t listen, find someone who will.  As parents, naturally we provide for our kids by working and providing a safe home environment for them.  I know there are some parents who don’t spend a lot of time talking to their kids.  Maybe you are tired from working or had a bad day.  In either case, start listening.

It is time you start being bothered by your children instead of being overwhelmed by your own lives.  Remember your children were given a personal invitation by you to be here.  Be a good host.




GWEN TALKS Teen Empowerment with GWEN Club co-founders, Tayce Taylor and Monique Candiff

Posted by GWEN
Posted on February 05, 2013

GWEN Clubs provide support and a safe haven for youth to discuss pressing issues such
as body image, self-esteem, bullying, violence and more.

On Saturday, January 26, co-founders of the first GWEN Club, Notre Dame High
School students Tayce Taylor and Monique Candiff, spoke with Tess Cacciatore on

While Taylor and Candiff learned about GWEN through different channels, their
response to the organization and its mission was unanimous – “This is awesome!”
Enthused about the opportunity to spread GWEN’s message of love and acceptance
throughout their high school community, the two juniors founded the first GWEN
Club at Notre Dame High School in Los Angeles.

Like many girls these days, both Taylor and Candiff experienced issues related to
body image and self-esteem and feared being labeled fat by their peers. Taylor’s
parents were in the middle of a painful divorce and her body issues reflected
the tumult that was going on at home. Candiff struggled with depression and
participated in bodily self-harm. Both girls were able to move through their
struggles with the help and support of close friends and family.

“Especially living in Hollywood – movies and magazines make it difficult living
in a place that is poisonous for body image. It starts at such a young age — that’s
why it is so important to help teens, and girls especially, to feel confident and be
comfortable with themselves,” said Taylor.

By learning to open up and tell their stories, Taylor and Candiff let people love them
for who they were, and as a result, gained self-respect and heightened self-esteem.
“Don’t be afraid, someone will always be there to listen,” shared Candiff.

For parents who want to better understand if their child is in trouble, Taylor and
Candiff recommend keeping the lines of communication open. Teens need to talk
about what is going on in their lives, even if they appear standoffish or removed.

“Communication can be the key. It may be difficult sometimes to break through
the shell that has been created but it is worth the effort. Don’t give them too much
space,” said Candiff.

Taylor and Candiff were thrilled with the positive reaction to the GWEN Club. Their
first meeting, attended by both girls and boys, was a great success and plans are in
the works for additional GWEN CLUB activities.

“People were excited to be a part of something that will be big. GWEN CLUBS can
get out positive messages and help youth come out and speak about difficult and
painful issues. Even if they are not confident enough to join, they will see what
GWEN Clubs are doing and it will affect the way they think,” said Taylor.
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The Global Women’s Empowerment Network had its first high school bake sale event at Notre Dame High School

Posted by GWEN
Posted on January 25, 2013

The Global Women’s Empowerment Network had its first high school bake sale event at Notre Dame High School this past holiday season and it was a success! The ND GWEN Club stayed up all night baking everything from brownies and cookies to glazed pumpkin cake. One of our members even made cookies in an easy bake oven! With the excitement of the GWEN Club’s first bake sale, our teen GWEN-ers could barely sleep the previous night. And with all of our club’s hard work, students had to navigate through a stampeding race for the GWEN goodies the next day. Almost every club on campus had their table set up for our annual Spirit Day event; but GWEN had the highest popularity. Friends and fellow students wanted to help bake, advertise, set up, and do anything they could to contribute to our club’s success. Surprisingly, a lot of the helpers that day were men who took to the cause and wanted nothing more but to help. Students went around the school telling their classmates about the bake sale and the cause behind the goods. The most important outcome of the ND GWEN Club’s first bake sale was how many teens became aware of what was happening on campus: a positive, self-motivating and growing network of people making their presence in a high school that helps every student willing to listen to become aware of themselves and how crucial their part is.