Fitness 19 in Mason has created a membership package for the young ladies in A Brush of Hope and their families. Please stop in to see Mitchell or call him at 513-336-7519. I would like to thank Fitness 19 for their continued support of A Brush of Hope and their generosity.
In group yesterday I was told by one of the girls about an instagram user who posts inappropriate messages and pictures. I personally have not followed this person. The user is Miss_Noname. (the “noname” sort of says it all) Just be cautious about this instagram user.
ABoH is growing! There will be a new start up this fall (2014) in Centerville, Oh. I would like to welcome Miss Kathleen to ABoH. She will be the teacher working with the young ladies in Centerville.
ABoH has been extended until he 3rd week of May. The end of the school year can be a
stressful time. It can be sad, for some of the girls changing schools it can mean some uncertainty. There are tests and a lot of activities that accompany the end of the year. I am happy to be able to continue on with these young ladies until the end of the school year.
In our ABOH group the subject of the “Talking Angela” app was brought up. The girls have heard conflicting information about the app and whether it is safe for them to use or not. I have looked into this app before, and once we had our conversation in ABOH I researched it yet again to see if anything new has been reported. This is an interactive app. It has 2 modes. One mode Angela the cat mimics the user, the other mode is she engages the user in conversation. This app was released in December of 2012 and immediately allegations of it being unsafe, asking for children’s personal information, taking pictures of children or it being a tool used by pedophiles started to circulate. To date there has been no evidence to support these allegations. I went so far as to get the app for my phone and try it out myself. I found the app to be by my definition “strange”. The mode where we interacted and she asked me questions all revolved around boys, who I had a crush on, where we like to go on dates, celebrity crushes and gossip.
Though there are no reports to validate this app being unsafe. I believe this app has been thoroughly researched over and over again based on what I have read. For me, when I was using it, it fell into the category of “on the surface the questions seemed fine, but it made me feel uncomfortable.” I tell the girls in ABOH that is a sign to watch out for. Listen to that inner voice. I did not care for the subject matter and I know there are other interactive apps out there that are more appropriate. I let my 11 year old daughter use the app and she came to the same conclusions. She didn’t feel like she was in any danger or being targeted but it just made her feel uncomfortable. She did not care for the subject matter either. As a group at ABOH we decided not to down load the Talking Angela app. I hope this helps.
I was approached this weekend by a concerned mom of a 12
year old girl. She shared with me this story:
Her 12 year old daughter had gone to a particular website and became involved with what she thought was a 14 year old boy. This boy proceeded to secretly chat with her daily. He insisted she download an app to her phone for texting which made his number impossible to trace. This person proceeded to use severe manipulation tactics focusing a lot of attention to her facial features and beauty. He would say “you look beautiful now but you would even better if you…” This particular site encouraged role playing of a very dark nature, exploring virtual violence and the sharing of sinister stories and situations as part of the
manipulation. One night after the young ladies dad went to bed, she took razor blades and cut her face because the boy
she had been involved with told her she would look better if she altered her appearance to look like someone else. She was taken to the hospital for her injuries. She is now home, recovering, but will always have scars from this incident.
I first want to thank this mom and commend her for being brave and honest in sharing her daughters story. Her reasoning is simple, she wants to protect other girls from becoming victims. Often we think of the threat of predators on the
internet as they want to meet our daughters or take them. We overlook the danger of manipulation and control. I have been to this website and this is a valid threat to our young ladies. The police are still investing, trying to locate this man, and he is still active.
A Brush of Hope believes in being proactive and vigilant in educating our daughters of potential threats and to make parents aware of anything going on. When our daughters are informed, they will not be caught off guard when facing certain situations. If they are prepared, they already know in their minds what to do.
Any website that is of questionable substance
Anytime someone is approached in a chat room that they DO NOT know is a threat.
Someone asking for a picture.
Someone being too affectionate and complimentary/flattering.
Someone trying to separate the young lady emotionally from her family by phrases like “they don’t understand you like I do” or
being over sympathetic/attentive to their needs.
Anytime they do not want the young lady to tell her parents because their mom or dad would be upset and not understand how much he loves her.
If he asks the young lady to down load an app so it is harder for him to be traced.
Someone who builds up then tears down then builds up then tears down their self esteem.
What we can do:
I shared this story with the young ladies in A Brush of Hope today. I will share with the young ladies on Wednesday. Knowledge is power.
We talked about going to a trusted adult if approached on line, in person or if their friends are getting involved in something that
doesn’t seem right.
Do not continue any conversation that may on the surface seem ok but makes the young lady feel uncomfortable.
We talked about removing oneself from a group of girls who are talking about a website that seems sketchy.
We discussed and practiced how to handle the peer pressure of not going along with the group. Even if they are threatened by the girls or called bad names.
If you know of other trends or threats that are going on please let me know. I will research them and post them under an alert warning on my blog. Please feel free to contact me if you have trouble talking with your daughter about these types of threats and I will help guide you.
To the 12 year old young lady recovering safely at home,
you are in my heart, you are loved, and I pray for an uncomplicated speedy
The “Pioneers” have been having open discussion on
bullying. It is a relevant problem and takes precedence over any lesson plan for
the day. We have been sharing many methods of dealing with a bully, what to do
if you are being bullied, why people bully in the first place and how not to be
a victim . If you have any advice or words of encouragement for these
young ladies feel free to comment on the blog.
The presentation at Sinclair’s Dayton Campus went fantastic. I enjoyed sharing A
Brush of Hope with everyone.
The “tigers” made some amazing assemblage boxes today. Each
box tells a unique story about their life. Beautiful work and inspiring
Mark your calendar for April 8, 2014! If you will be in the Dayton Area, or just want to see what A Brush of Hope is all about, Aimee will be speaking in front of a large group at the Sinclair Campus in Dayton, Oh at 11:00 am in the Library. She will be sharing more information to raise awareness of what A Brush of Hope is all about, how attending Sinclair and earning her degree helped give her the knowledge and confidence to start her own non-profit business which incorporates both her passion for art and children, and the importance of completing college.
This is the third talk she has given at Sinclair. Two previous talks were given at Sinclair Courseview Campus in Mason, OH where she attended. Good Luck to you Aimee and A Brush of Hope!
~ Stacey Heck
About the Founder
Aimee Lucinda Lowrance lives in Ohio with her husband and four children.