Teen Activist Hannah Alper Sets Sights on Changing World Hannah Alper, a 17-year-old advocate and blogger, is out to change the world. Her work has impacted many lives through her insight on climate change, social justice and anti-bullying. She has not only written a book titled Momentus, but she also speaks at conferences and TED Talks around the world. She also recently appeared in a documentary called CitizenKid: Earth Comes First, which raises awareness of climate change issues and empowers kids to take action. “I never thought that I was too young (to become an activist), I just did it,” she said when asked about her many accomplishments as a young teen. INBETWEEN sat down with Alper to talk about her experience as a blogger, activist and motivational speaker and what she plans on doing next. In your blog and in your social media you are able to portray endless positivity. To what do you owe this enviable trait? My parents have always taught me to be a passionate and positive person. I am always called passionate, positive and optimistic. With all of the issues going on today, I could not do what I do without bringing positivity. There are so many things that we can do even though there are a lot of problems in the world. But we can be that change together. What is your biggest motivator? My parents. They have been to Washington and Kenya with me. I can talk to them about the issues I care about and share my experiences with them. I would also say that those young people that make a difference in the world also motivate me. They make me feel as if I am not alone and that there is always something you can do to make a difference. In a world where social media is on the rise and many young people are starting to gain their own voices, what would you say to young bloggers who want to make a difference? Keep going. I truly believe that social media is the biggest and best tool that we can use to change the world. If anyone is struggling with getting people to pay attention and join a movement, you need to keep going. We always need more people to share what they care about and social media is one way that we can begin that change. Social media is a truly incredible place and kids often
4 Grad Gift Ideas They'll Love Whether your son or daughter is graduating from high school or university/college, you'll want to mark and celebrate the occasion with the perfect gift! Since we’re all staying close to home these days, here are some great grad gift ideas that your teen and young adult will love and enjoy while at home. 55-inch TCL Roku TV If there’s anything we’re all doing these days, it’s binge-watching our favourite shows. I think your graduate would be thrilled with their own 55-inch TCL Roku TV! It’s super easy to set up. You just create a Roku account and set it up with your Internet and then you have all the popular streaming apps like Netflix, Prime, Disney+ and Crave, etc at your fingertips. It’s powered by the Roku OS system and actually provides access to more than 150,000 movies and TV shows from top free and paid channels, so it is easier than ever to binge-watch your favourites! And, if they’re night owls, they can watch without disturbing you because the Roku mobile app enables you to use private listening when you connect a pair of headphones to your phone! The picture itself is 4K so it’s very crisp and clear and makes binge-watching a picture-perfect experience! $400, roku.com Hamilton Beach DrinkMaster While you’re watching your favourite show, why not enjoy a homemade milkshake?! This DrinkMaster Chrome Classic from Hamilton Beach has a cool, 50s diner vibe that I love and it whips up serious delicious drinks in no time flat. You can make your favourite milkshake, but you can also make smoothies or malts too! It has two speeds and comes with this 28-ounce mixing up, which gives you plenty of room without worrying about it spilling all over. And it looks neat on your counter too! $70, hamiltonbeach.ca 10.2-inch iPad An iPad is always a great gift, especially for graduates. This is the 10.2-inch iPad and it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family with Facetime and now, of course, Zoom. They can also use it to download their favourite apps, watch TV and movies, listen to music, and even use it as a portable tablet if they’re planning on continuing their studies in the fall. It’s great because you can easily add a Smart Keyboard, Apple Pencil and use your iCloud account to transfer work between a student’s Mac and iPhone. $429+, apple.ca The Knot Dr.
Top Chef Canada's Contestants on Cooking Up Their Careers If life in quarantine has you flipping channels in a neverending search to find something suitable to watch with your teen, you can now put the remote safely down for at least an hour a week. Food Network Canada's Top Chef Canada Season 8 has just started wherein 12 chefs from every corner of the country compete in the most prestigious cooking competition in the country, battling it out for the biggest prize in Top Chef Canada history and the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef. Yes, they're in for a wild ride but we wanted to talk to the competitors about their lives BEFORE Top Chef. They were open and honest about their journeys that led them to the kitchen (they weren't all as smooth as butter), the importance of family support (one contestant's father STILL won't tell people his son is a chef) and their advice for teens looking to start a life in the kitchen. Adrian Forte When did you know you wanted to be a chef? I was always cooking as a teenager, but I decided to pursue cooking professionally the summer before Grade 12. I had realized I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete and I was already extremely passionate about all things food. I enjoyed being in the kitchen, so I thought to myself, “why wouldn’t I want to do this all the time?” What did your family say when you chose a career in the culinary arts, which can mean a lot of long nights and tough work? I come from a whole bloodline of chefs. My mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles all spent some time in the kitchen. My grandmother had seven children and it was a rite of passage in our household for every one of her kids to learn the craft. The tradition has been passed down for generations, so when I decided to pursue cooking professionally, my entire family was ecstatic about my career choice and they continue to support me. What do you wish you knew back then that you know now? Nothing. I believe life is a lesson and experience is the teacher (it’s sort of my mantra). I’ve always learned from my failures and mistakes, and I apply what I’ve learned to the next situation, endeavor or business venture. I’m a firm believer in trial by fire or sink or swim. Trials and tribulations develop
Real Talk with ABC's A Million Little Things' star Lizzy Greene By Rachel Naud Lizzy Greene, 16, plays Sophie on the ABC hit show, A Million Little Things. The show, currently in its second season, deals with some very grown-up themes including suicide and depression. We sat down with Greene to talk about her character, Sophie, and why she thinks A Million Little Things is a show every parent should watch with their teen. A Million Little Things has quickly become a fan favourite! Did you expect the show to take off like it did? Yes and no! I definitely thought it was a super special show because of how it tackled such harsh and difficult topics with so much humanity and respect, but I also didn't expect to get such amazing fan feedback. It makes me and the entire cast and crew so happy to read stories from viewers about how our show has helped them overcome and gather strength to talk about their own struggles. How do you like filming in Vancouver? Have you found some cool spots you like to visit in the city? Most definitely. The city is filled with beautiful attractions and many cute little nooks to relax in during off days. I really love to go to the Vancouver Art Museum, and look at the new exhibits every few months. And I also love to study in one of my favourite spots, The Wedgewood Hotel restaurant. The piano is always playing, and the entire environment makes you feel like you've gone back in time. It’s very relaxing, and an easy place to relax and work on scenes. Why do you think A Million Little Things is so important today, as it openly talks about depression and suicide? I think it’s really important because any talk about mental illness helps break the stigma. Our show is a story of a modern family of friends who is hit with a bombshell they never saw coming, the suicide of one of their close friends. This story is really important because it shows just how common it is for the signs of depression to go unnoticed — until it’s too late. What else I think is really incredible is we have had two stories of suicide on the show thus far, one that was too late, and one that was caught just in time. It shows that not everything is inevitable, all you have to do
7 Last-Minute Gifts They'll Love Teens can be a tough crowd when it comes to gift-giving. Their interests can come and go as fast as a winter storm! That's why we handpicked a selection of items any teen will love to receive this holiday season. Happy Holidays!! LG G8X ThinQ DualScreen phone As smartphones become more evolved, we have higher expectations of them. On average, we are conducting seven transitions between four different apps, every time we use our phones. This is why the LG G8X ThinQ DualScreen phone is perfect for the teen who likes to use their phone for a variety of reasons from talking and texting to video calling, playing games or even doing their homework. This phone is super cool because it comes with a removable second screen, complete with a 360-degree hinge! This empowers users to flip the screen and lock it at any angle - perfect for reviewing material while taking notes or even just watching YouTube! When flipped horizontally, gaming teens can use the left screen as a monitor while the right-hand screen turns into a controller with its LG Game Pad. The OLED screen display allows users to enjoy their favourite content with more vivid colours and greater clarity! To figure out which plan would work best for your teen, check with your local retail providers, or visit lg.ca. PS VR Blood & Truth and Everybody’s Golf VR Bundle Discover a new world of play with PlayStation VR. Its innovative design puts you inside your new favourite games, with a growing library of titles that offer immersive gameplay, seamless interaction and impressive graphics. This bundle includes a PlayStation VR Headset, PlayStation Camera, PlayStation VR Move controllers, and vouchers to redeem copies of Blood & Truth and Everybody’s Golf VR. More information can be found here. Tervis Reusable Drinkware Since 1946, Tervis has been making sustainable drinkware with a lifetime guarantee. We love this cup for a cute stocking stuffer, and if your teen is into the new show, Mandalorian, they'll be sure to dig this! Casper Weighted Blanket This weighted blanket is brand new to Casper! These are popular because not only are they super cozy but they have been proven to help reduce anxiety and stress while helping you relax! It has a micro-bead fill, which is evenly distributed but is also made with a breathable cotton cover to keep you comfortable. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer For the teen who takes too long
The Voice's Emily Ann Roberts on her Someday Dream In 2015, Emily Ann Roberts quickly became a fan favourite on Team Blake on The Voice. Her classic country sound resonated with the judges and audiences, alike, landing her runner-up of the coveted competition. Today, her debut album, “Someday Dream” has already landed on two Billboard charts and is quickly making its mark on the music scene as Roberts herself is carving her own niche as one of Nashville’s rising stars. INBETWEEN sat down with Roberts to talk about her experience on The Voice and what advice she has for other teens about chasing their dreams. What was your inspiration for your new album? The majority of inspiration for my Someday Dream EP came from this crazy journey I’ve been on since my time on NBC’s The Voice. The songs I wrote for this project have little pieces of the things and people that get me through, the thrill of chasing big dreams, and celebrating love. I named the EP after the song that I feel is the message of this EP and chapter of my life. My “Someday Dream” was always to be a country music artist and the fact that I’m able to do what I love and live my dream makes me believe that no dream is impossible or too big. I want my music to be an encouragement to everyone chasing down big someday dreams. How would you sum up your experience on The Voice? I had the most incredible time on The Voice. I learned SO much from all the coaches and mentors and made lifetime friends in all the other contestants on my season. Blake Shelton was my coach and I’ll never be able to thank him enough for all the support he showed me and for his encouragement to stay true to myself. What was your biggest takeaway from the experience? Besides all the things I learned for my career, I learned how important it is to have a community of other artists and friends to encourage and challenge you when you’re chasing after big dreams. Do you keep in touch with any of the coaches? Blake does such an amazing job of helping out the artists off of his team. It truly is more than just a TV show to him. He genuinely cares and tries to help open doors and give opportunities to his artists. He has been so supportive throughout
10 Teen Slang Words You Should Know Every generation has their own, unique way of influencing language, like creating slang that only their peers will understand. Today, as Gen Zers enter teenhood, many Xennials and Millennials will be hard-pressed to understand exactly what on earth they’re saying. With new cultural reference points and trending speaking styles coming from celebrities, shows and memes – basically, the Internet – now may be the time to follow in Oprah and Gayle’s footsteps and freshen up on your teen slang. “Slang is, by definition, just informal language. In that sense, slang shouldn’t be considered “degraded language” but, rather, a variant of the predominant variety used by a community of speakers. From a sociolinguistic perspective, adolescents are generally the primary drivers of language change. They are more daring and creative with regard to language and they innovate much more than do speakers in other age brackets. This tendency to innovate language is part in parcel of the cognitive development that teenagers experience during adolescence, which sees them asserting their independence from their family unit and forging strong social connections with peers. Peppering their everyday speak with slang terms known primarily or exclusively within the peer group helps to solidify the new social bonds”, says Jennifer Dorman, Instructional Designer in Didactics at leading language app Babbel. So you can get down with the kids – linguistically, at any rate –Dorman shares some of the most popular teen slang today, along with definitions: Skrrt: Rapidly leaving / expression of excitement The easiest way to wrap your mind around this term is to think of the sound a car makes as it’s driving away at high speed, with its wheels screeching. It’s pronounced similarly to ‘skirt’, but usually in a high-pitched tone, and was first popularized in rap songs to convey the rapper trying to get away from something, or someone. Waste man: Worthless person A waste man is a negative term to refer to someone who makes poor decisions, acts poorly or is not doing much with their lives. Finsta: Fake / Fun Instagram This term is another attempt by teens to deceive their parents and was originally used to refer to a ‘fake Instagram’ account, which would be used for posts you don’t want your parents, or wider family, to see. The meaning has since grown to include any secondary or fake item, like a second Twitter account, or a secret phone. Cancelled: No longer relevant Frequently used when speaking about celebrities who are considered no longer relevant, or have said or done
4 Reasons to Take Your Teen to FAN EXPO in Toronto The Family Zone. This year, FAN EXPO is featuring its Family Zone, which offers the FAN EXPO experience to people of all ages. There is something the whole family can enjoy this year from August 22-25—taking part in the sorting hat ceremony, playing Quidditch, or watching a Knight Fight! The Zone will occupy 10,000 square feet of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and will be packed full of activities the entire family can enjoy. For a full list of activities, click here. The celebrity guests. John Travolta (Grease), Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park), and Zachary Levi (Shazam!) will be among the guests at FAN EXPO this year. Meet and take a picture with your favourite star during their scheduled Photo Booth times! The shopping. Tons of retailers from all over pack into over 400,000 square feet for the ultimate shopping experience. Specializing in everything gaming, comics, anime, fantasy and horror, these vendors will have exactly what you’re looking for, whether it be DVDs, games, memorabilia or branded merchandise from your favourite series. The Artist Alley. A must-see at FAN EXPO, the Artist Alley showcases the people behind the scenes of your favourite comics and shows. Here you’ll find original art, up-and-coming comics and graphic novels, and limited edition prints! You can find new talent and seasoned pros in Artist Alley, so take your time going through the booths. There is something here for everyone and you never know what you might find.
5 Waterparks in Ontario You and Your Teen Will Love By Rosalind Stefanac The heat is on, and for those of us who don’t own a cottage or backyard pool, waterparks are a great way to keep cool and have some fun with your teens in the process. Here are my top picks for teen-friendly outdoor water parks in Ontario to check out this summer—and they all feature private cabanas for rental if you’re looking for privacy, shade and poolside bar service. Bingemans Big Splash Kitchener, Ontario Why they’ll love it: In addition to 11 water slides and a large wave pool, the park features a big indoor arcade, outdoor mini-golf and dedicated space for beach volleyball. Lots of open spaces for playing frisbee too. Why you’ll love it: Free parking! You can bring your own food/cooler (no alcohol or glass) and can camp on the premises via tent, container cabin or log cabin (there are 450 campsites available). Campers get access to a lovely gated pool and poolside loungers too. Calypso Limoges, Ontario Why they’ll love it: The biggest of the bunch with 35 waterslides and a wide selection of water games. My teen (and I) loved the Kongo Expedition, a lazy river that took us through jungle-like caves and unexpected waterfalls via inner tube. The park also houses Canada’s largest wave pool at 50,000 square feet, with waves hitting up to 1.5 metres above the surface. Why you’ll love it: If you don’t rent a cabana, there are lots of shaded, grassy areas with picnic tables for reading or napping while the teens are occupied. You can bring your own picnic, plus there are several bars/eateries on site. Well worth the drive even if you’re outside of Ottawa. Splashworks: Canada’s Wonderland Vaughan, Ontario Why they’ll love it: Thrill-seekers will get a kick out of the 60-foot tall Muskoka Plunge or the Super Soaker, which takes rafters spiraling down a dark tunnel to plummet into a splash pool. Even my 17-year-old, who is rarely impressed by anything, rated the day a 9/10 (point lost due to lineups). Why you’ll love it: Once the water park closes at 7 p.m., there is still a massive amusement park within the premises included with your admission, which means easy access to more rides, shows/concerts and plenty of restaurants. Just note that the waterpark’s cabanas sell out quickly so book at least a week in advance. Wet ’n’ Wild Toronto Brampton, Ontario Why they’ll love it: Thrilling slides, such
4 Things To Do With Your Teen In Toronto This Summer Summer may be half over but there is still time to have some serious fun with your teen. In a bustling city like Toronto, with so much to do, the options can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether you want to make it a day out with the family or if you only have a few hours to spare, we have something for you! Go to Canada’s Wonderland. Wonderland has something to offer all family members of all ages. Check out the new ride, The Yukon Striker, which is the longest, tallest and fastest dive coaster in the world. If rollercoasters aren’t your thing, check out Wonderland’s waterpark, Splash Works, where you can cool down and experience waterslides and wave pools. Take them to the Museum of Illusions. Of interest to kids, adults, and everything in between, the Museum of Illusions offers a one-of-a-kind interactive art experience that blends science and psychology. With more than 70 different illusions, there is a great balance of simple illusions and advanced mind-benders that make you question your own perception. Make sure you visit the vortex tunnel! Take them to Casa Loma. The gothic castle is a landmark in Toronto, where you can visit the past by viewing their Classic Car Collection and their Dark Side of Toronto photo exhibit. Or, you can experience their escape room series! Try the immersive and theatrical King of the Bootleggers escape room, set in 1920s Toronto during prohibition, where you must take cues from the actors and work with your team to become the new Kings and Queens of the Bootleggers. Visit The Funhouse. The Funhouse is an immersive experience created by visual and musical artists from across Toronto. You begin in a 1920s hotel, then get lured deeper into a multi-sensory maze of 14 featured rooms. Blending visual arts, music and immersive tech for an alternate universe, the Funhouse is always different (you choose your own adventure!) for a unique experience for everyone. Photos courtesy of Tourism Toronto.