USC Media Student Bryn Kressin & Packaging Boyhood Book Winners!

brynJan.1, 2010 Happy New Year!

This joyous photo of youthful exuberance is Bryn Kressin, at left; one of our Shaping Youth winners of yesterday’s Packaging Boyhood book drawing where we pulled names from those who commented or tweeted about our weekly posts about boys, manhood and media messages impacting the males we love.

The other two winners were author/educator Dr. Liz J Myer (who writes about ending gender harassment/bullying in schools) and Suzette Valle (who writes about young Hollywood’s influence on kids and teens at Mamarazzi Knows Best) As I perused Bryn Kressin’s blog to inform her of her win (not sure she even know she entered) I found this great slideshare preso (after the jump).

Bryn’s student experience abroad (sheesh, looks like something out of an idyllic ad campaign, great photography, too!) inspired me to ‘pay it forward’ to other teens and high schoolers that might need that extra ‘go for it’ nudge to splash in a larger pool of collective knowledge and firsthand experience…I love it!

OhThePlacesYou'llGoI’m biased as a global former military brat because those early travels shaped my worldview and formed a ‘one world’ interconnected frame of reference that served me well over time.

I wouldn’t trade my pingpong ball childhood for the security (oft times myopia?) of insular one hub thinking for anything.

That said, the internet has opened the floodgates to an age of conversation and connectivity that transcends proximity alone, so it’s not like you have to go abroad to see media and marketing’s impact on kids hither and yon.

Still, it’s not only fun to experience life firsthand vs. virtual, it’s a living, breathing education that can’t be fully duplicated in any classroom…

So as we start the New Year with fresh thinking, flip through Bryn’s blog post about HER experiences overseas and start laying the foundation to see if you can muster a way to qualify for some of the many gap year orgs from teens in high school to college who aspire  to go abroad

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

packaging boyhoodMeanwhile, thanks again, Bryn, for this slideshow of your life lessons abroad…and congratulations to all three winners of the Packaging Boyhood book; which is clearly one of my most important media literacy picks for 2009 along with Diane Levin & Jean Kilbourne’s So Sexy So Soon, Rachel Simmons’ Curse of the Good Girl and Liz Funk’s poignant  SuperGirls Speak Out on the gender studies/media front.

I’ll continue to cover the ever-changing influences of media and marketing on both boys AND girls, but am admittedly pretty random when it comes to committing given ‘days’ on a weekly basis, so ping me if there’s something that catches your eye in this realm, that needs coverage pronto. We need eyes and ears far beyond our esteemed advisory board…so that means YOU, tipsters. (I’ve already slated Rosalind Wiseman’s new book for an interview this month, so stay tuned!)

Coming up soon on other cool finds that blend meaningful role models and positive picks for BOTH genders? The “TaughtMe2” book series, beginning with My Daddy Taught Me to Surf, where a portion of the proceeds goes to the Surfrider Foundation. It’s a personal pick from this kamaaina-island girl-water rat…;-)

Which reminds me…Any new resolutions out there?

I’m making a few of my own, including going ‘off the grid’ more to get to the coastal surf…and TOTALLY UNPLUG as a monthly challenge to bridge my two worlds of online and offline connectivity. Who knows…maybe I’ll even go abroad, as I hear there’s a hammock in Roatan (Bay Islands, Honduras) beckoning for a multi-generational reunion of sorts. Hmn.

party-hornsCan you tell I have wanderlust brewin’?

I’m ready to go on ‘walkabout’ as they say ‘down under’…I get this way every New Year, you?

It’s a double-whammy with my birthday coming up on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see where 2010 lands in Shaping Youth endeavors, my own wacky world, and then some…

Meanwhile, here’s the hub that offers a nice starter database of worthy study abroad programs, and of course there are also tons of internships, scholarships, specialized language learning, short-term peer review opps, service learning/volunteering…even high school programs, Semester at Sea and roundups of resources abroad to get the creative juices flowing…I’m ready to pack my bags.

Cheers to a new decade of youthful, hands-on growth and inspiration. Important for all of us at every age and stage, n’est ce pas? Happy New Year, readers…Just TRY and sit still watching this slideshow without clicking through to Orbitz or Travelocity—I double-dog dare ya! 😉



  1. Woo Whoo! What a great surprise and way to start off the New Year! Thanks Amy. Just an FYI: I taped a segment on the Dr. Phil Show about reality shows and effects on family. Hope you’ll stop by my blog where I’ll post the airing date – should be in the next couple of weeks!

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