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    PNS Weekend Update - April 25, 20150 


    Among the issues on our nationwide rundown: Baltimore braces for major protests as the police department admits to errors in the arrest of Freddie Gray; troubling data as e-cigarette use triples for tweens and teens; and we’ll clue you in on ways your spring cleaning can help your local community.

Youth Issues

PHOTO: A new bike helmet is just one key to safer summer fun for Washington children. This weekend's YMCA Healthy Kids Day activities at many 'Y' locations will include helmet-fitting and giveaways. Photo courtesy of Group Health Cooperative.

SEATTLE - This Saturday across the state, many YMCA locations are having Healthy Kids Day events to start the summer with tips on bike, water and sun safety. Pediatrician Dr. Paula Lozano is an assistant medical director for preventive care with Group Health. She says most summer safety guidelines ...Read More

PHOTO: Two laws on child sex trafficking have cleared the state Legislature, but millions of young people remain at risk in an industry that generates $9.8 billion annually. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the average age of victims recruited into prostitution is 12 years old. Photo credit: James Revgot/Flickr Commons.

DENVER - A law that would update how Colorado handles child sex trafficking passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, but victims won't see any changes until 2016, if at all. House Bill 1019 would have brought Colorado in line with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a federal law ...Read More

PHOTO: Financial Reality Fairs, such as this one that took place in Springport, give teens the chance to get their feet wet when it comes to budgeting and living within their means. Photo courtesy Beth Troost/MCUL.

LANSING, Mich. - It's not taught in very many schools, but knowing how to live within one's means is a critical life skill. That's why credit unions are giving Michigan teens a dose of financial reality this month. By giving teenagers a chance to simulate having a full-time job and paying bills, sa ...Read More

PHOTO: Five high school seniors each will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship Saturday at the 23rd Annual Beat the Odds Celebration from Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota. (Left to right: Martell Person, Makayla Hout, Kao Soua Yang, Nasro Mohamed, Randy Mathews) Photo credit: Children's Defense Fund - Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The path to future success can be tough for any teen, but many face major life challenges and prevail. With the end of the school year quickly approaching, five of the state's high school seniors who have beaten the odds are being honored. Among them is Kou Soua Yang at Johnson Se ...Read More

PHOTO: April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and AARP Wyoming says the safety messages aren't just for drivers in the younger generation. Photo credit: Pexels.com

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and messages about distracted driving are not just intended for kids. With changes in car and truck technologies, as well as the rules of road, AARP Wyoming recognizes that hazards can exist for drivers beyond a cellphone. Jackie Martin ...Read More

PHOTO: West Virginia social workers are hopeful about reforms to the state's juvenile justice system. They say new truancy rules and other public school efforts can help keep kids out of jail. Photo credit: Richard Ross, courtesy of Annie E. Casey Foundation.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia schools have a key role in reducing the number of kids who end up in jail – and while social workers say preventing truancy is an excellent starting place, its only part of the picture. As the state works to reduce the number of juveniles in the criminal just ...Read More

PHOTO: Poet Kane Smego is coming to Charleston this week to address a conference of Social Workers. He says says he'll talk about a central part of his work - teaching young people how to use spoken word performances to better understand themselves and others. Photo courtesy of Smego.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Poetry is a tool that can help young people break out of isolation, according to the keynote speaker at a conference of social workers this week. Spoken word artist Kane Smego plans to talk to folks about how it works Wednesday morning during the annual spring conference ...Read More

PHOTO: The Obama administration has called for a ban on conversion therapy, the widely discredited practice of using psychology to try to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Photo credit: Tony Webster/CC.

NEW YORK - The Obama administration has called for a ban on "conversion therapy" - the practice of using psychology to try to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Although Congress is unlikely to act on the White House's request, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporters ...Read More

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Youth Issues by State