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Special to The Dallas Examiner


North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens – which uses the acronym NTARUPT, pronounced “interrupt” – is encouraging youth to use their voices as filmmakers to create a short production about “Social Media and Sex” from their unique perspectives.

The purpose of the contest is to allow students in grades 9-12 to tell adults and decision-makers in Dallas what really goes on in their world when it comes to how social media influences teens’ views, perceptions and decisions about sex and intimate relationships.

Many adults think they know why teens are or are not having sex and may make assumptions based on what they think. By submitting a film, youth can be a voice for their generation and help adults understand the issues and pressures facing teens.

Projects will be based on creativity, technical quality, message clarity and responsiveness to the theme. Teams must have a teacher or adult sponsor. Students may participate on no more than two video submissions.

Video entries must be uploaded to, Jan. 24, 2019 by 11:59 p.m. Contest winners will be announced Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. Winners will be invited to participate on a discussion panel. Cash prizes range from $500 to $1,000. Interested groups can visit the website for more information and a complete list of rules.


On Nov. 27, Councilman Tennell Atkins and community partners announced the kickoff of the 10th Annual Home for the Holidays event and partnership with the Dallas Independent School District’s Adopt-A-Family program. Atkins also encouraged citizens to sign up for Dallas ISD’s Adopt-A-Family program.

Over the past decade, the Home for the Holidays event has served over 6,000 meals to more than 500 families living in South Dallas.


Mayor Pro Tem Casey Thomas II, District 3 council member, announced the grand opening of a new Fitness Connection in District 3 at 2550 W. Red Bird Lane, Nov. 28. This new facility has state-of-the-art fitness equipment designed to help men and women who live in South Dallas achieve their fitness goals. This project is part of the revitalization of the Red Bird business community.


Councilman Tennell Atkins announced the opening of Starbucks at 3620 W. Camp Wisdom Road, Nov. 30. It was constructed by 3i Contracting, a minority-owned general contractor.

Dallas-based Sour Grapes was commissioned by Starbucks to create a custom mural for the space. The opening featured several prominent speakers, including government officials.

This store is part of the expansion efforts for Southwest Center Mall called “Reimagine RedBird,” and a key pillar in Starbucks’ strategy to support the development of diverse, often underserved communities across the U.S.

By creating local jobs, providing in-store training opportunities for youth, and working with local minority-owned businesses, Starbucks hopes to demonstrate that businesses can thrive in underserved communities by creating opportunities for all.

Since 2015, Starbucks has opened 11 other stores like this one in South Dallas in Ferguson, Missouri; Englewood in the South Side of Chicago; Central Phoenix; Long Beach, California; East Baltimore; White Center in South Seattle; Trenton, New Jersey; Miami Gardens, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; as well as in Jamaica Queens and Bed-Stuy in New York.


Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson on Monday recognized the participants of the 30th Congressional District of Texas’ 2018 Congressional App Challenge at a reception she hosted for the students and their families.

More than 100 middle and high school students, who attend schools within District 30, participated in the competition that focuses on developing science and technological innovation in youth.

More than 55 apps were built and submitted by participating students. The winning app, named “EZ Voter,” offers voters and constituents an easier method to communicate with their representatives on specific issues under consideration in Congress. Skyline High School student Stephen “Dodge” Suprun designed and submitted the app which won first place.

“This App Challenge is one of many efforts I put forward to engage our young people and encourage them to pursue their future dreams, but it is unique. This is the one program that serves as a platform for the youth to create practical solutions to challenges we face at this very moment,” Johnson said. “This is why I am delighted to recognize each one of you today, for your imagination and innovation. If you all continue to carry the same determination and passion for science, your horizons are limitless.”

The apps were graded on several factors, including aesthetic appeal and ease of use, by five judges who work in the science, technology, engineering and mathematic fields in Dallas/Fort Worth.

“Remember Me – Alzheimer’s Helper” and “Sonia Learning Center” were awarded second and third place, respectively, and were recognized at the reception hosted at Per Scholas, an information technology school that offers training and professional development courses.

The Congressional App Challenge is a component of Congresswoman Johnson’s efforts to connect with the youth and expose them to better personal and professional opportunities.

She also hosts the Youth Summit and Diversity Dialogue, the Math and Science Lecture Series and the Youth Crime Prevention Summit each year.

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