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May 2018

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Eddy House Launches New Initiative Through Community Birthday Party

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The Eddy House, a local nonprofit that seeks to assist homeless youth in Reno, is hosting a Community Birthday Party on Thursday May 31st, from 3-7 PM at their downtown location. Michele Gehr, the Executive Director of Eddy House, said, “We’re inviting the entire community to come and celebrate one of our boys that passed away last year.” According to Gehr, the young man, named Devonte, would have turned twenty-four this month. During the event, Eddy House will launch a new initiative called “Devonte’s Gift.”

According to Gehr, Devonte regularly went to the Eddy House and helped contribute to the overall morale of the facility. “Devonte was a kid that was always just really charismatic and just had lots of personality. Just very real,” said Gehr, “He had a very tough life, but he was extremely resilient. He was the kid that I thought was going to come out of this.” Gehr said that Devonte had enrolled in classes at Truckee Meadows Community College and hoped to work in early childhood development. “He was really working on pulling his life together, and then he got sick,” said Gehr, “He died of a bacterial infection that killed his heart, and everybody took it really hard here.”

Gehr said that Devonte was extremely committed to Eddy House. “When he was dying, his hospice nurse wheeled him here, and the kids went out and carried him up the steps in his chair,” said Gehr, “That says a lot about his level of commitment to the Eddy House and our family unit here that he would come as he was dying, just to kind of say goodbye.”

“He’s very much missed,” said Gehr, “The kids, and I, and staff wanted a way to honor him, and so we decided on a community birthday party.” Gehr said, “Devonte’s Gift will be a way for the community to help support the Eddy House as we expand.” Gehr hopes to expand the Eddy House and its hours of operation. “The goal is a twenty-four hour center with fifty beds. I want to get these kids off the streets,” said Gehr, “We’re hoping that we get enough community support. This is a community problem to solve, and so if the community comes together, they’ll all have a stake in that.”

According to Gehr, Devonte’s Gift could help Eddy House to achieve the funding required to open a twenty-four hour facility for homeless youth in Reno. Gehr said, “What we’re trying to do is get a thousand individuals, business, organizations, faith-based groups, friend groups, grandparents, whatever it is, just a thousand to commit to a thousand dollars over the course of a year. So that’s about eighty six dollars a month if they go through Paypal.”

“This is a safe place,” said Gehr, “Most of our kids are trauma affected, and many of them, if not all of them, suffer from some form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). So you have to calm the fight or flight before you can take in extraneous information.” Mental health resources are among the most utilized resources at Eddy House. Gehr said, “I have an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) that sees 120 clients a month.”

Gehr said that first, the Eddy House focuses on basic survival needs for the homeless youth, and then on life skills, such as job searching. “Homeless kids really want to work. They view this as a temporary situation, a bump in the road.” said Gehr, “They want to be working, they want to get back in school, they want to get their education, whether that’s in trade, or with a vocational certificate, or their degree. I have kids here that want to be everything from marine biologists to social workers.”

Gehr believes that homelessness in Nevada is preventable and that the community can help to end youth homelessness altogether. “The data shows that if you can intervene before the age of twenty-five, they don’t become homeless again,” said Gehr, “You can effectively stop that cycle, and so we are all about prevention.”

Gehr urges the community to become more involved and to spread the word about Eddy House. “I really want to invite the community to come for a tour. I want them to see what we do, and just know that these kids have so much potential,” said Gehr ,“One of the things we track is ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And they just want to be normal.— teachers and doctors. They want to own their own business, and they’re really motivated.”

compass on top of a map

The Gap Year

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As May has quickly come and gone you may be feeling pressure to land your dream job the moment after graduation. But what if you have no clue what, where, or how you’ll be getting any job related to your major? What if you’re not sure about your choice of major at all? You hit the panic button as you reevaluate the ten year plan you’ve laid out for yourself. Don’t be scared because there’s a little something called the gap year that’s here to save you.

What exactly is a gap year, and what does it mean for you?

A gap year is one academic year in which the student, you, steps away from your career to travel the globe, figure out what you want out of life, and what career path you actually want to take, rather than just panicking after college graduation.

No, a gap year after college is not a symptom of being a lazy, unmotivated, or unsuccessful student after graduation. Don’t worry if you haven’t planned your whole life out by the age of twenty-two. The gap year is a time for you to reflect on what you want out of this world while also gaining many personal and career benefits. It’s a time in your life to take a breath and enjoy it before you may become a working slave in the corporate world.

Believe it or not, taking a break from work may actually increase your workplace performance amongst your return. Throughout your gap year, you’ll develop greater career ambitions and goals for yourself.

When you eventually do return, you won’t take your first real job for granted. It won’t be something that’s just landed in your lap, because you’ve already taken the time to explore your options and find what best suits you. You took the time to work for this job and prove your worth. You will have greater work ethic than your coworkers.

Maybe during your time trekking around the world you had to wait tables or wash dishes to make ends meet. Perfect. It’s another life skill you’ve added to your resume. There’s no shame in this. Everyone in their life should experience having at least one or two of these gigs before landing the job of their dreams. It teaches you how to work hard, like work your ass off hard. Yet, you may also find that along the way you gained a sense of appreciation towards people who always have jobs like this. You’ll no longer take the custodian or barista for granted because you’ve learned what it takes to work hard.

Amongst your return, you’ll feel more motivated to jump back into things because you’re not feeling burnt out. It can be rather difficult to pound the pavement right after you’ve spent the last four years studying hard in college. But with a slight mental break, you’ll feel fresh and rested enough to put all of your energy into your new career.

A gap year is also a great resume builder in many ways. During your time off you may learn a new language, a new skill set, or experience a new culture that will change your perspective on the world. You’ll be more adaptable to new situations than someone who hasn’t taken a gap year because you’ve experienced a different culture than that of your own. Living amongst a different society will give you different perspective on things, which will make you a valuable commodity. Your experiences of traveling abroad will give you unique ideas about people and places around the world.

In addition to the numerous perks a gap year will add to your future career, time off will provide you with many personal benefits as well.

If you’re not that college graduate who has your whole future planned out, then that’s ok. This is your time to figure out which path you want to take personally in life and with your career. Or this can be the time for you to reflect on, and confirm your decision of your academic major and future career plans. It’s that extra bit of reassurance that will destroy any doubt in your mind that you had before graduation.

Being young, healthy, and adventurous is also a great time to give back to the world through volunteer work. You’ll be making a huge impact on the local communities you serve by working on many projects that matter to them. Many volunteer programs offer housing to live abroad and volunteer for an extended amount of time. This will be an experience you can always look back and reflect on. Again, it’s something that will give you insight and a greater perspective on the world. Taking time to volunteer abroad will humble you and will make you an all around improved human being. Plus, it’s always better to volunteer now before you’re tied down by a mortgage payment, future children, or your career.

Speaking of kids and careers, this is your time to find out what you want out of life. Time alone by yourself in a different country allows for much self-discovery. Without anyone or anything there to influence you, your mind will have a lot of free time to contemplate what will make you happy in the future. Those who rush into a demanding career right after graduation but are still confused about what they want life often run into problems like an identity crises later in life. You’ll never get this time of reflection in your life back once the ball gets rolling. Take advantage of it while you can.

Sometimes when rushing from one phase of life to the next it can be easy to lose track of what’s truly important. Taking a gap year allows you to learn about what’s really important in the world at a very early age which sets you up for success. Being a twenty-two year old college graduate and knowing about pressing global issues rather than being upset about losing a round of beer pong or having a crappy blind date is colossal. It puts a good perspective on the whole scheme of things.

As we all know, life moves pretty fast. Yesterday it seemed like you were just starting your freshman year, and today you’ve graduated. You need this time to slow the clock down, and soak in the beauty of life. Trust me, you won’t look back at this time in your life when you’re eighty years old, sitting in a nursing home, unable to travel and think, “Man I sure regret exploring the world when I was young.”

As scary and daunting as taking a whole year off may seem, it will teach you so much about yourself and the world. Not having your shit together may be a gift in retrospect because after it’s all said and done, you’ll be confident in who you are as a person and what you want your life to be.

Little Evil Movie Poster

Netflix Review: Little Evil

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Little Evil is a horror-comedy film on Netflix that depicts Gary, played by Adam Scott, as a man who recently married the woman of his dreams. He soon realizes his new stepson is not just a brat, but may also be the literal antichrist. So, of course, he joins a stepdad support group. Gary is the straight man throughout the bizarre, sometimes scary, often hilarious film, while Bridget Everett is delightfully chill as his new best friend, and fellow stepdad, Al.

A highpoint of my viewing experience, and of my life to date, was seeing the importance and utility of monster trucks in an apocalyptic scenario. Well, at any rate, it was highly entertaining. This movie has cults, flaming clowns, the antichrist and Adam Scott. Not watching it is arguably a character flaw.

blue water with trees to the side

Which Beach is best for YOU?

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Tahoe is home to dozens of beautiful and scenic beaches. Each one with a unique twist to make it different from the others. Depending on your mood or activities you have planned, check out this guide to help you decide what beach is best for you this summer.

Feeling like a party?-Zephyr Cove

Zephyr Beach located in South Lake and is known for its outrageous partying. Zephyr has a volleyball court and a full bar that allows its users to drink openly on the beach. Zephyr is one of the best hot spots for Fourth of July. People going for the holiday can see the fireworks easily from the shore, and the party usually has people rushing in as early as 6am in hopes of finding a decent spot.

Bringing the Whole Family?-Round Hill Beach

The Round Hill beach is a very family friendly beach that is a favorite for both tourists and locals alike. This beach can be used for weddings and special events, too. Round Hill also has a delicious food court overlooking Lake Tahoe. There is a little something for everyone at this beach with activities like cruises, sail boats, jet skis, paddle boards, kayaks, and so much more.  

A Beach For You and Your Dog?Kiva Beach is one of the few beaches in the Tahoe area that you can bring you dog too! Kiva Beach is a peaceful hidden gem that has a great view of Mount Tallac. The area is tucked away and hidden in the forest making it quiet and the perfect place to bring your furry best friend!

Does Tahoe Have a Nude Beach? Yes, yes it does…Secret Cove

Secret Cove might not be the best place for a family outing. However, this is one of Tahoe’s most beautiful and scenic beaches. It offers plenty of nature and  some of the best snorkel spots. Oh yeah…and is welcoming to nudity.

The Classic-Sand Harbor

Sand Harbor is one of North Lake’s best known and most popular beaches. The main beach is over 2,500 feet long. It offers everything from a visitor’s center to a boat launch. Sand Harbor is also home to the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival that happens every summer.

Out of Sight?Hidden Beach

The name speaking for itself, Hidden Beach, is one of the more private and sequestered beaches Tahoe has to offer. Located in Incline Village, this beach is mainly for people who might want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon reading a book, uninterrupted by the stimuli of the other beaches. Usually best if you get there early and find parking along the highway.

The Beauty-Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay is one of Tahoe’s most popular icons today. The bay contains a beautiful island called Fannette Island in its center. Emerald Bay is surrounded by breathtaking views of nature and scenery. Emerald Bay is also classified as an underwater park. You can never run out things to do here and the park is filled with tons of history and Scandinavian architecture.

two women enjoying a view of the lake

Tips for Vacationing on a Budget

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If you’re anything like me, you love adventure… but you’re also super broke. Well, I have good news, fellow struggling students! Even though we may not be able to travel the world (yet), there are still options for us to satisfy the urge to get out there. Whether you want to settle into a sleeping bag on a mountaintop or explore a new city, I have gathered some helpful tips to help you explore on a budget.

Sleep in your car. It may not be the most comfortable place, but when you just want to get out and go, this is a viable option. If you don’t have a car (or if yours is too small), it may help to find another adventure hungry friend and crash in theirs. Once you have the vehicle, grab some sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and blankets to craft your nest. This can end up being very comfortable if you’re short. This is also perfect for spontaneous trips when you don’t have time to find a hotel room or campsite. NOTE: do a little research before you go. Sleeping on the side of certain roads and in certain parks may not be allowed. Look for signs and do a quick google if you aren’t sure.

Find a Hostel. Hostels are like super cheap communal hotels. Lots of people come to stay in one place, usually in bunk-beds. These are great for meeting new people, traveling to cities, and saving money as hostel stays are notoriously cheap.

Use It’s like Airbnb for campsites! Many of them are cheaper than state-owned ones and still quite nice. Plus, you can talk to the host for advice and help should you need any.

Stay on BLM land. It’s FREE to camp on BLM land. Do your research and respect the landscape while you’re out there.

Go searching for some hot springs. There are many hot springs in Nevada and California in gorgeous locations. To maintain their natural beauty, most of their exact locations are not made public. A fun adventure nearby could be simply heading out into the great outdoors with a general direction and a bathing suit (or none- I won’t judge) to find one of these diamonds in the rough and relax.

Look up popular nearby locations on Instagram. Sometimes there are hidden gems near you that will save you a long trip! The pictures can tell you how beautiful they are. Look for location tags on posts and follow some local Instagram pages.

Take a friend. This way you can split the cost of gas, food, and campsite fees.

Stay at a hike-in campsite. These are often either free or cheaper than car-camping sites!

Be frugal when shopping for gear. You can usually find great, affordable gear either in thrift shops or online. Check reviews when shopping online and look for higher quality brands in thrift stores- they sometimes carry high-end items that were unpopular because of factors like color.

Get creative! Use free beach showers or biodegradable soap to bathe in a lake or river.