Tag Archive

Who Is In Your Circle?

Published on March 5, 2014 By Nicki Sanders

Protect Your Circle
I believe that we are the average of the people we spend the most time with. What that means is who we become is impacted (at least in part) by who we grace with our presence. This is true in business and in regular life. Successful people understand and practice this concept by surrounding themselves with positive people who encourage and support them. Healthy relationships consist of reciprocity, honesty and open communication. When we engage in healthy relationships we feel safe, valued, loved, and even more confident. Our overall health can also improve when we have someone to confide in or brainstorm with.

Similarly, if I want to be an entrepreneur then all of my time shouldn’t be spent with people who plan to be life-long employees. If I want to improve my financial future then spending time with people who are always broke or have a poverty mentality is counterproductive.


Who Are You Following?

Published on December 16, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Who are you following on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn


Social Media can complement your classroom knowledge. You can use social media as a tool to help plan your high school and college course load – choosing courses to help you gain the skills you will need to succeed. You can also get a better understanding of how to prepare for a successful career. You can use social media to help give you broader exposure to the world of work and improve your career options. Research, join and follow:


  • National and local associations in your career area of interest
  • Student chapters of national associations
  • Industry publications
  • Companies where you may want to work or intern
  • Job sites in your industry
  • Industry experts and blogger
  • Colleges and vocational programs that specialize in your chosen career field


“Every man’s work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.” ~Samuel Butler


Published on November 25, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Amber S. exited the Florida foster care system two years ago. Her interests include art, music, crime scene investigation shows. She is a fan of hip hop, rap, R&B and gospel music.


Other people describe Amber as being shy and always staying to herself. She describes herself as being a good listener, and good at math and a good problem solver. She is a giver who loves to help others with their problems and her math skills come in handy as she sets a budget for herself.


Amber’s favorite TV shows are Criminal Minds and Supernatural. She graduated high school early by obtaining her GED and plans to attend college and pursue a Master’s degree in criminal justice, specializing in crime scene investigations. Watching law enforcement shows on TV and research on the crime scene industry has led Amber to her career goal to become a crime scene investigator.


Don’t Drop Out Of School

Published on October 9, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds – or 7,000 a day.


Jaden Smith’s parents are well-connected, multi-millionaire celebrities. He and his well-known siblings have starred in movies, released hit albums, and traveled the world on private jets with private tutors. This past September, 15 year old Jaden Smith took to Twitter and proclaimed that If Everybody In The World Dropped Out Of School We Would Have A Much More Intelligent Society. Jaden has privileges and opportunities that the majority of American students do not and I couldn’t agree with that declaration any LESS! I do believe that the United States public school system is broken, however!



Published on September 23, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Jahlika is a 19 year old college student in New York determined never to let her past trauma or life circumstances define her. She has a strong work history and the goal of becoming a nurse.  Jahlika was recently awarded a hospital internship in conjunction with New Yorkers for Children.  Jahlika was selected for this prestigious opportunity from a pool of many candidates and received a certificate of achievement at the end of the program.  Because of her strong work ethic, Jahlika was then offered a paid internship.   


Jahlika’s wonderful personality, hard work, and perseverance to achieve a better future earned her an invitation to attend New Yorkers for Children Annual Gala. She was given an opportunity to wear a designer dress and shoes. She also had the opportunity to have her hair and professionally done.



Published on August 30, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Tony D. is a Texas 11th grade student who has been in the foster care system for approximately 6 months. He is involved in numerous extracurricular actives such as varsity football, varsity baseball and track. In addition to playing sports, Tony enjoys working out in his free time. After graduating high school, he plans to join the Air Force and pursue a degree in health nutrition or athletic coaching.


Tony is a role model and an advocate. “Don’t give up on yourselves or your futures. Always hold your head up high and do not let any situation bring you down. Your voice, our voice is the most powerful voice that can be heard so do not be afraid to speak up because when all is said and done there is always a brighter tomorrow”, is the advice Tony wants to share with all youth in the foster care system.


You may also want to read: SPOTLIGHT On Leroy S.


No Longer In Nicki’s Living Room

Published on June 28, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

The Teen Toolbox sponsors two annual drives/events to raise awareness about the issues faced by youth aging out of foster care and to show teens that someone cares:

  1.   PACK A PURSE DRIVE™– collects and distributes purses filled with personal hygiene items to teen girls in foster homes, groups homes and homeless shelters each December to celebrate the holiday season and the end of the year.
  2.   PACK A BACKPACK DRIVE™ collects and distributes backpacks with personal hygiene items to teen males in foster homes, group homes and homeless shelters each May during National Foster Care Awareness Month.


Phase II:

  • We appreciate the generosity of our amazing donors (some as far away as Wyoming and Pennsylvania) which has allowed our annual holiday drives to grow so large that they can no longer be housed in Nicki’s living room.
  • We need several drop-off locations in the community for Pack A Backpack Drive (May) and Pack A Purse Drive (December). Churches, hair salons, barber shops, coffee shops, schools, community centers, and other local businesses.