It’s mid-August, and like many of you, I’m praying for no hurricanes and storms in the weeks ahead. So many people around our state are still hurting from the previous hurricanes. So many schools are still rebuilding from the damages from hurricanes. Please join me in praying for those in our state still in recovery mode and for us to be spared this hurricane season. You may want to find organizations working in these communities around our state that support the rebuilding efforts. Schools in these areas could use some financial support. So many teachers are STILL rebuilding their classrooms after the destruction from the last few hurricanes.
Please remember it’s better to be prepared than not. Click here to Get A Game Plan and make sure you’re prepared.
This month’s blog has some great articles. One article is from our Teach MAM Art Ambassador, Carolyn Scalfano. I love her enthusiasm and desire to make a difference in her students’ lives. It is evident in the energy she puts toward her classroom environment and her dedication and love for those around her. Read her entry and click on the links to learn more.
Our Louisiana Fosters need you. We have so many older children in the system that need someone to support them as they transition into adulthood. These children have been through so much in their lives, as you can imagine. So please consider ways you can support these children, our children, maybe by giving your time, talent, financial support, or even opening your home. Read the article on Louisiana Fosters and look at the Louisiana Heart Gallery. These beautiful children would love to know you.
Dr. Hunter is working hard in the Governor’s Office of Human Trafficking. Learn what efforts are being made in the hospitality and hotel industry to help combat this horrible crime. We are so grateful to those making a difference and stepping forward to learn more and do more.
In the Mansion article, you will see our beautiful Camille. This lovely statue is by sculptor Jo Hess. Read the article and learn more about her work and other sculptures she made during her lifetime.
Our Women’s Health entry, by Dr. D’Wan, has powerful information that will help women see how important it is for them to take care of themselves. “There is a saying, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup,’ and I will add that you can’t heal from an empty cup either.”
- D’Wan J. Carpenter, D.O.
John Lary is our educator for this month. He is an 11th and 12th-grade teacher from Caddo Parish, C.E. Byrd High School. His article reaffirms my conviction of how critical our educators are to our children and our community’s success. When our children succeed, our families succeed. When our families succeed, our communities thrive, and our state is successful. Thank you to our educators that do the amazing work day in and day out.
Other things to read about this month are updates on the University Lake Project and a reminder about the upcoming Suicide Prevention Summit.
Our goal at the Lovin’ Louisiana Blog is to spread some good news, good works, and a bit of love and sunshine. Please know I personally am so thankful to your all for your support.
If you are interested in giving toward our efforts of spreading sunshine, please click here to donate. DONATE to LFF
We would be so honored to have you join us on this journey of spreading sunshine. Lastly, don’t forget about our growing online boutique: Les Fideles -The Faithful. You’ll find some unique gifts made by our friends and family to give back. A portion of the proceeds goes back to our Louisiana First Foundation.
Hey, Y’all, leave it better than you found it!!
FEATURE Congratulations to the Governor’s Fellows Class of 2022!
On August 4th, eleven student leaders from across the state of Louisiana joined Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna H. Edwards for the commencement of the 2022 Governor’s Fellows program. While this ceremony marked the end of their time with their respective cabinet-level agency, it marked the beginning of the profound impact they will have in their own communities moving forward.
Over the course of the summer, these students got the chance to experience public policy in action, learn the rich history and current affairs of Louisiana government, and earn three hours of academic credit through LSU’s Department of Public Administration. Each Fellow was assigned to a cabinet-level agency in Baton Rouge and had the opportunity to gain valuable experience by collaborating with agency leaders on existing projects, observing firsthand the Governor’s leadership strategies, and learning how state policies are developed.
Bailey Willis, a rising senior and current student body president at Northwestern University, was assigned to the Office of the First Lady and the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention. Through her fellowship, she attended various conferences and gained an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of state government which culminated in the development and presentation of a policy proposal to Governor Edwards, his cabinet, and staff.
Bailey’s policy proposal focused on tangible actions universities can perform to create a more supportive campus for students’ mental health needs. Bailey hopes this proposal will be adopted state-wide; however, as student body president, she is committed to implementing these policies on her campus this year.
Congratulations to Bailey and her fellow Fellows – Louisiana’s future is bright!
LOUISIANA FIRST FOUNDATION
No Summers Off
My summer as an artist, educator, and foster mom
May 24 was the last day at Pineville Elementary School. As a teacher, summer vacation officially began. Although I am a teacher, I have an issue with sitting still. Thus, my quest to do “all the things” began.
Consider Expanding Your Family
by Adopting an Older Child or Teen
When it comes to family, we all pretty much want the same thing — a sense of belonging. A family moves through life with you. They are the people who support you during difficult times and will celebrate with you when things are going great.
ANTI HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Increasing Awareness in the Hospitality Industry
to combat Human Trafficking
The summer season is often a time when many families and individuals enjoy a rich tradition of traveling and vacationing at their favorite destinations. As a result, many take advantage of staying at a hotel or motel. While these living quarters often offer moments of peace and tranquility, the sad reality is that a victim of human trafficking could very well be residing in the room next door.
GOVERNOR'S MANSION Meet Camille
Meet “Camille”, a 48” (3⁄4 life-size) bronze statue, who once sat in front of the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion. She is now the centerpiece of the Vegetable Garden. Camille is an original Jo Hess large figure bronze sculpture that Linda Cooper donated. This statue was placed on the Mansion grounds during the Foster Administration and is a beautiful piece for all to see when visiting the Mansion.
You can read more about the sculptor, Jo Hess, here: https://sculpturesbyjohess.com
WOMEN'S HEALTH Put Yourself on the Schedule
Written by D’Wan J. Carpenter, DO, MS
Almost a year ago, I faced a significant health issue. Just days after Hurricane Ida hit our area, I developed high fevers. Naturally, I assumed I had come down with coronavirus 19; however, evaluation at the hospital proved I had a severe skin infection. If left untreated, a skin infection that could result in serious hospitalization or, worse, even death.
I started having symptoms a couple of weeks earlier and had not taken the signs too seriously. After all, I was a very busy physician, wife, and mom of four. Who had time to go to the doctor with my busy schedule?
So, I continued my routine despite severe pain, doing everything as usual while taking over-the-counter pain relievers to get through the day’s tasks. I should mention during this same time my husband was recovering from his own coronavirus illness, and I was juggling all four kids being home from school.
There is a saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and I will add that you can’t heal from an empty cup either.
As a physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, my goals for my patients include restoring their overall function, decreasing pain, and increasing quality of life. However, what I find most with the majority of women patients I care for is, just like me, their primary focus is on everyone else’s health, wellness, and overall function before their own.
Women are often the drivers of health care for our families, but we must also ensure that we include ourselves in the care.
Make sure to:
- Schedule yearly physical examinations
- Stay current with recommended screenings for mammograms, Pap smears, and colonoscopy, as indicated by medical history
- Continue taking medications unless discontinued by a physician
- Contact your physician immediately if you believe you are reacting to your medication
- When new symptoms begin, contact your physician’s office for guidance if you’re unsure if treatment is indicated
- Don’t dismiss your signs and symptoms – many medical conditions can present differently in women
Remember, your health is just as important as the family members you often care for. So, don’t neglect yourself or your health. You are worth it!
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA 1. Community
University Lakes Project Update
This summer, phase one of the University Lakes Project began in Baton Rouge. Phase one construction includes test dredging of five of the six lakes to identify which dredging process will be best moving forward. Additionally, phase one will include improvements to pedestrian and cyclist paths and other recreational amenities.
This project has four primary goals:
- Deepen the lakes to provide a more sustainable aquatic system
- Provide increased flood protection for upstream and downstream communities
- Enhance environmental performance to improve natural habitats
- Improve and diversify recreational uses while improving safety for walkers, runners, and bicyclists
Learn more by visiting www.universitylakesproject.org.
Photo is a conceptual image depicting the recreational focus for phase one, courtesy of the University Lakes Project website.
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA 2. Schools
“Teaching for the American Dream”
by John Lary
As a new school year begins each fall, I reflect on my purpose as an educator. I teach history at C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport. I love my job and am passionate about what I do, but it is sometimes difficult to find the right words to clearly explain why I have chosen this profession and why I believe others should consider it too.
This summer, I had an opportunity to examine the role of educators in a way I hadn’t before. Along with nine incredible, nationally recognized educators, I was invited to serve in the inaugural class of Educator Fellows for the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream. MCAAD’s visitor center is slated to open in 2023 and is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., directly across from the Treasury and diagonal from the White House. There in the very heart of our nation’s capital, the Center focuses on four pillars that support the American Dream:
- The importance of financial literacy and access to capital.
- The value of the entrepreneurial spirit.
- The role of good health and well-being.
- The significant role that education and educators play in making the American Dream a reality.
Through my participation with the Center, it has become clear to me what we as educators really do: We help students access and realize their American Dream.
The American Dream is enormously complex and challenging to define. It means something different to everyone, but education opens the doors of possibility so that each individual has the power and the means to achieve their dreams.
Education and great educators are the catalysts that open those doors of possibility for our students. From the early American republic with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 encouraging the spread of public education, schools have been the place where the American Dream can come alive for so many. Through centuries of reform, schools have transformed, and the Dream has become accessible to even more people. Today, it continues to be the task of educators to ensure that the American Dream stays alive. It is our job to provide all our students with the knowledge and skills they will need to create and seize the opportunities in their unique futures.
Every great educator has a story of a moment when they did some great or small act, in a single moment or over time, that helped a student see their dreams as real opportunities. In addition to all the academic knowledge that students gain from great teachers, we are front and center for many of life’s essential lessons.
- The elementary educator who helps a student persevere as they learn to read.
- The middle school teacher who guides a child to become aware of their strengths and abilities.
- The high school teacher who provides advice and mentoring for life beyond graduation.
- The music teacher who helps a student find joy in dancing and playing.
- The coach who challenges their players to do what they did not think possible.
- The career and technical teacher who helps students get certified job training and internships.
- The caring educators who teach academic content that opens students’ eyes to the unique and complex world around us.
All these moments add up to students being able to pursue a life of purpose and success.
As educators, we aim to improve our students’ lives, brighten their futures, and help them achieve their dreams. So, as another school year begins, I am excited and energized as I consider the significance of education and educators in preserving and expanding the American Dream.
Teacher, 11th and 12th Grade
C.E. Byrd High School
AP European History, AP Research & AP Psychology
2022 Educator Fellow at Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream
2015 Milken Educator Award recipient
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA 3. Military
Fifth Annual Suicide Prevention Summit
Please make plans to join us for the Fifth Annual Suicide Prevention Summit on Friday, Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. The Summit will be held at American Legion Post 38 located at 151 S. Wooddale Blvd. in Baton Rouge.
Guest speakers include:
Letosha Kelly, Program Monitor
Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health
Topic: Louisiana Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service members, Veterans and Their Families
Damion Johnlouis, Transition Assistance Advisor
Topic: Support for Transitioning Service Members and Their Families
Patty Rives, LCSW, Executive Director
Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center
Topic: Suicide Prevention Support Services, Resources and Training
Topic: Applied Suicide Prevention Intervention Skills
Daphne Grady, Volunteer and Elizabeth Dole Caregiver Fellow
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Topic: National Alliance on Mental Illness Services
Topic: Elizabeth Dole Foundation (Veteran Caregivers Support)
Jeremy Brewer, LCSW, Clinical Navigator
Tulane Center for Brain Health
Topic: Tulane Center for Brain Health
Dr. Gala True, Investigator
South Central Mental Illness, Research, Education and Clinical Center, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System
Topic: Veteran-Informed Safety Intervention and Outreach Network
Valerie Saba, MS, CHES, Program Coordinator
NAMI St. Tammany
Topic: Mental Health First Aid
There will be a vendor parade as well as opportunities to network during breaks and after the last speaker. Lunch is sponsored by the Tulane University Center for Brain Health.
RSVP today to Larry Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225.276.8626.
For more information visit vetaffairs.la.gov, email email@example.com, call 225.219.5000 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Featured Recipe No-Bake Oatmeal Bars
No-Bake Oatmeal Bars
With the start of the school year quickly approaching, here is an easy on-the-geaux snack perfect for a quick breakfast or a mid-day energy booster. Of course, these measurements are just a suggestion and it’s recommended that you adjust to meet your family’s preferences.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups smooth peanut butter (or you can substitute for your favorite nut butter)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
Start by microwaving your peanut butter and maple syrup together, until combined. Next, add in your oats and mix until a thick batter remains. Transfer into a lined 8 x 8-inch pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, to firm up.
Recipe by Arman Liew. Original text can be found HERE.
MEMORABLE VERSE August 2022
THE FIRST DOGS Dog Days of Summer
The First Dogs are finishing the dog days of summer with a dip in the pool!
MEET OUR EDITOR Delery Rice
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Delery has lived there all of her life except during undergraduate school and a brief stint in Seattle, WA. She is a mother to four boys, ranging in ages from 21 to 16, and they are the heart and soul of her life.
Delery earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and Master’s Degree from Louisiana State University. She completed a fellowship at Loyola University, New Orleans Institute of Politics, and currently attends Harvard Kennedy School of Public Policy. Her volunteer work has mostly evolved from issues that have affected her personally. Actively engaged in disability rights advocacy, Delery has testified numerous times in the Louisiana Legislature regarding issues that affect persons with developmental disabilities. She served as the chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, worked for seven years directing regional advocacy efforts and is a graduate of Louisiana’s Partners In Policymaking.