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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Apr 25

Embracing Your Period

Posted By iamincontrol | April 25, 2017

Whether it’s cramps or PMS, periods can be hard to get used to. But don’t worry! Lots of women have the same troubles with their period. Learning more about your body can help you embrace your period, and do the right things to cope with it.


Many women experience cramps during the first few days of their period. This happens when chemicals in your body force your uterus to contract. Exercise releases “happy hormones” called endorphins, which can help with cramps. But if that doesn’t work, ibuprofen can help.


PMS stands for premenstrual symptoms, and they happen to a lot of women. Doctors still don’t know what the cause is, but they think it has to do with changing hormones. There is a wide range of symptoms, and they include:

  • Acne
  • Bloating
  • Being very tired
  • Backaches
  • Sore breasts
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression

Some ways to cope with PMS are to avoid caffeine, get enough sleep, exercise, and eat a balanced diet. If these symptoms are severe you should make an appointment with your doctor.

For more information about your period visit:

Apr 20

Cyber Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | April 20, 2017

What is it?

Cyber bullying is the act of harassing, threatening, embarrassing or targeting another person through technology. This includes online threats, rude texts, tweets, posts, or messages. Videos and pictures that are embarrassing or hurtful also count as bullying. Even if a person posts something without the intention of hurting someone, it is still cyber bullying if they don’t delete that post after being asked.

What are the consequences?

Cyber bullying is often easier than traditional bullying because the bully doesn’t have to confront the target person. In fact, the bully can be anonymous (unknown). Online bullying is really hard to hide from because it can happen anywhere there is a computer. Being in a constant state of stress can affect someone’s mood, energy level, and sleep. It can make a person anxious or depressed and can even cause someone to take his or her own life.

If you are a cyber bully, you face consequences too. Police have a special way of tracking accounts, even if it is anonymous. Many schools don’t let cyber bullies participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. Some schools will even suspend you from school and you could be at risk for getting in trouble with the police.

If I’m being cyber bullied, what should I do?

  • Tell someone. The first thing you should do is to tell an adult. Sometimes this can be hard if you’re too embarrassed or if you’re scared that your parents will take away your online privileges. But don’t let that stop you because bullying can escalate and become harmful! If you don’t want to tell your parents, you can also tell a teacher or school counselor.
  • Resist the urge to respond or retaliate. Walking away in real-life can apply to online bullying too. Take a break from the situation and give yourself some space to think clearly. Sometimes when we are hurt, we say things that can make the situation even worse! Standing up to bullies can work sometimes, but the Internet is a different world.
  • Report it. If you are using a site like Facebook or Instagram, you can report cyber bullying to the site administrator. These administrators take it seriously when their websites are being used to bully or abuse other people. If you report abuse, they can block cyber bullies and prevent them from using the site anymore.
  • Block the bully. Almost every device has an option to block someone. If someone is sending you rude messages, just block them. That way, you won’t have to deal with them anymore.

To learn more about cyber bullying visit:

Apr 18

What is food insecurity?

Posted By iamincontrol | April 18, 2017

Many people know that hunger is an important issue both in other countries, and here in the United States. However, not everyone knows that food insecurity and food deserts are just as important to talk about. Food insecurity includes both the lack of access to enough food and the lack of access to enough nutritious food. So, a person who can only afford to eat unhealthy fast food or snacks from a convenience store most of the time are experiencing food insecurity. Even though they are able to eat enough calories to live, they do not have access to healthy, nutritious food because of its cost or because of the lack of grocery stores nearby to purchase it from.

Locations without supermarkets nearby, making it difficult to get fresh fruits and vegetables, are called food deserts. Usually, these places will have a lot of convenience stores that sell unhealthy food. People who live in these areas will not have access to fresh produce to purchase unless they have cars or public transportation that can take them to a grocery store. This forces them to shop at the convenience stores to be able to eat. The United States Department of Agriculture defines food deserts as a community with at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the people within a community live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store.

If you are interested in volunteering for an organization or project near you designed at curving food insecurity visit:

To learn more about food insecurity in our state, check out this video about Johnson County

For further explanation on what a food desert is visit:

Apr 13

Tinder: What You Should Know

Posted By iamincontrol | April 13, 2017

As online dating becomes more popular, it’s important to know how this will affect you. Dating apps can be dangerous, especially when you are not being careful about who you meet or not practicing safe sex. One of these apps is Tinder – 10 million people use it! But recently, the app stopped letting teens under the age of 18 use it. That doesn’t stop some teens though! Here is what you need to know.

Tinder works by accessing your Facebook account and taking your information. It puts you in touch with other people in your area, and you can choose to like or dislike a person through swipes. If two people like each other, it’s called a “match.”

There are many negative effects though. Having your location shared with strangers, especially when you’re a teen, can be very dangerous. Many people are concerned that this app allows predators to talk to kids. The app is also being used as a “hookup” app, where people meet up to have sex without knowing much about each other. It’s important to know about your partner’s sexual health before you have sex.

An app like this makes it easier than ever to make poor decisions when it comes to sex and puts you in danger of meeting sex offenders. So be careful, and be smart! There are plenty of other ways to meet someone you like!

To learn more about tinder and how it can affect teens visit:

Apr 11

Drinking & Driving Charges

Posted By iamincontrol | April 11, 2017

There are a lot of pressures to drink while underage, but one thing that teens don’t often consider are the results of driving while under the influence. Even one drink can cause cognitive and physical impairments, meaning that you are not safe to be behind the wheel of a vehicle even if you don’t feel affected. There are different state and local laws depending on where you live, but if you are under 21 years of age and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .02% or above while driving you, can be charged with an OWI in the state of Iowa. An OWI stands for “Operating While Intoxicated”. Here is a chart to show the penalties of an OWI:

Aside from these repercussions the judge could assign community service, require a drinking drivers course, or substance abuse treatment. These repercussions do not include the possibility of having a car accident and harming yourself or others. The best way to avoid receiving these charges or worse is to not drink and drive. Although peer pressure can be difficult, saying “no” can make the difference between making it home safely or not.

To learn more about the consequences of drinking or driving visit:

Apr 6

Medication & Stigma

Posted By iamincontrol | April 6, 2017

Taking medicine is not fun. It makes you feel different. Sometimes you feel like other kids will make fun of you if you take medicine. But medicine is there to help you. That’s what I learned when I stopped fighting back about taking my ADHD medicine. Without my ADHD medicine, I couldn’t complete my homework, sit in class or even sit still long enough to hang out with my friends. When I was in middle school, I hated taking my medication every day. I believed it changed me. It hid my real personality but I had to take it because it would make me act like everyone else. It is hard for me to concentrate on schoolwork or sit still long enough to complete a project because of my ADHD. Not being able to pay attention made me feel like there was something wrong with me. During high school, I fought with my parents about taking my medication. However, as I got older, my feelings about taking my medicine changed. One day my mom explained that taking my medication every day is like brushing your teeth. People need to brush so their teeth are healthy and so they don’t have awful breath. I finally understood that I needed to take my medicine. It helped me to concentrate and as a result, I could show the world who I really am. It lets me finish my school work and show everyone how smart and creative I am.  While I may not like taking medicine, it helps me be successful. My medication does make me feel different, but just like some toothpaste leave a bad taste in your mouth- I know that bad taste keeps me healthy for another day.

For more mental health resources visit:

Apr 4

What is Privilege and Why is it Important to Talk About?

Posted By iamincontrol | April 4, 2017

Poll results are in and Iowa teens know someone in their lives that are privileged.

Privilege is having special opportunities to do something or to have something that others might not have. In society, people often have privilege based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, education level, and socioeconomic status. Having privilege does not make someone a bad person or mean that they have not worked hard in their life. It does mean, however, that some things that they worked for might have been even harder if they had not had the privilege that they do. For example, Student A could be raised by two parents who have jobs that leave them with a good income. Student A has bad grades in school, and their parents can afford to pay a private tutor to help them. Student B also needs to raise their grade, but can’t afford a tutor, and will have to work on their own to get their grades raised. Studying alone can be more difficult than having a tutor who is spending time to help them. Student A still worked hard to get better grades, but Student B had to work even harder to learn the same information without help.

For more on understanding your own personal privilege visit:

Mar 30

What’s So Super About Superfoods?

Posted By iamincontrol | March 30, 2017

Health FoodAçaí bowls, green juices, kale, blueberries, and chia seeds. What do all these foods have in common? They have all been referred to recently as superfoods, but what is a superfood? While not an official term, superfoods generally are thought to be foods with a high amount of nutrients and that are especially beneficial for one’s health and wellbeing. This term has been commonly used by food companies and in the media, but should not be taken as a replacement for dietary advice from a trained professional.

Most foods identified as superfoods are healthy, but it is important to not get caught up in the media hype. While incorporating these foods into your diet may be beneficial, eating a variety of foods across all the food groups is the best way to meet the dietary guidelines set by the USDA. It is also important to consider that a single food is unlikely to prevent or cure a condition or disease, but there is evidence behind some foods role addressing specific conditions, such as fish oil and cardiovascular conditions, and improving health.

While eating superfoods is likely to be healthy, it is important to consider the entire diet. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, be sure to be consuming a varied diet including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And don’t forget to exercise!

To view an interactive graph that shows the evidence behind health claims linked to certain foods visit:

Mar 28

How to Cite Your Sources

Posted By iamincontrol | March 28, 2017

Teenager Essay WritingWhy is it important to cite your sources?

Do you like it when people take credit for an awesome thing that you did? Most people don’t! It’s frustrating to know that you worked really hard on a project, a paper, or even a good joke, and someone else takes your ideas. The same thing applies when you are writing an essay by using books written by other people.

In-text Citations

There are a lot of different ways to cite people’s work. The most commonly used citation style is MLA style.

There are two ways to cite an author:

  • When you take an entire quote or a phrase from an author’s book or article.
  • When you are paraphrasing an author’s sentence with your own words.

Always put a direct quote in quotation marks and put the page number. Here is what an in-text citation looks like in MLA format:

“We undertake research when we wish to explore an idea, probe an issue, solve a problem, or make an argument that compels us to turn to outside help. We then seek out, investigate, and use materials beyond our personal resources.” (Gibaldi, 3).

Here is an example of paraphrasing that same sentence in MLA format:

We do research so we can learn more about a topic, so that it begins to shape the way we think about an idea (Gibaldi, 4).

Works Cited

Now that you cited an author’s work in your essay, you need to include the full citation in your works cited. The works cited is found at the end of the paper. It is basically a reference list so that anyone reading your essay can find it easily.

In MLA style, each work is listed alphabetically by the author’s last name. You must list:

  • The author’s last name and first name
  • The title of the work
  • The year the work was published
  • The publisher

Here is the format for citing a book in MLA:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of

Publication. Medium of Publication. Smith, John. The Joy of Citing. Toronto: John’s Publishing Company, 2012.

For more information about the content of this blog visit:

For all the details about MLA citations for books, journal articles, websites, and more visit:

Mar 23

Street Harassment & You

Posted By iamincontrol | March 23, 2017

street-harassment-blogCat calling, otherwise known as street harassment, is getting more attention in the United States. Street harassment is when a passerby is sexually objectified by another individual. People are harassed based on race, religion, or disability, but typically, cat calling is often based on gender and aimed toward women. Cat calling can cause emotional stress, uncomfortableness, fear, and disgust. Some people believe that cat calling is a version of a compliment, but it is not typically taken that way.

We can help stop the issue by educating people about the negative effects of cat calling using film and other forms of documentation to eventually end the issue.

Street harassment includes unwanted:

  • Whistling
  • Staring
  • Name calling
  • Requests for name, address, and/or phone number
  • Sexual comments and demands

To learn more and to join the movement to end street harassment visit: