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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!
Aug 14

Mentoring Programs

Posted By iamincontrol | August 14, 2018

A mentor can be a big help while you’re in school.

Mentors can be a variety of ages and can meet as often as you want. They are usually selected for you based on similar interests. A mentor is someone who is there to guide you with many things. There are different programs located all throughout Iowa that focus on different things. A mentor can help drive you to activities, they can help with your homework, or they can be there just to talk. They may visit you at school or help you get involved in the community. This depends on what you want to do together. Many programs reach out to children in schools, but not all schools participate in the programs. If your school doesn’t, a good place to start would be asking a teacher or your parents if they can help check which mentoring programs are near you.

The website below is good to browse because they link to many of the Iowa programs. They also share stories of mentors and you can see some of the activities and relationships that take place.

Aug 9

Ticks in Iowa

Posted By iamincontrol | August 9, 2018

There are over a dozen types of ticks that live in Iowa.. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF).

  • If a tick that carries Lyme disease bites you, the area may begin to look like a bull’s eye, with a red center and a red ring around a clear area.
  • If the tick carries RMSF, you may have a fever followed by flat, pink, itchy spots on your arms and legs.

If you have these symptoms, tell an adult and visit a doctor so you can get treatment.

You can protect yourself from ticks by:

  • Avoiding wooded areas or places with tall grass
  • Walking in the center of trails
  • Using insect repellent, that contains DEET
  • Wearing tall, light colored socks, pants, and long-sleeved shirts
  • Checking yourself and other after being outdoors

For more about ticks and Lyme disease, visit:

Aug 7

Iowa State Fair

Posted By iamincontrol | August 7, 2018

The Iowa State Fair dates are Thursday, August 9th to Sunday, August 19th.

This year one of the new foods includes Bauder mud. This is brownie chunks drenched in a chocolate shake topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. There’s plenty of other new sweet and savory food being offered and you can see a full list on their website. It tells you exactly where to find the foods and what is in them. You can take a look at their healthier options offered or use the food finder to find your favorites!

Besides the food, there’s many other activities from the petting zoo to the live music. Some of this year’s grandstand artists include Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion. There’s many other performers each day at the free stages too. Let’s not forget, you can’t go to the state fair without visiting the butter cow! Weighing in at 600 pounds, this cow is a staple at the fair each year.

For a full schedule of events check out the state fair website!

Aug 2

Preparing for Flooding and Tornadoes

Posted By iamincontrol | August 2, 2018

Summer in Iowa can mean lots of storms and tornado warnings. Here’s what you need to know to be ready for extreme weather.

One easy thing you can do is go to the Iowa Flood Information System website and set up text alerts for flood warnings. Of course, it’s still important to have a plan in place for when you get the alert.

When it comes to tornados, it’s important to know the right terminology. A tornado watch means that the weather is right for a tornado to happen. A tornado warning means that one has been spotted. Make sure you know what county you are in and what counties are around you so you can check weather alerts on the news. If there is a warning- go to your basement or the lowest floor bathroom, closet, or stairwell to stay safe. After a tornado, be careful to stay away from damaged buildings and power lines.

For both floods and tornados, it’s important to have a safety plan and an emergency supply kit. To learn more about building an emergency supply kit, check out this link:

Jul 31

Tips for the Best High School Experience

Posted By iamincontrol | July 31, 2018

High school can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be (and is) a really great time for many people! These are some tips for having a great high school experience before you get there:

  • Don’t be afraid to make new friends! High school is a new time in your life, and you will be introduced to new people that you may really enjoy.
  • Make time for studying! If you’re worried about your grades or ability to perform well in a class, look for tutoring or talk with the teacher about better ways to study.
  • Try new things! Maybe you’ve always wanted to sing, dance, or act. Try out different organizations and put your talents to use. Also, you’ll make new friends this way as well.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, plus it also gives you a chance to explore what you’re interested in. It can give you a look into a possible future career.
  • Finally – most importantly – BE YOURSELF! Don’t change or allow people to pressure you into behaving a certain way. You know yourself best, and should only do things and surround yourself with people that make you happy.

For more tips on starting high school:

Jul 26

Staying Active When You Don’t Play Sports

Posted By iamincontrol | July 26, 2018

I played many sports through middle school and early high school. These included volleyball, soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, & softball. As I got older, the schedules overlapped and I needed more weekday time for my school work. I found myself doing less physical activity as a result of no longer being on these teams. I have found new ways to become more active again without playing organized sports. Exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. You should always try to make time to stay active.

  • Check your local pool for open swim times! Swimming is a great, low impact activity. It’s really fun to do, even at your own pace.
  • Ask your gym teacher for ideas for at-home workouts or ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday life outside of class.
  • Join a club team! This is playing a sport, but at a less competitive level. Everyone plays for fun and time commitments aren’t as intense.
  • Play games with friends! Volleyball at a beach, jump rope in front of your house, frisbee in a park, or even dancing in the living room together. These are easy ways to stay active doing things you like with people you love.
Jul 24

Dealing with Divorce: You’re Not Alone

Posted By iamincontrol | July 24, 2018

When I was in the 6th grade, my parents told my sister and I that they were getting a divorce. My world came crashing down. I felt as if none of my friends would understand and seeing other people’s parents together made me very sad. It caused a lot of emotional pain and I had to find some way to deal with all of my feelings. Here are some of the coping strategies I used:

  • Don’t feel guilty. You may start to feel like you could have done something to prevent this, but the truth is your parents are adults and made these decisions on their own.
  • Accepting my new reality. My parents were not getting back together, and my Dad moved into a new place. It was weird having two homes, but I got more one on one time with my parents.
  • Going to counseling or talk to a trusted adult. They can provide an outlet for your worries and also help with coping strategies for the anger, sadness, and confusion you may experience. It’s important to have people to lean on emotionally.
  • Keep in touch. You may end up living with one parent the majority of the time because of distance. You can make time for phone calls or texts to the other parent between the times you get to see them.

Overall, just remember there is help and support somewhere for you. Things aren’t always in your control and don’t always make sense, but there is always help.

For more advice:

Jul 19

Skin Deep: What You Need to Know about Tattoos

Posted By iamincontrol | July 19, 2018

A tattoo is a design on the body made by repeatedly inserting colored dye into the skin with a needle. If you’re thinking about one now or later, there are some important things to understand. Tattoos are permanent and laser removal can cost a lot. Some work places do not welcome tattoos, so it’s important to think about where a tattoo would be on your body and how easy it would be to cover. Legal restrictions are also important to consider – Iowa law does not allow people under the age of 18 to get a tattoo.

Tattoos also come with risks. Diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and skin infections can be passed through unclean, reused equipment. Some things to ask about prior to getting a tattoo include:

  • Are the artist and the studio both licensed?
  • Does the artist use new disposable gloves with each new person?
  • Does the studio have and use sterilization techniques such as an autoclave (a machine that uses steam, pressure, and heat to sterilize)?
  • Do their needles come from sealed, sterile containers?

Remember, you are in control. If you don’t get the answers you need, if you feel uncomfortable, or if anything looks unclean, you can find a different place for a tattoo.

For more info about tattoos, see

Jul 17

Coconut Oil Craze

Posted By iamincontrol | July 17, 2018

Coconut oil seemed to have popped up out of nowhere. It started appearing in grocery stores, in recipes and there’s been countless articles posted about how to use it for your hair and skin. But the question is, is it actually that good for you?

Coconut oil, when eaten raises “bad” cholesterol. It contains a high amount of saturated fat. At the same time, it raises “good” cholesterol since it’s a fat. Cholesterol is found in your blood and helps with body functions. According to experts, coconut oil is not as healthy as other cooking oils so it shouldn’t be your first choice. When cooking, you should try to use olive oil or vegetable oil when needed.

As for its beauty benefits, it might not be as good as some claim. Coconut oil doesn’t absorb very well into skin or hair. It sits as a layer on top. There are oils that are better for your hair or absorbing into the skin. Some examples are olive oil or castor oil. Castor oil also kills harmful bacteria which can help hair grow. Not all oils are equal but some of them can have major health benefits. If you’re looking to use oils for beauty, make sure to do some research on which one would be best. Coconut oil may not be the best choice for cooking or beauty right now, but research is still being done on it. Everybody is different though so remember, what works for one person may not work for another.

For more information of coconut oil and health, check out:

Jul 12

Manage Your Thoughts and Emotions for Less Stress

Posted By iamincontrol | July 12, 2018

It is easy for us to let our emotions get the best of us, but we can learn how to manage our reactions and thoughts to certain events. This can help us manage stress in our lives. For most people, it will take practice, but how can we practice emotional wellness? Here are some actions you can take to develop better skills to manage stress:

  • Don’t stress about what you can’t change. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about things you can’t change or events that may never happen.
  • See life as changeable. Accept that change is a natural part of living and growing. This will make new changes become less stressful.
  • Think about alternatives. Thinking about options beforehand will help you plan for change and adjust more quickly.
  • Be realistic about your expectations. You should aim high in situations but be realistic about your goals and your motivation.
  • Don’t rush into action – think before you act. Accept your mistakes and mistakes by others. Don’t let them stress you out. Think through what happened, learn from it, and plan to avoid it in the future.
  • Take things less seriously. Ask yourself: How much will this matter in two weeks? Six months?
  • Take time for yourself. Take time to relax and care for your own mental health. This will help you be less stressed and improve your well-being.

For more tips on how to better manage your thoughts, check out: