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Teen Blog

Hot topics, happenings, news and announcements affecting East Cobb teens.

Walton Volleyball informational meeting is next week


The Walton Volleyball spring informational meeting is on Monday, April 27th, from 7-8:30pm at Walton High School, in the Theater.  Attend to learn about the program as well as get all of the important information regarding camps, tryouts, important program dates, etc.  You will not want to miss out! Interested/potential players are highly encouraged to attend as well.

The summer camp dates and times are now up on the Walton Volleyball Website. To register visit Some camps have limited space so please register early!

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Over 250 High School Students Come Together to Build Habitat Home

Students from Wheeler, Walton, Pope, Kennesaw Mountain and Campbell High Schools Fundraise and Build Home for a Deserving Family in Austell

Two young girls and their mother will move into a new, affordable home in Austell all thanks to more than 350 selfless teenagers who are members of Habitat Clubs at each school that form the Cobb High School Coalition for Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta.

“We have met the students and they are so respectful, and really care about the work they are doing,” the mother of two said. “Although my daughters cannot participate due to their age, I am seeing a spark of philanthropy light up in them because they keep telling me that they can’t wait to give back to Habitat!”

The inspiration for Natasha’s daughters comes from all the students from Wheeler, Walton, Pope, Kennesaw Mountain and Campbell High Schools who make up the coalition.

Since 1997, the high school coalition has helped build over 30 homes for Habitat families.  As students, they believe in the need for affordable housing and they encourage family and friends to get involved. At Walton, Habitat has become the “coolest club” in school.

And, this year was no different.

On Saturday, April 11, a group of students from Walton and Campbell High Schools took part in cleaning and painting the home that will be dedicated to the deserving family on May 9, 2015.

The students have been a part of the home since the beginning from fundraising to finishing the home for its dedication. The schools took different approaches to raise the $65,000 to pay for the building materials needed for the Habitat build.

Campbell High sophomores Mariah Christian and Parker Penick recalled fundraising as not only an integral part of the mission, but also one of the most fun activities.

“We hosted a yard sale, movie nights and sold tickets to the basketball games and dances,” said Christian, whose parents were involved in Habitat.

Walton High School students held their own fundraiser such as raising money through family and friends and hosting a horse plop raffle.

Penick added, “It is really great to see our efforts go towards something that will help someone else. It’s such an awesome house!”

Thirty students volunteer per Saturday, and then over 50 work on landscaping day. Over the course of the eight weekends, over 250 students will have participated in different aspects of the build in time for the dedication.

David Dewar, faculty sponsor at Walton High School, knows that from the beginning, the kids’ hard work has paid off for the greater good of the community.

“This is a great experience of showing these kids how to work together for a common cause,” said Dewar. “From fundraising to completing the volunteer portion of the home, the kids are a part of this every step of the way. All of this energy pays off to give back to their community.”

Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Atlanta kicked off its 2015 build on Valentine’s Day and the Cobb High School Coalition build is the second home of the build season.

The nonprofit kicked off an ambitious building campaign in Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties for 2015. This year the affiliate hopes to build and renovate a total of 14 affordable Habitat homes in its tri-county service area.  It is an aggressive plan, and for good reason. Habitat has an overflowing waiting list of over 400 families.

Sponsors such as, Assurant, Citibank, Heidelberg USA, KeyBank, Lockheed, Munich Reassurance, Novelis, Pinkerton & Laws and Wells Fargo and a host of faith-based organizations and the high schools are helping to make this goal possible – but more sponsors are needed.

“When local schools from across Cobb County join together to fund a Habitat house, everyone wins in a number of different ways,” said NW Metro Atlanta Habitat CEO David McGinnis. “Everyone from the homeowner to the neighborhood as well as the high school students win by helping to support the community, helping a deserving family and learning how to work together towards a common goal. It truly is a win-win situation.”


Georgia PowerTalk 21 – Parent Town Hall Meeting TONIGHT

On Tuesday, April 21st from 7-9pm youth and parents are invited to join MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and the Cobb Community Alliance to Prevent Substances, Inc. (formerly Cobb Alcohol Taskforce)  to engage in the conversation about underage drinking during the PowerTalk 21 event.

Where:  First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church Street, Marietta 30060

When: April 21 @ 7pm
Who: Middle and high school youth and parents/guardiansThe evening will open with a teen’s inspirational story on the impact alcohol had on his life. Youth will gather in one room to participate in the POWER of YOU(TH)/SMARTpresentation while parents, in another room, learn how to be empowered with the POWER of PARENTSThe evening will conclude with a panel of speakers motivating those in attendance to take action relating to underage drinking in our community. Parents will be charged to Start the Conversation and youth will be given an opportunity to sign up for a Sticker Shock event happening on April 26.

This event is a part of the 21 Days in Support of 21 campaign leading up to PowerTalk 21 day, a national day encouraging parents to speak with their teens about underage drinking and why it’s important to wait until 21 to drink.

Register Here:  


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Eagle Scout candidate holds electronics recycling event; keeps e-waste from landfills and helps create employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

rob salute

On Saturday November 1, 2014 Rob James, a scout from Troup 797, held an Electronics Recycling Event at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church at  for his Eagle Scout Project.

Mr. James planned this event from beginning to end including traffic coordination, volunteer workers, pre-event public awareness and marketing within his community. Mr. James was able to collect 45 pallets – or 25,000 lbs. – of electronics and made sure they were properly handled. His efforts also ensured these used electronics were successfully kept out of any landfill waste stream.

All of the electronics were sent to Reworx Recycling, a Nobis Works company located in metro Atlanta, GA.  Reworx is the highest and most certified electronics recycler in the southeast and holds the highest standards of ethics and accountability of the materials recycled. They are the second nonprofit in the world to hold all five prestigious recycling certifications.

John Bonham, General Manager of Reworx Recycling, stated that completing the Eagle Scout award – the top award issued by the Boy Scouts – takes months of commitment, planning and hard work to achieve. Bonham went on to confirm that the event was very successful and remains one of the largest recycling event collections of 2014 despite being held on one of the coldest days of the year.

Bonham said, “Rob James is an outstanding young man and his troop and his community should be very proud of him. The materials he collected provided work for up to 36 people for an entire week. We were gratified to help and support Rob in his quest for becoming an Eagle Scout. I am sure that Rob’s parents, Wendy and Micheal James are also very proud of this young man’s accomplishments.”

Located at 7000 Cobb International Boulevard in Kennesaw, Ga., Reworx employees refurbish or recycle IT assets and HVAC materials.  Reworx has the capacity to process five tons of electronics hourly.  Reworx employees can also drive its mobile data destruction unit to a business to sanitize and destroy hard drives on-site.

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Wheeler Magnet Team Wins Conrad Innovation Power Pitch Challenge

View the Wheeler power pitch from time stamp the 0:58:13 to 1:05:33. 


Wheeler’s team, Effervesce, with Mihir Bellamkonda, Nathaniel Tappin and Ari Satinoff, won first place for their six-minute power pitch at the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge Summit ( held at the Kennedy Space Center April 9-11 in the category of ‘Giant Leap to Mars’.

The pitch needed to include the need, the science, the feasibility as well as the business case for the idea. The Wheeler team competed against nine other teams from all over the world in the final pitch including a team from India. Wheeler’s team successfully navigated multiple elimination rounds starting in October 2014 and culminating at the Conrad Innovation Summit held at The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Mihir Bellamkonda represented the Wheeler Magnet team at the summit, as Ari Satinoff and Nathaniel Tappin were unable to attend due to prior commitments.

Wheeler’s team ‘Effervesce’ focused on the design of a bioreactor to produce methane gas efficiently using Mars’s own carbon dioxide and bacteria specializing in converting hydrogen and carbon dioxide to methane.  Methane is then used as fuel to power a turbine to produce energy, and the team successfully argued about their design being superior to solar energy as well as thorium based nuclear reactors for fueling a Mars journey.

The Giant Leap to Mars category was introduced as a special category in the Conrad Challenge to recognize and celebrate NASA’s Journey to Mars program intended to allow human exploration of the red planet (

Congratulations students!


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See The Importance of Being Earnest at Pope High School


Pope High School theater presents The Importance of Being Earnest April 17 & 18, 2015, 7 pm. Student-directed by Kami McDaniel. Original play by Oscar Wilde; adapted by Aurand Harris.

Set in England, 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest is a masterpiece of high comedy, sparkling with provocative observations. Oscar Wilde called his play “a trivial comedy for serious people” and all of the highlights of his original play are retained in this one-act adaptation—the plot’s unexpected farcical twists, the characters and the dialog.

Tickets only $5 each! Come see their last show of the season! Get tickets at


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Atlanta GLOW accepting applications for young women’s leadership program

Atlanta GLOW is accepting applications for its Leadership Incubator Program (LIP) now through May 2, 2015. The Leadership Incubator Program is a free 6-week leadership intensive offered to low- to moderate- income women between 16-25 years old. LIP teaches young women skills in management and leadership, in efforts to inspire upward mobility, long-term sustainability and economic stimulus.

LIP educates GLOW participants on developing individual leadership skills, solving problems effectively, and connecting with available resources. As participants work towards the completion of a community project, LIP also equips them with the skills needed to build local capacity, work effectively with government, and bring valuable changes to their community.

All classes occur on Saturdays this Summer (June 13-July 25) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at Kennesaw State University (Marietta Campus) in the Student Center.

For more info, contact Ashlie James, 404-277-1234, or


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Host a French student this summer


Linda Farmer


Twenty-five French teens from professional French families (ages 14-18) will be coming to the Atlanta area from July 7-27 and retired French teacher Linda Farmer (she taught both French and  English at Lassiter High School for 24 years until she retired in 2008) is looking for host families who will show their student warmth and hospitality.

These French teens from Paris to Provence want to experience American life first-hand and to be totally immersed in the English language. Ms. Farmer, along with a French chaperone, will oversee the program.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” says Farmer, “for Atlanta-area families to add an international   dimension to their lives.”

LEC (Loisirs Culturels à l’étranger), the Paris-based sponsor, provides these students with  comprehensive medical insurance and gives host families compensation for room and board. All come with ample spending money for expenses outside of the home and each has had three to six years of English depending on age. An excursion bus will take the French teens on sightseeing trips once per week while they are here. No French language skills are needed!

The deadline for applications is May 18, 2015. For more information, contact Linda Farmer at or 770-973-2452; and/or visit


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Register for Safe America Spring Break Course


Safe America offers their State-Certified Drivers Education Course during Spring Break, April 6 – 10, 9am to 3:30 pm. This 30-hour classroom and 6-hour behind-the-wheel course has a special PTA/PTSA discount of $50 when those registering use the code: GAPTA. The course satisfies the Joshua’s Law coursework requirements for teens under 17 who wish to get their Class D Intermediate license.

In addition, the course provides 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with state-certified instructors, is held in three, 2-hour sessions, provides teens with the state-mandated Alcohol and Drug Awareness (ADAP) training and covers such topics as basic car mechanics, what to do in cases of road rage, driving in adverse weather conditions or while drowsy and, of course, the dangers of distracted driving.

The cost is $424 when using the $50-off PTA discount code: GAPTA. Additionally, graduates of the program are eligible for a three-year 10% reduction in insurance premiums and parents are eligible for a $150 Georgia Income Tax Credit. To register, visit For more information, call Safe America at: 770-973-7233.

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It’s April Fools Day!


Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

— Mark Twain


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