Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

November was a full month, personally and professionally. On the personal side, I gained a daughter-in-law on my birthday (welcome to the family, Patience!). On the professional side, I got to explore eight new favorite stories at SmartBrief.

I’ve also added the most-clicked story for each brief so you can see what captured people’s interest the most — in all eight cases, it was something besides the story I picked. (That’s fine, because I like giving some of the stories that may be less blockbuster but still have a unique angle their time in the spotlight).


Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

I’ve thought about Jane Fonda more in 2020 than I probably have in the last 10 years, because Wayne and I watched all available seasons of Grace and Frankie. She has had quite a personal history, hasn’t she? One cool thing she has done over the past 25 years is create and support the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, which began as the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention.

Here’s the passage in the article about this organization that I loved: “Hope is the best contraceptive. If you help a child see a future for themselves they will be motivated to either not have sex or to use contraceptives responsibly when they do.” I know hope isn’t literally an effective contraceptive, but I fully agree that helping a child feel that their future holds options for them is a large part of the battle against teen pregnancy.

Top story: How to make your words have the biggest impact

Business Transformation SmartBrief

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

Here’s the line in this story that earned it a spot this month: “Be intentional about compassion.” This article was an interesting look at the pros and cons of working remotely, and the passage headed by “Be intentional about compassion” talked about how teams that are succeeding amid so much more remote work are making efforts to check in with each other and help each other out more. Teams that are struggling “tend to leave people to their own devices.”

I also really love this headline. One of my goals as an editor is to create the most compelling headlines possible (as long as they still make sense) and to help the writers on my teams do the same. This one scored a 77 on the Coschedule headline analyzer (a score in the high 70s is somewhat rare and points to (among other things) an effective combination of uncommon, emotional and powerful words). This story was the fourth-highest scoring story in this brief in November (once you take away headlines related to polls, which are big draws too).

Top story: Why pizza has outperformed salads during the pandemic

International City/County Management Association

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

This story is a big deal for a few reasons. First, the fact that Raleigh, N.C., has its first Black female city manager (congratulations, Ms. Adams-David!). Here’s the line that appealed to me: “Sometimes it takes a national search to realize you have exactly what you need right here at home.” This is what Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said about the process of choosing Adams-David. Raleigh got 60 applications and interviewed six finalists.

I read a lot of articles about city manager selection processes, and I’ve gotten interested in patterns that play out. It’s not uncommon for an assistant to make it to the next level and be selected manager. Baldwin’s quote seemed to capture that very well.

Top story: Fla. city manager announces plans to step down

National Association of Social Workers

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

I’m not a dog person, but I do love stories about how much dogs can help people in emotional distress. In this case, dogs have played an integral role in California since a shooting at Saugus High School two years ago. Comfort dogs were used right after the incident, and are still a part of efforts to help students cope with their ongoing trauma.

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)
This is one of my favorite companion dogs, Harper (and Harper’s wonderful owner, Alicia)

Top story: How to cope with a disrupted holiday season

National Emergency Number Association

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

As you can see, we did not share a full two-sentence summary about this story. However, it made a big impression on me. I’ve read several stories about Guadalupe Lopez, the dispatcher who died from COVID-19, and how much his fellow first responders loved him. (Sadly, his wife died from COVID about three weeks ago.) By now (several weeks later), I’ve read other stories about dispatchers who died and more who are ill from the coronavirus. I wish each of them could have more words publicly shared in their memory.

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

Top story: 9-1-1 calls go unanswered for 85 minutes in Ohio county

Reserve Officers Association

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

I’m featuring this story because if there were ever a “2020” reality story, this is it. The “fatality management plan” was mentioned in a tweet from El Paso Mayor Dee Margo as he expressed his gratitude to the National Guard members.

Top story: Trump says Esper has been terminated

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

So many of my favorite Sigma Xi stories have to do with the general category of “scientists who do incredibly specific things to small animals to understand them (along with other living beings) better.” Read the description in the article about their process — the 2-millimeter-wide ridges on the outer surfaces of the wheels they rolled along the fin rays of round gobies, for example — and think to yourself, “these people love science a whole lot.”

Top story: “Anti-laser” could do away with charging cables

UN Wire

Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

Forty-one children were among the 73 people left homeless by the destruction of this village. I can’t wrap my head around the lifelong trauma they’ll endure.

Top story: Escalating conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region prompts alarm

About working at Future/SmartBrief

Each month, I share the open positions at SmartBrief and Future for anyone who is interested in being a part of finding and sharing stories through business-to-business newsletters and Future’s other enterprises.

wrote in more detail about my experience as a SmartBrief employee here, which may help answer any questions you have. As always, I’m happy to answer inquiries and provide more information about the process.

Open positions at SmartBrief and Future plc can be found at this link. If you are interested in applying and have questions, please email me so we can discuss further.

Here are a few of the most recent US-based positions that have been advertised:

Digital Sales Associate (advertised as DC-based)

Client Success Coordinator (remote)

Digital Sales Associate (remote)

To subscribe to one (or more) SmartBrief newsletters, including the “end of the work day” While You Were Working, for which I am a contributing editor, click here. We’re also still producing a brief specific to COVID-19 on Tuesdays, and you can subscribe to it here.

If you aren’t in a subscribing mood, you can still keep up with us at the site of our parent company, Future; on FacebookSmartBrief TwitterLeadership SmartBrief TwitterLinkedIn and SmartBrief Instagram.

7 thoughts on “Teen empowerment and 41 homeless children (Nov. at SmartBrief)

  1. Paula these are wonderful stories. I remember the shooting in California. And Jane Fonda’s take on contraception is right and strong. I remember telling my oldest daughter when she left for college. Get some birth control, think of your future.

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