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Helping Fairfield County residents discover the best of wellness and lifestyle. We feature local female entrepreneurs to inspire you!

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  • Sherri Bartley Rivera

Updated: Feb 16

by Ryan Delaney

Since I am relatively new to the Fairfield County Lifestyle family and since this is my first personal writing on the blog, I want to introduce myself before I go any further. My name is Ryan, and I am currently a senior at Weston High School. I have lived in Weston my whole life with my two younger brothers: Dylan, who is 15, and Brady who is 13. Today I am writing about my experiences with the COVID pandemic as a high school student.


It is very hard to simplify what I am feeling from this pandemic into words that would make sense to anyone besides myself. The best way I can describe everything is overwhelming. I have so many things I would love to express, but I really don’t know how, so here we go:


I have so much extra responsibility for someone who is still a teenager. Not only will I miss out on the typical junior and senior year traditions, but I also have to be extra cautious about any interactions I have beyond the walls of my house. I have stockpiles of hand sanitizer and masks in my car, plenty of each in my school bag and even a basket full of masks at home.



Plus, as a senior, the first half of my year was overwhelmed by college applications and getting the best grades I could possibly get. I couldn’t visit the majority of my college campuses and all of the information sessions were through zoom. It was very hard to find colleges I even remotely liked because I was unable to get a real feel for the schools.


In terms of my day-to-day schooling, the chaos gets even worse. In all fairness, I know the administration at my school has tried their hardest to make our lives as easy and safe as possible while giving us the most amount of school hours they could, but the schedules they have created have been super confusing. Not only was the school split in half and put into two cohorts, but we have been giving three different schedule variations since the start of school. On top of the uncertainty of the pandemic, we have had to remember which schedule we are on and if we even go to school that day. Everyone gets lost in the schedule and many teachers find it hard to remember who is voluntarily online, online just for the day with their cohort or who is supposed to be in person. Just last week, my friend got confused about which cohort was supposed to be in the school building and accidentally skipped a whole day of school and none of her teachers even noticed.

My at home set-up so I can be comfortable all day online


On top of all these abnormalities, being able to see my friends, who have helped me survive the last few years of school, is a rare occurrence. I have to balance staying safe and also attempting to maintain a social life to help my mental health from going down the drain which is why when I do see my friends we stay outside with masks and layers of blankets to stay warm.


I hope this helps describe a different side of the pandemic then you may be used to and will help you and your kids in the future. My goal here was to raise awareness about the additional stress many teenagers besides myself are going through and potentially bring the message that we all need a little break.


Thank you :)

Ryan

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  • Sherri Bartley Rivera

Updated: Feb 16


Meet Fairfield County Ria Rueda, PR and marketing pro, brand builder, philanthropist, and mama to a college-bound teen! This amazing human powerhouse is the constant juggler that we have an extreme admiration for. Ria’s full time occupation is the Monogram Ambassador at the Monogram Design Center at Aitoro in Norwalk. And then her other occupation (seems like full time to us) is founder of @thebuzzct and @knowyourladyparts. And she doesn’t stop there!





If you are not already following, check out @thebuzzct for an IGTV experiential series that films all around the area! Ria’s true appreciation for local entrepreneurs’ talents, work ethic and drive shines through in these videos. As does Ria’s admiration for where she lives.



We also love Ria’s @knowyourladyparts which is a new social media campaign to open the conversation of a woman's body...specifically vaginal health talk. Ria speaks candidly about her own experience and highlights the experiences of others on this platform. One of her goals is to remove the stigma of talking about the vagina and open it up for discussion. Think of this platform as your best friend on social media that you can look up any time of day, when you are in need of finding knowledge on a topic not typically discussed. She’s your go-to!

Ria with OB/GYN

Dr. Shieva Ghofrany

And just when we were contemplating how many hours are in Ria’s day, she is co-founder of Food for the Frontlines along with co-founders Nicole Straight and Stephanie Webster. They are the recipients of the annual "Light A Fire" award hosted by Moffly Media. This amazing trio raised over $140K and paid over 40 restaurants to deliver over 10,000 meals to frontline workers in Fairfield County. The grassroots initiative evolved into Food For Behind the Lines which currently consists of Ria, Stephanie, and Chef Jes Bengston. They work with purveyors to create food pantry boxes for unemployed and/or food-insecure restaurant workers in Fairfield and New Haven counties. Please consider purchasing an ecookbook from CT Bites that features 100 recipes from the CT Chefs you love and 100% of the proceeds support Food for Behind the Lines.



Senator Will Haskell helped Food for Behind the Lines during one of their food box distribution days







https://www.ctbites.com/ebook/connecticut-chefs-recipes-for-restaurant-relief-e-cookbook

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  • Sherri Bartley Rivera

Meet Susan Krauss, founder of Boost! Child and Family Services in Westport. Susan is a licensed psychotherapist who has worked with children, adults and families for over twenty years. She earned a Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University with a major in Child Development and Family Studies and a Masters in Social Work from New York University. She lived and worked in China for 4 years and originally launched Boost! there as a series of group programming!


Susan decided to launch Boost! because she wanted to offer families a safe space where they could find mental health and support services for their entire family under one roof. She saw a need for a full-service counseling center where we could help children and families by providing individual, family and group counseling as well as testing and psychiatric support.


When asked about advice for staying positive during this pandemic she explains how we are all being challenged in ways that are unique. Navigating this time requires flexibility and the ability to adapt and draw upon resources we may never have needed to access before. Don't be afraid to ask for help and acknowledge that you need support. We can't travel these unchartered waters alone. Embrace simplicity, calm, friendship and love.


Boost! Child and family services just launched a new division of our business this summer called Boost! University - designed to support college students through an expansive, virtual model of care. They also offer virtual sessions for anyone interested and just started in-person appointments again!


Boost! Child and Family Services:


http://www.kidsboost.com/

(203) 557-8444

skrauss@kidsboost.com


500 Post Road East, 2nd floor

Westport, CT 06880

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