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A Message from Founder, Cynthia Brian


“What good are the gifts we have 

if we don’t share them?”

~From the film, The Answer Man


What a month of disasters it has been! From the amount of hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes plaguing our globe, it seems that Mother Earth is angry. Our hearts go out to the people throughout the southern and eastern United States and the Caribbean who have suffered so greatly through multiple hurricanes and flooding; the people of Mexico who endured two major earthquakes within two weeks time, and the families throughout the West who have evacuated due to fires.


Be the Star You Are!® is committed to helping in disaster areas after the population have received medical attention, shelter, food, and clothing through our Operation Disaster Relief Program. We then ship books and other uplifting resources to organizations, libraries, schools, and shelters to offer hope, humor, and healing. If you know of organizations, libraries, schools, or shelters who could use our resources, please email me at

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We hope you’ll want to donate to our Operation Disaster Relief. Make your tax deductible contribution through PAYPAL:

Checks can be mailed to Be the Star You Are!®, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556.

On a happy note, the Pear and Wine Festival was a great success on Saturday, September 23rd. Lots of free activities for kids.Pear Festival 2016.jpg

Fall is here and so is the harvest. Read The Grape Escape @

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Be safe, be generous, and help those in need. Happy Autumn.


With gratitude,


Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 422

Moraga, Ca. 94556



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Due to the multiple disasters, Be the Star You Are!® is collecting tax deductible donations to send books and empowerment resources to the displaced. Checks can be sent to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or on line through Paypal Giving Fund .

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Our teens are busy packing boxes of books and resources to send.



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More information about BTSYA Operation Disaster Relief Program is found here:


Let’s heed the words of Margaret Mead in this time of trouble:


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has

Thank you for joining Be the Star You Are!® in our relief efforts. Everyone counts and being kind and generous is essential.

For more information visit


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Pear and Wine Festival 

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Our sincere thank you to our STAR SPONSORS:

Gold Star Sponsor: Michael Verbrugge Construction:

Media Sponsor: The Lamorinda Weekly:

Silver Sponsor: MB Jesse Painting:

The planning committee for our 20th anniversary celebration will be meeting at our offices on Tuesday, September 5th. If you’d like to help plan this exciting event, be in touch by email.

Our STAR Book Review Team has been on super drive these past few months reading and writing reviews to help learn about great books new and old. Check out and click on Book Reviews for a plethora of ideas for fascinating reads for all ages.


College Is One Of The Biggest Transitions A Person Will Make

By Karen Kitchel

Graduating from high school often brings feelings of accomplishment and then excitement about the thought of moving on to college life. But graduates can become overly optimistic and confident in their ability to manage the many challenges they will encounter at college. This is sometimes referred to as the freshman myth. The freshman myth results in disenchantment when new college students’ academic, social, and personal expectations are not met after arriving at college. As a result, many students will leave college within their first year.

The freshman myth can be devastating to students if not addressed early on. According to a U.S. Census and American College Testing Program, of an estimated 18 million students enrolled in college, nearly 34% dropped out in the first year because they were overly confident, under-prepared and lacked realistic expectations about college. The majority of the students that leave the first year do so during the first six weeks of the fall term because they have not been able to make a successful transition. Many new college students have not dug deep enough to understand the realities of college life and how they will react to their new environment before arriving on campus.

A study reported in the Journal of American College Health reported a survey of 242 undergraduate freshmen at the beginning and end of their first year. The authors asked participants about their physical health, alcohol use and smoking habits, stress levels, perfectionism, self-esteem, coping tactics, optimism, extroversion, and psychological adaptation to college. Results revealed that negative coping tactics and perfectionism predicted poorer physical health and greater alcohol use at the end of the year; however, optimism and self-esteem predicted better physical and psychological outcomes. Data suggested that making compatible friends is essential to retention, and that students’ living arrangements are central to this process. Such friends provide direct emotional support, equivalent to family relationships, as well as buffering support in stressful situations.

To ease this major transition, it’s suggested that students ask themselves a few questions:

  1. What are your goals both academically and personally when you get to college (it helps to be realistic here)?
    2.   How do you think your relationships with your family will change (because you know they will)?
    3.   Do you expect your college grades to be similar to those you got in high school? If so, how will you feel if that does not happen?
    4.   Do you think you will need any outside help to do well in your courses? If not, why (most students do)? If yes, how will you find it?
    5.   How will you discipline yourself to keep academic commitments, such as attending class and being prepared?
    6. How will you deal with being stressed out at college (since it often comes with the territory)?


Someday you will tell future generations about your college days. Make the most of them, and don’t forget to enjoy the experience!

About the author:

Karen Kitchel is passionate about helping those in need. As President of the Cheerful Givers nonprofit organization, she helped to bring birthday gifts to more than one million less fortunate children. Prior to that, she helped create a corporate university at BI Worldwide. Currently she serves meals to the homeless, is a teacher, writer and mentor. She can be reached at


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Let Us Entertain You!

When you are looking for upbeat, positive, informative, and entertaining talk radio, tune in to StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® LIVE Wednesdays 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network Empowerment Channel.


Also available in the archives and itunes anytime. Descriptions and photos at

Our teens interview authors, celebrities, and entrepreneurs NOON PT every Tuesday on Express Yourself! on Voice America Kids Network.  Also available in the archives and itunes anytime. Descriptions and photos at

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Shop, Give, and Get Connected

If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our PayPal page!

Ways to Help

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  1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases
  2. Discounted books at Amazon:
  3. Buy or Sell on EBAY:
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  5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE:
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  7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:
  8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell:


If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page!


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PO Box 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556


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