Meet a real-life superhero from two worlds!
Renne Emiko Brock is an artist, instructor and superhero advocate who supports and empowers fellow superheroes to be their best selves. She shares her time, talent and support in the real world, both locally and nationally, and in the virtual world platform of Second Life.
Known for her positive energy and passion, Brock has touched the lives of many in both worlds.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is honored and delighted to announce that Brock is our BEST Superhero of the Month for April 2018.
Here’s what Brock’s nominator had to say about her:
Renne Emiko Brock is an artist, instructor, superhero, and advocate of awesomeness empowering people to be their best virtual and tangible self by advancing excellence, exceptional pursuits, and individualism through creative expression and encouraging instruction with inspired results. As an instructor at Peninsula College in Washington State and in the virtual world, Second Life, Renne teaches multimedia communications.
Renne is best known for teaming up with BEST in Second Life to offer her “Hue are You?” workshop. She’s a BEST Superhero because when she works with BESTies she uses her art to bring out the awesomeness in every participant. Renne passionately creates an active, inclusive education and community experience for everyone.
To quote Renne, “Always using my superpowers for good!”
Click here to learn more about Brock’s projects.
Congratulations and BEST wishes to Renne Emiko Brock! We thank you for all that you do for the brain injury community and for superheroes everywhere.
Have a superhero in your life that you would like to share with us? Click here for our fast and easy process to nominate a superhero!
At the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST), we strive not only to be superheroes for the brain injury community, but superheroes to the earth, too.
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated in April throughout the world to bring awareness, advocacy and action for environmental protection. At BEST, Earth Day is every day, from creating a physical space that is environmental friendly to offering opportunities to creatively explore other ways to help.
BEST Executive Director, Gloria Kraegel, echoes these statements.
“In 1970, millions of people protested the damage of what 150 years of industrial development did to our environment. For 2018, the focus is plastic,” says Kraegel. “Because Earth Day is really every day, we, at the BEST office and Our BEST Space, look to reduce waste by using real coffee cups instead of Styrofoam, real glasses instead of plastic cups, recycling glass bottles and all of our paper waste.
This may not sound like much, but it helps. It also demonstrates to others a simple way they, too, can protect our environment and save money.”
Kraegel also believes that educational experiences add even more depth and power to helping our planet.
“At BEST, we offer classes, virtual workshops, and online information about healthy living that is in harmony with the world around us, “explains Kraegel. “Eating whole foods, organic, local and cooking for ourselves so there isn’t added sugar, for example. Addressing the way that we eat goes a long way to contributing not only to our own health, but the health of the world around us.”
Following, are some online resources to explore. Watch this space for more earth-friendly resources, tools and educational opportunities to come.
Click the green words for more online information:
Second Life Online Platform: Etopia EcoCommunity
A helpful infographic on simple ways you can help protect the Earth from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A good article on how a healthy diet can help save the planet.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Here at the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST), we’ll be channeling our middle name, ENERGY, all month long.
This year, Brain Injury Awareness Month is extra special. BEST celebrates our 10th year of building empowered superheroes! So extra energy is in the air in this amazing month of sharing, caring and support.
Here’s exactly what we are getting energized about:
- Finding our superpowers and using them for good for ourselves and others.
- Putting the power in empowerment.
- Engaging in important conversations with fellow superheroes and community members.
- Sharing super self-care and health information to keep our superheroes safe, positive and healthy.
- Hosting fun and informative March activities at Our BEST Space in University Place, Washington and in the online virtual world of Second Life.
Join BEST on this blog, our website, and BEST social media to learn more, join the conversation, and get involved. Together, we can energize one another, share awareness with others and make a difference in the brain injury community and beyond. All are welcome!
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is thrilled to announce our continued expansion of support and education through online and virtual platforms. This fall, BEST will be launching additional online educational opportunities through the BEST Online Learning Center and in the Second Life virtual world platform.
Further, in an exciting recent development, BEST Executive Director, Gloria Kraegel will be joining the board of directors for the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life. Kraegel (whose virtual Second Life persona is known as Namaara MacMoragh), is excited to be connecting with other passionate and engaged international nonprofit leaders through this distinctive and innovative organization.
Nonprofit Commons is a virtual community of practice for nonprofits and educators in Second Life which offers a unique opportunity for nonprofit leaders to meet, collaborate, and create. This volunteer-led effort, with the support of AvaCon, has a long and rich history of creating a welcoming environment for nonprofits to explore and learn more about the virtual world. Additionally, through seminars and other meeting opportunities, nonprofit leaders can also have the chance to have important conversations with each other to share ideas and offer support.
Here’s what Kraegel (MacMoragh) had to say about her unique upcoming opportunity and the future for BEST online:
“I’ve been part of the nonprofit community in Second Life for nine years. I remember early on there were three organizations that collaborated on a grant. Their missions complimented one another on a project that got $50,000 to do. That highlighted the great potential of this kind of platform. I’ve been a part of Nonprofit Commons ever since.”
Kraegel continues, “BEST has had a strong presence in Second Life, offering support groups, workshops and social opportunities just like we do in Washington State. We’ve had the chance to work with creative, passionate people from the Nonprofit Commons community with whom BEST wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to even know, let alone collaborate with. This is what keeps what we do fresh.”
For Kraegel, the personal benefits have been enormous as well.
“The best thing about being a part of this community is everything I learn. There are professional development workshops, webinars, and presentations along with discussions on a variety of topics from board development to fundraising to IT security that are so valuable.”
To learn more about the work of Nonprofit Commons in Second Life, please click here. To find out about what BEST has to offer in Second Life, click here to learn more and how to get started. To get more information on the latest online BEST courses, learning tools and more, visit the BEST online learning academy by clicking here.
Most people’s lives are more satisfying when they have a clear picture of what they want for themselves. When people develop a mental image of how to achieve their goals, their sense of hope is strengthened. We use a process that helps individuals create a mental map that illustrates what is likely to be helpful and what may be barriers to creating a better future.
Individuals might have dreams or hopes, but not know how to take the action necessary to gain employment, build meaningful relationships, or communicate their needs or desires. They may be focused on what is wrong in their lives, without being able to see what can be done to improve their lives. Without a plan or map for the future an important tool for making life all that it can be is missing. Our Moving On: Personal Planning Program provides a guided process to help create a plan for the future and gather the tools and strategies needed to carry out that plan.
We’ve blended our online course with our learning platform in the virtual world, Second Life, to bring students a unique, 3D immersive learning experience.
This unique course launches August 19, 2017. To learn more and register today, click here.
Find out more about BEST in Second Life here.
For a little video inspiration, see below.
How was that for an attention-grabbing headline? Unfortunately, too many of us with brain injuries find ourselves repeating this phrase over and over to neurologists, neuropsychologists, and numerous other healthcare providers. While mental health issues often arise after a brain injury, it’s important to know that bad behaviors and emotional imbalances are as likely to be a result of damage to particular areas of the brain as they are chemical or hormonal imbalances.
May was Mental Health month and BEST was able to share information about brain injury and mental health to a diverse and engaged audience at Virtual Abilities 6th Annual Mental Health Symposium. Thanks to our avatar-in-chief Namaara MacMoragh (aka me) BEST also had an information display at Virtual Ability Island in Second Life.
Second Life is a multi-user, virtual environment in which real people interact socially, educationally, and professionally. The Second Life platform has allowed BEST to work with individuals, create support groups, and even share virtual respite opportunities with caregivers. Having opportunities like presenting at the Mental Health Symposium is another way to engage individuals, communities, and professionals in ongoing dialog about brain injury.
The symposium hosted an international group of presenters that provided a wide interpretation of the theme “I Can Relate To That!”, based on their interests and academic backgrounds. Those who attended the symposium learned a variety of ways they could promote mental health for themselves and their families. Topics included Diet, Nutrition and Food Addiction, First Responder Mental Health: The Importance of Training and Intervention, and Virtual Windows: Design solutions to improve the mental health of clinical staff.
The presentations were insightful, filled with valuable information, and an excellent opportunity to share information and experiences across a broad spectrum of fields to a diverse and engaged audience.
The presentation opened with some factoids to demonstrate the uniqueness and importance of the brain. For example, the brain weighs 3 pounds and has the consistency of tofu. There are billions of neurons that make trillions of connections every second, of every minute, of every day.
It’s interesting to note that most people aren’t aware that when you’re awake your brain produces enough electricity to power a light bulb. Did you know that the smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves and triggers feelings of relaxation?
Following the presentation the auditorium was filled with questions and shared experiences. BEST works to provide information, peer support to those with brain injury and their families in support groups, through our online courses and webinars, real world presentations & conferences, and in Second Life. Learn more about BEST in Second Life here, http://www.brainenergysupportteam.org/learning-center/best-in-second-life/
The symposium was recorded by renowned machinimatographer, Draxter Despres. You can listen to some of the presentations at the Drax Files, https://draxfiles.com/2017/05/27/show-151-mental-health-in-a-virtual-world/
Want to know more about Virtual Abilities? Visit their website at http://www.virtualability.org/
BEST’s virtual presence in Second Life just got better.
BEST recently created the BEST PEER Center to offer in-world facilitator training, our acclaimed Moving On & Identity After TBI course, workshops, mindfulness retreats, and much more. We invite you to visit the BEST PEER Center at Etopia. A Landmark is available in our office at Etopia Plaza.
Etopia also offers entertainment and socialization opportunities, support groups, workshops on health, presentations from noted institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University, opportunities for small business development, learning a new language, and even taking classes and finishing a degree.
Join us in Second Life and enjoy events, group discussions, share information, exchange tips & tricks, and create community. All are welcome and there is no cost to participate.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) was formed in 2008 with a straightforward mission: we want to empower ourselves and each other to take control of our treatments, our recoveries and our lives.
We know BEST.
The roots of that mission remain powerful and even more relevant, especially today.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. At BEST, this month (and every month) means more than just awareness though.
It means showing the world who we are, what we know and where we are headed as individuals and as a community.
However, together, as a community, we’ve learned that we can do more than survive; we can (and do!) thrive.
The most important part? We’re in this together and that doesn’t change.
Join us this month in taking awareness to superhero capacity. Let’s talk. Whether it’s talking about issues over social media, sharing our stories within our support group families or participating in a new BEST online learning experience, our voices always matter and make a difference.
All month long, BEST will be providing you news you can use for survivors, family members and caregivers on our social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube), our online weekly newspaper, Brain Energy News and this blog as we work together to build awareness, have important conversations and support one another.
BESTies and BEST supporters can also celebrate a love of learning from the convenience of home with the new BEST Online Learning Center this month. Innovative classes, webinars and an immersive online environment at BEST in Second Life are all offered in the online learning center. Want to treat a loved one or a friend to a great learning experience? BEST gift certificates are available to do just that.
Looking for more ways to join the cause? Please consider making your donation today. Our donors help transform the lives of those affected by brain injury and empower them to be their BEST. Your donation helps us support thousands of superheroes and is fully tax-deductible.
It’s a win-win way to save the world and help others!
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is pleased to announce that our online education academy is now open!
Education is an integral part of what BEST is about. We’ve been providing quality learning opportunities since 2011. We offer a variety of classes, workshops and small group activities for individuals with brain injury, caregivers and professionals.
Now. we’re offering many of these activities online.
You are cordially invited to check out the BEST Learning Center on the BEST website. Take a course online, check out an educational webinar or explore BEST in Second Life, a media rich platform to create, learn and so much more. The choice is yours.
Learning your way, at your own pace, in the comfort of home. Now we think that’s the BEST!
Even better? Treat a friend or loved one to the BEST gift: educational opportunities and positive experiences through a BEST gift certificate. Gift certificates may be used for online courses or BEST memberships.