Local entrepreneur utilizes all her tools to engage, inspire and empower literally thousands of today’s youth – ONE CLASSROOM, ONE SEMINAR, AND NOW ONE MAGAZINE AT A TIME.
JESSICA BOWDEN M.S.M. – Entrepreneur Gold
Jessica Bowden M.S.M., CEO and publisher of Teens Now Talk TNT Magazine Publishing Inc. from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and recent Meritorious Service Medal recipient, presented by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has been teaching and creating innovative opportunities where none existed to empower, enhance, and enrich the well-being and personal power and development of youth, their parents, and communities since 1984.
The Power of a Pen
In 2004, keynote speaker Jessica Bowden stood in front of 900 students on career day at Cole Harbour District High and delivered her powerful session. What happened that morning changed Jessica’s life as well as the lives of youth across the world.
“People sometimes don’t ask the right questions to the right people to get the right answers,” says Jessica. “Also, sometimes the right answer is not what you want to hear.”
From this session came three key things: youth wanted to be seen, they wanted to be heard, and they wanted it in a book—and that book should be called TNT because their words are DaBomb! With being a publisher not even on Jessica’s career list, she asked the students, “IF we do this, it should be a magazine not a book, and it should be called Teens Now Talk instead of TNT, and your tagline should read: Be Seen, Be Heard and Be the Voice for change.” Over two hundred youth stood up to help and some are still with the magazine today!
Having just taken on a project that was the first of its kind, and not being a publisher by trade, Jessica invested all her spare time doing research, collecting literally thousands of surveys from parents, educators, business owners and youth. “I wanted someone to tell me ‘NO don’t do this’, but instead the outcome was outstanding,” she says.
In 2007, Jessica Bowden M.S.M. (aka Ms. B to the teens) started Teens Now Talk Magazine to give youth a platform for their voices, creative talent and real Braggin’ Rights. Four times a year, this 64-page high-gloss publication reaches 40,000 youth and their parents, and is used in classrooms by educators across Nova Scotia. Its website (www.teensnowtalk.com) receives an additional 1.5 million hits a year. The magazine is carried on newsstands throughout Atlantic Canada, such as Chapters, Coles, and Atlantic News, and is distributed to over 67 schools, regional recreation and youth centres, public health centres, and regional libraries, with additional distribution by subscribers spanning across Canada, USA, and Kenya!
Why a magazine when everything is online?
“There is one thing WE ALL have in common, regardless of our age, nationality, sexuality, religion, and economic background, yet, no one talks about it, and believe me, you won’t see it posted on a billboard,” says Jessica. “We all have a little person inside with the desire to belong, achieve, and have Braggin’ Rights! Our youth need to know they can dream, achieve, apply action and receive!”
Youth see the world through a different set of values and lenses, says Jessica. There is a huge urge to belong, Be Seen, Be Heard, Be the Voice and receive some Braggin Rights, but, for some, the roadmap to achieve that has been lost in translation or skipped a generation. Today’s youth are born in an era of fast-paced technology, the need for instant gratification, high safety risk, texting instead of face-to-face interaction, emotions replaced with emoji buttons, and, a high number of youth equate their self worth based on the number of friends or followers on their social media channels.
Teens Now Talk Magazine provides a platform for healthy expression, recognizes youth talent, and validates youth creativity. “There is something magical when a teen hears from a parent or teacher how great their poem or article is, or gets a pat on the back followed by ‘Great job,’ or gets recognized by a stranger for their achievement in the magazine and are told to keep up the great work! Experiences like this,” says Jessica, “are NOT found online, nor can they be achieved there.”
Over 300 youth are seen in each issue with local teen(s) on the cover, teens writing columns, and teens being the photographers, videographers, junior editors, journalists, event planners, and more. Teens Now Talk is the first Atlantic Canadian magazine to be written by teens, for teens, and has won numerous awards. “The magazine is a unique balance of TNT fun, from quizzes and Q&A to TNT articles with solutions by teens on topics affecting today’s youth… for example Treats N Treadmill (Health, Wellness, Food N Exercise), Trends N Threads (Fashion), Think Green N Think Global (Environment, Politics N Travel). Plus, there is the fun in seeing who you might know in each issue,” says Jessica.
“There is no better feeing than witnessing a youth stand taller after their work has been published or having a parent say how proud they are,” she continues, “or hearing a partner of the magazine tell us how they are reaching more youth and sharing their information through us. We truly connect the key companies and organizations whose products and services will enhance and assist a youth on their personal, social, educational, health, and career development towards success.”
Connecting Thousands with Partners
In addition to the magazine, Teens Now Talk holds their annual Passport 2 You-th Success XPO, which places over 3,000 junior-to-high school students from across HRM and Nova Scotia schools face-to-face with 60+ exhibitors. The 6th annual Passport 2 You-th Success XPO will be Nov 15-16, 2016, Halifax Forum. http://www.teensnowtalk.com/xpo/
“The XPO was fantastic, interactive with many diverse youth. This is one of the most exciting initiatives for teens this city has to offer. It was great to meet and reach so many youth in such a short span of time.” – Halifax Public Library
Ms. Bowden has received countless accolades and prestigious awards along with the Meritorious Service Medal. Others include The Justice Minister’s Award Leadership in Crime Prevention – Business Leader; the Progress Women of Excellence Award for innovator and entrepreneur; induction to the Dr. W.P. Oliver Wall of Honour Black Cultural Centre; HRM Volunteer award, and Hali-Award.
Along with being the successful publisher of this powerful magazine, Ms. Bowden is a sought-after top recognized entrepreneur, professional model, personal development facilitator, international Turning Passion into A Profession keynote and inspirational speaker, and wardrobe consultant. Jessica utilizes all her tools to inspire literally thousands of youth to Be Seen, Be Heard and Be the Voice of their dreams and future, ONE CLASSROOM, ONE SEMINAR, AND NOW ONE MAGAZINE AT A TIME.
Must watch testimonies:
Hali-ward Winner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8pGTK67fvo
** Bullied Teen accredited Teens Now Talk for saving her life – speaks on CBC Radio http://www.voicebase.com/voice_file/public_detail/207740/refine/%22tony+nicholas%22
ADD MSM AWARD VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8jjX8AA0rw&feature=youtu.be