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My Buckle Mate Review

Published in Parent

As a working mother on a limited budget, I've never been the type to fall for and spend my hard-earned cash on every new, life-saving invention that hits the market. In fact, in most troubled situations, I'm the one in the kitchen slaving away over a hot stove to meld together some home-made cleaning concoction of lemon juice, baking soda and whatever else I happen to find in the cupboards for the sole purpose of saving a buck. I'm the one repairing a set of glasses frames with duct tape and plastic straws. Over the years, I've clearly developed a minimalistic, non-materialistic point of view and I'm as proud as can be about it.

That being said, "My Buckle Mate" was an exception. It has been one of the very few exceptions to the rule. And It is worth the investment, times ten, to say the least. It is amazing how something so seemingly minute could affect the big picture so greatly. That must say something.

For one, the price is unbeatable. I paid less than $20 for a pack of two a while back, and they are still standing tall and working hard to this very day! From what I've seen so far, I can't imagine needing to replace this set with a new one any time in the future.

The easy-to-follow instructions and basic assembly of the product got me excited as well. It seems that many products in the world today consist of a thousand, cheaply-made bits and pieces that we are expected to understand and put together in a blink of an eye. But the makers of these products fail to understand the time limitations and already-present stresses of everyday life as a mother. "My Buckle Mate" was straight to the point, and ready to use within a few moments.

They are easy to disassemble, if need be, and the plastic has proven to be sturdy enough to withstand every tribulation encountered. This is an utter convenience, for instance, when my eldest daughter blessed with the artist's "make-a-mess-out-of-anything" gene, enters the vehicle with her latest fiasco. This means that absolutely everything---from candy and soda, to bugs and boogers---finds its way into the vehicle and onto every surface. The material of the "My Buckle Mate" is easy to wipe clean, and the little debris of god-knows-what don't get shoved as far down into the crevices holding the seatbelts in place. aka EASY CLEANING FOR MOM!!

Most importantly, they really do make it easier for my girls to get buckled in safely during hasty times when mom is already overwhelmed with the situation at hand.

All in all, I give this product five stars and two thumbs up for limiting the little stresses that add up to big stresses. After all, it's all about the little things in life.


$25 Million for Students

Published in TEENS


Vice President Biden Announces

$25 Million in Funding for

Cybersecurity Education at HBCUs


Vice President Biden, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and White House Science Advisor John Holdren are traveling to Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia to announce that the Department of Energy will provide a $25 million grant over the next five years to support cybersecurity education. The new grant will support the creation of a new cybersecurity consortium consisting of 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), two national labs, and a k-12 school district.


The Vice President will make the announcement as part of a roundtable discussion with a classroom of cybersecurity leaders and students at Norfolk State University. The visit builds on the President’s announcements on cybersecurity earlier this week, focusing on the critical need to fill the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. job market, while also diversifying the pipeline of talent in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The event and announcement is also an opportunity to highlight the Administration’s ongoing commitment to HBCUs.

Details on the Announcement

As highlighted by the President earlier in the week, the rapid growth of cybercrime is creating a growing need for cybersecurity professionals across a range of industries, from financial services, health care, and retail to the US government itself. By some estimates, the demand for cybersecurity workers is growing 12 times faster than the U.S. job market, and is creating well-paying jobs.

To meet this growing need, the Department of Energy is establishing the Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium with funding from the Minority Serving Institutions Partnerships Program housed in its National Nuclear Security Administration. The Minority Service Institutions Program focuses on building a strong pipeline of talent from minority-serving institutions to DOE labs, with a mix of research collaborations, involvement of DOE scientists in mentoring, teaching and curriculum development, and direct recruitment of students.

With $25M in overall funding over five years, and with the first grants this year, the Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium will bring together 13 HBCUs, two DOE labs, and the Charleston County School District with the goal of creating a sustainable pipeline of students focused on cybersecurity issues. The consortium has a number of core attributes:

  • It is designed as a system. This allows students that enter through any of the partner schools to have all consortia options available to them, to create career paths and degree options through collaboration between all the partners (labs and schools), and to open the doors to DOE sites and facilities.
  • It has a range of participating higher education institutions. With Norfolk State University as a the lead, the consortium includes a K-12 school district, a two-year technical college, as well as four-year public and private universities that offer graduate degrees.
  • Built to change to evolving employer needs: To be successful in the long term, this program is designed to be sufficiently flexible in its organization to reflect the unique regional priorities that Universities have in faculty research and developing STEM disciplines and skills, and DOE site targets for research and critical skill development.
  • Diversifying the pipeline by working with leading minority-serving institutions: As the President stated in Executive Order 13532, “Promoting Excellence, Innovation, and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities” in February 2010, America’s HBCUs, for over 150 years, have produced many of the Nation’s leaders in science, business, government, academia, and the military, and have provided generations of American men and women with hope and educational opportunity.

The full list of participating consortium members are:


Virginia Norfolk State University (lead)

Georgia Clark Atlanta University Paine College

Maryland Bowie State University

North Carolina North Carolina A&T State University

South Carolina Allen University Benedict College Claflin University Denmark Technical College Morris College South Carolina State University Voorhees College Charleston County School District

US Virgin Islands University of the Virgin Islands

California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

New Mexico Sandia National Laboratories

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