Friday, March 24, 2017

Tips for the First-Time Skydiver

Dr. Mickel Malek, a dental surgeon with iSmile Spa, balances his professional responsibilities with a love of the outdoors. An avid horseback rider, angler, and camper, Dr. Mickel Malek also enjoys skydiving.

A skydiver's first jump is often tandem, which means the new skydiver goes through the entire dive attached to an instructor or experienced skydiver. The new skydiver wears a harness that connects to the instructor, who is thoroughly trained in the skills to guide a dive. The instructor wears both a parachute and a drogue chute, which slows descent to a speed at which the parachute is safe to operate. 

The jump itself typically takes place at 10,000 feet, with the new skydiver and instructor falling together at 120 miles per hour. This falling stage lasts approximately 45 to 60 seconds and feels more like flying than falling because of the wind pushing up against the descending bodies.

Most new skydivers feel a falling sensation only after the instructor deploys the parachute. This part of the ride is often the most enjoyable because the parachute has opened, the wind quiets down, and the new skydiver can relax. Just before reaching the ground, new skydivers must pull their knees up to the chest and keep them up until the instructor has made ground contact.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Boys and Girls Clubs of America Holds 50th Annual Keystone Conference

With training in periodontics, orthodontics, implantology, and oral surgery, Dr. Mickel Malek owns and runs I Smile Spa, a holistic dental practice in Santa Cruz, California. Beyond his professional activities, Dr. Mickel Malek supports several nonprofit groups, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).

The BGCA recently wrapped up its 50th annual National Keystone Conference, which was held March 2-4, 2017, in Chicago. First launched in 1967, the National Keystone Conference is part of the BGCA’s Keystone Program, which gives youth from age 14 to 18 the opportunity to take part in community-service and teen-outreach events as well as academic-success and career-preparedness activities. 

The 50th annual Keystone Conference, which was presented with the help and support of Aaron’s, Inc., kicked off with a renovation of the Miguel A. Barreto Union League Boys and Girls Club in Chicago. The three-day event continued with an education program focused on the theme “Activate Your Legacy.”

The more than 2,500 teen leaders who attended the event had the opportunity to socialize with peers from around the country while learning how to better support their local Boys and Girls Clubs and communities. Attendees also heard from several prominent speakers, including Grammy- and Oscar-Award-winner Common, who discussed community policing and highlighted ways in which teens could help improve relationships between youth and law enforcement.