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Chris Pratt wonders how long parents should keep their kids' trophies

It's a question all parents ask themselves.

chris pratt, christ pratt wife, chris pratt kids, kids, kids keepsakes, kids trophies
Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson/Wikipedia, @prattprattpratt/Instagram

Pratt's question was prompted by wife Katherine going through her old childhood trophies.

Some parenting questions are simply universal, transcending the normal alienating barriers. And whether or not to hold onto certain mementos is one of them.

Whether it's more noble to let childhood awards, artwork, quizzes and certificates stack up in storage boxes for years, to be opened for a nostalgic romp down memory lane at a later time, or simply let them go in the name of decluttering? Or is the answer somewhere in between?

This is the conundrum nearly every parent faces. Even celebrity ones, apparently.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt recently found himself wondering this very thing as he watched his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger going through her personal treasure trove of trophies from her own childhood.


The collection, curated by her mother Maria Shriver, included notable achievements like "most improved 2-year-old" in swim class to "Problem-solving super star" in the fourth grade.

On his Instagram post, Pratt noted how “thoughtful” he thought the gesture was, writing, “to see my darling wife beaming with sentiment as she opens these crates of meticulously organized keepsakes, remembering her cherished youth, makes me grateful for the efforts her folks put into archiving.”

"I suppose that's the payoff for the work it took to store this stuff, the smile on her face as she relives moments of her youth. To pray one day that your children will look back on their childhood with glee is a blessing. It is the hope of parenthood,” he reflected.

But regardless of the warm-and-fuzzies felt by watching his wife reminisce, Pratt still wasn’t entirely sure what his stance was, so he posed a question to his fans.

“Real talk… once your kid goes through the stuff, is it okay to toss?" he wrote, adding, "I mean… do we need the 'I was on a sports team trophy?' Can they be donated? Repurposed?" Pratt also asked. "How many do we gotta keep? Not all of them right? Any of them? Is there a grading scale? Like, did you win? Were you a champion? Is there a specific sentimental connection? Help me out here. Do they go back in storage?"

His question received countless answers. But most parents seemed to lean towards the time honored tradition of holding on to as much as possible, then hocking it over their children to sort when they’re adults.

As one person hilariously advised, “ “Do as it's always been done. Pack them back up and let your children deal with it when you move to an assisted living facility.”

However, some did offer alternative options, like donating old trophies to organizations, or even taking photos of the items to digitally reminisce. One person suggested “I feel that once we’re old enough to share them with our own children and tell the stories behind them, perhaps that’s the time to digitally archive the items and the tales behind them.” Another added that “looking at an object in a photo still brings back the memory without having to hold onto the actual object.”

While these are all valid opinions, there isn’t exactly a real rule to follow. And this is a concept that Lisa Woodruff, professional organizer and author of “The Mindset of Organization: Take Back Your House One Phase at a Time,” communicates in her work.

“You are allowed to keep everything you want to keep. That’s right. There’s no reason why you have to get rid of — or keep — anything belonging to your children,” she writes, and suggests that parents find creative ways to showcase those memories rather than putting them in storage, such as filling scrapbooks and decorating hallways.

What seems to be the moral of the story is that it’s completely up to individual preference. And that there are many ways to hold onto precious keepsakes. Oh, and that if you’re a parent dealing with this particular quandary, you are certainly not alone.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.
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