Positive Good News Columns

The Foundation for a Better Life is pleased to offer, at no charge, these life affirming true stories to you and your readers.

The Foundation for a Better Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, gives your newspaper permission to publish these stories in print and electronic media (excluding audio and video), provided the stories are published in their entirety, without modification and including the copyright notice. These articles are available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License (international). For any modification, permission must first be obtained from the Foundation by emailing media-relations@passiton.com. Thank you.

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The Enduring Smile of the Mona Lisa Still Calms Us Today.
The mystery and the maternal security of the world’s most famous painting.

A smile is the most universally recognized language of friendship. It crosses cultures and bridges languages. Read Story

SMILE
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Milton Wright, Father of Famous Fliers.
The stern man who believed humans were never meant to fly was overcome with emotion when Wilbur took him on his first flight.

The Wright family history is the story of American history. The family tree’s roots reach back through abolitionists, clergymen and ancestors who landed at Plymouth only two decades after the Puritans. Read Story

TAKE FLIGHT
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Shakespeare and Love.
The bard speaks of love over 2,500 times in his collected works. He knows a thing or two about the transformative power of our deepest emotion.

“And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods make heaven drowsy with the harmony.” So writes William Shakespeare in “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Read Story

LOVE
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Arthur Brooks, the Professor of Happiness.
Being happy in this life doesn’t come easy for any of us. Harvard Professor Arthur Brooks has discovered timeless ways to find fulfillment and happiness, no matter our situation.

His class on happiness has the longest waiting list in Harvard’s catalog. He recently published a book with Oprah Winfrey. He is in demand on college campuses nearly everywhere. Read Story

BE HAPPY
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Steph Curry Keeps Hitting the Shots that Matter.
In his new book for children, the NBA superstar encourages kids to take courage and believe in themselves — something the once-underrated hoop star understands.

Steph Curry knows what it’s like to be overlooked. “Coming up through basketball, I didn’t pass the eye test,” he says. “I was a late bloomer.” Read Story

BE EXTRAORDINARY
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Friendship Dispels the Darkest Nights in Alaska.
How two men find hope in friendship to prevent suicide.

When the winter sun sets in Kasigluk, Alaska, it won’t rise fully for three months. But Alaskans are a hardened breed. They continue to work undaunted, many in trades that require them to be outdoors in extreme conditions. The isolation, the darkness and the unforgiving weather can take a toll on the residents. Read Story

FRIENDSHIP
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Harmony in Hardship.
Glenn Miller dropped out of college to become the swingingest band leader in the world.

The Great Depression rolled out across America like a pandemic, forcing families to work longer hours if they could find jobs and stand in soup lines if they couldn’t. Read Story

DANCE YOUR TROUBLES AWAY
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Good Food. Good Friends. Good for the Future.
Barron Prize winner Abby Yoon gets her hands dirty in the garden so at-risk kids can get fresh produce for lunch.

Growing children need healthy food to do well in school. Yet 14% of children in America don’t get more than one meal a day. Having an empty stomach makes it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork. Read Story

PLANT YOURSELF
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Going the Distance from the Farm to the Record Books.
Cliff Young showed up to the most grueling footrace in Australia — 875 kilometers — in overalls and gumboots. He went on to win in record time.

Even among ultramarathons — defined as any race longer than a standard 26.2-mile marathon — 875 kilometers (544 miles) is a long one, requiring training and stamina that seem almost beyond belief. Read Story

BE BONZER
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Benny’s Bees.
How a former Marine with PTSD finds solace in service and beekeeping.

Benny is up early. His fit frame and efficient movements are a testament to his military training. He hoists heavy boxes of packaged honey into the back of his truck before the sun is up. But he always has time for a chat. And that begins with him handing you a bottle of honey and talking about its health benefits. Read Story

SWEETNESS
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Caitlin Clark and the Importance of the Supporting Cast.
The all-time NCAA scoring leader is more than a great shooter.

Caitlin Clark is the best college basketball shooter ever. She is also an inspiration to young girls everywhere who have hoop dreams. While Caitlin represents stardom, she also reveals the hard work and selfless play. Read Story

ACT WELL THY PART
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The Secret Ingredient to a Good Meal: Family and Friends.
Bernetta McKindra pays tribute to her grandfather, the Barbecue King of Kansas City. A StoryCorps story.

The early 1900s in America were rough years for much of the population. The economy was strained, the great flu pandemic shortened lifespans, World War l took its toll, and many common diseases were not yet treatable the way they are today. But the working class found ways to thrive. They were resourceful, lived in close-knit communities and looked out for each other. Read Story

HONOR THE PAST
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Find the Good in Everybody.
Dolly Parton has made us feel loved and appreciated for decades. The singer/songwriter is a part of each of us who desires to be our best.

“When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer. The seeds of these dreams are often found in books, and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.” Read Story

KINDNESS
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Wheels of Good Fortune.
One hundred sixty years ago, a man with a bold mustache and a bicycle with a huge wheel dreamed of pedaling around the world. Meet Thomas Stevens, the first human to circumnavigate the globe on a bike.

In 1884, the world was much larger than it is today. There were hostile territories, many regions were poorly mapped, and highways were yet to traverse continents. Sounds like the perfect time to ride a bicycle around the world. Read Story

ROLL FORWARD
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‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ – How we Discover what Makes us Real … is Love.
Just as Margery Williams’ classic children’s book helps us all through the transition of childhood into adulthood, it helped the author through difficult times.

Margery Williams was an accomplished writer and author long before she wrote “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Born in London in the summer of 1881 to a wealthy and successful lawyer, she was the youngest child. Read Story

BE REAL
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He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother.
The tender relationship between two brothers is a beacon for us all. A StoryCorps moment that will make your day.

Rob Rigano lives in the town he grew up in on the East Coast, in New York state. His older brother, Phil, lives in San Diego. The two are in their mid-fifties now, and they got together before COVID to record a few memories. Read Story

BE A BROTHER
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Everybody’s Grandma.
Connie might have said there was nothing special about her. Her grandchildren and their friends will tell you a different story.

Connie would tell you she was not very good at choosing husbands. As a schoolteacher in South Carolina, she worked hard to ensure her students were up to grade level. Read Story

BE SPECIAL
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What we Learn About Ourselves from the Boys in the Boat.
Joe Rantz overcame childhood scarlet fever, abandonment and depression to become the oak-strong oarsman of the winning boat that shocked the world in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

In 1929, as the American economy crashed and one-quarter of the workforce was unemployed, Joe Rantz stood on the planks of a dilapidated porch and watched his father, stepmother and younger brothers drive away. Read Story

PULL TOGETHER
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The Woman Who Talks to Trees.
Understanding the power of relationships in the natural world will help us heal the people we share our communities with.

Suzanne Simard grew up in the woods. Her family worked as loggers, and when she was old enough, she, too, could be found in the trees. She loved the work, which she describes as “extremely exciting because it was so dangerous” and because she was one of the first women in the industry. Read Story

LISTEN
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The Friendship Heard Round the World.
Luz Long and Jesse Owens struck up a friendship at the 1936 Olympics that transcended sport, race and history.

Jesse Owens was the grandson of enslaved people and the son of Alabama sharecroppers. Luz Long studied law at the University of Leipzig and was the physical embodiment of Hitler’s nationalistic ideal. One would become a national hero. One would die in the upcoming war. Both would call out racism at a time when it could cost them everything. Read Story

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP
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Unlikely Friends with Common Roots.
From the StoryCorps archives, a story of two friends from the same side of the tracks, with very different backgrounds.

Tucson, Arizona, has long been a place with the romance of the Wild West, even in the years right after World War ll, and that’s what drew all kinds of people there during the late 1940s and 1950s. Read Story

FRIENDSHIP
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If a Man Asks for Bread, Will You Give Him a Stone?
Treating people, even prisoners, with respect is what food service giant Bill Mouskondis is all about.

Bill Mouskondis is always smiling. He is the son of a Greek immigrant who started a food service company with an old truck and cases of dented cans scavenged from railroad cars. Read Story

RESPECT
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Real-Life Blue Bloods.

The Vigiano family has served New York City for four generations: Grandfather, father, two sons, daughter-in-law and grandson. Two of them were lost on 9/11. This is their story, from the StoryCorps collection commemorating heroes from that day. Read Story

RESPECT
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Anatomy of a Bestseller.
How “Gray’s Anatomy,” a book of drawings featuring blood vessels, muscles, the nervous system and other squeamish things, came to be one of the world’s most widely read books.

Seeing the inner workings of a hand, or the nervous system surrounding the spleen, doesn’t seem appealing to most people. Read Story

THE ART OF LIVING
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The Key to Life.
Father-and-son locksmiths Phil and Philip Mortillaro share the simple wisdom of being happy. From the StoryCorps collection.

Phil Mortillaro is the son of immigrants. He has worked as a locksmith since he left school in the eighth grade. All five of his children grew up watching their father work hard in his Greenwich Village shop, but only his youngest son followed in his footsteps and became a locksmith as well. Read Story

BE THE KEY
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The Frozen Race to Save Lives.
The 1925 dog sled run to deliver serum across Alaska covered 674 miles with 20 mushers and 150 dogs.

Nome, Alaska, January 1925. Home to roughly 1,400 hearty people who live off what they can pull from the rugged landscape. The population in the U.S. territory of Alaska is a mix of Athabascan and Inuit people and intrepid adventurers from the United States and the colder parts of Europe. Read Story

PRESS FORWARD
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Out of the Village and On to Break Records.
The incredible story of Makazole Mapimpi, the first South African to score in a Rugby World Cup Final. Against almost impossible personal odds, Makazole succeeded, a triumph of the human spirit.

Rugby is a fluid, creative game that begins with strict training and structure but moves according to players’ wits. There are collisions and tackles, deft maneuvers and hard falls. But at the core of the game is cooperation. Read Story

HEART
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From the Beach to the Desert.
How a group of ambitious kids from Laguna Beach High School in California are digging wells in Kenya.

Cruise down Highway 1 through the little beach town of Laguna Beach in California and you’ll be charmed by the quaint shops, the sea breezes, the soothing sound of waves. This is where people come to relax, watch sunsets, read lazy books and let the stress of the modern world be carried away on riptides. Read Story

DIG DEEP
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Curing Cancer, One Bar of Soap at a Time.
14-year-old Heman Bekele awarded the 3M Young Scientist Award for developing a soap that activates skin cells to fight cancer.

Heman Bekele was born in Ethiopia. He’s always had a scientist’s curiosity, that insatiable desire to know how the physical world works and how to improve the lives of its inhabitants. Read Story

BE THE CHANGE
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The Weight We Carry and the Burdens We Share.
The life of best-selling author Isabelle Allende is a mission to bring relief to the suffering and a call to join the effort.

Isabelle Allende is one of the most widely read novelists of our time. Her stories drive us to places we must see to understand, exploring cultural and physical diasporas and that beating heart of humanity, the family. Read Story

FIND YOUR VOICE
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Walking and Learning and Appreciating what we Have.
Neil King’s walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City uncovered the gems of slowing down.

In a world that moves at the speed of the internet, the details of life’s best relationships can speed by in blips, missed by the distracted eye. It’s difficult to remember that walking, as a mode of transportation, was the most common way to move about only 150 years ago. Read Story

TAKE A WALK
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Teach Your Children.
How Graham Nash is still leading children into a better future.

As a teenager, Graham Nash co-founded The Hollies with his school friend, Allan Clarke. They became one of the most popular groups to emerge from the UK as part of the “British Invasion”. Read Story

A BETTER LIFE
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From Russia, With Love.
The incredible story of Russian sculptor Andrey and his mission to bring unity to Ukraine and Russia through art.

Andrey’s Ukrainian mother encouraged him to follow his passion for art. His Russian father taught him to work hard. And his young wife encouraged him to find personal meaning in his sculptures. Read Story

PEACE
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Doubling Back for a Friend.
Two teammates paused their 5K race to help a fellow competitor.

Running cross-country track is not a casual sport. Training takes a lot of dedication, and come race day, you push yourself to your body’s limits. Most races are roughly 5 kilometers or 3.2 miles. Read Story

RESPECT
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A Voice for Our Time.
The improbable dream journey of singer-songwriter Kodi Lee.

In a time when it seems like conventionally beautiful people rule the world and so much of who we are depends on fitting in, Kodi Lee breaks all the barriers. Read Story

SING OUT
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Hope. Dream. Become.
Expressing emotions in a healthy way helps us see the world for what it is and, more importantly, how we choose to engage with it. Check out these young poetry winners from the WPSU poetry contest in Pennsylvania.

In classrooms across the country, students returning to fall assignments find themselves befuddled by the most daunting homework assignment: write a poem. Read Story

DO WRITE
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Winning at the Game of Life.
College football player gives up his scholarship to make more possible for a teammate.

No team wins every game. And, like the game itself, sometimes life feels unfair. For most student athletes in all sports, the support they get from their teammates is what helps them get through the challenge of balancing work, school and athletics. Read Story

STAND AND DELIVER
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Family of 7 Adopts a Grandpa.
Friends come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. But love is universal.

When Sharaine and Wilson moved their family to Rhode Island, they already had a houseful. Five kids, a hectic schedule, a long list of house projects and a whole new neighborhood meant little time for anything else. And then Paul showed up. Read Story

FAMILY
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Getting 100 on her Final Exam.
Nola Ochs went back to college at 95 years old. At age 100, she had earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and was still taking classes.

Nola Ochs was born in Kansas in 1911, one year before the state amended the constitution to recognize women’s right to vote. Back then, Kansas was a patchwork quilt of counties traversed by roads and railroad tracks all converging in Kansas City. Read Story

LEARN AND LEARN SOME MORE
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Bear with Me!
The story of Wojtek the bear, who joined the Polish Army in WWll.

Young soldiers, far away from home and missing their families, discover a bear cub. That’s how the story of Wojtek begins, back in 1942. He was alone in the mountains of Iran; nobody knows how he got there. Read Story

CREATE JOY
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From Homeless to Johns Hopkins.
Life is never fair. But if you work hard enough, and help someone along the way, you give yourself a better chance to make it.

Chris Smith looked like any other young boy in his class: bushy hair, a wide smile and enough freckles to charm a grandmother out of a whole jar of cookies. He played sports, working his way onto the football and wrestling teams. By all appearances, life for Chris was the same as it was for a hundred other boys in the small town where he grew up. Except for the constant evictions, living like a squatter without electricity and eventually being homeless. Read Story

DETERMINATION
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To the Coaches of Pint-sized Athletes.
All year round, you’ll find brave dads and moms standing in the rink, on the field and in the gymnasium — surrounded by eager eyes and short attention spans. Here’s to the volunteers in our communities who teach our kids life lessons and never forget the orange slices.

From New England’s cloudy skies to the parched fields in Arizona; from the early morning ice rinks in Minnesota to the sandy pitches along the Oregon coast, a myriad of sun-screened, whistle-blowing, down-parka-wearing, sore-footed coaches brave the weather and sacrifice their afternoons to tribes of budding athletes. Read Story

COACHING
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Taking the Fear Out of Surgery.
How one doctor helps children face their hospital fears by dressing them up as superheroes.

Surgery is scary enough for any of us, but when you are a child, and everyone is bigger than you, it can feel like a nightmare. That’s why it matters so very much what happens before, during and after treatment — especially when what happens includes a bit of humor. Read Story

BE SUPER
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Understanding Our Universe.
In a suburban neighborhood, the angst of the world still reaches a group of elementary kids. Bob stares at the stars with them and explains the universe and how there is order to everything.

Max and his friends worry about the future of the world. They are 9 years old and not immune to the constant barrage of television news about war, the lingering pandemic, the anger in the airwaves. Read Story

LOOK UP
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The Mistakes We Learn From and Build On.
Every year, a handful of students in prisons across America take stock of their lives and make changes. Many earn their diplomas, ensuring better options and choices when they get out.

About 44% of criminals released in the United States return to prison within the first year after their release. It’s all part of a pattern: Their lives often reveal a series of bad decisions influenced by their environment, including disrespect and disregard of laws. Read Story

BE YOUR OWN HERO
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Rescuing a Vessel — and a Family’s Memories.
A boat at the bottom of the lake for 30 years and a renewed appreciation for life when it is restored.

Brian and Bobby Ogan were boating with their two toddlers and a niece on Lake Powell 30 years ago when a sudden storm exploded from the canyons. High winds drove the waves to oceanic heights. Read Story

RESCUE SOMEONE
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Bee Productive.
17-year-old Gloria Barron Prize winner Anna Devolld is helping small things make a difference: Pollinators.

Anna Devolld likes creepy crawly things in the garden. And buzzing, fluttering little creatures in the air. That’s because Anna is passionate about pollinators. Read Story

BE A LITTLE MORE
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The Last American Explorer.
Norman Vaughan trekked Antarctica with Admiral Byrd, completed the Iditarod 13 times and climbed the 10,000-foot, icy mountain named after him at age 89.

Some people are just made for adventure. The early explorers, who subjected themselves to privation, unknown elements and territories unheard of, left volumes of tales that inspired the next generation. But as the world became smaller, the wild ones who lived by their instincts began to thin out. Read Story

ADVENTURE
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To All who are Lost: You will be Found Again.
The amazing story of the missing marathon runner who turned up 54 years later.

We all have started on some task or set a goal for ourselves that we didn’t complete. Sometimes we lose interest or don’t have the willpower to keep going. And sometimes, we just forget about the task and move on, not seeing the purpose of it all — that is, until something stirs us inside, and we go back and feel the joy of finishing. Read Story

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE
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From First Response to 11 Years of Friendship.
How EMTs saved a life and then enjoyed living it together.

Ask any first responder, and they’ll tell you the hardest calls you will ever get are those that involve a child. Many EMTs put their hearts on the line when kids are hurting. Read Story

CARING
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The Art of Doing Good.
How 18-year-old Gloria Barron Prize winner Austin Picinich is saving the salmon of Seattle by painting community murals.

When you have big dreams, you need a big canvas. Austin Picinich’s dreams center on his home state of Washington and its dwindling salmon population. Read Story

PUT YOUR TALENT TO GOOD
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The Taming of the West Featuring Diamond Kitty.
It’s time to give cowgirls their due. Kitty Canutt was a bronc rider in the early 1900s who wore a diamond in her tooth that she occasionally removed and pawned when she needed contest entry money.

Imagine growing up in New York City, dreaming of open ranges and taming wild horses. That’s exactly what Kitty Canutt did. Read Story

GRIT
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Matter In Motion.
How a physics professor is igniting the scientific passions of her female students.

Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova is a human dynamo. The physics professor at Texas A&M aims to show her students, especially the young women, that there are no limits. Read Story

POTENTIAL
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How To Be Free.
Eliza Zenger teaches dance, music and arts to adults with disabilities. Their performance is the most beautiful you will ever see.

In an attention-seeking world where perfection is the constant pursuit, one group finds the truest form of pure emotion. At a performance of Utah’s LEADD (Learning and Engaging through Arts Discipline and Development) Adaptive Dance, Eliza leads a small ensemble of adults with disabilities in a performance that features musical instruments, dance, poetry and a choir. Read Story

JOY
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Trusting Those Who Guide Us Through Life.
The amazing brotherhood of aviation navigators.

In a small chapel, a handful of men with clear eyes and wise souls gathered to honor one more of their fallen brothers. These are the Air Force Navigators, a brotherhood bound by their passion for thrilling flights, dangerous missions and the reward of a mission accomplished. Read Story

CHART YOUR DESTINATION
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Dream Big.
How a young artist from a remote mountainous tribe came to illustrate one of the most popular books of our time: ‘The Archer,’ by Paulo Coelho

“The Archer,” Paulo Coelho’s book of wisdom and parable of courageous living, has been translated into 88 languages in 170 countries. It has sold over 320 million copies. The spirit of the book is the story of us all, searching not only for joy in the small things, but meaning in our existence. Read Story

DREAM BIG
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Running to Win isn’t Always Running to Come in First.
Jacqueline Nyetipei Kiplimo demonstrates what really matters in life and in sports.

The marathon is one of the most difficult races in track and field, at a little over 42 kilometers (26.2 miles). Most marathoners will tell you their bodies hold up for the first 30 kilometers; the last 10 kilometers are all mental toughness. Read Story

SET THE PACE
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Lift Your Voice, Use Your Mind, Lift Others.
How a spark plug of a teacher ignites possibilities within her students in classroom 161.

Anna Steed doesn’t look much older than her students, but she is a practitioner of behavioral and motivational science, an aficionado of oration, a shoulder to cry on, and the high school debate coach. Read Story

BE A MENTOR
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A Legend On and Off the Court.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sold his four championship rings and three MVP trophies for $2.8 million. Then he donated all of the money to support youth education programs

Known for his unstoppable “skyhook,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a graceful force on the court who held the NBA’s all-time scoring record for 38 years. The game changed a lot in those nearly four decades. Read Story

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT
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The Birth of Superman.
How two awkward teenage boys dreamed up the world’s most popular superhero.

Young boys often dream of superpowers to solve their problems. “If I could just click my fingers, my homework would be done,” many have imagined. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster put their ideas down on paper. Read Story

BE SUPER
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Respecting Your Customers.
As the Great Depression impoverished the country, many families stretched their budgets by making clothes out of flour and seed sacks. What companies did next may surprise you.

Marketers often talk about meeting the customer’s needs or understanding the customer’s journey. Being a good corporate citizen means taking care of your community. But at the beginning of the 1900s, most companies were in a land rush for market share. Everything was about profits; that is, until the recession hit. Read Story

BE THE GOOD
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If You Don’t Know Anything About Orangutans, You Don’t Know Jack.
Meet Jack Dalton, Gloria Barron Prize Winner and the nature conservationist who started by saving the orangutans at age 8.

Jack is an ebullient red-haired young boy with a passion for the outdoors and all living things. At 8 years old, he learned about the plight of the endangered orangutan — and met a baby orangutan at the Memphis Zoo — and felt a kinship. Maybe it was the similarities: red fur, red hair, bright eyes, wide smiles and boundless curiosity. Read Story

START WITH YOURSELF
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Not Out of the Way, Along the Way.
Taking the long way to school makes for a long friendship.

On a cold November morning, William is up a little early. He packs his own lunch in a crowded kitchen while mom and dad get breakfast on the table for the family, pack lunches for the little ones and divvy out instructions for after school chores. William drops a sandwich into his backpack, says goodbye and plunges into the cold, dark morning. Read Story

BE A FRIEND
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Love Rules.
How Rick Moranis shrunk his role as an actor to be with his kids.

Many of us dream of fame and fortune, of being alive on the big screen. Rick Moranis achieved the dream. Read Story

LOVE
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How to Land an Airplane Without Landing Gear.
17-year-old Maggie Taraska landed her airplane without landing gear on her way to flying solo cross-country.

At 17 years old, most people are still struggling to parallel park. Yes, it takes a bit of practice. And once the car is parked, the day is packed with school activities and homework and just hanging out with friends. But at 17, Maggie Taraska had an outrageous goal in mind: Fly solo across the United States. Read Story

STAY CALM
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Laughter is the Best Medicine.
While filming ‘Schindler’s List,’ weekly calls from Robin Williams helped Steven Spielberg ease the weight of directing such a heavy film.

Steven Spielberg is one of the world’s most artful directors and storytellers. While he was in post-production with “Jurassic Park,” he was also shooting the epic film “Schindler’s List.” Recreating such a horrific part of history, one that personally affected his own family, weighed heavily on Spielberg. Read Story

LAUGHTER
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Overcoming Fear Sometimes Requires a Patient Friend.
How a flight attendant took the time to comfort a passenger who was having panic attacks.

Every day, there are 25,000 flights in America. Accidents are so rare that flying is much safer than car travel. But that doesn’t stop many people from feeling panicked when they are moving at 500 miles per hour, 33,000 feet above the ground. Not being at the controls makes us feel a bit helpless. That’s when the negative thoughts begin to swirl, and the cycle deepens until, even in a very safe place, we suddenly feel panic. Read Story

BE A FRIEND
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The Calm in the Storm.
Being that one voice of encouragement in a community makes all the difference.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the volunteers have moved on but the residents are still there, David parks his car beside an apartment building. The light is waning. The building is made of stone, one of the few on this side of New Orleans. He opens his trunk, drags out four grocery bags of food, closes the trunk with his elbow and enters the building. Read Story

ENCOURAGEMENT
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Living Alone doesn’t Mean you Have to be Lonely.
How a community in Maine supports those who want to be left alone.

Dan has always lived in Maine. He grew up hunting and fishing in the woods. He doesn’t mind the cold. The bugs in the summer don’t bother him. And being self-sufficient year-round is the lifestyle he has chosen. Read Story

THE RIGHT HELPING HAND
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Never Give Up.
Lessons learned from Preston Tucker, creator of one of the most innovative cars in American history.

Preston Tucker was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1999, quite an accomplishment for somebody who only built 51 cars. Read Story

NEVER GIVE UP
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It’s Not Your Lifespan, it’s Your Wingspan.
How one girl’s 16 years of life impacts thousands.

Penny Doerge should have had a normal childhood, hanging out with friends and growing into adulthood before thinking about how she could change the world. Read Story

SPREAD YOUR WINGS
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Don’t Let a Bad Day Trick You Into Believing You Have a Bad Life.
Allie Newman not only survived cancer but also helps hospitals better meet the needs of teenage cancer patients.

A cancer diagnosis can bring you to the very edge of the cliff. It did for Allie Newman. A bright, athletic 16-year-old one day and a cancer patient the next. Read Story

RESILIENCE
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A Custom of Respect.
How the Japanese soccer team brings sportsmanship to the game.

Soccer is a passionate game. It’s one of the few sports where players are free to follow the flow as they play, being less constrained by a game plan and more dependent on their ability to communicate and create opportunities. Read Story

RESPECT
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To Stay or Run?
The courageous story of a collegiate wrestler who fought a grizzly bear to save a friend. With thanks to the Cowboy State Daily.

There’s a saying in the West that when things get tough, you have to cowboy up. In Wyoming, the history of cowboys braving the elements to sustain ranches during subzero weather, and fixing things on their own in the harsh landscape, is ingrained in the people. Read Story

COURAGE
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Photographs that Changed the World.
How the searing photographs of Walker Evans’ America during the Depression created a national change in attitude toward the poor.

Walker Evans was born into an affluent family. His father made sure he had access to the best schools, even paying for him to study in Paris. Walker was a curious and artistically minded young man. At first, his sensitive nature led him to be a writer, but he struggled to find words to describe what he saw, recalling, “I wanted so much to write that I couldn’t write a word.” Read Story

MAKING A DIFFERENCE
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Going the Distance.
Why top collegiate and professional athlete Dillon Shije will never stop running for his people.

Dillon Shije is soft-spoken and respectful in his conversations. He brushes off compliments on his college success with shy gratitude and moves deftly to give credit to tribal elders. Read Story

LEAD
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Finding Our Way.
Using the natural elements around her, Kala Baybayan Tanaka navigates the ocean in a canoe for up to three weeks using nothing but observations of the natural elements around her.

Kala has deep ties to her Hawaiian roots. Her ancestors navigated the oceans for centuries using their knowledge of the stars, the sun, the currents and the wind. Today, she does the same. Read Story

FIND YOUR WAY
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A Most Unlikely Friendship.
How the war in Ukraine brought two families together from opposite sides.

Every Thursday afternoon, the food pantry at the local high school opens up to provide fresh food bags for families who can’t stretch their budgets far enough to get their meals to last through the weekend. Nearly a hundred families rely on the extra food. Some are between jobs, some got hit hard with medical bills for a few months, and some are new to the neighborhood, placed there by refugee services. Read Story

FRIENDSHIP
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How Far Would you go for a Friend?
The story of Dindim, the penguin who travels 5,000 miles every year to visit with its rescuer.

On a typical day, off the coast of a small Brazilian island, Joao Pereira de Souza was headed out fishing. He was disheartened to find that an oil spill had contaminated the waters. Staring out at the waves with their greasy sheen, he decided it was not a good day to fish. But walking the beach that day, he found a struggling penguin, covered in oil and starving. Read Story

REMEMBER YOUR FRIENDS
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The Science of Happiness.
How a high school senior made sure an entire elementary school got Halloween.

Kate is a bright young woman with an intense focus on academics and a long-term goal of becoming a neuroscientist. Her path is charted very carefully, each day according to schedule. She meets after school with the Brain Club, a group she started that discusses neuroscience and trades academic papers like baseball cards. It’s the kind of group you would never imagine in high school: mature beyond their years and led by their own initiative. Read Story

HAPPINESS
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Let the Music Move You.
Bob Geldof has spent a lifetime seeking harmony in the world.

Perhaps it started when Bob Geldof, first known for his punk band The Boomtown Rats, sang about a senseless act of violence in 1979 in his hit “I Don’t Like Mondays.” Read Story

GIVE
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Ramping Up to Help those in Need.
How a community came together in a time of tragedy.

Colleen isn’t well known to her neighbors. She’ll wave when they pass, but mostly she keeps to herself. In her mid-sixties, her husband is mostly homebound with health issues, so she takes care of him and reminisces about the business they built together but had to sell so she could be his caregiver. Read Story

PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT
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Teamwork that Saves Lives.
How a high school baseball team lifted a car off one of their classmates pinned underneath.

The magic of baseball is its fluid connection between players, each in the right position at the right time, playing their part to perfection; the flawless relay throw, the squeeze play, the three-bagger and the rally-killing cry of Tinkers to Evers to Chance on the double-play. Read Story

TEAMWORK
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When the World Says You Can’t, Listen to the Inner Voice that Says You Can.
The legacy of Susan La Flesche, the first Native American to earn a medical degree.

The wind roils the Midwest plains as if it is searching for someone or something to carry away. Dust and chaff funnel into blinding clouds. The clatter of storms overhead makes it impossible to hear, and herds of bison grow restless. Read Story

PRESS ON
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Taking Care of the Most Vulnerable.
Pam Tully dedicates 6 months a year to rescuing baby flying foxes alongside the volunteers who help her.

In northeastern Australia, you’ll find the Tablelands, an area rich in diverse plant and animal life: lush vegetation, lots of rain, brightly colored birds and scores of shy nocturnal animals with big eyes. Read Story

TAKE CARE
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The Curse of Texting and Driving.
How one father turned personal tragedy into triumph for thousands of teenagers by creating the Honor Connor Scholarship Fund.

Coming of age is that time in each of our lives when we begin to see the possibilities. The world opens up in ways that matures our vision, gives us a sense of responsibility and gratitude. Read Story

DON'T DRIVE DISTRACTED
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Cross Safely.
How one man made sure his retirement years were spent helping kids move safely through life.

Ron had a good life as a sales rep and as a father. When retirement came around and the kids were grown, Ron looked around his community and saw a lot of aimless young boys just wandering the streets after school. Read Story

MENTORING
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Are You Smarter Than a Seventh-Grade Business Owner?
How Kidpreneur Alejandro Buxton is making money for college and helping others.

Ask just about any 12-year-old what their favorite time of the day is and you’ll get a resounding answer: lunch! But for Alejandro Buxton, it’s a bit different. Read Story

BE A LIGHT
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You’re Never Too Old to Make a Difference.
British WWll veteran Captain Tom Moore raised over $45 million for charity at age 100.

We all hope to retire one day, enjoying a life of leisure and spending more time with family and friends. In their golden years, veterans of wars long past often reconnect with their combat pals to enjoy the forever bonds that come with military service and relax. Read Story

EXCEED EXPECATIONS
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No Matter Who You Are, You Can Always Help.
The day Muhammad Ali rushed to save a stranger who was about to take his own life.

We all like our heroes bigger than life. Muhammad Ali looms large not only because of his incredible boxing skills but also because of how outspoken he was. Read Story

REACH OUT
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Finding a New Family at the Mountain Man Rendezvous.
How a Vietnam vet pulled himself out of drug addiction by going back in the past.

At the edge of Yellowstone National Park is a broad swath of golden grass that every year becomes a scene from a lifestyle that ended over a hundred years ago. It happens at the end of summer: Buckskin-clad mountain men and women gather with goods to sell, spending the warm days on hand-carved stools telling stories. Read Story

SECOND CHANCES
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The Last Person you Think of Should Probably be the First.
How a group of high school boys practiced the art of inclusion.

Marcus is a handsome, athletic kid. His friends are on the basketball and track teams. He plays tennis and competes in the state tournament every year. Marcus’s neighbor, Conrad, also wants to compete, but he has rheumatoid arthritis(RA). Read Story

FRIENDSHIP
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If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.
A German shepherd slept at his owner’s gravesite.

There is much we can learn from dogs. In childhood, they are our best companions, seeming to understand our every emotion. They accept us when we feel left out, wait hours for us to return from school or work, and even become the comfort we need to overcome shyness by nudging us into new friendships. And for adults, they remain our devoted friends. It’s no wonder we have such affection for them. Read Story

LOYALTY
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Pass It On®

If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.

There is much we can learn from dogs. In childhood, they are our best companions, seeming to understand our every emotion. They accept us when we feel left out, wait hours for us to return from school or work, and even become the comfort we need to overcome shyness by nudging us into new friendships. And for adults, they remain our devoted friends. It’s no wonder we have such affection for them.

Capitan was a beloved German shepherd with a glossy, dark coat and kind, knowing eyes. He was always at Miguel’s side, the two of them inseparable as Miguel pushed into his later years.

When Miguel passed away, Capitan disappeared — only to turn up later at the cemetery, lying on Miguel’s grave. He grieved the separation that death brought, and despite many attempts to bring him home, Capitan always ran away, back to the cemetery 15 blocks from the house.

Such devotion not only touched Miguel’s widow and son; it also touched the cemetery caretakers. They made sure he had his vaccinations and was fed daily, but Capitan didn’t roam the grounds and attach himself to new friends. He stayed close to the gravesite, sleeping there every night and sitting vigilantly during the day.

Capitan became an icon of loyalty. But what will always remain a mystery is how he found his master’s grave in the first place. Miguel died in a different town and was transferred directly to the cemetery. There was no wake at home, no procession for Capitan to follow, yet he located the companion he was so loyal to.

For us humans, we can more easily locate those we love. We can move our way into their lives more often. We can be more vigilant in our friendships, standing watch over memories and protecting affections. Capitan reminds us that no matter the difficulties that separate us, there is always a way to get back to unconditional love.

After 12 years at Miguel’s gravesite, Capitan also passed away. He was mourned as a community member, beloved to many in the town and an example of the love that connects all living things.

Loyalty…PassItOn.com®

By The Foundation for a Better Life®

The Foundation for a Better Life® promotes positive values to live by and pass along to others.

Copyright © 2024 | The Foundation for a Better Life | All rights reserved.
www.passiton.com | media-relations@passiton.com

LOYALTY

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Listening to the Music Inside.
The long journey of Maria Tallchief from the Osage Nation in Oklahoma to prima ballerina in New York City.

Fairfax, Oklahoma, is a long way from the bright lights of Broadway. In 1925, the distance seemed even greater. But Maria Tallchief could feel music deep inside her. Something longed to express itself. Read Story

BE THE HERO OF YOUR STORY
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A Diamond in the Making.
How an everyday superhero saved the day by taking time to go through the garbage to find a stranger’s wedding ring.

Danielle Hatherley Carroll is an artist. She shares her talent with others, taking groups on field trips around various locations in New York City, setting up easels and enjoying the company of a variety of people as she captures the beauty of the city. Read Story

LEND A HAND
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Recognizing the Need.
How a neighbor took a disaffected young man under his wing and taught him how to be a man

In a quiet Northern California neighborhood, Michael seemed like a typical 11-year-old boy. His family made use of the California sunshine to grow citrus trees and roses. All seemed well from the outside, but Michael was troubled. Read Story

LOVE
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Taking Care.
How one woman turned a life of neglect into a lifetime of taking care of people.

Life never really turns out the way we expect it to. We have dreams and expectations. And dream-come-true stories are everywhere — except, it may seem, in our own lives. Read Story

FAMILY
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Playtime is for Everybody.
A dad sells off his business and builds a theme park for disabled kids.

Gordon Hartman just might be the leading candidate for “Dad of the Decade.” When his daughter Morgan was growing up, Gordon was heartbroken after watching her on the playground. Other children refused to play with her, mostly because her disabilities meant she couldn’t access the places where they were playing. The family tried other places but were never satisfied. Read Story

INCLUSION
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For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.
Fortune and fame have allowed the soccer great to take care of his mother after all she has done for him.

At his peak, Cristiano Ronaldo was considered the best professional footballer in the world. He has made over 1,100 professional appearances and scored more than 800 goals. To see him play, you would say he was born for the game. But that would discount all the struggles and hard work he has gone through to become the player that he is. Read Story

LOVE ALWAYS
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Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.
Free-dive record holder Enzo Maiorca rescues a trapped dolphin, then watches as it gives birth.

For most of us, opportunities are just around the corner — perhaps the chance to help a neighbor. For Enzo Maiorca, his neighborhood is the sea, and the community he cares about inhabits the vastness below the surface. Read Story

BE PRESENT
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A Hero for Accessibility.
How an 8-year-old girl captured the attention of the nation and motivated Congress.

This is the story of Jennifer Keelan, a young girl who had dreams of one day attending college and living a fulfilling life. She did graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in family and human development. But her life has been anything but typical. Read Story

ACCEPTANCE
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No Strings Attached.
How a 7-year-old girl brings joy to neighbors with her violin.

On a Saturday afternoon, you find most kids outside playing made-up games or dangling from monkey bars. Kids were made for the outdoors, with their boundless energy and the ease in which they make friends. It’s no different for Kameron, a normal, fun-loving 7-year-old girl who loves to draw out the world’s longest hopscotch on the sidewalk. Read Story

HAPPINESS
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How to Honor Your Mother.
Warrick Dunn played in the NFL for 12 seasons. His most impressive stat: He’s built 200 homes for single mothers. And he’s not done.

When Warrick Dunn was a sophomore, he led his team to the state championship. When he was a senior, his mother, who worked in law enforcement, was shot and killed, leaving Warrick to care for his five brothers and sisters. Read Story

BE GREAT
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Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.
How 14-year-old Philo Farnsworth tinkered his way to the technology that broadcast the moon landing.

14-year-old Philo Farnsworth wasn’t looking up at the sky while plowing the field at his father’s farm in Rigby, Idaho. He was looking down at the straight furrows that coursed over the earth. Read Story

DREAM BIG
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Education is for Everyone.
Reading and writing are the basics of an education. See why a 90-year-old Kenyan great-grandmother went back to primary school.

Priscilla Sitienei is not your typical grade-schooler. She’s a little taller. She knows a thing or two about life — she was a midwife for 65 years — and she’s a little slower on the playground than the other students. But Priscilla, known affectionately as Gogo, does know the value of an education. Read Story

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE
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Using the Write Words
How an African American Woman Wrote her Way to Freedom.

The story of Phillis Wheatley and how she overcame the scrutiny of 18 men deemed “the most respectable characters in Boston” to publish a book of poetry that lives on today Read Story

EXPRESS YOURSELF
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The History of Us.
How a football coach develops young men by teaching them their own history.

Football brings kids from all different backgrounds together and requires them to sacrifice for each other, be selfless and do the job they are asked to do. Creating a team from players with disparate racial, socioeconomic, religious and geographical backgrounds and different styles of upbringing can be quite challenging. Read Story

UNITY
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Give Peace a Chance.
How a Mexican-American Marine negotiated peace speaking Japanese during WWll.

We don’t always realize it, but our upbringing can be our biggest advantage later on in life. What we learn from parents, friends and the community we grow up in can teach us things that make a difference at the right time. Read Story

PEACE
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Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.
How health care workers saved the day.

Before the pandemic, most of us took nurses for granted. After all, we only saw them when we were about to experience some kind of pain. They were kind, reassuring, and prepped us for what was about to come. Still, many of us were too self-focused to appreciate them fully. Read Story

GRATITUDE
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Everybody Can Be a Hero.
How window cleaners brightened the day at a children’s hospital.

Children need heroes. They help kids cope with the world around them, providing a little bit of hope and a lot of entertainment. Read Story

BE SUPER
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Including Everybody Means Everybody.
How Inclusion Films is making movies using crew with developmental disabilities.

Annemarie Carrigan is your typical millennial. She has dreams and plans; she is self-confident and wants to make a difference in the world. And she has Down syndrome. She talks openly about her father being a little too overprotective, but she does smile as she says it, and childhood photographs of the two show just how close they are. Read Story

INCLUSION
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Turning Tough News Into Hope.
How 11-year-old Jordan Phillips raised $120,000 to help fund cancer treatment.

When we think of 11-year-old girls and their mothers, the first things that come to mind may be tutus, soccer games, kitchen science experiments and crazy photo faces. There’s a special bond between young girls and their moms before life fills up with more demanding schoolwork, career choices and the stress of being a grown-up. Read Story

DO SOMETHING GREAT
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Bigger than Life.
How Premier League superstar Sadio Mané is changing the world beyond soccer.

Sadio Mané is the Senegalese star on Liverpool’s football club in the Premier League. In 2019, he was crowned Africa’s greatest player. To watch him play is to be in awe. His speed, direction changes and vision of the field are almost otherworldly. He competes with intensity but is so fluid it seems as if opposing players are somehow weighed down, and the ball is magically attracted to Sadio. Read Story

GIVE YOUR BEST
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