11 pieces of evidence that America is finally back on the right track

For a long time, good news for America was all too rare.

A feel-good story in an American newspaper. Photo by Bev Sykes/Flickr.


But slowly but surely, that's changing.

There are many reasons to believe the good ol' U.S. of A. is back on track in 2015.

And they deserve to be celebrated.

The most American way possible: With epic slam dunks.

Boo. Yah. America.

1. 11 years ago, only one state — Massachusetts — had full marriage equality. Now, all 50 do.

Take it to the hole, LeBron. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

2. Since the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") took effect in 2013, the number of Americans without health insurance has plummeted more than 30%.


Griffin, for two. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

3. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, greater use of birth control among sexually active teenagers has contributed to the lowest teen pregnancy rate since 1991.

You know. Just walking on the sky. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images.

4. Since 1965, the smoking rate in America has been cut by more than half.

Oh hey. Just chillin' up here. Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images.

5. Unemployment in the U.S. is down 47% since its peak in 2009.

Yeah. I work out. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

6. The three highest-rated network TV dramas with viewers age 18-49 in the 2014-2015 season are produced by and starring people of color.

Engage thrusters. Photo by Pool/Getty Images.

7. Solar power installations are 17 times more common in the U.S. than it was just seven years ago.

Ball delivery. Sign here, please. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

8. Because of the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, 1.4 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children no longer have to fear deportation.

AND LO, Jordan said "Let there be dunks." And the dunks were good. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

9. The number of unsheltered homeless people in the United States has declined more than 30% since 2007.

Smoothies for everyone!! Photo by Pool/Getty Images.

10. Three American cities — Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, will all have a $15 minimum wage within six years.

"You have to understand, it's about ethics in dunk journalism." Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

11. Babies born in 2012 are expected to live longer — on average — than any Americans in history.

Classic. Photo by Briah Bahr/Getty Images.

Now THAT'S good news.

Keep on dunking, America.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

Screenshots via @castrowas95/Twitter

In the Pacific Northwest, orca sightings are a fairly common occurrence. Still, tourists and locals alike marvel when a pod of "sea pandas" swim by, whipping out their phones to capture some of nature's most beautiful and intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.

While orcas aren't a threat to humans, there's a reason they're called "killer whales." To their prey, which includes just about everything that swims except humans, they are terrifying apex predators who hunt in packs and will even coordinate to attack whales several times their own size.

So if you're a human alone on a little platform boat, and a sea lion that a group of orcas was eyeing for lunch jumps onto your boat, you might feel a little wary. Especially when those orcas don't just swim on by, but surround you head-on.

Watch exactly that scenario play out (language warning, if you've got wee ones you don't want f-bombed):

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