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15 celebs who just stepped up big time for classrooms in need.

Hollywood heavyweights and others helped pour $14 million into school projects across the U.S.

Can we agree — if any one profession deserves a shout-out, it's teaching?

So many teachers go above and beyond to ensure future generations are the best and brightest. And too often, it's a thankless (and underpaid) job they get done with little resources at their disposal.

But now, the Internet has showed teachers it cares. And it used some star power to get the point across.


Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Celebrities and everyday Internet people teamed up to pour as many dollars as possible into funding school projects across the U.S.

On March 10, 2016, Donors Choose — an online platform teachers can use to raise funds for important initiatives in their classrooms — kicked off #BestSchoolDay.

You could definitely say it was a success.


The fundraising site — which helps teachers request funding for things they want to do but that their school budgets can't afford, like diversify the options for children's books available to their students or get calculators for their high schoolers — got a major boost from 58 different celebrities, athletes, philanthropists, among others who helped make the day be actually the best school day ever.

They collectively donated an astonishing $14 million to various Donors Choose projects — enough to complete over halfof all the projects on the platform, as Fast Company reported. Many of them decided to fund all the projects in a given city, county, or state especially close to their hearts.

"Suffice to say we’ve not done anything even fractionally at this scale ever before," Donors Choose CEO and founder Charles Best explained to the outlet. "It’s definitely the biggest day in our organization’s history, other than the day we went national about eight years ago."

So who were some of these well-known celebs throwing their support behind the teachers who could use it?

Here are just 13 of the 58 influencers who lent a helping hand...

1. Stephen Colbert

Colbert — a Donors Choose board member who helped get the effort off its feet — is the celebrity brainpower behind the initiative. He called #BestSchoolDay "probably the best thing I've ever been involved in" and shocked everyone last year by "flash funding" all the projects in his home state of South Carolina.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

"The reason they're doing it and the reason I did it is that I know the real heroes are the teachers who are too often themselves spending their own money for these projects," Colbert told CBS News. "And every dollar you give goes exactly to that project and you hear back from those kids."

And beyond Colbert, plenty of other familiar faces stepped up big time.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

What she's funding: all projects in her hometown of Santa Monica, California.

3. Carmelo Anthony

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nickelodeon.

What he's funding: all projects in his hometown, West Baltimore, Maryland.

4. Anna Kendrick

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

What she's funding (alongside an anonymous donor): All projects in her home state of Maine.

5 & 6. Bill and Melinda Gates

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

What they're funding: All student-led initiatives from high-need schools.

7. Ashton Kutcher

Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images.

What he's funding: All projects in his home state of Iowa. Watch Kutcher explain what was his #BestSchoolDay ever here.

8. Serena Williams

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Burberry.

What she's funding: All projects in her hometown of Compton, California. Williams opened up about what day was her #BestSchoolDay, which you can watch here.

9. Russell Simmons

Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images.

What he's funding: All projects in his hometown of Hollis, Queens, N.Y. Watch Simmons open up about his #BestSchoolDay here.

10. Samuel L. Jackson

Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images for FitFlop Shooting Stars Benefit.

What he's funding: all projects in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Jackson gave viewers the scoop on his #BestSchoolDay ever, which you can watch here.

11 & 12. Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller Rogen

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images.

What they're funding: all projects in Sonoma County, California, where the couple live. They both had a #BestDayEver in school — watch them tell you all about it here.

13. Sheryl Sandberg

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

What she's funding: all projects across several counties in California. Sandberg took some time out of her busy schedule to describe her #BestSchoolDay ever — watch it here.

14. Yvette Nicole Brown

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

What she's funding (alongside an anonymous donor): all projects in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Brown dished on what her #BestSchoolDay ever was — check it out here.

15. Dwight Howard

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

What he's funding: allpre-K through 2nd grade literacy initiatives in Houston, Texas, where he plays for the Houston Rockets. Howard spilled the beans on his #BestSchoolDay here.

You can check out (and will probably recognize) the other names on the list of supporters.

#BestSchoolDay wasn't exclusive to celebs either. Plenty of people (with less recognizable ways) chipped in, in huge ways, too, like Brad Feld — he's part of VC firm Foundry Group, and he backed all projects across Alaska, Detroit, and several cities in Colorado. (Bravo, Brad!)

You don't have to have a ton of money to help educators in need though.

Anyone can make a difference to teachers and students in need.

There are plenty of worthy projects on Donors Choose.Check it out for yourself.

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Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

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Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

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It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

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As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

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“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

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