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A letter to my daughter: Why I will always be your partner in this world.

Dear Little Chow: The world is yours to make better.

A letter to my daughter: Why I will always be your partner in this world.
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Fathers Everywhere

To my daughter, Little Chow:

All photos by the author, used with permission.


I first traveled outside of my country when I was 18.

But at age 3, your world is already so much more advanced, and yet more complicated than the world I inherited.

You have already touched more than 10 countries.

I lived more than half of my life before the internet and email came and took over my life; you were born into social media. Mama and I collected hundreds of Likes on Facebook when we announced your entrance into the world.

Assuming all goes well, you are going to be a first-world child, and this is great.

But I’ll be honest: Sometimes I worry about this too.

Mama and I both have jobs, and you are fortunate to have lived way above the poverty line. You have not experienced famine, war, instability, malnutrition, and homelessness. When we go shopping, we can always buy something, however small it is. We love it when we see you running around in the courtyard of our home. It gives us comfort that we are doing well as parents, and we hope to provide that oasis for you as long as possible.

Right now, you are still on the inside of the glass.

I certainly hope for you to live a good life. However, I also do not want you to grow up feeling this is normal — and, worse, feeling you are entitled to this way of living.

700 million people live in poverty today, and millions are affected by conflict, poverty, and natural disasters. The world is imbalanced.

But I don’t want you to be merely happy as you grow up. I also want you to be a compassionate, understanding, and, ultimately, useful human being,

What can we do about this? I will bring you into the world.

Before you entered my world, my life looked different. It involved travels around the globe, extreme outdoor adventures, and understanding global inequality through my personal work. My life has mellowed a little since you came around, and that’s a good thing.

But I hope we can continue to adventure together. I have brought you to the wilder parts of the Great Wall of China for weekend hikes. When we subject you to a challenge, without feedback from society or peers your age, you don’t know your own limits and you surpass our expectations. You appreciate the nature, the flowers, the climb, and that made me happy.

I want a child of mine to love nature so she can grow up to be in love with the Earth we live in, beyond her own small world.

I will bring you to Everest Base Camp come this fall. We will walk together when you can, and I am prepared to carry you up when you feel weary.

In your life, during travels and long days, I promise to guide you along and be a friend and a companion.

I don’t want to outsource this portion of parenting to a professional, an institution, or someone else. As a father, I love the challenge, and it is a privilege I will cherish.

All these things I will teach you before you go to school. Then from there, I hope you can learn to be a citizen of the world.

This is my personal promise to you: I will teach you about the world so you know where you stand.

You will be a first-world child, and I hope to teach you to understand what that means and entails.

And I promise to keep including you in my world — to walk along and to grow with you.

Love,

Papa

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

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From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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