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This is Kadijatu Mamane Zeinan and she wants to be a teacher.

She may seem familiar, like your child, little sister, or even like you when you were younger. Her eyes sparkle with a carefree joy and wonder most of us tend to lose as we grow old.

But Kadijatu has it in spades. Happy and full of life.


All photos by Vincent Tremeau, used with permission.

Her sweet spirit is especially impressive considering Kadijatu is growing up in country prone to crisis.

She's living in Niger, a west African country plagued by external threats. Attacks from terrorist group Boko Haram have killed thousands and driven families from their homes. And new threats from Libya make it tough to secure her country, which is about twice the size of Texas.

But despite the uncertainty, Kadijatu remains optimistic about her future.

"I want to be a teacher like my father," she said.

Photographer Vincent Tremeau captured Kadijatu, and dozens of other children living in western and central Africa for his latest project, "One day, I will."

The series features portraits and stories of the children dressed up as the people they want to become.

Like Salifa Adamou, who wants to protect forests in Niger.

Tremeau, a former aid worker turned photographer, began the project while completing an assignment on the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). He decided to get to know the children at the refugee camp and came up with the idea for portraits.

"It is a game to come dressed up as what you want to become," he told Upworthy. "So it is always a fun activity to do, especially for the kids..."

Now in between assignments, Tremeau travels to schools throughout the region and chats with the teachers about participating in the project. In the small villages he travels to, many of the kids don't have access to cell phones or computers, so many are excited to be photographed.

The kids at this school were so excited to dress up and share their big dreams with Tremeau.

The career goals and kid-made costumes are as creative and inspiring as the kids themselves.

This young lady in Niger wants to be a journalist.

Georgine, 13, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) wants to be on the radio.

And then there are electricians, like this little guy in the CAR.

Sakima, 10, from Niger hopes to be an educator.

Yakouba Senou, 11, from Kolondieba, Mali wants to be a science teacher.

And check out this fabulous future pilot from the CAR.

Healthcare professions are popular too. Like this future nurse in the CAR.

And Sekou, an aspiring doctor from Mali.

Some of the kids hope to work with their hands, like Rajikou Ibrahima of Niger who wants to be a mechanic.

Or Issouf Konaté of the Fakola Village in Mali who wants to become a chicken farmer.

And get your first look at David Kamaté , age 9, who is just a few decades away from becoming the president of Mali.

But even after photographing dozens of children, some of their responses still catch Tremeau off guard.

"I think about this young girl who said she wanted to be a basket makers, so she can sell baskets and take care of her future children if she has to get married with a drunkard or a irresponsible husband," he told Upworthy.

"When you are still a kid, it is surprising to have such a maturity. But unfortunately this is the reality she lives in too, and she already knew she had to take care of herself, even at this young age," he said.

And for every aspiring teacher, nurse, or president, there are soldiers and diamond collectors.

Their countries are plagued by war and conflict, and many of the young boys in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic hope to become soldiers, not to pillage and destroy, but in the hopes of protecting their families.

12-year-old Patrick of DRC is one of them.

Children also look forward to working in the diamond industry, which employs many people in western and central Africa, but is incredibly dangerous and unforgiving.

Many use makeshift boats to find diamonds in the riverbeds.

This young girl in the CAR even made a paper boat as part of her costume.

But with education and opportunity, these creative, talented kids can turn their dreams and ambitions into reality.


Ibrahim, a young boy in the CAR who wants to be a soldier.

"It is something I deeply believe in," said Tremau, whose parents were both teachers. "Education should be at the center of every priority, even in time of turmoil, so it can change mentalities, and hopefully bring a better future for the next generation."

For years, many children in the region didn't have access to primary education. In the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, millions of children remain out of school, as the region struggles to come back after war and continued violence.

But things are turning around. Just ask Francoise, a teenage girl with an infant son, who's determined to become a nurse through hard work in school. She shared her story of resilience with Tremeau.

“My name is Francoise, I am 15 years old, I have a child named Chance. He is 1 year and 4 months old. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I wash my baby’s clothes before I go to school. While I am away, my grand-mother looks after him.
When I go to school, I am not ashamed of anything. But others cannot understand why I am a student while I already have a child.
I tell them that if I study, it is exactly because I want to help my child. Even though others make fun of me, I let them talk and go to school anyway."

Tremeau is continuing his project in other African nations and hopes to expand the series to other continents as well.

"I would be curious to do it in developed countries like in Europe, the U.S. or in Canada and see what comes out of it. We will see if I have the opportunity to," he told Upworthy.

Tremeau is also sharing a picture from his series every day on his Instagram page, where you can find even more pictures and personal stories. And he hopes to put the photographs on exhibit sometime in the next year.

Driver Hassan poses dressed up as a driver, in Carnot, Central African Republic. "I want to go to school so I can learn traffic regulations so I can be a good driver". Photo by @vtremeau Carnot is an isolated city, in Western CAR. Most of the car you can see belongs either to humanitarian organizations or the UN soldiers. It can take days to reach the capital Bangui by road. In 2014, there wasn’t any gas stations in the country anymore, except in the capital. Play the game! Join us on @1day1will and use #1day1will to participate in this project and show that #youngmindsmatter #Africa #CARCrisis #CentralAfricanRepublic #everydayafrica #photojournalism #documentaryphotography #portrait #dressupasthefuture #driver
A photo posted by One Day I Will (@1day1will) on

Here's to these bright, hopeful young people.

They're on the path to amazing things. And thanks to photographer Vincent Tremeau, we can see and share their stories and work together to encourage their education and push for greater opportunities.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

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.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“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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Pop Culture

'90s kids share movies that will 'take you back to a better time'

It was a magical time when animals played sports and yet somehow things were just simpler.

YouTube/Upworthy photo illustration

Honey, I shrunk the kid named Matilda while jamming in space!

Everyone knows that '90s movies just hit different. From sports movies to rom-coms to even horror, there was an undeniable innocence, without being overly simplistic or juvenile. They didn’t have nearly the amount of money going into production as they do today, but somehow managed to transport us to magical places.

Movies of the '90s are so iconic that there have been several attempts to reboot beloved titles. Which, let’s face it, tends to be a fool's errand at a cash grab. These movies are so timeless that simply viewing the original is more than fine.

Not sure which movie to start with? You’re in luck—a Reddit user by the name of YouBrokeMyTV asked ’90s kids to share movies that took them “back to a better time,” and because the internet can be a wonderful place, tons of people responded with some beloved classics.

These answers certainly don’t make a definitive list (there are just so, so many gems) but they're a fun glimpse into what made '90s cinema so special. A nostalgic romp through memory lane, if you will.

Enjoy these 14 titles that just might leave you jonesing for a rewatch:

1. "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"

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A perfect example of how '90s movies were silly, but smart at the same time. And oh so wholesome.

2. "The Sandlot"

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It taught us nothing about baseball, but everything about friendship, rooting for the underdog and (most important) how to make s’mores.

3. "Drop Dead Fred"

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Critics might have run this cult classic through the mud during its inception, but audiences fell in love with the bizarre charm of this story about a mischievous little girl and her anarchist imaginary friend. So take that, snotfaces!

4. "The Goonies"

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Everyone just wanted to set off an epic quest with their friends for pirate treasure after seeing this movie.

5. Tim Burton's "Batman"

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Before the superhero genre was the behemoth it is today, a quirky director and the dude who was best known for playing the creepy demon in "Beetlejuice" breathed new life into comic-book movies. Marvel might be the leader on creating stories with adult themes that are digestible for kids nowadays, but this DC film was the first of its kind. Plus, that soundtrack … forget about it.

6. "Hook"

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Pretty much any '90s film starring Robin Williams was an absolute gem, but this one in particular is timeless. His gift of balancing childlike humor with emotional gravitas lent itself so well to playing the now grown and cynical Peter Pan, who must learn to reclaim his joy (relatable, millennials?). It was a bang-a-rang-er, no question.

7. "Space Jam"

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It had Looney Tunes, it had aliens and it had Michael Jordan. That’s a winning combination.

8. "Matilda"

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I don’t think I’m out of line when I say that this movie helped a lot of kids make their way through difficult childhoods.

9. "The Parent Trap"

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Even '90s reboots were awesome. And how fun it is to see that Lisa Ann Walker—the actress who played Chessy the housekeeper—is not only yet again gracing the screens in NBC’s “Abbott Elementary,” but is also being revered as a style icon on TikTok for her ultra casual looks in the film. We all knew she was onto something with long button downs and shorts.

10. "The Land Before Time"

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No cartoon, not even “The Lion King,” was a better depiction of childhood grief. And yet, despite encapsulating tragedy, director Don Bluth still left viewers hopeful. The subsequent 14 (yes 14) sequels definitely pale in comparison to the original, but "The Land Before Time" continues to stand the test of time nonetheless.

11. "Richie Rich"

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The scene where they play tag on four-wheelers is simply iconic.

12. "Dunston Checks In"

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Man, the '90s were the golden age of animal-centered films. And not just monkeys either—we got sports playing golden retrievers and not one, but two movies starring talking pigs. What a time to be alive. These films were made before CGI had reached the levels it’s at today, and the authentic interactions between humans and creatures reached right through the screen.

13. "George of the Jungle"
george of the jungle, brendan faser

Watch out for the tree!!!

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Have I seen this movie at least 20 times? Probably. It doesn’t get any better than this in terms of silly action films with bird puppets. It’s crazy to think that this role would eventually lead Brendan Fraser to "The Mummy" franchise, turning him into a household name. Though his career has had some tragic ups and downs, we are all grateful for the glorious comeback he’s been having.

14. Anything involving Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
mary kate and ashley

Yes, they were professional detectives.

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Whether vacationing in London, Paris or Rome, whether playing magical witches or making a huge billboard so their father could find love … Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen offered zany, whimsical entertainment while wearing fun outfits. Sometimes, that’s all you need.