A young immigrant's inspiring story of survival moves the internet to take action.

18-year-old Gaspar Marcos spends his day at school, puts in eight hours of work after that, and then tries to fit in at least three hours of sleep before doing it all over again.

Gaspar is a sophomore at Belmont High School in Los Angeles. He also works full-time as a dishwasher in the evenings and pays $600 a month for a room he rents from a family. His struggles are very real.


Image via Los Angeles Times/Facebook.

Gaspar is from Guatemala — one of at least 100,000 kids who came to the U.S. from Central America in the past five years as a result of a raging and increasingly violent drug war between cartels and police.

Many have made the dangerous trek alone, leaving their parents behind. Gaspar was one of those children, having lost both his parents when he was 5; he made his way to the U.S. at 13.

The Los Angeles Times spent 19 hours with Gaspar to tell his story. The video they created has been viewed over 10 million times so far on Facebook.

The reaction to Gaspar's story was fast and powerful. Immediately after the L.A. Times shared the video of his story on its Facebook page, people rushed to offer him a place to stay and monetary contributions.

Cynthia Salinas/Facebook, used with permission.

Terrie Byone Moulds/Facebook, used with permission.

Gloria Velasquez/Facebook, used with permission.

The L.A. Times was quick to recognize the outpouring of support.

Federico Bustamante, a program administrator for Casa Libre, a shelter for undocumented youth in L.A., set up a GoFundMe page to help Gaspar.

The money will help cover his everyday expenses as well as go toward college tuition. Federico said that he's been a guardian, mentor, teacher, big brother, and friend to Gaspar and other undocumented students. He jokes that he's also Gaspar's agent given his sudden internet fame and the subsequent outpouring of support.

The We Stand With Gaspar campaign has raised nearly $19,000 from over 400 people as of July 27, 2016. Gaspar was so overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers that he recorded the video message below saying it's great to feel loved and visible in this world.

Not only is Gaspar undeterred in his quest to work hard to get ahead, but he's also incredibly selfless. In his thank you video, he said that he understands it's not just about him, but about young people like him facing the same situation. That's why he's donating 50% of the donations made to his GoFundMe page to help some of his undocumented classmates and other immigrant teens at Casa Libre so that they, too, can have more free time for schoolwork.

Federico said about the campaign, "We have become of vital importance to our immigrant community and the refugee boys we've helped to house and empower, like Gaspar ... so you can understand that Gaspar and the rest of my students inspire me to heights far beyond GoFundMe."

Gaspar's story puts a real face to a real issue.

Many undocumented people like Gaspar are determined individuals looking to better their situation by working hard and educating themselves in order to thrive. It's challenging for them to do it on their own, especially when they are teens. But thanks to loving members of the community and the kindness of people on the internet, Gaspar is able to attain a slice of the American Dream.

If you want to help Gaspar and fellow undocumented youth, consider donating to his GoFundMe page.

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.

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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!

via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

A lot of pitfalls can come with having an open marriage. When a partner allows the other to stray it can create jealousy and ruin the ties that bind a couple together.

But some believe it can improve a marriage by allowing both partners to find temporary sexual fulfillment outside the relationship. That gives frustrated partners a chance to fulfill their needs without having to leave a marriage that's satisfying otherwise.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith recently admitted they have experimented with an open relationship and it nearly ended them for good. The couple tied the knot in 1997 and have two children, son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 20. Will also has a son Trey, 28, from his marriage to Sheree Zampino.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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