An immigrant posted her taxes online. Then came the threats. Then came the love.

"Immigrants don't pay taxes!"

It's a common myth, and some pretty high profile people seem to believe it (including, potentially, the president of the United States).

But it's not true. It's been proven not to be true.


Yet, it persists.

Recently, an Arizona State University student set out to bust this myth once and for all.

Belén Sisa came to America as a child and has since been a recipient of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood), an Obama administration program that aims to help people who came to America at a young age to stay. She posted to Facebook a photo of one of her tax documents, showing she paid $300 to the state of Arizona even though she's undocumented.

MYTH BUSTER: I, an undocumented immigrant, just filed my taxes and PAID $300 to the state of Arizona. I cannot receive...

Posted by Belén Sisa on Sunday, March 26, 2017

She's not the only one. Undocumented immigrants pay over $11 billion per year that goes into programs like Medicaid and Social Security — programs they'll never receive benefits from.

There's a multitude of reasons and mechanisms that make this possible, but according to some estimates, undocumented immigrants actually pay taxes at a higher rate than America's wealthy.

Her post quickly went viral, and soon after, there was extraordinary backlash.

Sisa's Facebook page was overwhelmed with insults, anger, and worst of all, threats.

People called her post a hoax. They told her to "get the hell out of Arizona." Or they found a way to gripe about a college student "only" paying $300 in state income taxes.

That's just what was posted publicly. Sisa's private messages revealed an even darker shade of rage, including people who claimed to have reported her to ICE and worse.

The HATE is real guys. The hate is real. I am legally working in the United States through DACA, and I'm pretty sure the...

Posted by Belén Sisa on Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sisa stood tall amid an onslaught of criticism. For as many people as she angered, even more people came to her defense.

Other DACA recipients from across the country praised her for fighting for understanding. Applause emojis rained all over her Facebook page. Other immigrants shared how much they've paid the government in recent years. Anyone who attacked her was quickly swarmed with dozens of rebuttals.

"Keep fighting girls! You'll make a difference," one friend wrote.

"Thank you for sharing this. May you stay safe and warm where you want to be," added another.

"I admire your strength, Belen! You're undocumented, unafraid, and here to stay," Facebooker Isabella Michaele posted. "We sure as hell have got your back."



Many of the most moving messages were sent directly to Sisa through private message.

This is what makes it all worth it. This is the reason to keep going everyday, fighting & standing together. The love makes me tear up, thank you ❤ #HereToStay #WePayTaxesToo

Posted by Belén Sisa on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"This is what makes it all worth it," she wrote in a follow-up post. "This is the reason to keep going every day, fighting & standing together."

There will always be people with a warped understanding of the American dream.

People who think the pursuit of happiness is a right that belongs only to a select few, or who can't view the success of others without wondering what it might cost them.

If Sisa's story shows us anything (besides the fact that a 23-year-old immigrant is willing to endure insults and threats of violence by releasing her tax information, while our president refuses to do so), it's that the believers will always be louder.

And that — far off as it may seem sometimes — the America most of us are dreaming of is still within reach.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

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