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anonymous donor clears debt for students at texas college
Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

College graduates at Wiley College had more reasons than most to celebrate.

Imagine being at your college graduation, knowing you’ll soon be entering the “real” world under the massive weight of student loans—like 65% of all graduating students—when suddenly you hear the words:

“You are debt free.”

Sounds like a fantasy, right? For the graduating class of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, the miracle was all too real.

During the college's commencement ceremony, Wiley’s president and CEO Dr. Herman J. Felton Jr. announced that thanks to an anonymous donor, the debt owed by the entire class had been fully paid off. That’s more than 100 students, with a debt total of around $300,000.

“You do not owe the college a penny. If you have a balance, you had a balance. You no longer have a balance,” he can be heard saying in a video as students clapped and cheered. Their unbridled joy was palpable.

The students of Wiley weren’t the only ones thrilled by the news. People flooded Twitter with loving, congratulatory comments.

"This is what we need more of. Congratulations Class of 2022...go change the world!" wrote one user.

A statement released by the college explained that although the school has worked to reduce its tuition costs, COVID-19 exacerbated many students' ability to pay their remaining balances. This made the special announcement an even more welcome surprise.

Student debt can be crippling. And often it doesn’t only affect the student, but the student's family members who try to offer support. Sometimes that sacrifice can prove to be detrimental as interest rates leave one owing dramatically more than what was originally borrowed. The class of Wiley experienced an anomaly. Sadly, the norm is much more stressful.

But still, many who can help, do. In 2019, for instance, billionaire Robert Smith donated $34 million to the graduating class of Atlanta's Morehouse College. And In 2020, philanthropist Mackenzie Scott provided $20 million to Morehouse too.

The identity of this mystery donor may never be revealed…though some have speculated it to be Nicki Minaj, who has paid off other students' debt in the past. Regardless, their contribution means that the students of Wiley can step into their futures free of financial burden. And that is priceless.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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