At age 10, he won a gold medal at the Special Olympics. Now he's one of the best players in the NFL.

"Special Olympics gave me the first chance to discover a talent I didn't know I had."

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is one of the best players in all of football.

He's been selected to the Pro Bowl (the NFL all-star game) four times in his career, and he's ranked #12 on the NFL's list of the Top 100 Players of 2015.

Here he is, hard at work:


Through the end of the 2014 season, Charles has racked up 58 career touchdowns, with 38 of them coming on runs like this. GIF via NFL.

What many fans might not know is that before he was a star on the NFL field, he competed in the Special Olympics.

When he was 10 years old, Charles competed in the Special Olympics games. Growing up, he struggled to read, later finding out that he had a learning disability.

Charles delivered an emotional speech during the opening ceremony of this year's Special Olympics, giving credit to the organization for helping him learn to believe in himself:

"I was afraid. I was lost. I had trouble reading. I found out I had a learning disability. People made fun of me. They said I would never go anywhere. But I learned I can fly. When I was 10 years I had the chance to compete in the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics gave me my first chance to discover a talent I did not know I had."

At 10 years old, Charles won the gold medal in track and field at the Special Olympics and came away with a confidence in his abilities that would follow him throughout the rest of his academic and athletic career.

Here's Jamaal Charles during his playing days at the University of Texas, running for a touchdown in the third quarter of the 2005 Big 12 Championship. Texas won the game 70-3 and went on to be named national champions. Photo by G.N. Lowrance/Getty Images.

He closed his speech by leading the crowd in the Special Olympics athlete oath: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

The Special Olympics has been helping athletes like Jamaal Charles since 1968 and, hopefully, for many years to come.

Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the organization's mission is to promote "understanding, acceptance, and inclusion among people with and without intellectual disabilities."

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

According to its website, the organization now has a presence in more than 170 countries and has touched the lives of 4.4 million athletes.

Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport.

There's so much stigma that surrounds people with intellectual disabilities. Charles provides some much-needed representation.

As he says in his speech, when he was growing up, other kids teased him because of his learning disability. Various studies have shown that children with learning disabilities are more likely than other students to be bullied at school.

For an NFL star athlete to come forward and open up about his learning disability is huge. In giving this speech, Jamaal Charles is giving kids like him a role model; he gives them something to aim for. And maybe, he even gave would-be bullies something to think about before they pick on a classmate.

All this because of one short, honest, heartwarming speech.


Watch Jamaal Charles' powerful speech from the opening ceremonies here:

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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.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

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.

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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.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture