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Despite the odds, one young writer is passionately chasing his literary dreams.

'I want to become a published author. And there’s nothing that’s going to stop me.'

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Taco Bell Live Más

Do you know what it’s like to have a dream that you’ll stop at nothing to achieve?

Justin Susan does.

When Justin first read a book that transported him to another world, he knew he wanted to re-create that magical feeling for others just like him.


"I want to become a published author. And there’s nothing that’s going to stop me."

‌All images via Taco Bell.‌

Since then, he's been working relentlessly to make his literary dreams a reality, one chapter at a time.

"When I feel like I'm going to stop, I think about if J.K. Rowling would've stopped," he says with a quiet confidence. "If John Green, Steven Spielberg — all these great people — if they would've stopped. It just keeps me going."

The odds, though, haven't often been in Justin's favor.

When Justin was in the eighth grade, he was reading and writing at a fifth-grade level.

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Despite multiple attempts throughout high school, not once was Justin accepted into a college preparatory program. Justin is from the White Mountain Apache reservation, and organizations like College Horizons have reported the high school graduation rate for Native Americans is about half. And of that half, only 5% immediately go on to four-year colleges.

But Justin knows what it will take and is determined.

He wakes up around 5:30 a.m. to get his mind going and his blood flowing — a habit of some of the world's most successful people. For him, something as simple as a morning walk can make all the difference when it comes to tackling the day ahead.

The most inspiring part, however, is what drives him every single day.

"I want to work hard for it. And not only for, you know, the fame or any of that. I’m doing it out there for the simple inspiration for another kid out there just like me, who may not have the right path in life. And hopefully, my characters, my words, can help them just get a little closer to that right direction. And that is the biggest reason why I do it."

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It's no wonder Justin stood out from the crowd and was eventually awarded the Live Más Scholarship from Taco Bell.

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"Hope ... it gave me hope that my dreams are possible."

Those were Justin's words when he first found out he had won.

You see, Taco Bell is celebrating our young innovators, creators, and dreamers — the next generation of students whose skills go beyond the usual athletics and academics. Despite the challenges of the path ahead, these young men and women aren't afraid to dream big and do what they love. They're going after what they want in life and are doing it with determination and truckloads of heart.

Watch Justin talk about his inspirational journey:

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via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

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Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

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Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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Family

Mom's praise of audiobooks 'post-baby' has parents sharing how it changed their lives

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'

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Let people read however they can.

Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.

That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.

You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.

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