Don't be fooled by her size. This Kenyan sixth-grader knows how to own an audience.
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What are the chances a sixth-grader from the biggest slum in Kenya ends up on stage in New York City, speaking to thousands of people?

Not very great, but Eunice Akoth did it. She's living her dream.



Eunice captivating her audience. Image via Women in the World.

Eunice's dreams aren't exactly uncommon for a girl her age: to travel the world and to become a doctor. But the possibility of seeing them through is extra difficult simply because of where she was born.

Between unemployment rates, gender discrimination, and violence in her slum of Kibera — it's a long road out for girls like her.

"Most of the kids in Kibera are raped, some are neglected by their parents, some are homeless," Eunice said at the Women in the World summit. “Most of them have dreams, but they don't know how they can achieve them."

She's starting to figure out how to achieve her own with some welcomed help.

The first-ever all-girls school opened up in Kibera, and it's changing the future.

It's Eunice! And her home in Kibera! Images via A Path Appears and Shining Hope for Communities.

It's called the Kibera School for Girls, and as an all-girls school, it's putting a much-needed focus on girls by giving them an education free of charge and pushing them to dream and work toward a brighter future. It's the first of its kind in the area, and Eunice is a star student.

In a lot of places, going to school isn't a given. Especially for girls.

Eunice says that "growing up as a girl in Kibera is hard work, but if you trust in yourself, you can make it here." She believes in herself and her school believes in her, too. She even spoke in New York City at the 2015 Women in the World Summit, along with the founders of her school. (I guess she can mark a trip to NYC off of her list!)

She traveled from Kenya to New York City to deliver a poem about a dream she has.

You can tell how much Eunice values her education when you hear the poem she wrote for all of the children she knows in Nairobi, Kenya. Here's an excerpt:

*chills*

She's going places. Keep an eye on her.

Don't miss her poem from 0:00-1:35. And if you've got time, stick around for the Women in the World panel afterward on how education can help break the cycle of poverty for girls in Kenya and around the world.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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