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Fast forward through her life for the awful ending. Then, do it again to see something amazing.

Right now, 62 million girls across the globe are not in school. These girls are our future doctors, teachers, and entrepreneurs – they are the dreamers and visionaries who could change the world as we know it if they just had the chance to get the education they need. This issue is personal for me, because I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls. And I refuse to just sit back and accept the barriers that keep them from realizing their boundless promise. That is why I am thrilled to announce that we're expanding our efforts to “Let Girls Learn" with a new, community-focused girls' education initiative across the globe. Through this new effort, we'll be collaborating with the Peace Corps to support hundreds of new community projects – from building school libraries to creating girls' technology camps - to help girls go to school and stay in school. But while our focus is international, I also want to be very clear that for me, this work isn't just about improving girls' education abroad. It's also about reminding our young people of the hunger they should be feeling for their own education here at home. I want kids here in the U.S. to be inspired by girls worldwide who are making such sacrifices and overcoming such great obstacles to get their education.We owe these girls, and girls like them around the world, an education worthy of their dreams, so I hope you'll join this movement. — First Lady Michelle Obama

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Look at these faces!

They are the faces of girls who are beautiful inside and out. They are the faces of girls who deserve a future worth looking forward to, not one they'll dread.


They have dreams. They love to have fun.

They like to learn. They want to grow up and have options.

But because those faces belong to girls, the future could be bleak for them.

Girls are much more likely than boys to remain uneducated. Hopeful young girls have the school doors closed in their faces, literally and figuratively.

Worldwide, there are 31 million elementary school girls out of school. There are another 34 million lower secondary school (junior high) girls out of school. (You can fact check those overwhelming figures here.) And we don't even know how many high-school-aged girls aren't being educated.

What does a lack of education mean to many girls?

It means girls are much more likely to get married way too young.

Check out these figures: If all girls across the world completed elementary school, child marriages would go down 14%. If they all completed the equivalent of junior high, that number would go down by 66%.

It means girls are more likely to have babies well before they are emotionally or physically prepared.


It's hard to learn this statistic and not feel moved: "Almost 60% fewer girls would become pregnant under 17 years in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia if they all had a secondary education."

Don't feel hopeless. These girls' stories can have happy endings!


Education changes everything for girls around the world. Fewer would die during childbirth, their children would suffer less malnutrition, they would make more money, and they would be able to make decisions for themselves.

This is an investment worth making.

Not only does every single girl deserve a shot at a bright future, but girls and women make communities stronger and richer. Let's help give them a chance. And let's remind girls here in the U.S. how important an education is! You can spread the word by sharing this post. — Team Upworthy

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

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via Pexels

If you know how to fix this tape, you grew up in the 1990s.

There are a lot of reasons to feel a twinge of nostalgia for the final days of the 20th century. Rampant inflation, a global pandemic and political unrest have created a sense of uneasiness about the future that has everyone feeling a bit down.

There’s also a feeling that the current state of pop culture is lacking as well. Nobody listens to new music anymore and unless you’re into superheroes, it seems like creativity is seriously missing from the silver screen.

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Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

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Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

Peter Bence's performance of "Africa" is both entertaining and impressive.

Toto's "Africa" is one of the most beloved pop songs of all time. In fact, it's been touted by at least one neural scientist and by countless music fans as the No. 1 song ever written.

For a song released in the early 1980s, it has stood the test of time consistently, never feeling dated or constrained by its decade. "Africa" is practically in a genre of its own, which is probably why it's been covered so many times in so many styles by so many artists.

One rendition that's getting viral attention—not for the first time—may be unlike any you've ever seen.

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Naturally, people are weighing in on the crisis, with some throwing out simplistic advice like, "Why don't you just do what people did before baby formula was invented and just breastfeed?"

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