Financial literacy is too often a privilege of the wealthy. Justin Tuck is changing that.

It's not uncommon to hear about the financial struggles of former NFL players who, in spite of multimillion-dollar deals, are now living paycheck to paycheck.

It's easy to judge them, but that's ignoring a very real truth: Financial literacy is a privilege often afforded to the already wealthy, not the newly wealthy.

As Justin Tuck, retired Giants defensive end, told Reuters, "Look at the average NFL roster, and most players come from low-income families. They go from being 18-year-old kids with nothing to being 21-year-olds with millions of dollars. ... They get all this money all of a sudden, and they just don't know how to handle it."


Image via Heath Brandon/Flickr.

That kind of wealth isn't easy to manage, and when it happens in such a short period of time, at such a pivotal moment in the player's lives, it's too easy to lose control and wind up in dire financial straights.

That's part of the inspiration behind Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy.

The solution to being poor isn't just to acquire more money; it's also to know how to manage and grow your money. So in 2008, Justin and his wife, Lauran, founded Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy, an organization dedicated to addressing a number of issues, including financial literacy for low-income families.

R.U.S.H. stands for read, understand, succeed, and hope, and Justin and Lauran set out together to encourage those ideals by donating lots and lots of books — over 86,000 of them, in fact — to children who needed them. They wanted to help decrease summer learning loss, when kids lose a lot of the momentum gained throughout the school year.

Image via Ginny/Flickr.

But they noticed that encouraging regular literacy was only part of the equation when it came to keeping the kids motivated and invested in their academics. Financial literacy is also a huge factor. So they set out to equip students and their families with the skills, tools, and hope needed to thrive in school, college, and beyond.

Financial literacy is directly related to which kids pursue undergraduate degrees.

As explained in a 2010 Center for Social Development research brief by William Elliott III and Sandra Beverly, financial planning has a huge effect on college attendance:

"We assume that savings and wealth may have two effects on college attendance. The first effect is direct and mainly financial ... . The second effect is indirect and mainly attitudinal: If youth grow up knowing they have money to help pay for current and future schooling, they may have higher educational expectations."

Image via Tax Credits/Flickr.

The people behind R.U.S.H. noticed this link between having a college savings account and going to college. Lauran told Upworthy that in spite of efforts to even the playing field, "there were still barriers to college access. A lot of the kids — especially those that were at risk — were responding saying they still didn't think they were going to go to college. They said it's too expensive."

Seeing this problem, R.U.S.H. stepped in with a long-term solution.

Lauran and Justin partnered with a number of organizations and began seeding college savings accounts and raising matching funds. Megan Holston-Alexander, R.U.S.H.'s program director, shared that the initial "seed was $150,000, given at $100 per student. As of June 1, 2015, the accounts have risen another $40,794." And that amount will only continue to grow.

Lauran explained that the financial contributions have been supported by efforts to educate the families so that "parents and students understand why we're saving for college and so that parents understand that their money is going to be matched."

Image via Nazareth College/Flickr.

Justin emphasized to families that "if it's important to you, then you have to be prepared to sacrifice."

R.U.S.H. isn't making college free; it's planting the seed of hope and arming families with the information necessary to prepare for their children's futures.

As Lauran stated, "what keeps us going is the 'H' in the acronym, the 'Hope' piece of it. We want to provide for so many kids and families hope, where the opportunity gaps do exist. It's the hope that motivates us."

By giving parents the skills necessary to maintain financial health and enabling them to set up college-savings accounts for their kids, R.U.S.H. helps these communities to build a legacy of achievement. They're making it possible for the kids and their families to see and work toward goals that may have felt impossible. R.U.S.H. is making it possible to dream. But more importantly, it's making it possible to achieve.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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