Graduate's funny and touching virtual commencement speech won first prize in global competition
via GreaterGood / YouTube

April Judd, 19, from Quebec, Canada won first price in Greater Good's Girls' Voices at Home Class of 2020 Challenge with a virtual commencement speech on the theme "How the coronavirus affected my final semester."

The contest was open to high school and college seniors and received 379 submissions from girls in 49 different countries.

In her submission, Judd bemoans the fact that she didn't get to put on her final stage production or say goodbye to some friends she may never see again. She also discusses the challenge of moving in with her parents after being gone for two years.

However, during the pandemic she had a powerful change in her mindset that's inspired her to move forward in a bold way.

"I don't want to go back to the way things were," she says. "I want to have a heightened appreciation for all the things that make life full."

April wants to be someone who finds beauty even the "less favorable hands that life deals us." She ends the video with an empowering message for her fellow graduates, "We got this."

April from Shawville, Quebec

This article originally appeared on 01.09.18

Why should a superintendent get a raise while teachers in the same district struggling to make ends meet see their paychecks flatline — year after year after year?

Teacher Deyshia Hargrave begged the question. Minutes later, she was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a cop car.

The scene was captured below by YouTube user Chris Rosa, who attended a board meeting for Vermilion Parish Schools in Louisiana.

You can watch Hargrave begin speaking about 33 seconds in. The situation starts becoming contentious around 6:35 minutes. Hargrave is arrested at 8:35, and then walked outside in handcuffs and placed in the back of police vehicle. (Story continues below.)

"We work very hard with very little to maintain the salaries that we have," Hargrave, who teaches middle school language arts, said during a public comment portion of the meeting, stating that she's seen classroom sizes balloon during her time at the school with no increased compensation. "We're meeting those goals, while someone in that position of leadership [the superintendent] is getting raise? It's a sad, sad day to be a teacher in Vermilion Parish."

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