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He came to our country when he was 9. He became a citizen when he was 16. Meet Claudius.

Claudius moved to the United States at 9 years old, emigrating from Sierra Leone with his mother and brother. That's when he learned what it's like to be an American.

He came to our country when he was 9. He became a citizen when he was 16. Meet Claudius.
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Carnegie Corporation of New York

Claudius moved to the United States at 9 years old from Sierra Leone, a country torn by civil war.

He landed in upstate New York with his mother and brother and only a few bags of possessions. That's when he learned about life in America.

"It's a story of individuals that come together to make one whole. That's what America is."


Just like any other teenager, he went to school, played sports, and learned English. Politics were discussed at home, and it lit a passion in him to be involved in the process of government. And then he became a naturalized citizen at 16 years old.

"My story is an American story."

He went on to go to college, excel at sports and politics, and pursue his dream of political participation by working for Congresswoman Niki Tsongas in Massachusetts.

"We've welcomed immigrants from countries all over the world and we're enriched by all those distinct cultures. They've shaped the American culture and it's a remarkable legacy we have as a nation." — U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas


What makes our country great? It's the sum of everybody who lives, works, plays, and grows old here.

"That's the thing about America," Claudius says. "Just taking bits of pieces from all walks of life and all parts of the world and bringing them into the fold. My story is an American story."

The Great American Melting Pot is real, and it's made us who we are today. It also made our country stronger.

This is the story of so many of us. With the exception of Native Americans who lived here long before any of our ancestors did, we are all immigrants. It just depends on when our people arrived, doesn't it?

What patriotism means to all of us is something that's usually a little vague, sometimes wrapped in words that are loaded with meaning. But Claudius and so many like him … they get it.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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