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Once in a while, you meet a human being who just kinda exudes magic. Sasha is one of those people.

I don't know that I would have survived what he did — that is, sexual abuse by relatives over several years, beginning at age 4.

This is Sasha now, and at age 4.



Image by Sasha Joseph Neulinger/TEDx.

After throwing himself from his mother's car at age 8, he got some help to begin processing what had happened to him.

Sasha bravely made his sexual abuse history public.

Over a decade later, after the trials were over and he finished film school, he began a Kickstarter to fund the making of a movie about his life, " Rewind to Fast-Forward." You see, his father, a filmmaker himself, captured a lot of their family life on film, so Sasha got to watch himself as a wee child, then at ages 4, 5, 6, and even into his teens when he had to testify against the uncles and cousin who abused him.

Sasha's family videos show times when abusive family members were with him. Image by "Rewind to Fast-Forward."

This film is his chance to tell his story, connect with other survivors, and open a dialogue with the world about child sexual abuse.

Sasha's film shows his struggle with a difficult past. Image by "Rewind to Fast-Forward."

His Kickstarter raised nearly $200,000 in just a few weeks, received millions of views, and reached thousands of people who'd had similar experiences. Many of them sent him personal messages with their own stories of survival, some telling that story for the first time in their lives. There is great power in the ability to start conversations about a subject that most people would rather hide under a rug, and those conversations can turn into healing, justice, and positive change in the world. The film is in post-production. See the attributions below to find out more.

The real numbers behind sexual abuse? More than you think.

Think of 500 people in a room you've been in recently. A conference, a concert, a church.

Statistically, Sasha points out, 1 out of every 3 girls and 1 out of every 5 boys have been sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. (Note from our fact checkers: Some organizations like the U.S. Dept. of Justice put this at 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys, but either way — it's totally unacceptable).

I've been aware of that for several years now, though the reality of it is so much more than a statistic. It still shocks me.


Sasha's film shows how he coped with this trauma when he was a child. Image by "Rewind to Fast-Forward."

It's one of the biggest sources of trauma for children, and it happens far too frequently in the world.

Watch Sasha talk about his journey and about finding that 4-year-old child inside himself, holding his hand through the darkness, reminding him that he is deeply loved.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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