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He was ready to return to a life of crime. Dave's Killer Bread offered an alternative.

"It's the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to make something of it."

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Dave's Killer Bread

Andre Eddings’ life was beginning to look dire.

After being caught and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, Eddings was in jail with a felony record. “I remember thinking to myself, 'I’m a failure now,'” he says. “I will never amount to anything. I’m just throwing my life away.”

As a kid, Eddings had shown a lot of promise. Growing up with parents who struggled to get by, he was dedicated to creating a life for himself. “I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to become successful. I wanted a good job making a livable wage,” he says.


Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

He kept a 3.8 GPA through high school, then continued to perform well academically as he went on to college and played football. So what happened? Watch:

It was only after a football injury that things went awry.

“The doctor basically gave me an ultimatum,” he says. “Keep playing and potentially injure myself for the rest of my life, or give it up and save my body.”

Eddings chose to give up his athletic career and ended up dropping out of college and moving home to work.

With no degree and stuck in a dead-end job, Eddings looked to others to find a path toward what he considered success. It didn’t take long for him to start dealing drugs — and to get caught.

When he got out of jail, Eddings wanted nothing more than a path back onto the straight and narrow.

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

But with a felony on his record, that seemed impossible.

“I went to multiple interviews where I’d interview pretty well and they’d offer me the position,” he says. But once employers discovered his record, the job offers would disappear.

With few employment options and his restitution and court fees piling up, Eddings felt backed into a corner. “I was going to go back to selling drugs,” he says. What he really wanted was a solid job making an honest day’s work, but with his past preventing him from moving forward, he felt he had no choice.

That’s when he got a call that changed everything.

"I wouldn’t give up quite yet," said an encouraging friend who knew a better way.

Dave’s Killer Bread, an organic bakery in Milwaukie, Oregon, doesn't disqualify candidates based on their criminal backgrounds.

Eddings happily took a position low on the totem pole, eager to forge a path forward for himself. “I was nervous. I was a little scared. I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d never worked in production before, let alone a bakery,” he says.

He needn’t have worried: It clicked right away.

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

Two and a half years later, he's risen through the ranks and is a production assistant supervisor with aspirations to continue working his way up the company.

"My life has made a complete 180-degree turnaround," he says.

"Now I have two beautiful children, I’m engaged, I’m renting a house with the hopes of buying a house here in the future." He's also a mentor to other employees with similar backgrounds at Dave's Killer Bread.

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

"I help other people coming into the company who have similar backgrounds to me, you know, talking to them, letting them know it can be done if you want it," he says. "With this company here, you can make something of yourself."

Dave's believes so strongly in the power of second chances because Dave himself co-founded the business after finishing a prison stint.

"The only reason employers don’t want to take on people with a background or who are convicted felons is solely out of fear," Eddings says.

For him, it's worth the risk. "You never know what you can get out of a person who is ready to make the change, wants to do better for themselves, wants to become somebody."

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

The hiring policy at Dave's isn't just informed by kindness — it's also good business strategy.

"In a tight job market, where motivated and engaged employees are hard to find, we have found that individuals who are given a second chance are highly appreciativeof the opportunity given to them and are eager to learn and grow professionally," says Gretchen Peterson, the director of human resources at DKB.

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

"The second-chance partners we employ come to work grateful and happy to have a job every day — what employer doesn’t want to see that in their workforce?" she says.

If more companies hired like Dave's Killer Bread does, one desperate history after the next wouldn't have to repeat itself.

Peterson says she thinks H.R. professionals sometimes fool themselves into thinking they are getting a "better quality" candidate through the background check process.

"In my experience, there are just as many people with no background who end up being terminated for theft or fraud. In fact, it's the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to make something of it."

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

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Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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