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At first glance, you might not notice anything different about 10-year-old Emma Fletcher.

She glows with energy and innocence. But if you look beyond her curly blond hair and shimmering smile, you'll see that she wears a prosthetic on her right leg — the result of a rare birth defect that she has lived with her entire life.

Emma is a happy and athletic 10-year-old, but the reality is that her condition isn't one that you're likely to see reflected on the dolls at your local toy store.

So you can image Emma's surprise when her little sister presented her with a brand-new American Girl doll that had ... some special features.

When Emma first opened the box, it looked like any other doll...

(And like any other kid, she was annoyed and confused with her mom's insistence that she read the note that came along with the gift. Ugh, parents.)

But when she tore the box apart, Emma realized she had more in common with her new toy than just blond hair.

As she burst into tears, she exclaimed:

Emma's parents bought her an American Doll with a customized prosthetic leg — just like hers.

The doll came from a New York-based company called A Step Ahead, which offers their customization services for free — you just provide the doll. As they explain on their website:

"We feel that it is absolutely crucial to boost the self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of inclusion for little girls with limb loss, and that something as small as a doll that resembles them can have a profound effect on their mental and physical well-being."

The "doctors" who performed the amputation and prepared the doll's new prosthetic leg even included a personal note for Emma to read when she opened her gift:

That "life without limitations" part is really the crux of this whole heartwarming story.

Emma is just one of nearly 2 million people in the United States living with limb loss. Prosthetics have been around for hundreds of years, and newer medical advancements are making it easier than ever for people to lead fulfilling lives, unimpeded — and sometimes, enhanced — by their amputations.

So it's not that kids like Emma can't connect with toys or celebrities or fictional characters who don't have prosthetics. They can, and they do.

But they also shouldn't have to feel alone.

When people who might feel alienated finally get to see themselves represented in the world, it means the world.

Small gestures like this doll help kids like Emma feel like they're not alone. It lets them know that their experiences and struggles are real, and that they matter.

Check out the full emotional video of Emma opening her new gift below:

Just ... maybe grab like 10 box of tissues before you hit play. You're gonna need it.

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.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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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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