A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.
And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.
This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.
For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.
Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.
Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”
That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.
Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.
Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.
“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”
Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
She had to know the truth.
A woman, 35, and her husband, 38, had been married for 10 years and during that time became good friends with a neighbor in her 20s. Two years after they met the neighbor she had a son. She said the father wasn’t in the son’s life because he was a one-night fling.
The woman had health issues, so the couple happily took care of the child when she was in the hospital. Sadly, the woman died when the child was young, so the couple became his foster parents and legally adopted him at the age of 7.
Years later, when their adopted son was 10, and their biological child was 5, the mother noticed that both children looked a lot alike. “Now that they are 10 and 5 years old and they looked so much like each other that I begin to have suspicions,” the woman wrote on the Reddit Relationship Advice subforum.
So, she secretly had the adopted son's DNA tested.
When the results came back, the woman found out that her children were half brothers. Her husband had cheated on her with the neighbor who passed away. In a strange set of circumstances, the man adopted his son. After learning the truth about her son and husband, the wife was beside herself.
“I don't know how I should act. I am so angry and feel so humiliated, but I love the three of them so much. I feel like I am just a tool and that my dignity was stepped upon,” she wrote on the forum.
To make things worse, she still loves her husband. She said that he was “never abusive” and was a “good husband” and a “good father.”
“It feels like I was not a mother but an idiot who was used like a babysitter for his child,” the woman wrote. “How am I supposed to react? Should I tell them the truth and try to cancel the adoption? Should I divorce him? Am I right to feel like it, or am I a monster to see this child as the source of my humiliation?”
A depressed woman.
The post received 110 comments, and the most popular urged her to ask herself the big questions. Do you want to raise both boys? Do you want to stay married? Do you feel like he will slight you again in some way?
I think one question you need to consider is, Do you want to raise both boys? Setting aside whether or not your husband is involved, understand that the child is blameless and isn't responsible for his parentage. Deciding what you want to do regarding the child is important. Also note that it isn't wrong to decide that you can't handle taking care of this child. Only you know if you have the capacity to raise the child, knowing where he comes from. If you decide that you can't, it is better to not try, and end up conveying all the upset you are feeling to him.
The other question is, Do you want to stay married? There can be various reasons for and against divorce. Only you can decide which ones matter most to you.
A related question is, Do you feel he will slight you again in some way? You talk about your dignity being stepped on. Is he often acting that way in many things? Was this a one-time thing? Do you think he is likely to do it again? Knowing this will help you answer the prior question.
Trying to break down all the things you are struggling with into separate ideas may help you get some control over it.
The woman’s final words on her situation were that she couldn’t resolve to hate her husband or the adopted child and that her husband’s infidelity was the only thing that made her feel hesitant about him. Further, she is legally bound to the adopted child and couldn’t leave him regardless. But sadly, even though it appears she will stay in the situation, she feels like she has no choice. “I feel trapped,” she wrote.
Upworthy has reached out to the woman for an update on her story. We will update this story if she responds.
Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)
There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.
Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.
Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.
Rugen tells Montoya he will give him anything he wants after being bested by Montoya who passionately replies, "I want my father back, you son of a bitch."delete
Webb's father was a big fan of Montoya's performance in the film so she reached out to TikTok to learn if the rumor was true.
"I saw on the internet the rumor that when Mandy Patinkin said that line, he was thinking of his own father who had passed away from cancer," Webb said while crying. "And it was a very raw emotion. Ever since then, it's kind of really stuck with me."
Patinkin, who is a TikTok user, heard that the woman had reached out to him and he gave a heartfelt response.
"First of all, your dad is taking care of you," he said. "Secondly, it is true, 100% true. I went outside in this castle and walked around and I kept talking to my dad."
"The minute I read the script, I knew, I said to [his wife], I said, 'I'm going to do this part because in my mind, if I get the six-fingered guy, that means I killed the cancer that killed my dad and I'll get to visit my dad," he said.
"That moment was coming, and I went and I played that scene with Chris [Guest], and then I went back out there and talked to my dad," Patinkin said.
He then told Webb that she has the power to talk to her father, too.
"And so, you can talk to your dad anytime you want, anywhere you want," he said. "If you could somehow let me know your dad's name because I say prayers for anyone I've ever known. Now I feel like I know you, and therefore I know your dad, and I will list his name in my prayers every day, and they make me feel like they're with me, wherever I go, and I'd like your dad to hang out with me."
Webb responded with a video where she's so emotional she can hardly speak.
This story originally appeared on 08.25.21
@alaska_webb thank you for finding us and sharing this! ✨ Sending big love and light to you and yours. More in comments. #grieving #cancer #dads
These powerful before-and-after photos reveal just how beautiful aging can be.
Centenarians — people 100 years or older — are a rarity. Their lives are often scrutinized as holding the key to aging.
Czech photographer Jan Langer's portrait series "Faces of Century" shows them in a different light: as human beings aged by years of experience, but at their deepest level, unchanged by the passing of time.
In the series, Langer juxtaposes his portraits with another portrait of the subject from decades earlier. He recreates the original pose and lighting as closely as he can — he wants us to see them not just as they are now, but how they have and haven't changed over time. That is the key to the series.
These are the rare faces of people who have lived through two world wars, a cavalcade of regimes, and the rush of advancements in modern life. These photos, and the stories of the lives lived by the people in them, show not only the beauty of aging, but how even as we age, we still remain essentially ourselves.
1. Prokop Vejdělek, at age 22 and 101
Vejdělek is a former metallurgical engineer who will never forget the taste of warm fresh goat's milk.
2. Bedřiška Köhlerová, at age 26 and 103
Originally born in Merano, Italy, Köhlerová wishes to visit Italy one more time.
3. Ludvík Chybík, at age 20 and 102
Chybík is a former postal carrier and says he will never forget the route he worked every day.
4. Vincenc Jetelina, at age 30 and 105
Jetelina spent eight years in prison after World War II. Now, he just wants to live the rest of his life in peace.
5. Marie Fejfarová, at age 101
Fejfarová burned all her material memories, including old photographs, when she decided to move to a long-term care facility. She lived a dramatic life, hiding from the Nazis and then the Russians, but eventually she was able to travel the world with her husband. Her experiences show there's no such thing as too late in life to start a new chapter.
6. Antonín Kovář, at age 25 and 102
Kovář is a former musician whose daughter comes to visit him every day. He wishes to play the clarinet once more.
7. Anna Vašinová, at age 22 and 102
Vašinová will always remember the day her husband was taken away by the Nazis. She wishes to be reunited with him after death.
8. Stanislav Spáčil, at age 17 and 102
Spáčil was an electrical engineer throughout his life and thinks that it's too early in his life to think about the past.
9. Anna Pochobradská, at age 30 and 100
Pochobradská was a farmer. She now lives a quiet life and is thankful that her daughter visits her every weekend.
10. Antonín Baldrman, at age 17 and 101
Baldrman was a clerk early in life and keeps up with current events by reading the newspaper.
11. Marie Burešová, at age 23 and 101
Burešová loves talking to her family and wishes to have them all together again.
12. Vlasta Čížková, at age 23 and 101
Čížková cooked in the dining room at the airport in the small village of Vodochody. She'll never forget reciting her own poetry at wedding ceremonies.
13. Ludmila Vysloužilová, at age 23 and 101
Vysloužilová stays active every day by chopping wood, shoveling snow, and doing work around her house.
The photographer Langer was initially inspired to document the lives of elderly people because of what he saw as the media's lack of coverage of them. He decided to focus on people over the age of 100 — a very rare demographic indeed. The 2010 U.S. Census reported only 53,364 centenarians, which is only 0.19% of the population of people 70 years or older.
“One should live every single moment according to their best knowledge and conscience because one day we will see clearly what has a real value," Langer says of what he learned from his subjects while photographing them.
The series was originally part of a story that Langer did for the Czech news outlet aktuálně.cz. You can see more photos from the portrait sessions by following the link.
This article originally appeared on 12.08.17.
Watching our bodies change is a natural part of life. But we rarely talk about the complicated feelings that come from that.
It was only yesterday when a friend and I (two women in the 30-to-40-year-old range) were having a conversation, and this friend made more than one wistful comment about being “skinny and sexy” once upon a time.
Her self deprecating jokes were so casual and nonchalant that actual sadness underneath was almost unnoticeable. Almost.
Except I did notice it, because I have it too. That same sense of unease at being a different size that my former younger self. I have it, my friend has it, and nearly every adult woman has it to some degree.
Now we even have a name for it—”body grief.”
Author Jayne Mattingly, who first coined the term, defines body grief as “the universal experience of disillusionment, sorrow, and loss that comes with simply existing in a body.”
Body grief basically sums up all the anger, loss, frustration, sorrow, and general sense of mourning that so many women feel from the “loss” of their former body, and the former self it represents.
@jayneimattingly Replying to @olivepfox i am so happy you are here!!! #bodygrief #disabledtiktok #bodygriever #disabledhumour ♬ original sound - Jayne Mattingly
Body grief can manifest in a myriad of ways—growing older, having children, chronic illness or injury, disability, reactions to medications, huge life changes, trauma, stress. And while it often denotes weight gain, plenty of women who lose a lot of weight can feel body grief too.
Sami Rose, an Australian-based counselor and body image coach, spoke about her own challenges with body grief, especially after reaching her goal weight, then gaining the weight back.
“I’d spent all of my teens and all of my 20s having this number in my head, and this body in my head, that I thought was gonna solve all of my problems,” she said.
@sami.rose_ Replying to @eneesece letting go of the thin ideal can be really difficult, and its okay to miss your old body or old life, but i hope this strategy helps shift your perspective 💖 #bodyacceptance #bodygrief #bodyimagecounsellor #counsellor #bodyimagecoach ♬ original sound - Sami Rose • Counsellor + Coach
After losing about 55 pounds, getting all the compliments from her friends, even being told that her abs were “goals,” Rose was still left with the same insecurities. For her, body grief meant “letting go of the thin ideal” and “griev[ing] the notion of what a good body meant to me.”
Rose’s experience is not uncommon. Countless women are sharing their stories of body grief in a new TikTok trend titled #bodygrief, which has reached nearly 880,000 views.
Women like Aleah Elizabeth, who went from being “super skinny” most of her life to gaining 60-70 pounds after taking birth control.
@aleahhelizabeth Its hard ass thing to go through #gainingweight #beingskinny #fy ♬ original sound - aleahelizabeth💗
“I thought I was gonna be a happy girl because the boys like girls who are thick,” she said. “But as I kept gaining the weight, I literally hated my body more and more and more…And then you gain so much weight and everybody around you notices it and talks about it, and then starts to make you feel bad about it. It is the worst thing I think I ever went through in my life.”
Or Eliana Hope, who, two months into postpartum, cried in an REI store after realizing “the body that used to take me up mountain trails is now stretched and loose in all the places it used to be strong.”
@thesamfamm 2 months PP and feeling like it today… Outdoorsy moms, tell me it gets better? #outdoorsymom #nationalparks #rei #parksproject #newmom #youngmoms #bodygrief #postpartumbody #bodyimagestruggles #bodyafterbabies #hikinggirl #girlswhohike @rei @thesamfamm ♬ Into the wild - Cartwright
Honestly, the list goes on and on.
@stancedexcoaching How body grief came up on vacation. Please please check out @Jayne Mattingly for more on Body Grief! #bodygrief #perceptionvsreality #bodieschange #bodieschangeworthdoesnt #bodygriefwithjaynemattingly #vacation #familyvacation #hardtime ♬ original sound - Stance Dex Dreyfus @madialysefitness you have to remember there is a happier and fuller life out there. #bodygrief #weightgainjourney #bodyacceptance #setpointweight #harecovery #hormoneimbalance #edrecoceey ♬ The Journey - Sol Rising @olivepfox Some thoughts on body grief and reconciling disability #crps #crpsawareness #complexregionalpainsyndrome #crpswarrior #chronicpain #disabled ♬ original sound - olive fox
And just what are we supposed to do about this body grief? For starters, Rose suggests writing down a list of all the things you appreciate about yourself that are completely unrelated to your body.
“I think that can be really special in just rebuilding your identity and proving to yourself that you’re more than just a body,” she says. “That your appearance is a part of you, but it’s not the most important part of you.”
But also, like with all forms of grief, sometimes sharing what you’re going through in a safe space with other people who have been through it, or are going through it too, really helps you process those difficult feelings. And that’s why this TikTok movement is so important. No one should have to go through it alone.
Young people are very specific about what they want in a partner.
The numbers are stacked against young men when it comes to finding love on dating apps. They outnumber women 2 to 1 on the platforms, making the competition pretty tough. A new study finds that they’ll make things even harder for themselves if they admit to listening to the "Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in their profiles.
A new poll by Change Research surveyed 1,033 registered voters between 18 and 34 to ask about their political leanings and dating preferences. It discovered that women's biggest red flag when looking for a relationship is a date revealing they’re a MAGA Republican, with 76% of women saying it’s a turnoff. The second biggest red flag for women is people who “have no hobbies” (66%), and the third is those who say “All Lives Matter” (60%).
Fifty-five percent of women say it’s a big turnoff for potential partners to listen to the Rogan podcast. They also have a problem with people who “refuse” to see the “Barbie” movie (53%).
When it comes to men between the ages of 18 and 34, the biggest turn-off is people who identify as “communist” (64%), and they also have problems with those who have no hobbies (60%) as well as MAGA Republicans (59%).
Other turnoffs for men include being interested in astrology (41%) and saying “All Lives Matter” (41%).
Interestingly, people with no hobbies are a big red flag to people of both men and women. The common assumption is that people with no real hobbies or interests will rely on their partners to bring fun into their lives. Also, a lack of hobbies can mean a person lacks passion and may not have many personal goals.
When it comes to having too many hobbies, both men and women agree that it isn’t a big problem. The poll found that only 8% of women believe that having too many hobbies is a red flag and 6% of men agreed.
Red flags in relationships graphic.
via Change Research
When it comes to green flags in a relationship, both men and women overwhelmingly agreed that they are very interested in potential partners who read. Ninety-five percent of women and 91% of men saw reading as a green flag. So, if you’re crafting an online dating profile, you may want to show some photos of you reading a book or list some of the books you’ve read recently.
They also agree that they are interested in people who research the best deals and rates before buying things. Eighty-eight percent of women listed being a smart consumer as a green flag, and men were close behind at 85%. Men (63%) and women (51%) also agreed it’s a green flag when someone looks better in person than in photos online.
Green flags in relationships graphic.
via Change Research
Those of you looking to be in the dating pool during the upcoming presidential election should know there is a discrepancy between the genders regarding political affiliation among the 18 to 34 crowd. Although most people in this age range are moderate to liberal politically, there is a significant difference between genders.
Where do you draw the line?
On the popular “Am I The A**hole” subreddit, he explained that checking in and staying aware was something his wife was really good at, but something he struggled to maintain. He attributed part of it to what he called being “a fairly self-centered person.”
“I wish that weren't the case,” he wrote. “But in retrospect a lot of bad behavior on my part was not corrected and even enabled when I was young. By the time I realized this character flaw I was already well into adulthood and I have found that old habits die hard.”
And now, in adulthood, this man found himself “getting lost in his own stuff” and forgetting about his partners. So in an effort to be better, he started secretly making reminders in his calendar.
It was a strategy working “really well,” the man wrote.
That is, until his wife found out.
“She definitely found it weird and off-putting that I would need a system like that when she doesn't,” the OP lamented. “I kind of agree with her. It never felt like a deep dark secret, but on the other hand there's obviously a reason I never told her or anyone else I was doing it.”
“Still,” he concluded, “taking action to make sure I show consideration and concern for stuff that matters to her has to be better than continuing to forget, right?”
"Taking action has to be better than forgetting, right?"
People who read his story were inclined to agree.
“I think it's really sweet that you took the steps to help your wife feel valued,” one person wrote, suggesting that the situation might just need further communication. “I'd sit your wife down and let her know that this has helped you engage with her more and to learn more about how she's feeling.”
Quite a few noted that forgetfulness isn’t always something people can control, especially for those who are neurodivergent. So putting systems in place like calendar reminders isn’t actually a moral failing, but simply a different way of organizing important information.
“I’m married and have ADHD. I write EVERYTHING I can down bc I will not remember until it’s too late if I don’t…I would try to frame it as a tool you have used to try to better yourself for your relationship. Tell her you reflected on yourself and didn’t like what you saw. Then tried to do something to correct it so you could be a better partner,” one person commented.
One person even noted that they wished their partner did something like what the OP did.
“I'd love if my partner did something like this. We have had multiple arguments, because I remember everything, while he cannot remember the time he works the next day. So sometimes if I don't remind him, he will forget things, and it hurts,” they wrote.
Putting in the effort is never a bad thing!
All in all, folks agreed that this husband was not in the wrong (or “Not The A**hole, in Reddit speak) for his check-in reminders, and that it would probably just take another conversation for his wife to fully understand where he was coming from.
As one person put it: “I think we can all tell that your wife and your relationship means a lot to you, and I think it's great that you came up with something like that, and hopefully your wife will after this, too. It shows you care. Most people never develop systems for that, and their relationships deteriorate because of it.”
No two brains really think alike. And boy do we realize this in relationships. Even when we’re lucky enough to find that soul mate that seems to “get” us on a deeper level, there are still going to be ways our partners operate that seem completely foreign to us. But that isn’t nearly as important as whether or not a partner can take accountability, and put in the work to be the best partner they can be.