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.
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.
“If we don’t see each other again on this earth, we’ll see each other in heaven."
94-year-old Barbara Carolan of Seabrook, Massachusetts, hadn’t been able to see her 90-year-old sister Shirley, who lives in Nevada, since 2020.When it became clear to Barbara that she might not have much time left to spend with her beloved sister, she prepared to make the 2,700-mile cross country trip to say goodbye.
“They waited so long to see each other, and if you don’t know if you’re going to see someone again, you know, especially siblings, it must be really hard,” Barbara’s granddaughter, Stephanie Atkinson Shively, told told her local news outlet WMUR.Shively volunteered to ride alongside her grandmother and document the trip. In a TikTok video, which has been seen over 13 million times, we see Barbara and Shirley getting emotional while reminiscing.
“We had a wonderful, wonderful time,” Barbara tells Shirley through tears.
“If we don’t see each other [again] on this earth, we’ll see each other in heaven,” her little sister assured.
“You betcha!” Barbara sobs. “You betcha.”
@stephanieatkinson #goodbye #sistersforever #notgoodbye ♬ original sound - Stephanie Atkinson Shively
Needless to say, viewers were struck by the sweet moment.
“There needs to be a category on this app for videos that are guaranteed to make you cry cuz dammit I’m tired of randomly balling my eyes out!” one person wrote.
Another added, “It’s not good bye, it’s see you later. I imagine when we pass, it’ll be like going home. And never again will we have to be separated from the ones we love.”Shively shared several other moments from the journeys, including some pictures of the sisters when they were younger. But the ‘last tearjerker’ showed grandma Barbara waving goodbye as she made her way back home.
There’s a bit of comic relief in this one, as Barbara yells “until we meet again!” and gets “WHAT?!” from Shirley, having to repeat herself a few times.
@stephanieatkinson #sistersforever #notgoodbye #sisterlylove ♬ original sound - Stephanie Atkinson Shively
All in all, just a beautiful, heartwarming reminder to savor our lives, and all the loved ones in it.
Now go hug someone.
She's a hero.
Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.
The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.
A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.
So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.
Mr.s Potatohead's in Orlando, Florida
The boy shook his head, no. "I knew it that he was afraid," she said.
Carvalho made two more attempts until the boy nodded yes.
The server then called the owner of the restaurant to let her know that she was going to call the police on the boy's parents.
“SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING: An Orlando waitress saw a family withholding food from a boy at a table. She noticed bruises on his body and created this sign to secretly ask the child if he needed help. When he signaled "Yes" she called us. The stepfather & mother were arrested.”
\u201cSEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING: An Orlando waitress saw a family withholding food from a boy at a table. She noticed bruises on his body and created this sign to secretly ask the child if he needed help. When he signaled "Yes" she called us. The stepfather & mother were arrested.\u201d— Orlando Police (@Orlando Police) 1610638528
The police arrived and arrested the boy's father
on one count of third-degree child abuse. His mother Kristen Swann was arrested with two counts of child neglect. A four-year-old girl was taken from the family by authorities. They say she showed no signs of abuse.
Detectives spoke with the boy and learned his parents frequently withheld food from him as a form of punishment. He was 20 pounds underweight. After searching his body, they discovered that he was nearly covered in bruises.
His father had recently beat him with a broomstick and back scratcher.
via Orlando PD
The boy told detectives that he was once hung upside down from his ankles in a door frame by his father and had been restrained by being strapped to a furniture dolly.
"To be honest what this child had gone through was torture," Detective Erin Lawler said. "There was no justification for it in any realm of the world. I'm a mother and seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul."
\u201cChief Orlando Rolon, @OrlandoPolice, with waitress Flavaine Carvalho (middle) who saved an abused 11yo when he was dining with his family. They say the boy was \u201ctortured.\u201d The full details of his salvation on @fox35orlando at 5/6pm. #FOX35 #news #crime #update\u201d— Matt Trezza FOX 35 (@Matt Trezza FOX 35) 1610650833
Carvalho's quick thinking and bravery may have saved the lives of two children.
"This could have been a homicide situation if she had not have intervened," Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said.
"The lesson here for all of us is to recognize when we see something that isn't right to act on it… This saved the life of a child," he added.
The restaurant's owner, Rafaela Cabede, hopes that Carvalho's bravery inspires others to look out for signs of abuse as well.
"We understand that this has to encourage other people that when you see something, say something," Cabede said. "We know when we see a situation that is wrong, we know what's the right thing to do. We know that speaking up is the right thing to do. But it takes more than acknowledging it. It takes courage.
This article originally appeared on 01.15.21
She's totally an adult and not just a baby sitting three other children under a trench coat.
Cartoons and TV shows always made it look like stacking three kids on top of each other under a long coat could fool anyone. "Move along folks, nothing to see here. Just an abnormally tall man with the face of a toddler," is the vibe those scenes gave off and somehow the trick almost always worked.
But it's really not something that's ever come up in real life. No rogue kindergarteners attempting to get into a bar by hiding under a long overcoat. It seemed like one of those things you'd encounter more often growing up, you know...like the quicksand problem that plagued the country. Children are simply much more supervised than cartoons would have you believe. But just because there's supervision doesn't mean there can't be shenanigans.
TikTok user, Messi Ross uploaded a video of her toddler pulling the old stack people to pretend you're an adult gag. Except, mom was in on it.
Well, technically since she's clearly a toddler, it's not like she could pull it off on her own. Ross hoisted her toddler daughter up on her shoulders to go shopping and hilarity ensues. As they walk through the store looking like a very tell lady with a tiny head, the baby's facial expressions somehow matched up with her mom's actions.
Tyla uploaded the video on Facebook with captions making the video even more hilarious. Commenters are enjoying the silly shopping experience, too.
"This remind me of a movie The Little Rascals stymie and Spanky dress as gentleman went to take out loan," one person writes.
"I would die of laughing if I saw this in person. So cute and funny," another says.
"This is so adorable!!! Put a big smile on my face!!! Thank you!!!," one person writes.
Watch the video below:
She couldn't live without knowing the truth.
Sometimes, the quest for the truth can push people to make extreme choices, especially when not knowing the answer eats away at them daily. Such is the story of Reddit user FooFooBunnyLa, who was so concerned over the identity of her best friend’s child that she forced her to get a paternity test.
Her best friend had a son with a man she claimed was a one-night stand, so she raised him alone. As the child grew older, FooFooBunnyLa started to get suspicious.
“The issue is this: this kid looks EXTREMELY like my husband like to an insane degree,” FooFooBunnyLA wrote on the Reddit AITA subforum. “The hair color, eyes, face, everything. He’s even been out with my friend and her son, and people have mistaken him to be the dad before. Needless to say, for three years now, I’ve had my suspicions, but I haven’t said anything. My husband is also close to my friend, and the timeline works out. We were all living almost in the same neighborhood around the time she got pregnant.”
Over the years, the resemblance began to gnaw away at the woman, and her friend wouldn't show her a picture of the child’s biological father, no matter how much she asked.
A distressed woman sits in a chair.
The situation was suspicious. The child looked a lot about her husband, and her friend wasn’t forthcoming with any evidence to prove otherwise. To put the issue to bed, the friend took the DNA test. The results would have enormous ramifications for everyone involved.
“Long story short, my friend got a paternity test but said our friendship is over,” FooFooBunnyLA wrote. “The test says my husband isn’t the father. I feel so ashamed to lose my friend, but I thought my husband would slightly understand since even he sees the obvious resemblance between him and this kid. But he has moved out for the time being, and I’m worried this is the end of our marriage.”
The woman asked the online forum if she did the right thing.
“I honestly felt like I had no other choice,” she confided. “The resemblance was unavoidable and it was eating at me so much that no amount of therapy could help. I thought my husband would understand my fears most of all given my history with past cheating exes.”
A depressed woman sits in a chair.
The woman received over 1400 responses, and nearly everyone agreed that she was wrong in the situation.
“Wait so you thought your supposedly cheating husband would just casually comment on his love-child like ‘oh gee honey doesn’t he look just like me’ to his already paranoid wife?” Toyworker, the most popular commenter, wrote. “Why the f*** would he do that if he was actually guilty? Why the f*** would either of them indulge you if they actually cheated?”
However, one commenter noted that if the woman successfully caught them with the test, people’s opinions of her would differ significantly.
If the results had come back positive, I think it would be mostly … praise for trusting her instincts,” DCPhoto78 wrote.
Ultimately, asking for the test ruined both relationships regardless of the outcome. Her friend and husband were sickened by the accusation, which created a point of no return for their relationship with her. Even if she were correct, the lying and the infidelity would have also caused severe and irreparable damage to the woman’s relationship with her friend and husband as well.
If FooFoo BunnyLa had to do it all over again, would she ask for the test?
What is it about this pop culture juggernaut that has us hooked?
Unlike the murder victims it centers around, there seems to be no end in sight for true crime, and the cult-like following it inspires. One in three Americans consume true crime content—be it in the form of a podcast, movies, television series, books, even online forums and videos—at least once a week. Thirteen percent of those folks would even say it’s their favorite genre.
But just what is it about this pop culture juggernaut that has us hooked? Danger and suspense? Mystery? Our fascination with the dark side of humanity?Perhaps. But according to one psychologist, there’s another insidious reason lurking in the shadows of our subconscious.
“If your idea of relaxing before you go to sleep is watching three episodes of ‘Law & Order,’ I would encourage you to think about, ‘Why is trauma relaxing to me?’”
Driving the point home, Bryant follows up with, “That’s what it is. It’s harm, crime violation, attacks, and that’s what’s going to soothe me into my bedtime.”
Bryant explained that her clients who engage in this activity often say they enjoy it because it feels “normal and familiar.”
In other words, some of us might be crime aficionados because of unresolved trauma.
@melrobbins If your idea of “relaxing” before bed is watching a few episodes of Law & Order (or any other #truecrime show), listen up. This was just ONE of the many incredible mic drop moments 🎤 and knowledge bombs 💣 that @Dr Thema Bryant drops on the #melrobbinspodcast. Listen now!! 👉 “6 Signs You’re Disconnected From Your Power and How to Get It Back: Life-Changing Advice From the Remarkable Dr. Thema Bryant” 🔗 in bio #melrobbins #podcast #trauma #traumatok #healing #bingewatching ♬ original sound - Mel Robbins
“Some of us grew up in high stress, so people mistake peace for boring,” she said. “And it’s like, to come home to yourself, you have to lean into the discomfort, because it’s gonna feel unfamiliar.”
Bryant’s perspective was a bit of a mic drop moment online, with several true-crime fans coming to some shocking self realizations.
“[And] this was the moment I realized . . . I haven’t watched [‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’] since I went to therapy and started healing,” another person wrote. one person wrote on TikTok.
“Gut drop…Off to journal,” wrote another.
Over on Youtube, folks had a similar reaction.
“Ouch! Hit home! Never ever thought about that. Wow!” exclaimed one viewer.
Still, others weren’t so sold on the theory, and attested that there was much more nuance to their intrigue.
One person argued “The trauma isn’t relaxing to me- it’s the justice the characters/real people often get that I never did in my own life.”
Or maybe, a few suggested, people listen to true crime simply for its distinct monotonous timbre.
“I really thought it's because of the boring solemn tone of the show, the soothing voice of the narrator,” one person quipped.
There might be other components at play as well. According to YouGov.com, over half of all American true crime consumers say it not only gives them a better understanding of the justice system, but it makes them more empathetic as well—which goes against the common sentiment that the genre desensitizes people to violence and makes them overly fearful or paranoid.
As any good detective knows, all motivations are worth considering. I think we can all agree that it’s always interesting to contemplate why we do the things we do. Whether that’s committing a crime, or using one to go to sleep.