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Family

If Barbie Dolls Could Talk, They'd Tell You That They Wouldn't Be Able To Walk Upright

What does it say to our kids that the very toys they play with have bodies that are absolutely bizarre and unattainable?

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

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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.
Education

Mother of 7 stunned to learn the ‘Alphabet Song’ has been changed to get with the times

There's a good reason for the update. But it's jarring, to say the least.

Jessica Skube can't believe that they changed the 'Alphabet Song.'

The oldest published version of the melody to the “Alphabet Song” was in 1761. However, because it’s the same melody as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” it's hard to trace it to its original composer.

The “Alphabet Song” is so deeply entrenched in American culture that it almost seems sacrilegious to change a piece of music that’s one of the first most of us ever learned. But after all these years, some educators are altering the classic melody so that there is a variation when the letters L-M-N-O-P are sung.

This change shocked popular TikTokker Jessica Skube, who documents life raising 7 children with her 2.6 million followers. Nearly 10 million people have watched her video revealing the significant change, and it’s received over 56,000 comments since first being published in late 2020.

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

This week's list includes love stories, cute kids, adorable animals and more.

It's that time again, friends! Every week, we collect 10 smile-worthy finds from around the internet, wrap them up in a nice bow and share them with our readers.

This week's list includes some adorable kiddos, some inspiring long-term love stories, some hilarious animals, a wildly talented harmonica-playing beatboxer and more. We hope this list brings you as much joy as it brought us putting it together.

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popular

Single dad receives letter from late wife and immediately gets a DNA test

"She wrote a letter for me before she died, but I couldn’t bring myself to read it until now."

A devastated man sitting by the ocean.

Ten months after a man’s wife passed away, he finally got the courage to read a letter she left him, which contained a devastating admission. The 4-year-old son they had together may not be his.

“My ‘darling’ wife passed away 10 months ago,” the man wrote on Reddit’s Off My Chest forum. “She wrote a letter for me before she died, but I couldn’t bring myself to read it until now. She told me how sorry she was that she didn’t have the guts to tell me this to my face when she was alive.”

In the letter, the wife revealed that there was a “good chance” that the son he thought was his wasn’t his biological child. A few weeks before their wedding day, the wife got drunk at her bachelorette party and had a one-night stand with another man. Soon after that night, she became pregnant but was unsure who the father was.

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Education

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

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Kennyi Aouad totally lost it when he tried to say "sardoodledom."

Almost 100 years ago, nine newspapers joined forces to create a national spelling bee to help promote literacy. Now the Scripps National Spelling Bee has become so popular that was televised for 27 years on ESPN before moving to its own network in 2022.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a serious competition with students who have studied arduously to memorize root words, phonetic rules and unusual spellings in the hopes of being crowned the nation's spelling champion. The honor also comes with a $50,000 cash prize, so the competition is fierce.

But that didn't stop one competitor from bursting into giggles at being asked to spell the word "sardoodledom."

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Jrdan Klen counts the number of requests her 3 kids make in a day.

There never seems to be any downtime when you’re the default parent. You know, the parent that the kids go to first when they want anything, especially food. They're also the go-to person for school forms and bedtime stories, and the parents that the school reaches out to when a student is sick has to go home.

Some parents are the default because there’s an imbalance in the home, which forces them to assume most of the day-to-day child-rearing responsibilities. In other families, one parent is the default because the other is busy with work or other obligations.

Popular TikTokker Jordan Klein wondered why she becomes overwhelmed halfway through the day while watching her children. "I have three boys, ages 5, 3, and 1, and I continuously lose my sh*t. Sometimes it comes out. Sometimes," she said in a recent post. "I lose my sh*t right around 2 or 3 p.m. every day without fail. My husband works from home. But he does not lose his sh*t consistently. So, what's going on?"

To get to the bottom of her situation, she conducted a scientific study where she counted the number of requests she gets from her children on a given day, and the results were unbelievable.

This validates my burn out, right? #momtok #momsoftiktok #sahm #boymom #toddlermom #toddlersoftiktok #3under5

@jothemama

This validates my burn out, right? #momtok #momsoftiktok #sahm #boymom #toddlermom #toddlersoftiktok #3under5

"I downloaded one of those little counter clicker apps on my phone where I could just push the screen, and it ticks up one number, and I was just gonna hit it every time one of my children ...made a request,” Jordan said in her TikTok video.

Just ten minutes after downloading the app, her kids made 86 requests of her. She even didn't count repeats, and kids love to repeat themselves. “I guarantee you that if I were to ask my husband how many requests a day he gets at work... it's in the single digits, for sure," she added.

And they say being a stay-at-home mom isn’t a full-time job! “This validates my burnout, right?” Jordan captioned her post.

"I feel this completely, and point it out often to my husband. Like yall, Dad is RIGHT THERE. Ask him," CrochetFeen wrote in the comments. "I have 3 kids too and ‘Mom’ is now a triggering word," Sandra added.

The quasi-scientific experiment gives Jordan some excellent ammunition when talking to her husband about how they divide parenting duties. Even if it doesn’t mean he takes over the default role after work, it at least makes a great case that Jordan deserves more than a few lengthy breaks throughout the day and a few days off every month.

There is only so much stress and mental anguish that parents can take before they are no longer effective and cannot provide a happy and healthy home for their children. When evaluating domestic responsibilities, we often consider having a professional job more stressful than raising children. However, Jordan’s experiment proves that parenting can mean a lot more emotional labor, and families should take a second look at how default parents are valued.