Jill Biden says president will 'make sure that everyone has access to free community college'
via The Hill / YouTube

Education is one of the most reliable ways for people to climb the economic ladder. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2018, college graduates earned weekly wages that were 80% higher than those of high school graduates.

Americans with a bachelor's degree have median weekly earnings of $1,173, compared to just $712 a week for those who have a high school diploma.

One of the most affordable ways for people to get a college degree is to first start at community college. However, only 42% of first-time college students who attend a community college eventually complete a degree within eight years.


One of the major reasons these students fall through the cracks is the cost of their education. Studies show that graduation rates increase dramatically at community colleges with better public funding.

That's why the Biden Administration is pushing for free community college as a way to improve America's economic standing after the COVID-19 pandemic.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, a longtime community college professor, reiterated the Biden Administration's goal of free community college in taped remarks aired Tuesday during a virtual legislative summit hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees and the American Association of Community Colleges.

FLOTUS: "We're going to make sure that everyone has access to free community college" www.youtube.com

"We have to get this done. And we have to do it now," Dr. Biden said. "That's why we're going to make sure that everyone has access to free community college and training programs."

"We're going to make sure students have the support they need to cross that finish line," she said. "We're going to invest in programs that prepare our workers for jobs of the future."

Dr. Biden continues to teach virtually during the pandemic. She is the first first lady to have a paying job outside of the White House.

Last December, then-President-elect Joe Biden shared his pledge to make community and public colleges free. "That's why under the Biden-Harris plan, community college will be free — and public colleges and universities will be tuition-free for families earning less than $125,000 a year," he tweeted.

Biden's Twitter announcement echoed pledges listed on his campaign website, which spoke to "invest[ing] in community colleges and training to improve student success" for the benefit of the middle class.

"All of these proposals will be implemented in partnership with states as well as school faculty and staff. Educators must play a key role in decisions affecting teaching and learning," read a statement on his webpage.

The announcement comes as community college enrollment is on a steady rise. Between 2000 and 2017 undergraduate enrollment in community colleges grew from $13.2 million to $16.8 million. It's expected to rise another 3% over the next seven years.

When the free college debate comes around, cost will no doubt be at the forefront of the discussion. But that assumes we can attach a price tag to the benefit of living in a society that places a higher value on education. A better-educated populace is one with greater opportunities and can allow for greater aspirations.

The bigger question should be, what's the cost of living in a society where many don't have access to a quality education?

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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A teacher's message has gone viral after he let his student sleep in class — for the kindest reason.

Teachers spend time preparing lesson plans and trying to engage students in learning. The least a kid can do is stay awake in class, right?

But high school English teacher Monte Syrie sees things differently. In a Twitter thread, he explained why he didn't take it personally when his student Meg fell asleep — and why he didn't wake her up.

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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