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Teen bullied for loving books gets an avalanche of support from those who love reading, too

A tweet from his sister has already been liked more than 180,000 times.

callum nanning, kids who love books, the shining
via Analysees Consulting / Twitter

Callum Manning and his favorite books.

This article originally appeared on 03.04.20


There are few more fulfilling hobbies than having a love of books.

Reading isn't just a great way to have a good time. Reading increases brain connectivity, makes people more empathetic, reduces depression symptoms, improves vocabulary, and may even cause you to live longer.

It's a huge benefit for a child's development as well. According to Parent.com, reading "stimulates the side of the brain that helps with mental imagery, understanding, and language processing, and that brain activity."

Sure beats wasting time playing video games.



Thirteen-year-old Callum Manning wanted to share his love of reading with the world, so he created an Instagram account where he posted photos of the books he's read. It started with a post about Stephen King's "The Shining."

"So I guess I'm going to start this account off with one of my favourite books, Callum wrote. "This book was the first book I read in 1 day. And I was like 10. So yeah it scared me."

He would go on to fill his pages with books such as "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, "1984" by George Orwell, and current classics such as "A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" by J.K. Rowling

Kids Callum's age can be exceptionally cruel. A group of them created a group chat where they bullied him for his love of books and then invited him to join. After subjecting him to emotional abuse, they kicked him out of the chat.

"I don't tend to cry that often but I think that was the first time in a while I've actually cried," Callum told PA Media.

His older sister, Ellis Landreth, was understandably upset about the cruelty, so she tweeted about the group chat, hoping about "20 or 30 of my friends [would] like a few of his posts or follow him or give him some words of encouragement."

Her tweet would go viral, receiving over 180,000 likes.


She was bombarded by responses from people who wanted to support her brother.

Just a few hours after the tweet, Callum received thousands of followers on his page. In just three days, he's up to nearly 400,000 followers. He's also received countless messages of support through the page.

English novelist Matt Haig sent Callum a collection of books, adding: "Hey let's all follow Cals Book Account on Instagram and show him some support." A book store near Manning's home in northeast England promised him a book on the house.

Callum's story was shared on Instagram by authors Caroline Kepnes and Malorie Blackman.

The teenager received over 15,000 messages in his DMs. "He's absolutely overwhelmed," Landreth told CNN. "He can't even get through all his DMs."

Callum's mother is over the moon about the response. "She's so happy people are spreading positive messages about these issues," Landreth said. "No matter how small some things seem, they can stick with kids forever."

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

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