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McDonald's assistant manager dubbed 'Mama McDonalds' helps struggling teen get into college

"I didn't even think I'd make it to college—or senior year."

McDonald's; Mama McDonald's; teens; college; at risk teens

McDonald's manager dubbed 'Mama McDonald's helps teen get into college.

Unconditional positive support in your teen years can be life-changing, and it's something many teens take for granted. But 18-year-old Emanuel Graham didn't always have that luxury until he started working at McDonald's. Yes, the fast food chain.

By the time Graham was 13, he had lost both of his parents and found himself without the parental support he needed to thrive. "After those years, I kept messing up in school because both of my biggest support systems, they were gone," he told CBS. Graham went on to say, "I didn't even think I'd make it to college—or senior year."

That's a lot of pressure for a teen to face alone, but while in high school, Graham started working at his local McDonald's in Lynn, Massachusetts, where he met assistant manager Andrea De La Rosa. Turns out he was in for much more than a job because De La Rosa became a mentor and one of the adults cheering in Graham's corner.

“When he came to me and said he wanted to apply [to college], I sat him down and we filled out applications on my lunch break,” De La Rosa told McDonald's Corporate.


The teen gave De La Rosa the nickname "Mama McDonald's" because she makes it a point to be there for her young employees. She even goes as far as to answer their late-night calls, as well as helping them with homework and their college applications.

"You never stop being a mother just because they're not your kids," De La Rosa told CBS. And thanks to Mama McDonald's' help, Graham is now a student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, studying business.

Graham isn't the only one who finds the support De La Rosa gives to be valuable. During an interview with CBS, one young employee said, "I don't have a good relationship with my mother. Andrea gives me the mother figure that I never had."

It seems that De La Rosa is leaving her impact on every teen that comes to work in her McDonald's. Though Graham no longer works with the manager while he attends school, he says she continues to check in on him often to make sure he has what he needs.

“Every child deserves to have a parent or someone standing in their corner, the kids are our future and if they get the right push they can exceed and excel in life,” said De La Rosa to McDonald's Corporate.

See the sweet interactions below:

Angelina Jordan blew everyone away with her version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody."


At Upworthy, we've shared a lot of memorable "America's Got Talent" auditions, from physics-defying dance performances to jaw-dropping magic acts to heart-wrenching singer-songwriter stories. Now we're adding Angelina Jordan's "AGT: The Champions" audition to the list because wow.

Jordan came to "AGT: The Champions" in 2020 as the winner of Norway's Got Talent, which she won in 2014 at the mere age of 7 with her impressive ability to seemingly channel Billie Holiday. For the 2020 audition, she sang Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but a version that no one had ever heard before.

With just her Amy Winehouse-ish voice, a guitar and a piano, Jordan brought the fan-favorite Queen anthem down to a smooth, melancholy ballad that's simply riveting to listen to.

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Family

People are applauding the dad who bought a Mustang for his teenage son living with cancer

“Dad, I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this.”

A 2020 Mustang.

Many parents swear that a child’s first car should be a “beater.” First, it teaches them to have something to strive for in life. Second, the kid will probably put some nicks and scratches on the car, so it’s best to start with something where no one will care. Third, the insurance will be cheaper.

Finally, a kid should have to earn having nice things and starting them off with a brand new Mercedes isn’t going to instill much work ethic.

Even though a large number of parents say a teen’s first car should be a clunker, many are applauding Joe Tegerdine, a father in Springville, Utah, and his wife Kerry for buying their son Joseph, 18, a 330-horsepower 2020 Ford Mustang.

Unfortunately, Joseph has osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer and has already outlived his prognosis.

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Millennials and Gen Z ditch top sheet to the dismay of Boomers


Once again the youngins are flabbergasting the older generations with their disregard of things they deem unnecessary. There's always something that gets dropped or altered generation to generation. We learn better ways or technology makes certain things obsolete. But it doesn't matter how far we've come, our beds still need sheets to cover the mattress.

The debate is on the use of top sheets, also known as flat sheets. They're the sheets that keep your body from touching the comforter, most Gen X and Boomers are firmly for the use of top sheets as a hygiene practice. The idea being that the top sheet keeps your dead skin cells and body oils from dirtying your comforter, causing you to have to wash it more often.

Apparently Millennials and Gen Zers are uninterested in using a top sheet while sleeping. In fact, they'd rather just get a duvet cover, though they may be cumbersome. A duvet cover can be washed fairly frequently, while some may opt for a cheeper comforter that they don't care is washed often because their distain for a top sheet is that strong.

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Pop Culture

Veterinarian lists things pet parents do that 'give him the ick' and they are spot-on

Though meant in good fun, these 'icks' could be helpful pointers for pet parents everywhere.

Representative Image from Canva

Vets are some of the people we'd least like to give "the ick" to


Ally McBeal first brought us the phrase “gives me the ick” back in 1999. And it’s recently had a resurgence, thanks to, you guessed it, TikTok. And while it’s mostly reserved to the dating world, the term can and has been used to describe virtually every red flag or pet peeve under the sun.

And now, thanks to Dr. Frank Bozelka, we can enjoy a veterinarian version of “icks.” And just to be clear, the icks in question don’t come from the patients themselves…but the pet parents.

While Dr. Bozelka is clearly just poking fun, he doesn’t shy away from highlighting some of the choices that pet parents make that cause some serious problems for their furry friends.

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Science

Yurok Tribe in California becomes first indigenous tribe to co-manage National Parks land

The Yurok had 90% of their homelands taken during the Gold Rush. Now they're getting some of it back.

The Yurok Tribe has lived among the redwoods for thousands of years.

The history of colonialism and the stealing of lands from indigenous peoples in the Americas is fraught with pain and suffering that has gone unseen by many. A growing Land Back movement has been fighting, in part, for indigenous people's reclamation of their ancestral homelands and the restoration of land management based on Native knowledge and practices.

One small but significant move in that direction has taken place in the redwood forests of northern California. The Yurok Tribe, who had 90% of their homelands stolen during the Gold Rush, has joined the Redwood National and State Parks and the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League in an agreement that will give ownership in 2026 of 125 acres (50 hectares) of land near Orick, California to the tribe.

According to the AP, the land is named 'O Rew in the Yurok language, and the tribe's cultural resources director Rosie Clayburn said the return of the land is proof of the “sheer will and perseverance of the Yurok people."

"We kind of don't give up," Clayburn said. The Yurok Tribe has been living along the Klamath River for thousands of years and is currently the largest indigenous tribe in California, with over 6,300 members. It is one of the few tribes in the state that lives on a portion of its ancestral lands.

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Joy

People are gushing over penguins picking out the perfect 'lucky charm' for their mate

“Oh to be a little penguin picking out a pretty rock for my love."

@detroitzoo/TikTok

This is too adorable.

Humans weren’t the only ones celebrating St. Paddy’s Day last Sunday. Penguins at the Detroit Zoo got in on the fun as well, only with more Valentine’s vibes.

“Love is king during penguin nesting time,” read the onscreen text for a video posted to the zoo’s TikTok, as the aquatic love birds scanned through a pile of colorful pebbles, searching for the perfect gift to present their partner. How romantic.

Out in the wild, this adorable courtship ritual is pretty standard, at least for Gentoo penguins. Male gentoos find a polished stone or pebble to offer their potential mates—Mother Nature’s engagement ring, if you will.

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