One photo captures the power of a teacher's support — and it's making the rounds.

The end of a school semester is like one big juggling act.

Between studying, final exams, and facing those research papers you've been putting off for a month, it can feel daunting to get through it all. And that doesn't even include what's happening in life outside the classroom.

Like ... finishing school and parenting at the same time!


When Monica Willard, an ROTC student and single mother of two, found out her kids' babysitter had to cancel right before she was supposed to take her final military history exam, she thought for sure she was dropping the ball on both her academics and her parenting.

Just trying to keep it all together. GIF via Channel Frederator.

After all, it's hard enough to get kids to be quiet at home, let alone when you're trying to focus on your academics in a public setting. But Willard knew she had no other choice. She took her 4- and 5-year-olds to school with her and hoped for the best.

Willard's professor, Dr. Daniel Krebs, was not only understanding of her situation, he offered to babysit her kids while she took her test.

By the end of the final exam, her kids were having a blast, as evidenced by this photo captured by a fellow classmate.

Krebs' nice gesture could have just saved Willard's focus – and her semester. But he doesn't want to take credit.

“A person like Monica, she’s a non-commissioned officer going to school, she’s a Mom of two kids. I mean that’s the kind of thing that’s really impressive,” Krebs told ABC News. “Me handling her kids for 40, 45 minutes, that’s not impressive.”

Regardless, it's an act of kindness that goes a long way, and it uncovers a bigger problem that many students face: the accessibility of child care in the United States.

Child care center costs are at an all-time high, ranging from around $3,500 to up to $19,000 a year, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. In Indiana, a single parent with two kids pays 73% of their income to child care centers. That's not sustainable — that's ridiculous.

There are some colleges that are beginning to recognize the problem and offer on-campus child care solutions, though. Organizations like the American Association of University Women are pushing for more to follow suit.

Women, men, and families shouldn't have to choose between accessing child care and getting an education. While there's a lot of work to be done on that front, it's heartwarming to see heroes like Dr. Krebs demonstrate that the support of teachers extends far beyond the classroom.

We've all have had a compassionate teacher like Dr. Krebs. Let's celebrate them!

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less