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Only 3% of electricians are women. Meet one of them.

Next time you turn on your lights, thank workers like Hannah.

Only 3% of electricians are women. Meet one of them.
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Hannah Cooper is an electrical foreman who absolutely loves her job.

As she talks about her day helping build a new medical office building from the ground up, she's effusive and excited.

"The site is really large. There’s a lot of complicated lighting and signs," she says. "Right now we're working on a four-story building, plus a functional roof and a canopy for solar photovoltaics. It's fun, challenging, and always changing. That's the nature of the job."


Electricity powers our lives, and electricians like Hannah make that happen. They build and maintain our grids and networks. They make sure the lights stay on, the Wi-Fi connects, the Vitamix works, and the garage door opens. They’re highly skilled, essential, and a huge part of what makes our modern world work.

Watch Hannah's story:

Hannah’s mother was the first female electrician in her Los Angeles union. At age 21, Hannah decided to join her and began training to become an electrician.

The electrical journeyman program lasts five years and mixes on-the-job training with time in the classroom. Unlike traditional college programs, it's also paid. Participants in the program are supplied with tools, a voucher for boots and free textbooks, along with a base salary starting at 40% of what a professional journeyman makes. Every six months, participants receive a 5% raise. When they finish the program, they receive a 15% raise, along with their journeyman ticket. "That ticket lasts for life," says Hannah. "It's a guarantee for work as long as you're able."

Hannah was a natural for this kind of work, scoring marks in the top 1% of her class. By 2013, she'd finished her apprenticeship six months early and set out on her own.

But her top-notch performance isn't the only thing that sets her apart in her field. There's also the fact that, like her mom, Hannah's one of the few women.

There are over 750,000 certified electricians in this country. 97% of them are male.

Image via iStock.

There are myriad reasons for this; one is that women aren't often encouraged to work in trades. They're sometimes told it's too dirty for them or too male-dominated and they'll be discriminated against.

Apprenticeship programs are also having a difficult time recruiting female students. Despite 30 years of effort, their numbers are still dismally low. That's particularly unfortunate because, according to Tina Kelly of Canada's Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology, "Women are usually in the top 10-15% of their class, but they are almost always among the last 10% to get hired."

For women to become more interested in these jobs, the trades have to become more interested in recruiting and hiring women. That includes instituting policies and practices that provide women with a safe and equitable place to work and actively dispelling stereotypes about the kind of work women can do.

Image via Participant/Deepwater Horizon.

Workforces, much like our world, are changing. Our perceptions of who skilled laborers are should keep up.

Hannah is proud to be a leader in that way.

"When I started my career, I made a choice to not just be successful, but to be visible with my success," she says. While moving into management roles is a longer-term goal for her, she's also focused on being an ambassador of the trades.

"It's a really critical time for this generation — going to college without knowing what they want to do or what they should study, and coming out with a huge amount of debt that's going to burden them forever. It's a good time to be considering the trades," she said.

"But specifically, electrician work," she laughs. "Because we're the best."

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

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Terence Power / TikTok

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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.

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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.

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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.

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