Raised in foster care, this single guy paid it forward by adopting three kids of his own.

"Fatherhood has been everything I imagine it to be."

via Barry Farmer / Pinterest

Barry Farmer of Richmond, Virginia, from is a tremendous example of what it means to pay it forward.

He was raised by his grandmother through a program called Kinship Care that allows family members to raise a child when their parents aren't capable.

As she aged, Farmer went from being her charge to taking care of her.


Having grown up without a father, Farmer knew the importance of having one around, so in 2011, at the young age of 21, he received his license to be a foster parent. He took in eight-year-old Jaxson fully prepared to return him to his family when they were ready.

When Jaxon was able to live with prospective adopted parents, he asked Farmer to be his "forever dad."


"Becoming a foster parent was like a tribute to my grandmother because I could never pay her back, but I was definitely able to pay it forward," Farmer told People.

"It was touching that this child of a different race felt comfortable enough to call me Dad, he was a child searching for belonging in a not so typical situation," he added.

Two years after adopting Jaxon, Farmer thought he could use a brother, so in 2013 he adopted 11-year-old Xavier. A year later, the family took in four-year-old Jeremiah as a foster child, assuming he would one day return to his parents.

"Jeremiah's plans to return home had changed during that time," Farmer explained, "and that's when my two older boys and I decided to welcome him into our home permanently."

Just seven years after adopting his first child, Farmer had adopted three boys.

"Fatherhood has been everything I imagine it to be because I'm the father I wish I had growing up. I'm involved, I'm there when my boys go to sleep and when they wake up," Farmer said.

"I'm their biggest cheerleader when helping them achieve their goals. I try not to miss a beat in their lives. I take the responsibility of being their father very seriously and never for granted," he continued.

Men like Farmer are much needed in a country where over 400,000-plus children are in foster care. They are also very rare. According to The New York Times, only 3% of adoptive parents in the U.S. are single men.

Farmer has some great advice for anyone out there who would love to make a huge difference in a foster care child's life but may be reticent.

"There's no reason to be afraid of our foster children who are waiting to be adopted," Farmer told CBS TV. "And all they need is some security, some love, some attention, stability. Because older children are the babies that you're looking for."

There are a lot of firsts to the experience as well: you can still have your first bike ride, your first trip to the beach, first roller coaster, first day of school. All of that can be experienced through foster care adoptions," he added.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture