Some teachers took a survey, and here are a few of the results. Next time you see a teacher, thank them. Please? And yes, paying taxes to support schools is the right thing to do.
Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.
"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.
While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."
In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.
"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."
In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, she decided it was time to do even more to serve people during these difficult times.
"It became clearer to me that the lack of representation in the book publishing industry for BIPOC/LatinX writers & poets had to change," she says. "I want to be an agent of change in the publishing industry and contribute to its transformation."
She created Alegría Publishing to nurture and produce works by indie LatinX storytellers and expanded the mobile bookstore to celebrate BIPOC/LatinX writers and poets, as well as the books published by Alegría publishing. And one day she hopes that she can take the bookstore across the United States and discover even more emerging writers.
Today, Agudelo also mentors indie authors two nights a week through the Alegría Writing Collective for LatinX writers. "They rock my world every class," she says.
"The amount of talent in our community pushes me to keep growing our company so the world can read their work and remember their names."
Agudelo has made it her mission to empower women and her community. "My career has been such a blessing filled with magical milestones and I never take these moments for granted," she says. "There is nothing like being able to make a woman's dream of publishing their first book and bring it to life. Watching their reaction, when they look at their book for the first time is priceless."
"As women, we are naturally powerful, we just have to keep reminding each other of our power."
Agudelo is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to The Sims Library of Poetry, which is the first black-owned poetry library in California.
"Hiram Sims, its founder, started lending books to his university students out of this suitcase after mandating that they read one book of poetry a week. As demand grew, his suitcase library was forced to seek a larger home," says Agudelo. "Their mission is to serve, educate, and foster a love for poetry, especially for marginalized people of color in the community of South Los Angeles."
To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit toryburch.com/empoweredwomen. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today.
As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.
Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.
But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.
Loneliness is a serious problem because it can be as debilitating as a physical health issue. According to a study published in The New York Times, loneliness can result in an "increased risk of depression, cognitive decline, and illnesses like coronary artery disease."
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that loneliness is also associated with premature death.
"Loneliness is a common source of distress, suffering, and impaired quality of life in older persons," the study published in JAMA Internal medicine says.
The study looked at 1600 participants with an average age of 71 and examined whether they were lonely or had healthy social lives. When the researchers performed a follow-up six years later, they found that 23% of lonely participants died within six years of the study, as opposed to only 14% of those who reported adequate companionship.
"The need we've had our entire lives—people who know us, value us, who bring us joy—that never goes away," Barbara Moscowitz, senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, explained to The New York Times.
One of the major reasons why older people tend to thrive after moving into an assisted living environment is because they are more social. Older people may resist such a lifestyle change, but being around other people, especially those their age who have a similar lived experience, can help them live a happier, healthier life.
The study underscores the fact that the gift of time and quality attention is one of the most important things that we can give to the senior citizens in our lives.
We can also assist the older people in our lives by helping them maintain relationships with others. Instead of just driving them to doctor appointments, take them on a trip to see a friend or relative, too.
Watching our older relatives go through age-related decline can be distressing. But the good news from this study is that it's not completely out of our control. By taking the time to foster healthy relationships with our older loved ones we can play an active role in promoting their longevity.