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Some women want a man to secure their future. And then there's her.

Her name is Minerva and she's very clear about her money, her man, and her future.

Some women want a man to secure their future. And then there's her.
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The Atlantic Philanthropies

Meet Minerva.


She has no problem vocalizing what she wants.

"...to be very independent. I find everything for me myself. My food, my clothes, my shoes... And now I take care of myself alone."


And, she's not afraid to admit that she doesn't need a man.

"I don't have to ask anything of a man. I don't have a husband exactly for that reason. Because I have no need. I had one. But, well, I got divorced because I don't have that thing of needing to be next to a man. I have no need for it because I'm very independent."

I've never met Minerva, but I feel like I know her. Or, at least, women just like her.


Just to be clear, she's not saying that she hates all men. She's just acknowledging that she can support herself without relying on someone else for a meal ticket.

The really interesting part about all of this is that Minerva is not only a single woman, but she's also an entrepreneur living and working in Cuba, one of the last Communist governments.

She runs a small pizza and ice cream shop on Obispo Street, which is slowly becoming a bubbling economic hub.

"Places that were closed are now restaurants, cafeterias — all kinds of things. They're giving people the opportunity to open their businesses. Their own businesses. Before, here, there were no private businesses and now everyone's got one. It's changing a lot and I think it's going to change more."

Transitioning leadership may be one of the reasons behind this shift. Raul Castro made a bunch of sweeping reforms after stepping in as Cuba's president in 2008, due to his brother Fidel's failing health.


His laundry list of changes still has some folks clutching their pearls. That list includes huge economic reforms to encourage small-business growth, and he is even trying to improve relations with the U.S. Getting the 55-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba lifted is part of Castro's goal, which President Obama is all for.

But when it comes to the love that Minerva has for her beloved Obispo Street, she's not interested in politics.

"Politics doesn't have anything to do with it. For me, I like my country a lot. I adore my country. And I have thought about leaving for fun, to run around, to see things, to know things. But not to stay. Because I like what's Cuban."


Today, the new face of Cuba includes clothing store owners, artisans, and female business owners like Minerva.

"It's not as if anybody gets so much out of it, to be rich. Maybe somebody's got more than other people because they're bigger, but it's not like they're going to become millionaires. It's enough to survive. Enough to live. But not more than that."

For Minerva, running a shop out of what used to be her living room isn't just about being in control of her own money, for independence' sake. It's also about caring for her family.

"My grandchildren, I dress them. Their mother works but doesn't make enough for that. She's very young and so I'm the one who supports them. ... My father is now very old and doesn't have much family. I help him and my son."

To check out more of Minerva's compelling story, watch below.

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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via Fox 5 / YouTube

Back in February, northern Virginia was experiencing freezing temperatures, so FOX 5 DC's Bob Barnard took to the streets to get the low down. His report opens with him having fun with some Leesburg locals and trying his hand at scraping ice off their parked cars.

But at about the 1:50 mark, he was interrupted by an unaccompanied puppy running down the street towards the news crew.

The dog had a collar but there was no owner in sight.

Barnard stopped everything he was doing to pick the dog up off the freezing road to keep it safe. "Forget the people we talked to earlier, I want to get to know this dog," he told his fellow reporters back in the warm newsroom.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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