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A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.
And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.
This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.
For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.
Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.
Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”
That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.
Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.
Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.
“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”
Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
These powerful before-and-after photos reveal just how beautiful aging can be.
Czech photographer Jan Langer's portrait series "Faces of Century" shows them in a different light: as human beings aged by years of experience, but at their deepest level, unchanged by the passing of time.
In the series, Langer juxtaposes his portraits with another portrait of the subject from decades earlier. He recreates the original pose and lighting as closely as he can — he wants us to see them not just as they are now, but how they have and haven't changed over time. That is the key to the series.
These are the rare faces of people who have lived through two world wars, a cavalcade of regimes, and the rush of advancements in modern life. These photos, and the stories of the lives lived by the people in them, show not only the beauty of aging, but how even as we age, we still remain essentially ourselves.
Vejdělek is a former metallurgical engineer who will never forget the taste of warm fresh goat's milk.
Originally born in Merano, Italy, Köhlerová wishes to visit Italy one more time.
Chybík is a former postal carrier and says he will never forget the route he worked every day.
Jetelina spent eight years in prison after World War II. Now, he just wants to live the rest of his life in peace.
Fejfarová burned all her material memories, including old photographs, when she decided to move to a long-term care facility. She lived a dramatic life, hiding from the Nazis and then the Russians, but eventually she was able to travel the world with her husband. Her experiences show there's no such thing as too late in life to start a new chapter.
Kovář is a former musician whose daughter comes to visit him every day. He wishes to play the clarinet once more.
Vašinová will always remember the day her husband was taken away by the Nazis. She wishes to be reunited with him after death.
Spáčil was an electrical engineer throughout his life and thinks that it's too early in his life to think about the past.
Pochobradská was a farmer. She now lives a quiet life and is thankful that her daughter visits her every weekend.
Baldrman was a clerk early in life and keeps up with current events by reading the newspaper.
Burešová loves talking to her family and wishes to have them all together again.
Čížková cooked in the dining room at the airport in the small village of Vodochody. She'll never forget reciting her own poetry at wedding ceremonies.
Vysloužilová stays active every day by chopping wood, shoveling snow, and doing work around her house.
The photographer Langer was initially inspired to document the lives of elderly people because of what he saw as the media's lack of coverage of them. He decided to focus on people over the age of 100 — a very rare demographic indeed. The 2010 U.S. Census reported only 53,364 centenarians, which is only 0.19% of the population of people 70 years or older.
“One should live every single moment according to their best knowledge and conscience because one day we will see clearly what has a real value," Langer says of what he learned from his subjects while photographing them.
The series was originally part of a story that Langer did for the Czech news outlet aktuálně.cz. You can see more photos from the portrait sessions by following the link.
This article originally appeared on 12.08.17.
They combine classic childhood favorites with modern nutritional standards – and it tastes amazing!
Oh, the simpler times! Pogs flipping in the schoolyard, the snap of a brightly colored slap bracelet adorning a wrist, and the joy of opening a lunchbox to reveal a smorgasbord of treats. The lunchboxes of the 90s and early 00s were filled with neon-colored fruit gummies, buildable pizzas or sandwiches with the crust meticulously cut off. Despite these artificial flavors and lackluster nutrition, the thrill of opening a vibrant, flavor-filled lunchbox remains unmatched.
Fast-forward to the 2020s. Now, as parents, we face a conundrum: ensuring our kids’ lunches and snacks are just as nutritious as they are fun. While we fondly remember our fluorescent fruit snacks, there's now a clear understanding of the need for real fruits, veggies, and fewer additives in those packs. Luckily, Little Spoon, a direct-to-consumer kid’s food company, has taken on the challenge of reimagining the classics with the wisdom of today.
Today's parents, equipped with an avalanche of research and access to global cuisines, are on a quest to strike a balance between fun and fuel when it comes to feeding their families. And Little Spoon is here to help. They craft meals and snacks that tick every box: fresh, organic, non-GMO, and absolutely delicious. This company understands the delicate dance between nostalgia and nutrition, offering dishes and snacks that feel familiar yet are crafted with today's well-researched standards in mind.
Remember that rush of excitement from flipping a POG or the satisfying snap of a slap bracelet? Little Spoon certainly does. And they've seamlessly woven the fabrics of our cherished memories into their modern narrative by partnering with iconic brands from the past. These limited-edition collaborations feature beloved relics like the co-branded POG™ and the ever-mystical Magic 8 Ball Keychain, bridging generations with a touch of retro flair.
But it's not just about looking back; it's also about embracing today. Little Spoon teamed up with present-day trendsetters: the edgy designs of Milk Teeth shirts, the practical elegance of STATE Bags' lunch boxes, and the playful vibes of Bauble Bar Kids' custom bracelets. They've curated a collection that resonates with the here and now, ensuring your kids rock the lunchroom with both style and substance.
In essence, Little Spoon's genius lies in its harmonious blend of the old and the new. It's a tribute to the past, an acknowledgment of how far we've come in understanding nutrition, and a pledge to keep pushing the boundaries for the sake of our kids' health.
For parents yearning for a fresh and health-conscious twist on their childhood favorites, Little Spoon has unveiled some epic new products. Introducing: Lunchers and snacks.
Little Spoon’s Lunchers are a game-changing solution that transforms lunchtime into a win-win occasion for parents and children alike.
Imagine a lunch that takes no time to prepare yet brings over 11g of protein in each meal, ensuring your young ones have the energy to fuel their day. Each offering is a carefully constructed masterpiece, boasting better-for-you ingredients to foster a lifetime of healthy habits from a young age. These are meals that seamlessly journey from your fridge to your child's bag, ready to tantalize their taste buds without any fuss.
But these Lunchers are more than just a quick solution; they are an experience. Each meal is crafted with non-GMO ingredients, featuring hidden veggies and superfoods to nurture your child's growth. It's a pioneering approach that ensures your kiddos are introduced to a world of balanced, nutritious recipes that don't skimp on taste or fun.
Navigating the world of kids' snacks can often feel like a precarious balancing act. Luckily, Little Spoon is here to add a sprinkle of joy and a ton of nutrition to your kiddo's snack time, fostering healthy habits without compromising on the fun of snacking.
Dive into the delightful world of Veggie Loops, where the humble chickpea takes center stage. These baked, not fried, crunchy loops combine craveable flavors and hidden veggies, promising a snack that's as fun as it is nourishing. Crafted with avocado oil and packing 2-3g of protein per serving, they're a true testament to plant-focused snacking.
Then, there's the dippable delight - Dipsters. These aren't your ordinary dips; they're clean, oat-based dips that pack a powerful punch of flavor. Sweetened with maple syrup and made with a comforting blend of olive and coconut oil, each dip has a hint of hidden veggie, making snack time a nutritious affair.
Introduce your kids to the vibrant world of Fruit Rippers, a rippable fruit snack made with real fruit and devoid of any artificial flavorings or colorings. Talk about a certified crowd pleaser.
And let's not overlook the Oatbakes, soft-baked bars made with real fruits and veggies and a superfood trio of chia, flax, and hemp seeds offer a perfect blend of taste and nourishment with every bite.
The journey from slap bracelets and POGs to nutrition-filled, fun lunches is more than just a walk down memory lane—it's about embracing new standards without losing the fun of old favorites. As we ride the wave of change, it's vital we offer our children the best of both worlds: a hint of our cherished past and a healthier future.
And right now, there’s never been a better time to give Little Spoon a try. That’s because new customers get 25% off their first order. So click here to learn more, and let Little Spoon transform your kids’ lunchtime into a delightfully healthy trip down memory.
She had to know the truth.
A woman, 35, and her husband, 38, had been married for 10 years and during that time became good friends with a neighbor in her 20s. Two years after they met the neighbor she had a son. She said the father wasn’t in the son’s life because he was a one-night fling.
The woman had health issues, so the couple happily took care of the child when she was in the hospital. Sadly, the woman died when the child was young, so the couple became his foster parents and legally adopted him at the age of 7.
Years later, when their adopted son was 10, and their biological child was 5, the mother noticed that both children looked a lot alike. “Now that they are 10 and 5 years old and they looked so much like each other that I begin to have suspicions,” the woman wrote on the Reddit Relationship Advice subforum.
So, she secretly had the adopted son's DNA tested.
When the results came back, the woman found out that her children were half brothers. Her husband had cheated on her with the neighbor who passed away. In a strange set of circumstances, the man adopted his son. After learning the truth about her son and husband, the wife was beside herself.
“I don't know how I should act. I am so angry and feel so humiliated, but I love the three of them so much. I feel like I am just a tool and that my dignity was stepped upon,” she wrote on the forum.
To make things worse, she still loves her husband. She said that he was “never abusive” and was a “good husband” and a “good father.”
“It feels like I was not a mother but an idiot who was used like a babysitter for his child,” the woman wrote. “How am I supposed to react? Should I tell them the truth and try to cancel the adoption? Should I divorce him? Am I right to feel like it, or am I a monster to see this child as the source of my humiliation?”
A depressed woman.
The post received 110 comments, and the most popular urged her to ask herself the big questions. Do you want to raise both boys? Do you want to stay married? Do you feel like he will slight you again in some way?
I think one question you need to consider is, Do you want to raise both boys? Setting aside whether or not your husband is involved, understand that the child is blameless and isn't responsible for his parentage. Deciding what you want to do regarding the child is important. Also note that it isn't wrong to decide that you can't handle taking care of this child. Only you know if you have the capacity to raise the child, knowing where he comes from. If you decide that you can't, it is better to not try, and end up conveying all the upset you are feeling to him.
The other question is, Do you want to stay married? There can be various reasons for and against divorce. Only you can decide which ones matter most to you.
A related question is, Do you feel he will slight you again in some way? You talk about your dignity being stepped on. Is he often acting that way in many things? Was this a one-time thing? Do you think he is likely to do it again? Knowing this will help you answer the prior question.
Trying to break down all the things you are struggling with into separate ideas may help you get some control over it.
The woman’s final words on her situation were that she couldn’t resolve to hate her husband or the adopted child and that her husband’s infidelity was the only thing that made her feel hesitant about him. Further, she is legally bound to the adopted child and couldn’t leave him regardless. But sadly, even though it appears she will stay in the situation, she feels like she has no choice. “I feel trapped,” she wrote.
Upworthy has reached out to the woman for an update on her story. We will update this story if she responds.
The ocean is the heart of our planet. It needs our help to be healthy.
The ocean covers over 71% of the Earth’s surface and serves as our planet’s heart. Ocean currents circulate vital heat, moisture, and nutrients around the globe to influence and regulate our climate, similar to the human circulatory system. Cool, right?
Our ocean systems provide us with everything from fresh oxygen to fresh food. We need it to survive and thrive—and when the ocean struggles to function healthfully, the whole world is affected.
Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are the three biggest challenges preventing the ocean from doing its job, and it needs our help now more than ever. Humans created the problem; now humans are responsible for solving it.
#BeOceanWise is a global rallying cry to do what you can for the ocean, because we need the ocean and the ocean needs us. If you’re wondering how—or if—you can make a difference, the answer is a resounding YES. There are a myriad of ways you can help, even if you don’t live near a body of water. For example, you can focus on reducing the amount of plastic you purchase for yourself or your family.
Another easy way to help clean up our oceans is to be aware of what’s known as the “dirty dozen.” Every year, scientists release an updated list of the most-found litter scattered along shorelines. The biggest culprit? Single-use beverage and food items such as foam cups, straws, bottle caps, and cigarette butts. If you can’t cut single-use plastic out of your life completely, we understand. Just make sure to correctly recycle plastic when you are finished using it. A staggering 3 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually. Imagine the difference we could make if everyone recycled!
The 2022 "Dirty Dozen" ListOcean Wise
If you live near a shoreline, help clean it up! Organize or join an effort to take action and make a positive impact in your community alongside your friends, family, or colleagues. You can also tag @oceanwise on social if you spot a beach that needs some love. The location will be added to Ocean Wise’s system so you can submit data on the litter found during future Shoreline Cleanups. This data helps Ocean Wise work with businesses and governments to stop plastic pollution at its source. In Canada, Ocean Wise data helped inform a federal ban on unnecessary single-use plastics. Small but important actions like these greatly help reduce the litter that ends up in our ocean.
Ocean Wise, a conservation organization on a mission to restore and protect our oceans, is focused on empowering and educating everyone from individuals to governments on how to protect our waters. They are making conservation happen through five big initiatives: monitoring and protecting whales, fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity, innovating for a plastic-free ocean, protecting and restoring fish stocks, and finally, educating and empowering youth. The non-profit believes that in order to rebuild a resilient and vibrant ocean within the next ten years, everyone needs to take action.
Become an Ocean Wise ally and share your knowledge with others. The more people who know how badly the ocean needs our help, the better! Now is a great time to commit to being a part of something bigger and get our oceans healthy again.
"I get that a lot, that because I'm good-looking, nothing can be wrong with me — so I want to show that mental illness is diverse."
The most recent data shows that about one in 68 children in the U.S. are affected by autism and boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is marked by communication and social difficulties, sensory processing issues, and inflexible patterns of behavior. Almost everything that researchers have learned about the disorder is based on data derived from studies of boys.
However, researchers are starting to learn that ASD manifests differently in girls. This has led many girls to be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
"The model that we have for a classic autism diagnosis has really turned out to be a male model," Susan F. Epstein, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist said according to Child Mind.
"That's not to say that girls don't ever fit it, but girls tend to have a quieter presentation, with not necessarily as much of the repetitive and restricted behavior, or it shows up in a different way," Epstein added.
Stereotypical ASD behaviors may also get in the way of recognizing the disorder in girls.
"So where the boys are looking at train schedules, girls might have excessive interest in horses or unicorns, which is not unexpected for girls," Dr. Epstein notes. "But the level of the interest might be missed and the level of oddity can be a little more damped down. It's not quite as obvious to an untrained eye."
Girls with ASD are usually better at hiding their autistic behaviors, so they suffer in silence.
Paige Layle, a 19-year-old eyelash technician from Ontario, Canada, has autism but because she's a social butterfly, most people don't realize she has the disorder.
"I get that a lot, that because I'm good-looking, nothing can be wrong with me — so I want to show that mental illness is diverse," Layle told BuzzFeed.
To help people better understand how autism manifests in girls and women, Layle has made a series of videos on her TikTok page.
"I decided to start making videos because of an audio that was going all over TikTok that was making fun of autistic people. I hated it. I feel like many people don't understand how many people are autistic," she said.
Layle's videos are eye-opening because they shatter some big myths about autism and show how difficult it can be to live with the disorder, especially if you don't know you have it.
@paigelayle learn more about autism! :) i get many questions every day to make more vids about it, i will continue to show you guys! #feature #fup #fyp #featureme ♬ original sound - paigelayle
In the first video, she explains how the initial research done on autism was only on boys or men.
"Girls usually end up showing different traits than guys do. Which is why it can take us years to get diagnosed. I was 15 when I got diagnosed and that's considered early for a girl."
She also explains that girls often are diagnosed later because they are better at hiding autistic behaviors.
"This is something we call masking. Masking is basically just being like a really good actor.
It's where you take traits that everyone else is showing and start portraying them as yourself. It's like a lot of copying going on. ... In your mind you don't think you're copying. You think that this is normal and everyone feels the same way you do.
You basically feel like an alien and you're really good at hiding that. Which is why I don't seem autistic."
In part two, she discusses the idea of being high-functioning.
@paigelayle no such thing as high/ low functioning autism!!! it’s just how YOU perceive us. not about how we’re affected. #feature #featureme #fup #fyp ♬ original sound - paigelayle
"Get high-functioning and low functioning out of your vocabulary. It doesn't help anybody. I know you may think that saying 'Oh like you're high-functioning' is compliment. It's not a compliment. It's also like a reminder that I'm just masking, and it's so hard.
Masking is the most exhausting thing in the world... 'High-functioning' is basically a label that you can use to be like 'Your autism doesn't affect me that much.' But I'll tell you that everyone you think is high-functioning is greatly affected by their autism."
In part three, Paige discusses common autistic traits that girls have.
@paigelayle more on special interests later ☺️ #feature #autism #fyp #fyp #featureme ♬ original sound - paigelayle
"I am overly social. I give way too much eye contact. I'm really good in social situations. It's also very common for girls with autism to have other mental disabilities or mental disorders as well. I have seven and one of the main ones is OCD.
All of these mental illnesses stem from having autism. But OCD, anxiety, and depression are very common, especially in girls. Just the feeling that the world needs rules for you to understand it. That's why a lot of autism special interests include things like anatomy, the human body, psychology, just figuring out how the world works is our way to figure out how to live in it."
In part four, Paige discusses the topic of masking.
@paigelayle ahhh masking. can’t live with you, can’t live without you. #feature #fup #fyp #featureme #autism ♬ original sound - paigelayle
"When you're in the autistic closet and you are not known to be autistic yet ... you like subconsciously know that you're weird and you don't know how to act or how to be.
It's like the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you wear your hair, like your mannerisms. Like everything you say. Everything you think. Everything you think that you enjoy. It's all what you are accustomed to from your peers.
I've been diagnosed for four years and I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what I actually like to do. You just get to used to creating this mask that when it's like 'Hey, you can take it off,' It's like what the frick is underneath it? I don't know what's going on."
This story originally appeared on 03.11.20
She's a hero.
Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.
The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.
A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.
So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.
Mr.s Potatohead's in Orlando, Florida
The boy shook his head, no. "I knew it that he was afraid," she said.
Carvalho made two more attempts until the boy nodded yes.
The server then called the owner of the restaurant to let her know that she was going to call the police on the boy's parents.
\u201cSEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING: An Orlando waitress saw a family withholding food from a boy at a table. She noticed bruises on his body and created this sign to secretly ask the child if he needed help. When he signaled "Yes" she called us. The stepfather & mother were arrested.\u201d— Orlando Police (@Orlando Police) 1610638528
The police arrived and arrested the boy's father
on one count of third-degree child abuse. His mother Kristen Swann was arrested with two counts of child neglect. A four-year-old girl was taken from the family by authorities. They say she showed no signs of abuse.
Detectives spoke with the boy and learned his parents frequently withheld food from him as a form of punishment. He was 20 pounds underweight. After searching his body, they discovered that he was nearly covered in bruises.
His father had recently beat him with a broomstick and back scratcher.
via Orlando PD
The boy told detectives that he was once hung upside down from his ankles in a door frame by his father and had been restrained by being strapped to a furniture dolly.
"To be honest what this child had gone through was torture," Detective Erin Lawler said. "There was no justification for it in any realm of the world. I'm a mother and seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul."
\u201cChief Orlando Rolon, @OrlandoPolice, with waitress Flavaine Carvalho (middle) who saved an abused 11yo when he was dining with his family. They say the boy was \u201ctortured.\u201d The full details of his salvation on @fox35orlando at 5/6pm. #FOX35 #news #crime #update\u201d— Matt Trezza FOX 35 (@Matt Trezza FOX 35) 1610650833
Carvalho's quick thinking and bravery may have saved the lives of two children.
"This could have been a homicide situation if she had not have intervened," Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said.
"The lesson here for all of us is to recognize when we see something that isn't right to act on it… This saved the life of a child," he added.
The restaurant's owner, Rafaela Cabede, hopes that Carvalho's bravery inspires others to look out for signs of abuse as well.
"We understand that this has to encourage other people that when you see something, say something," Cabede said. "We know when we see a situation that is wrong, we know what's the right thing to do. We know that speaking up is the right thing to do. But it takes more than acknowledging it. It takes courage.
This article originally appeared on 01.15.21