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Storycorps presents 'Who We Are: Blanca and Connie Alvarez.'

This video is a powerful example of immigrants working hard and doing whatever it takes to attain the American dream.

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#WhoWeAre

When Connie's family came from Mexico to the U.S. in 1972, her mother, Blanca Alvarez, was pregnant with Connie.

Even after Connie was born, her family's first years in America weren't easy. Sometimes they didn't have anything to eat. Sometimes they had to take any job they could to get by. Sometimes Blanca had to take the kids to work with her or make due with bean tacos when there was nothing else to eat.

It's a tale I'm sure many immigrants can relate to. And as our national conversation about immigrants continues, stories like Blanca and Connie's can make all the difference in helping us grow empathy.


Like most working parents, Blanca says she regrets not dedicating more time to her daughter.

The curious thing is that what Blanca thought would make Connie feel resentful or neglected is actually what motivated her daughter to push forward.

"For me, watching you go to school with two kids and trying to make ends meet — that was the biggest inspiration for me to finish college," Connie says.

Listen to Blanca Alvarez tell her daughter about her struggles and successes in this poignant and powerful video from StoryCorps:

via FIRST

FIRST students learn real-world career skills through robotics competitions.

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In today’s rapidly changing world, most parents are concerned about what the future looks like for their children. Whether concerning technology, culture, or values, young people today are expected to navigate—and attempt to thrive in—a society that’s far more complicated than that of their parents. It’s one of the reasons why parents are keen to involve their kids in activities that will help them become more resilient, well-rounded and better prepared for life when they enter adulthood.

One such activity is FIRST®, a volunteer-based global robotics community that helps young people discover a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through exciting, multifaceted challenges. FIRST helps kids ages 4 to 18 to build confidence, resilience, cooperation and empathy as they compete and collaborate with one another.

You may have seen the transformative power of FIRST programs featured in the new 2022 Disney+ documentary “More Than Robots.”

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Enjoy these humans being awesome and excellent to one another.

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Mark your calendars, folks, because today is an Upworthy "10 things that made us smile this week" first.

For the past year, we've been sharing these weekly roundups of joy and delight from around the internet. And inevitably—because they are such obvious sources of joy and delight—animals have featured prominently in these posts. Who can resist a hilariously adorable doggo video, right? I mean, it's an easy win. Smiles for days.

But this week, for the first time, all 10 posts are all about us. Just us humans. People being awesome and excellent to one another. Truly the best of humanity.

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A leaping border collie.

Pet hotels have come a long way from the gloomy dog kennels that were once the norm. But apparently there's still no substitute for the comfort of home. In a delightful and downright impressive story from Inside Edition, Jeremy and Sarah Henson had their five-day Las Vegas vacation disrupted last February when they got an alert that their Ring doorbell had been pressed. Who was at their door? It was none other than their dog Dexter who they had recently boarded at a local pet hotel.

The Lenexa, Kansas couple must have been completely shocked that the dog escaped the pet hotel, made his way home and knew how to ring the doorbell. “We were both like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Dexter!’” Jeremy told Inside Edition. “Obviously, he didn’t understand the fact that we were gone, he just thought that we were home. And he takes his job protecting us very seriously."

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