+
upworthy
Joy

All-boys school in Brooklyn encourages self-love through mirror affirmations

"What do I like about myself?" It's a simple question with a profound effect.

boy smiling in a classroom
Canva

Who wouldn't love learning like this?

Self-love is a skill, and learning how to develop it from an early age can make a world of difference.

And this is exactly what the students at Brooklyn’s Excellence Boys Charter School are learning each and every day—one hype up at a time.

Performing Arts teacher Ivan Marrero had the idea to let the boys try saying an affirmation to themselves in the mirror, starting with the phrase “One thing I like about myself is…” Basically, anything that made them happy was fair game.


One by one, each student went up and praised their reflection, commending their eyes, their smile, their strength, their ability to climb, you name it. Marrero posted the heartwarming video online, where it immediately went viral.

“It really showed the humility of our black and brown boys in a way that we don’t often see,” Principle Jaz Grant shared with Good Morning America. “As loving beings, loving themselves.” Granted explained that Excellence Boys serves 95% children of color.

“It is so important that our young black and brown boys know ‘you’re worthy, you are special, you are talented,’” from an early age, so that they’re “really ready to tackle and face the world,” he told GMA.

As it turns out, self-affirmations aren’t the only part of Excellence Boys’ confidence-boosting curriculum. Every morning, school faculty await the boys at the gate, where they take them to the cafeteria for morning motivation—basically a group hype-up.

In addition, each classroom is also named after a college or university. Grant stated that this strategy was specifically incorporated to “embed in our boys from day one that college is a place that they all have access to,” since many children of color “statistically fall to the bottom of the equity gap,” making it harder to pursue higher education. Each and every self-love ritual is designed to disrupt a prevailing narrative and set the boys on the path towards confidence and success.

Man, can you imagine a world where every kid learned how to engage in healthy self-talk? Where education touted not only hard work, but pure joy? Where school was not only a place to gain academic knowledge, but also learn crucial skills for emotional resiliency? The educators fighting to make that possibility a reality for young children are truly planting seeds for a brighter future for everyone.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Nazis demanded to know if ‘The Hobbit’ author was Jewish. He responded with a high-class burn.

J.R.R. Tolkien hated Nazi “race doctrine” and no problem telling his German publishing house about it.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler handed the power of Jewish cultural life in Nazi Germany to his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels established a team of of regulators that would oversee the works of Jewish artists in film, theater, music, fine arts, literature, broadcasting, and the press.

Goebbels' new regulations essentially eliminated Jewish people from participating in mainstream German cultural activities by requiring them to have a license to do so.

This attempt by the Nazis to purge Germany of any culture that wasn't Aryan in origin led to the questioning of artists from outside the country.

Nazi book burning via Wikimedia Commons

In 1938, English author J. R. R. Tolkien and his British publisher, Stanley Unwin, opened talks with Rütten & Loening, a Berlin-based publishing house, about a German translation of his recently-published hit novel, "The Hobbit."

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.


These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound.

As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful.

The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

13 comics use 'science' to hilariously illustrate the frustrations of parenting.

"Newton's First Law of Parenting: A child at rest will remain at rest ... until you need your iPad back."

All images by Jessica Ziegler

Kids grab everywhere.


Norine Dworkin-McDaniel's son came home from school one day talking about Newton's first law of motion.

He had just learned it at school, her son explained as they sat around the dinner table one night. It was the idea that "an object at rest will remain at rest until acted on by an external force."

"It struck me that it sounded an awful lot like him and his video games," she joked.

Keep ReadingShow less