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This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The devastating storm and subsequent levee failure caused over 1,800 deaths, left over a million people displaced, and damaged or destroyed more than a million homes and businesses on the Gulf Coast.



Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

New Orleans is on the road to recovery, but racial inequities persist.

Tourism is booming and neighborhoods are coming back to life. But on Aug. 24, 2015, a new study revealed that while a majority of white residents think the recovery is complete, a majority of black residents think the job isn't done.

The community has a long way to go, but everywhere you look, there are signs of progress.

Getty Images photographer Mario Tama, who captured all of the photos featured in this story, was on the ground in New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina and has followed the recovery effort.

"While there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, to see the city well on the road to recovery is simply glorious to witness," he told Upworthy. "There is an energy, a vibrancy, a positive outlook among more residents than ever before."

Captured here in a series of five before-and-after photo sets is a closer look at the recovery effort in New Orleans over the last 10 years.

1. Gratitude at the Christian Community Baptist Church

In the top photo, parishioners gather during Sunday services in the rebuilt Christian Community Baptist Church in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Below that is the church in 2007, early in the rebuilding process.

Photos by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

2. Rising from the ashes in the Seventh Ward

The top photo shows homes that were rebuilt in the city's Seventh Ward, once home to many of the original New Orleans jazz greats like Jelly Roll Morton and Sidney Bechet. The image beneath it captures the area in the aftermath of the storm, with widespread flooding and fires.

Photos by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

3. Making it right in the Ninth Ward

Founded by Brad Pitt in 2007, the Make It Right Foundation builds eco-friendly homes for communities in need. Since then, more than 100 brightly painted homes have been built in the Ninth Ward, and Pitt says more are on the way. Some of the new homes are featured in the first photo.

Below, a group of Amish volunteers tour the devastated Ninth Ward in February 2006.

Photos by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

4. The bridge back to normal

In the top photo, a girl gets off the school bus near the Claiborne Bridge in the Ninth Ward. Beneath it, survivors use makeshift oars to paddle their way to safety when flood waters inundated the city a decade ago.

Photos by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

5. The Saints go marching in

Fresh off their Super-Bowl-winning season, this 2010 photo captures the Saints and their return to glory in the Superdome. The stadium was a grim place during the storm, as shown in the photo below. Survivors were directed there for shelter but were met with a lack of resources, violence, and unlivable conditions.

Photos by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

10 years later, the recovery is far from over.

As schools succeed and local economies improve, there is hope for a return to normal. Or, at least, the start of a new norm, in a renewed New Orleans.

"I don't think I could have imagined the city so full of life 10 years on after seeing folks plucked from rooftops in 2005," Tama told Upworthy. "Having said that, there are some who haven't been able to return home, often those who have been priced out of the city due to climbing rents. Let's hope the city can find a way for those former residents to come home as well."


The sun sets over the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

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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The young Mealy family was blown away by the instant kindness of their new neighbors.

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Madison Mealy and her husband Blake recently moved to a rural area in the Blue Ridge Mountains and are new to country living. Mealy shared a video on TikTok showing her husband mowing the lawn with their baby in a backpack.

Cute, right? The only problem is they have a humongous lawn and her husband was mowing it with the teeniest push mower.

To be fair, if you've never had a big lawn, you may not realize how long it takes to mow and that not all lawn mowers are created equal. (They make riding lawn mowers for a reason, and it's not because of laziness.)

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John Cena showed up for a family who fled Mariupol, Ukraine, after their house was destroyed in the Russian invasion.

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Many families fled early in the war, when the danger became clear. But not everyone understood why they were leaving.

Children are befuddled by war, as they should be. It is nonsensical, illogical and unbelievable to think that you must leave your home and move to a country far away because a grown-up who is supposed to be a leader is trying to blow up your house. People with intellectual disabilities may also not understand a sudden uprooting, especially when the reason is something even fully abled adults struggle to make sense of.

When Liana Rohozhyn's home in Mariupol was destroyed earlier in the war, she and her family were forced to flee. Her son Misha, a nonverbal 19-year-old with Down syndrome, was understandably distressed about having to leave Ukraine. To comfort him through the long journey across Europe to safety, Liana told Misha they were going on a trip to find the champion wrestler, John Cena.

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Dad knows lots of things … just not who this Taylor Swift guy is.

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Usually in a father’s humiliation tool belt is the infamous dad joke. These corny puns have been around since 2003, and let’s face it, they’ll never leave. Of course, no dad needs one to make your eyes roll. They can do that most of the time simply by being themselves.

For his well-known #Hashtags segment, Jimmy Fallon asked his “Tonight Show” audience to share “funny, weird, or embarrassing” stories about their dads. Fallon, a father himself, is no stranger to the cringeworthy power of a dad joke. In a 2020 interview with TODAY, Fallon admitted, “I’m starting to get the eye rolls now where Daddy’s not the funniest person in the world.”

Don’t worry Fallon! Clearly you’re not alone, because people replied with some truly hilarious comments. Dads might be silly, but we’ll gladly put up with it for the love they give us.

Enjoy 20 of the very best #DadStories:

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