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high school

Joy

A 9-yr-old cheerleader’s veteran dad couldn't help with her routine, so a high schooler ran to her side

Sensing something was wrong, he sprang to action with many witnessing his kind act.

Images from YouTube video.

Addie Rodriguez does her cheer.

Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."



But as Addie sat there in front of the game's crowd, with no one to join her on the field, someone ran toward her. That person was Central Catholic High School senior Matthew Garcia, who went to her after realizing she was the only cheerleader without a partner.


Garcia told local news station FOX 29, "I ran down from the bleachers right here, and I just hopped the fence, and I went over, and I kneeled down, I talked to her and I said, 'Are you OK?'"

He then lifted Addie onto his shoulders just like the dads did with their daughters so she could participate in the routine. Many onlookers quickly realized they were witnessing an extraordinary act of kindness, and social media was abuzz:

It may have been a small gesture for Garcia, but as Addie tells it, that little bit of assistance meant the world to her. They posed for a picture after the routine was done, and it's clear this will be one encounter she won't soon forget.

inspiring, culture, mental health, friendship, mentors

Addie Rodriguez and Mathew Garcia.

Images from YouTube video.

"I just felt like somebody saved my life," Addie said, adding, "I thought that's so nice, especially since my dad's serving for us.”

Watch the YouTube video below:

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18

An influencer and MrBeast.

After YouTube phenomenon MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, 25, graduated high school in 2016, his mother made a deal with him. He could live in her house and go to college, or if he didn’t want to pursue higher education, he would have to move out and live on his own. So, he decided to go to college, although his heart wasn't in it.

The content creator, philanthropist, and founder of Feastables chocolate snack brand had just started making videos on YouTube as a teenager and had yet to hit the big time. So, he went to school while continuing his passion for creating YouTube videos.

However, college was not for MrBeast and he quickly dropped out. “I got to college and I couldn’t stand it, man. I used to sit in front of other classrooms and think, yo, I don’t know what the fu*k is going on,” he said, according to Essentially Sports. Instead, he put all his efforts into pursuing his dream of being a YouTube star. By the following year, he had earned over 1 million subscribers on the platform and was well on the way to being a success.


Last year, MrBeast reportedly made $82 million from his hundreds of millions of subscribers.

In an interesting twist to his story, MrBeast recently warned aspiring influencers and content creators to be careful about following his footsteps and giving up everything to pursue their dreams.

"It’s painful to see people quit their job/drop out of school to make content full time before they’re ready," Donaldson wrote on X on March14. "For every person like me that makes it, thousands don’t. Keep that in mind and be smart plz."

MrBeast’s tweet contradicts the inspiring advice successful people often give about following their dreams. Especially for someone so young who gave up a college education to pursue his. MrBeast is not advocating for people to follow the words of the great T.S. Eliot, who once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Or Nelson Mandela, who famously said, "There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

But MrBeast definitely knows the business he’s in, and it’s a lot different than it was when he first started out in 2016. The number of YouTubers has expanded exponentially over the past 8 years, and there are only so many eyeballs and sponsorships to go around.

Further, influencers now have to compete with artificial intelligence and TikTok is in danger of being shut down by the government.

"The chances of you quitting your job without a safety net and becoming a successful content creator are slim to none and anyone who does that is the exception, not the rule," Katya Varbanova, a brand marketing strategist and the CEO of Viral Marketing Stars, told Business Insider. She also added that a big part of MrBeast’s success was "being in the right place at the right time."

MrBeast made it big by working tirelessly to figure out the type of videos the YouTube algorithm and viewers wanted produced. Then, he scaled up his budgets and production quality to become a leader in the content creator industry. But one of the keys to his success was that he got in the game at the right time.

For those who may be discouraged by MrBeast’s thoughts on becoming an influencer in 2024, it doesn’t mean to stop following your dreams. It means to be like MrBeast and find the next big thing before everyone else, work hard to perfect it and shoot for the stars.

Canva

Teachers earn their own A's through this act of encouragement.

Thinking back, I'm sure we can all recall having a tough day at school.

Maybe you got a bad grade on a test or weren't picked for a team you desperately wanted to be on. Or maybe there was a day (or days) where you just didn't feel like your presence at school mattered.

While you may no longer be in school, feeling unimportant can absolutely trickle back from time to time. I happened to be experiencing some of those feelings myself when I stumbled upon an amazing video by Jamie McSparin, a teacher at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri.

McSparin recognized the students at her school go through tough times on occasion, and she wanted to do something to show them how important they are to their teachers.

So she gathered several other teachers at Oak Park together and asked them to pick one student and share why that student inspires them to come to work every day. On camera.

The teachers were a little apprehensive about doing it at first, but that was before they got these incredible reactions:

joy, kindness, teacher, student appreciation

A bright smile cultivated through a teacher's motivation.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

self esteem, education, investment, genius

Big smiles found when getting some good news from the teacher.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

happiness, effort, wisdom, education, positive

Some times it's surprising how much a little positive reinforcement takes someone.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

McSparin asked each teacher to record the experience. In order to catch the students off guard, the teachers looked up their schedules and momentarily pulled each student out of class.

"EVERY student we pulled from class thought they were in trouble," wrote McSparin in an email. Of course that's the natural reaction when a teacher takes you out of class, but once they realized what was going on, they were overcome with gratitude.

And the teachers didn't just choose overachievers. The students picked fell on a wide academic spectrum to show their abilities don't dictate their significance.

The initial goal of the "Oak Park Positivity Project" was to remind the teachers how much of an impact they have on their students, but it's obviously worked to bolster students' confidence as well.

school, insight, teaching, community

It's not rocket science that encouraging the future has value.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

Since the video launched, McSparin has received inspiring messages from educators across the country who are eager to bring the project into their schools.

And McSparin plans to keep the positivity going all year long. "Several students have approached me about things THEY want to do to keep it going," she said.

Everyone can have a tough day now and again, but movements like this prove there's always someone in your corner to gladly remind you how much you matter.

Check out the video project here:

This article originally appeared on 10.06.16


Joy

Perfectly delivered Monty Python-themed prom proposal might just top them all

It even earned several chuckles of approval from the girl's dad.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Monty Python is beloved by generations.

As someone who firmly believes that getting a prom date shouldn't be anywhere near as exciting ask asking someone for their hand in marriage, I'm generally loath to share "promposal" videos. Not to be too bah humbug about it, but the elaborate asks have gotten out of hand, and creating a memorable prom proposal feels like a lot to put on already-pressured teens.

That being said, one "promposal" video making the rounds on Reddit and other social media sites is worth watching. Not only does it shine with its clever concept, deft delivery and wholesome hilarity, but the simple joy it evokes crosses generations.

Monty Python has had a rather miraculous hold on several generations and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" in particular has been a cult classic for nearly 50 years. So seeing a group of high schoolers use it as inspiration for a prom proposal has people of all ages giggling with delight.


The video begins with a girl standing in her doorway watching someone perform a trumpet blast in her yard. Then we hear the clippity-clop of fake horse hooves just before a small group of guys come "galloping" into view on hobby horses.

A wigged scribe "dismounts" and unrolls a scroll before declaring, "Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye!" and making the announcement.

I won't spoil it. Just watch:

The beauty of this promposal is that it succeeded in being over-the-top silly without actually being over-the-top. The paper crowns, the fact that they're in normal clothes except for the red robe and goofy wig, the little detail of the kid being lifted off the horse, the scroll simply reading "Prom?"—it all harkens back to a simpler time before viral when kids would do stuff like this just for the fun of it.

Even the man in the background, presumably the girl's dad, chuckles with approval throughout.

It's not easy to hit the mark across generations, but they nailed it. Way to go, guys.