12-year-old Julianne Speyer was attending a Fourth of July parade in Chesterland, Ohio, when something caught her ear.

Speyer heard a parade announcer introduce the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in very different — and sexist — ways. The young resident of nearby Russell Township then described the experience in a letter published on July 19 in the Geauga County Maple Leaf newspaper.

"My name is Julianne Speyer," her letter began. "I am 12 years old and I would like to inform you of how offended and disappointed I am by the announcer of the Chesterland 4th of July parade's comment about the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts."

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At Plano Senior High School's graduation, Sef Scott gave an honest and vulnerable speech.

Scott said that simply stepping on stage to address his classmates in Texas was a surprise. During his six-minute speech, he openly shared intimate details about his autism and social communication disorder.

"Just by being here speaking to all of you — me — that alone is unexpected," he said. "While I have the vocabulary that you do, and I have the ability to produce spoken words, it is not a normal feat for me to electively speak."

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A couple years ago, Brendon Scholl was having a terrifying night.

They can't recall many of the details. "Most of it is just a big blur," says the now-17-year-old, who is transgender and non-binary, and uses they/them pronouns.

But they do remember crying hysterically, rattled by an inescapable sense of loneliness and an isolating anxiety that'd often accompany them to bed, when their friends were asleep and unreachable by text.

"I was in a really bad place," Scholl says. "I was kind of freaking out ... I was having a really hard time with [the idea that] people didn't want me around."



Brendon Scholl's aunt happens to be singer Jennifer Lopez, who bragged about Scholl's achievements on Instagram in July 2017. Photo via Jennifer Lopez/Instagram.

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Obama was elected by young people. Now, he wants to empower the next generation.

In 2008, when Facebook and Twitter were still new on the scene, young voters used social media to help propel Barack Obama to the White House. He knows firsthand how powerful a force they can be when inspired by a cause they believe in.

During a talk in Japan, Obama revealed that he's channeling his post-presidential legacy into finding ways to help tomorrow's leaders connect and work together.

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