A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.
And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.
This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.
For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.
Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.
Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”
That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.
Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.
Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.
“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”
Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
There's a good reason for the update. But it's jarring, to say the least.
The oldest published version of the melody to the “Alphabet Song” was in 1761. However, because it’s the same melody as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” it's hard to trace it to its original composer.
The “Alphabet Song” is so deeply entrenched in American culture that it almost seems sacrilegious to change a piece of music that’s one of the first most of us ever learned. But after all these years, some educators are altering the classic melody so that there is a variation when the letters L-M-N-O-P are sung.
This change shocked popular TikTokker Jessica Skube, who documents life raising 7 children with her 2.6 million followers. Nearly 10 million people have watched her video revealing the significant change, and it’s received over 56,000 comments since first being published in late 2020.
"You guys, I have huge, huge, huge, huge, huge news,” Skube told her followers. "I have a fifth grader, a fifth grader, a fourth grader, a third grader, a third grader, a first grader, and a preschooler and I just got news that the ‘Alphabet Song’ is changing."
She then sang the updated version of the song.
Just to add to your 2020 🤯😱 because distance learning wasn’t enough!!! @ms_frazzled #abcsong #lmno #wtf #momsoftiktok
The big reason for the change is that people learning English, whether young kids or those who speak it as a second language, often get confused because L-M-N-O-P can sound like one letter, “elemenopee." So, the new version breaks up that part of the alphabet, making the letters easier to understand. There has been a "surge" in the number of students learning English as a second language over the past decade, so it only makes sense to alter the song to help them learn the fundamentals of the language.
It’s encouraging to know that hundreds of people took her side and supported her.
A story recently posted on Reddit shows a mother confidently standing up for her culture and daughter in the face of intolerance. Reddit user Paste-Clouds-808 shared the story on the AITA forum to ask who was right in the situation.
Over 2,900 people commented on the story, and they overwhelmingly agreed that it was her.
The mother, 38, regularly cooks Asian foods for her daughter Lily, 7, and packs them in her school lunch. The mother was raised by a half-Japanese mom, so the foods have always been a part of her life, and her family loves them, too.
“Oftentimes I’ll either give my daughter some leftovers from last night's dinner, plus a fruit/veggie and a snack, or I’ll make her a quick little bento box or some other thing really quick,” the mother wrote.
One day after school, the mother allowed Lily to play on the playground for a few minutes before they went home. The mother was approached by another mom, whom we will call Debra, and she immediately began criticizing the lunches the mother had packed for her daughter.
“What? How are they bothering him?” Lily’s mom responded.
“She then proceeded to start talking about how her son was complaining about my daughter's lunches smelling terrible and that he thought it was disgusting,” the mom wrote. “She also said her son didn’t eat most of his lunch because he was so grossed out.”
The mother politely rejected Debra’s request to change her daughter's lunch habits and suggested it wasn’t her problem. “Okay…I understand your son doesn’t like the smell, but can’t he just sit somewhere else?” she asked.
Debra then became angry. “Are you kidding me?” she asked. “My son shouldn’t have to put up with whatever crap you make your daughter bring to this school. It’s disgusting!”
Lily’s mom says that Debra then began making more “vaguely racist” comments. She became fed up with the woman and sternly put her in her place.
“Listen, I understand your son might not like my daughter's food, but he can very easily just not sit next to her,” the mother said. “I’m not changing what’s in my daughter's lunches because you and your kid don’t want to exist near Asian food. F*** off.”
The mom asked people on the Reddit forum if she went too far by using foul language when talking to the woman, but they thought it was an appropriate response to the woman’s entitled racist attitude.
“Setting a firm boundary with a colorful exclamation usually does a wonderful job in preventing a busybody parent from bothering you in the future,” Johnny9k responded. Some commenters mentioned that she should go further and report it to the school’s administrators and the mother thought it was a good idea.
“Yeah, after thinking about it more, I’m going to talk to her teacher about this,” she wrote. “I’m gonna talk with Lily to so I can be sure this kid isn’t being racist towards her or anything.”
It must have been hard for the mother to stand there while Debra degraded her family’s heritage. But it’s encouraging to know that hundreds of people took her side and supported her in doing what they deemed appropriate.
The story is an interesting example of the two ways that people can go in this world. When Debra’s son complained about Lily's lunch, she could have just as easily taught him a lesson in acceptance by educating him on different cultures and teaching him the beauty of diversity.
Instead, she lashed out at the mother on his behalf, perpetuating the cycle of intolerance.
To no one's surprise Adelman did not like these answers.
Google and smart phones have been around so long that Gen Z doesn't know a time before those things existed. They may have Googled what a card catalog was used for but plenty of them don't know the pressure we all felt having to learn the dewy decimal system while walking around the library with a card with numbers scribbled on it.
They've never experienced the frustration of having an out of date Encyclopedia collection from the thrift store that was missing books "D" and "X-Z" when you had a research assignment due. Oh, sweet tech savvy - we not me generation, doesn't understand that riding shot gun on a road trip meant you were suddenly a pirate with an Atlas map bigger than the dashboard.
Even as someone that was alive when having a rotary phone was the norm, I sometimes forget what life was like before all of the technological luxuries. It's not surprising that Gen Z is confused on how we survived back then without knowledge at our fingertips, so when one of them asked, Gen X, Xennials and elder Millennials entered the chat.
Sarah Adelman posted a video to TikTok with the caption, "pls help I was born in 1997." In the video she says she has a genuine question for older people and that's when she asks, "what did you do before you could look something up?"
Adelman gives the example of something that isn't in the dictionary or Encyclopedia. She wants to know what someone would do if there was a celebrity whose name you couldn't remember or other trivial things like that.
"Would you go to the library? Like gen..and like okay, without Google Maps, like I know that there was MapQuest but before that like genuinely what would you do? Would you just accept not knowing," the Gen Zer asks before saying she doesn't think she would be able to survive without knowing.
Unfortunately for Adelman, the older generations informed her that this is exactly what we did back in the 1900s. We simply wondered about things that popped into our heads. In fact, since we knew there was no way of knowing the name of the actor that played on "Matlock" for one episode, we didn't bother attempting to look it up. You'd either see them again in a rerun or it would come to you randomly while trying to locate a payphone.
"The name of an actor would come up to you 3 weeks later while you were eating a bowl of cereal," one person writes.
"You would just be forever annoyed by it, keep it bookmarked in the back of your mind, then realize one day that dude's name is Ray Liotta or something," another commenter says.
"Ummm. I love how you reference Mapquest. We used maps. Just maps. Good ole paper maps," someone writes.
"We just lived in blissful ignorance and then in the middle of a conversation about pretzels a week later we would just yell out the answer," one person reveals.
To no one's surprise Adelman did not like these answers. She replied to someone explaining that we simply wondered with, "I could never." The official Google account even chimed in saying, "however it worked, sounds bad."
Ehh, it wasn't so bad. We didn't know any different, but in a way Adelman had that good old fashioned pre-Google experience when she posed this question. You can watch the perplexed girl's video below:
Pls help i was born in 1997 #90s #genz #90skids #iphone #rant #question #funny
Seriously, get this kid an Oscar.
Some kids just have a natural knack for acting. Frequently, a flair for the dramatics can cause parents significant grief (Ferris Bueller-style) but it can also be a source of non-stop entertainment.
The video shared by @saddiegau on TikTok has been viewed a million times, and when you watch it you'll see why. The kid dons an inflatable costume that makes it look like a large green alien is carrying him around, which is pretty funny all on its own. But the horror movie scene that ensues is practically an acting masterclass.
The screaming. The chaotic struggle. The frantic clinging to the door frame as the alien pulled him away. And doing it all walking backwards? Perfection.
#aliens #abduction #halloween
Impressive, right? People in the comments thought so, too:
"Haha get this kid an Oscar stat 😂"
"Watched this many times! He deserves an Oscar🏆"
"But how is he so convincing?!?! 🏆"
So many people said their minds kept questioning whether the alien was actually kidnapping him, despite knowing consciously that it was an act:
"He sold it. I legit thought he was in trouble for a sec 😆"
"We’ve all seen this costume and joke a hundred times, and yet the way I BELIEVED for a few seconds 😅👏 👏👏👏"
"Ok. I know it’s not real. YET each time I watch it I’m like why isn’t anybody helping him??? Get this kid a role stat!"
The kid might as well start writing his acceptance speech now because there's surely a red carpet in his future.
Pregnancy cravings can leave expectant mothers fantasizing about the strangest culinary concoctions.
Pregnancy cravings can leave expectant mothers fantasizing about the strangest culinary concoctions.
It goes so far beyond pickles and ice cream—women might find themselves pulling up to a McDonald’s drive thru when previously they never ate red meat, piling different forms of dairy products onto one another, dipping Cheetos into literally everything.
And that’s not even accounting for the non-food cravings that some women report having, like laundry detergent, chalk, paper, dirt. Yum.
The couple have all kinds of wholesome glimpses into their relationship. But since Kay became pregnant with baby number two, most of their content has been centered around documenting their pregnancy journey.
Which brings us to—pregnancy cravings. Tay provides us with a bit of backstory:
Since Kay’s pregnancy began, her cravings have been such an adventure, leading to some unique and sweet concoction“ he wrote on their account. “I’ve made it my mission to fulfill her every craving because there’s nothing I love more than seeing her first bite reaction.”
For example: in the video below, Kay dreams up a “pickle split.” A cut pickle. Ice cream. Chocolate AND caramel drizzle. Reese sprinkled on top. But also actual sprinkles sprinkled on top for “some color.”
Seeing Kay get so excited as she meticulously describes exactly how this recipe should unfold is hilarious. But hearing Tay get equally excited to bring her vision to life is what makes it so sweet.
@kayandtayofficial She went through so many emotions when she took the first bite! 😂 Backstory ::: Since Kay’s pregnancy began, her cravings have been such an adventure, often leading to some unique and sweet concoctions! I’ve made it my mission to fulfill her every craving because there’s nothing I love more than seeing her first bite reaction. She sure is keeping life exciting these last few months of her pregnancy. ❤️ #kayandtayofficial #couples #relationships #pregnant ♬ original sound - ✨Kay and Tay✨
Kay has since developed a special knack for thinking of ways to turn regular foods into sweet and salty desserts.
You know, things like nachos, hotdogs, sliders…Always with Reese’s. Always with caramel and chocolate drizzle. Because why not.
With every new recipe, Tay goes all out to follow his wife’s instructions to a t. And honestly, who can blame him, when Kay has the best reactions to getting exactly what she wants. Especially the eye twitch.
Enjoy a delicious sampling below:
@kayandtayofficial I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see if she was going to like it or not! 😳 Apparently this was the best craving idea that she has had yet! 😂 she said that she knew it was going to taste good, but this was way better than she expected. I’m always anxiously waiting for her reaction to see if it’s good or bad! 😂 I’m not sure how Kay comes up with these ideas, but they are always so tasty! It’s so funny how she will literally come bursting out of the most random places talking about her cravings! ❤️ #kayandtayofficial #couples #relationships #pregnant ♬ original sound - ✨Kay and Tay✨ @kayandtayofficial Judging by her reaction at the end, I don’t know, maybe she liked it? 😂 Backstory ::: Ever since Kay got pregnant, she has felt many cravings for certain food. While it’s often random and weird, it is almost always sweets! 😂🍫 She builds up the most random recipes in her mind and then “HAS” to have them! I really love doing things for her, so I’m always down to help her make her craving! This one actually turned out really tasty! #kayandtayofficial #couples #relationships #pregnant ♬ original sound - ✨Kay and Tay✨ @kayandtayofficial I’m always anxiously waiting for her reaction to see if it’s good or bad! 😂 I don’t know where Kay comes up with these cravings, but it always tastes so good! She literally will come bursting out of the most random places talking about her cravings! 😂 She should really write a cookbook or something! 🤔 Also, she ended up not having a stomach ache so thats good! 😅 Oh! and if you are new to our pregnancy journey, we have a lot of other cravings and experiences on our page! 😁 #kayandtayofficial #couples #relationships #pregnant ♬ original sound - ✨Kay and Tay✨
If you find yourself craving some of these munchie meals, you’re not alone. The comments sections for every single one of Kay and Tay’s craving videos is filled with people calling for an actual cookbook of their creations.
"Can't lie...I'm not opposed to trying this," one viewer wrote.
Another added, "I'm not pregnant but you're onto something here."
And of course, people found the way Tay supported his wife even sweeter than the treats themselves.
Follow along on even more of Kay and Tay’s crazy craving adventures on TikTok.
Jo Brundza has mastered the art of painlessly getting out of a second date by making them reject her.
It's uncomfortable for people to tell someone they met for a first date that they aren’t interested in a second one because nobody enjoys hurting another person’s feelings. TikTokker Jo Brundza has mastered the art of painlessly getting out of a second date by making them reject her.
How does she do it? Once she realizes she doesn’t want to see them again, she rants about the moon.
“From that realization and on, I spend the rest of the date trying to convince the other person that I don’t think the moon is real,” she says. Now, many folks out there incorrectly believe that the moon landing was faked, but she goes a step further by saying the massive object doesn’t exist at all.
“They’re typically too stunned to argue back,” she says.
They’re typically too stunned to argue back #fyp #dating #funny #bits
In a follow-up video, Brundza outlines the three arguments she uses to prove that the moon isn’t real:
1. If you know, you know
"I just think it's ridiculous that all these billionaires are going up into space. I mean, when they get up there, what do they expect to be there, or not be up there?"
2. False evidence
"Look, I'm just saying that if you look at the science of how light refraction works when it enters the atmosphere, it would bend it in a way that to the naked eye would look like solid mass, but it's not. Also, at the end of the day, do you know anyone who has actually been to the moon?"
3. Blame Greenland
"Eighty percent of the island is covered in ice and uninhabitable. You're really gonna tell me that's not where the projectors are? Actually, now that I think about it, do you personally know anyone who's ever been to Greenland?"
Replying to @TySpice Bonus points if you can somehow work in that the sun is fake too #fyp #funny #bits