Players on this football team often face hard times. Here's how their coaches are helping.
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Neil Prescot didn't have the easiest time growing up.

His mom, Tia, raised him as a single parent, and they often struggled to make ends meet. They had to pack up and move pretty regularly, which left Neil without a stable sense of home.

Thankfully, when his home life situation became difficult, he had friends from the football team step up and offer him what they could.


“I didn’t really know much about Neil’s situation, but I just knew he needed a place to stay," says Edgar Geurrero, one of Neil's friends. “He’s pretty much family to me. He’s another brother.”

Edgar (left) and Neil (right) at Edgar's house. All photos via Upworthy.

And Neil's far from the only athlete at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, Maryland who's experienced tough times like this. Coach Kim is all too familiar with these types of stories.

“I’ve had a kid evicted the night before a game," Kim says. "I think about that, and god, that’s heartbreaking." Kim would often wonder if his players were food insecure, or afraid their family wasn't going to make rent. He knows it can't be easy not to know where you're going to live the next week.

However, Neil rarely alludes to the issues that he's facing. When he's at practice, he's there to play football, probably because it's a welcome respite from everything else.

On the team, Neil's a linebacker on defense and a kicker with special teams, but he's also someone the other players look up to. He's a leader.

"His teammates really do watch him, and those who do know his story really take him to heart," says Bryn Crower, one of the team's athletic trainers.

Neil (center) with his teammates.

But football hasn't just made him a leader among his teammates. Neil's learning the importance of giving back to the community thanks to his coaches.

Coach McCabe does motivational workshops with the team every Wednesday, and coach Ali's been getting the players involved with coat drives and other community service activities. It's all to help remind them that they can make a huge impact if they just try a little harder and give a bit more.

“We try to help the community as much as we can," says Neil.

These endeavors also help unify the team. It's such a comforting environment for kids like Neil who may not have the same experiences at home.

And through it all, they have coaches and teachers who root for them as if they were their own kids.

"He’s an awesome kid, he really is," says Crower about Neil. "And I hope everybody here takes a little piece of Neil and just keeps it close to their heart, and they can grow and try to be like him as well."

To learn more about Neil's story, check out this clip:

True leadership on and off the field

Despite the hardships he's faced throughout his life, this student-athlete is a role model for his teammates and his entire community.

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, October 4, 2018
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."