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SoCal Honda Dealers

All it took was a commercial break for 12-year-old Nikole Martinez to realize her dream job was helping others.

It all started three years ago. Nikole came home from school one day and started watching her usual TV shows, just like any other day. But this time was different. This time, it was an ad that caught her attention.


"There was this guy. He was in a wheelchair," explains Nikole. "He had gotten in a motorcycle accident and his mother took care of him. But it was hard for her to lift up the wheelchair, so they gave her a van to help her with carrying him around and having him travel."

It was an ad for the SoCal Honda Dealers. And from the moment Nikole saw it, she knew she wanted to be just like the kind strangers in the commercial and become a part of the Helpful Honda team.

It's finally official!

Nikole's mom, Jocelyn Barabino, reached out to the SoCal Honda Dealers to ask if her daughter could join their awesome Helpful crew as her first job.

"They were really surprised that she wasn't asking for anything — that all she wanted to do was, you know, give back," remembers Barabino. "It's really rare that a teenager actually wants to do that."

Nikole and her mom, Jocelyn, share a nice moment together.

The SoCal Honda Dealers, also called "Helpful Honda" are known for doing random acts of helpfulness and making a positive impact with unsuspecting strangers. Little did they know, though, that the positive impact they had on Nikole was getting her to spread the same message.

Nikole spent the day as an honorary Helpful Honda person this past December.

Her mom and dog, Scottie, even joined her for the amazing experience. "I was really excited," adds Nikole. "I couldn't believe it was actually happening."

She started the day by giving away free gas alongside her new co-workers.

Right after, they all went to the Fontana Festival of Winter to hand out treats, pick up trash, and even give people reusable bags.

They ended the day watching baseball games at the park — again, handing out free treats to the crowd.

The experience lit a fire in Nikole. In fact, she's already thinking about how she can continue helping.

Her next step? Volunteering at the local animal shelter. "When we were looking for dogs," says Nikole, "it's just sad to see how many don't have homes, so it's fun to help."

People were loving how helpful Nikole was.

Her mom and the rest of her family are, of course, extremely proud that she wants to make helping others her life's work. "In so many ways, they spoil her even more," says Barabino, "which is the opposite of what she's asking for."

Paying it forward is just what's in Nikole's heart. And no matter what she ends up doing in the future, there's no doubt she'll be spreading tons of smiles.

"I make friends with everybody, so making somebody happy just makes it even better," says Nikole. "When you can give somebody something they don't have and see how happy and grateful they are for it, it just makes you feel better."

That's what the spirit of helping others is all about — being happy making someone else happy.

If that's at the heart of whatever it is you do, everything else will naturally fall into place.

Check out how Nikole's awesome day unfolded right here:

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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