This artist says girls' sports matter, and she's putting her money where her mouth is.

A high school volleyball team in Hawaii needs equipment. Some middle schoolers in California need new running gear.

All over the country, girls' sports teams are relying on the website DonorsChoose to raise enough money to keep their programs going.

If they fail, these girls might lose access to the only sports available to them.


They might even fall out of athletics entirely.

But there's good news: Thousands of young girls are about to be "Blown Away" by the generosity of one of country music's biggest stars.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Stagecoach.

Carrie Underwood recently announced she would shell out over $200,000 toward these fundraising efforts.

She teamed up with Dick's Sporting Goods to fully fund all of the girls' sports causes posted to the site this May.

"Sports were a big part of my life growing up," the pop and country singer (and seven-time Grammy winner!) said in a press release. "So it's important to me that girls across the country have an opportunity to play."

The money is expected to fund about 100 programs across the country and should go a long way toward buying uniforms, equipment, and transportation.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT.

The money will no doubt make a big difference. But the message behind the donation might be even more powerful.

Underwood's donation couldn't come at a more crucial time for women's athletics.

Female athletes all over the world are fighting tooth and nail to be taken seriously, to be paid fairly for their performance, and to get the same kinds of resources and support as their male counterparts — not to mention the same amount of respect.

It's imperative we send a message to young girls that sports are for them. After all, participation in sports has been shown to grow skills like teamwork, leadership, and work ethic.

It's awesome to see Underwood using her platform to spread the message. No doubt she believes playing sports as a young girl helped turn her into the success she is today.

Disclaimer: GOOD, which is part of GOOD Worldwide along with Upworthy, has a sponsorship relationship with Dick's Sporting Goods, but we were not paid in any way for this story. (We'll always be up front with you when we are.)

via Jules Lipoff / Twitter

Weronika Jachimowicz, 17, is getting a lot of attention for subverting people's expectations of who excels in high school. And that's exactly what she wants.

Jachimowicz was named New York's Mattituck-Cutchogue Union Free School District's 2021 salutatorian. Her yearbook photo next to valedictorian Luke Altman is going viral because of her dramatic Goth makeup and attire.

It all started when assistant professor and writer Dr. Jules Lipoff tweeted out a photo of the valedictorian and salutatorian he saw in a newspaper and it went viral. How many salutatorians have you seen that wear pentagram hoop earrings, a choker, and black devil horns?

The juxtaposition of her next to the bowtie-wearing Altman, makes the photo even more amusing.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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