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.
They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.
Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!
Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.
Mansfield and his team are, understandably, incredibly proud. What they discovered is that the tablet is actually an ancient trigonometry table.
"The huge mystery, until now, was its purpose – why the ancient scribes carried out the complex task of generating and sorting the numbers on the tablet. Our research reveals that Plimpton 322 describes the shapes of right-angle triangles using a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles and circles. It is a fascinating mathematical work that demonstrates undoubted genius."
"The tablet not only contains the world's oldest trigonometric table; it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry. This means it has great relevance for our modern world. Babylonian mathematics may have been out of fashion for more than 3,000 years, but it has possible practical applications in surveying, computer graphics and education. This is a rare example of the ancient world teaching us something new."
The tablet predates Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who has long been regarded as the father of trigonometry. Mansfield's colleague, Norman Widberger, added:
"Plimpton 322 predates Hipparchus by more than 1,000 years. It opens up new possibilities not just for modern mathematics research, but also for mathematics education. With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trigonometry that has clear advantages over our own."
"A treasure trove of Babylonian tablets exists, but only a fraction of them have been studied yet. The mathematical world is only waking up to the fact that this ancient but very sophisticated mathematical culture has much to teach us."
People were understandably excited by the news.
Some mathematicians actually think studying the Babylonians back then could help us improve the way we do trigonometry today.
\u201c"With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trig. (with) clear advantages over our own."\n@n_wildberger: https://t.co/xoZBNxvxZ8\n#TOK\u201d— Roo Stenning (@Roo Stenning) 1503658186
Of course, there were the haters...
\u201cFind someone who loves you as much as this guy dislikes a hypothesis about Babylonian math: https://t.co/AznQgoYxFP\u201d— Miles Brundage (@Miles Brundage) 1503605001
But all in all, Twitter users were pretty impressed with the Babylonians' skills.
And they figured it out 3,700 years ahead of me...and counting.— Marty (@Marty) 1503631905
\u201c@prophiphop And we're over here trying to figure out how to do trig with our TI-83s... man I love it when the ancients show what real intelligence is.\u201d— Kenny Hayse (@Kenny Hayse) 1503633184
Congratulations to Dr. Mansfield and his team on their incredible discovery... and for making trigonometry exciting!
This article originally appeared on 07.10.21
Some moms in their 40s feel like they were lied to about what their "resume gap" would mean.
A few generations ago, parents had pretty clearly defined roles, with the dad generally being the breadwinner and the mom being the homemaker/stay-at-home mother. Then women's rights movement came along, empowering women in the workplace, ushering in the era of two working parents and producing an entire generation of "latchkey kids."
Now those Gen X latchkey kids are parenting Gen Z, with the pendulum of working motherhood having swung somewhat to the middle. We were raised to believe we could be anything we dreamed of being and that we didn't have to choose between being a mom and having a career. Gen X also became mothers during the heyday of parenting self-help books that impressed upon us the importance of attachment and hands-on childrearing, as well as the era of super-scheduled kids, whose activities alone require a full-time manager.
As a result, those of us in our 40s have raised our kids straddling two worlds—the one where women can have all of the career success we desire and the one where we can choose to be stay-at-home moms who do all the things. At first, we were told we could have it all, but when the impossibility of that became clear, we were told, "Well, you can have it all, just not at the same time."
But as many moms are finding as their kids start leaving the nest, even that isn't the full truth.
A Facebook post by Karen Johnson, aka The 21st Century SAHM (short for "stay-at-home mom") nails the reality many stay-at-home moms in their 40s are facing as they find themselves floundering with the glaring gap in their resumes.
"This is for all the moms in their 40s who put their careers on hold to do the SAHM thing because you knew you couldn't do both—career you loved and motherhood—and do both WELL, so you picked, saying to yourself 'this is just for now and we'll see,'" Johnson wrote. "But now it's 15 years later and so much has changed in your career field that you know you can't go back. So really, when you 'took a break' all those years ago, you gave it up."
Johnson explained that yes, moms know they should be grateful for the time they've had with their kids. Most are. That's not the issue. Whether a woman chose to be a stay-at-home mom because she really wanted to or because childcare costs didn't work in the financial equation of the family, the transition out of it feels like completely uncharted waters.
"Okay, so you're looking for a 'career' with part-time hours and a 100% flexible schedule because you're still Mom-on-duty but you do have *just* enough hours during the day to reflect on the fact that you *do* have a college degree (maybe even 2) and although being a mom is the greatest and most important job in the world, you *might* actually want something more to your life than folding laundry and running hangry children to 900 events and remembering that they're all due for dental cleanings," she wrote.
Yup. The "default parent" role is real and weighted heavily toward moms as it is. For stay-at-home moms, it's 100% expected, and that doesn't suddenly end when it's time to start thinking about joining the workforce again.
And, of course, moms barely have time to try to figure all of this out. So, as Johnson says, "But for now, you cram yourself into the only pair of jeans you have right now that fit and find a t-shirt on the floor that isn't clean but isn't dirty and will pass for the 4 hours of mom-taxiing you're about to do and you tell yourself, 'I'll figure it out another day. Right now, I gotta get the kids to practice.'" Oof.
Johnson's entire post is worth a read, as it resonates with so many women at this stage of life. But just as telling are the comments from women who not only see themselves in Johnson's description but who feel like they were sold a bill of goods early in their motherhood. So many of us were led to believe that the skills and experiences of managing a family would be valued in the workplace simply because they should be and that the gap in their resume wouldn't matter.
"This hits hard. I am right there too. And all those volunteer hours & leadership positions people said would look good on my resume when I once again applied for jobs? Those people all lied. It means squat," wrote one person.
"Thank you! You spoke my heart. 42 this year, resigned from teaching almost 12 years ago, and never been more confused about my personal future, or exhausted in my present," shared another.
"I’ve never related to a post more in my life! THANK YOU. Your words perfectly summarize the loneliest, most important job in the world and how that perspective shifts in your 40s. It is confusingly beautiful," wrote another.
There is hope in the comments, too. Some moms have chosen to see their post-stay-at-home era as a fresh start to learn something new, which might lend some inspiration to others.
"I went back for my master’s degree at 47 years old. I’m now 50 in a new career I love and my husband is doing just fine pulling his weight with after school/carpool/dinner. Happy for the years I stayed home, happy with this new season too," shared one person.
"Yuuuup. I decided to go back to grad school at 45. It’s insane but every term I complete I’m like - omg I’m doing it! So don’t let sweaty out of shape bodies and carpool fatigue stop you. I take naps and write grad school papers and have meltdowns where I cry from the frustration of it all - but dammit I’m doing it!" wrote another.
One mom who is past this stage also offered some words of encouragement:
"So incredibly well written. I feel all these things and did throughout my 40s. Now I'm in my early '50s and I'm so glad I was able to stay home with my kids, but the guilt! The guilt of not using my education, the judgment of people who don't understand why someone would stay home with their kids, the social engineering... We just eat each other alive sometimes don't we? I wouldn't trade it for anything, but it is a very lonely road and one you always question. I can tell you that all three of my kids were so grateful to have a full-time parent. I might not have always been the best, but they were glad to always have someone to talk to if they needed it. It's hard to fill other people's buckets when your bucket isn't full, but the rewards do come back when the kids tell you thank you for everything that you've done. "
Being a mom is hard, period. Working moms have it hard, stay-at-home moms have it hard, moms who have managed to keep one foot in the career door and one foot in the home have it hard. There's a lot that society could do to support moms more no matter what path they choose (or find themselves on—it's not always a conscious choice), from providing paid maternity leave to greater flexibility with work schedules to retirement plans that account for time away from the workplace. Perhaps that would at least make the many choices moms have today feel more like freedom and less like choosing between a rock and a hard place.
He couldn't keep it together, and his joy made everyone laugh.
Almost 100 years ago, nine newspapers joined forces to create a national spelling bee to help promote literacy. Now the Scripps National Spelling Bee has become so popular that was televised for 27 years on ESPN before moving to its own network in 2022.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a serious competition with students who have studied arduously to memorize root words, phonetic rules and unusual spellings in the hopes of being crowned the nation's spelling champion. The honor also comes with a $50,000 cash prize, so the competition is fierce.
But that didn't stop one competitor from bursting into giggles at being asked to spell the word "sardoodledom."
During the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee, 11-year-old Kennyi Aouad approached the microphone with serious concentration when it was his turn to spell. But when the judges told him the word he was to spell and he repeated it, he burst out laughing.
"Sardoodledom" isn't a word most of us have ever even heard, much less recognize. (It means "mechanically contrived plot structure and stereotyped or unrealistic characterization in drama"—basically "melodrama"—according to Merriam-Webster.) It does sound a bit funny saying it out loud, and even one of the judges started giggling at the young contestant's reaction to it.
Watch Kennyi lose it repeatedly as he tries to make it through his turn:
Despite how serious the competition is, these kids are still just kids and people loved seeing his joyful reaction to a silly-sounding word.
"His laugh!! I love that in the seriousness of spelling bees, he was able to be himself. This made me smile!" wrote one person.
"So cute. Smart with a touch of sense of humour," wrote another.
"Talk about breaking the tension!!" shared another. "I love it and he got it right!"
“This validates my burnout, right?”
There never seems to be any downtime when you’re the default parent. You know, the parent that the kids go to first when they want anything, especially food. They're also the go-to person for school forms and bedtime stories, and the parents that the school reaches out to when a student is sick has to go home.
Some parents are the default because there’s an imbalance in the home, which forces them to assume most of the day-to-day child-rearing responsibilities. In other families, one parent is the default because the other is busy with work or other obligations.
Popular TikTokker Jordan Klein wondered why she becomes overwhelmed halfway through the day while watching her children. "I have three boys, ages 5, 3, and 1, and I continuously lose my sh*t. Sometimes it comes out. Sometimes," she said in a recent post. "I lose my sh*t right around 2 or 3 p.m. every day without fail. My husband works from home. But he does not lose his sh*t consistently. So, what's going on?"
To get to the bottom of her situation, she conducted a scientific study where she counted the number of requests she gets from her children on a given day, and the results were unbelievable.
This validates my burn out, right? #momtok #momsoftiktok #sahm #boymom #toddlermom #toddlersoftiktok #3under5
This validates my burn out, right? #momtok #momsoftiktok #sahm #boymom #toddlermom #toddlersoftiktok #3under5
"I downloaded one of those little counter clicker apps on my phone where I could just push the screen, and it ticks up one number, and I was just gonna hit it every time one of my children ...made a request,” Jordan said in her TikTok video.
Just ten minutes after downloading the app, her kids made 86 requests of her. She even didn't count repeats, and kids love to repeat themselves. “I guarantee you that if I were to ask my husband how many requests a day he gets at work... it's in the single digits, for sure," she added.
And they say being a stay-at-home mom isn’t a full-time job! “This validates my burnout, right?” Jordan captioned her post.
"I feel this completely, and point it out often to my husband. Like yall, Dad is RIGHT THERE. Ask him," CrochetFeen wrote in the comments. "I have 3 kids too and ‘Mom’ is now a triggering word," Sandra added.
The quasi-scientific experiment gives Jordan some excellent ammunition when talking to her husband about how they divide parenting duties. Even if it doesn’t mean he takes over the default role after work, it at least makes a great case that Jordan deserves more than a few lengthy breaks throughout the day and a few days off every month.
There is only so much stress and mental anguish that parents can take before they are no longer effective and cannot provide a happy and healthy home for their children. When evaluating domestic responsibilities, we often consider having a professional job more stressful than raising children. However, Jordan’s experiment proves that parenting can mean a lot more emotional labor, and families should take a second look at how default parents are valued.
People are supporting her for her heartfelt honesty.
A mother on TikTok shared a heartfelt moment when her 9-year-old daughter opened up about her self-image concerns, wondering about her appearance as she grows up. The story was a wonderful example of a mother delicately dealing with an issue that far too many young women face. It was also a difficult moment because the conversation brought up the mother's body issues as well.
The conversation happened while the two were clothes shopping at Target. “My 9-year-old’s saying she's fat, and this is because she has to wear adult sizes versus kids 'cause she's really tall, just like me,” Mackenzie Waddell told her 222,000 followers.
“She kept calling herself ‘fat’ and that she had too big of a butt and that the other kids her age don't have to wear adult clothes,” Waddell continued. “I reminded her that I, too, had to wear adult clothes when I was her age 'cause I was really tall just like she is.”
Im so devastated that she feels that way about herself. 💔
The discussion led to a question that was hard for the mother to hear.
“... she asked me if she was gonna look like me when she grew up. And I asked her, ‘Do you mean big like me? When you grow up?’ And she said, ‘Yes. I'm not trying to be mean mom, but I want to look like Aunt Sarah, not you,’” she recalled.
Her daughter’s remarks hit her right in the heart, but she responded with perfect composure. "I kept a brave face and said, 'As long as you are happy and healthy, and you love yourself, that's all that matters. No matter what size you are,” Waddell said.
The mother was sure not to take it personally, but it still cut close to the bone. “And was I hurt? Yeah, I was. But she didn't mean to hurt me. It just really sucked. Yeah,” she concluded.
The post went viral, receiving over 1.7 million views and over 2,000 comments. The most popular commenter thought that Waddell should tell her daughter to avoid commenting on people’s weight.
"You should tell her she hurt your feelings. She needs to know. You did a great job supporting her in how she feels. She has to learn that skill also," Char8201 wrote.
However, many women responded with nothing but love for how Waddell handled such a challenging situation. "You responded beautifully, momma. She’s still learning and these are the moments where we provide that guidance, even when it hurts," Mavv13 wrote. "Oh mama. Thank god she feels comfortable to talk to you openly," tirrelltribe added.
After the tremendous response to her video, Waddell responded with another post, educating people about how one’s weight doesn’t necessarily mean they eat unhealthy. “A lot of people like to assume that plus-size people don’t know how to eat healthy or are unhealthy. When, in fact, we’re not,” Waddle said.
She added that her daughter lives a healthy lifestyle but avoids having conversations about weight with her because “That’s what traumatized me.”
Replying to @user3838812846970 she will always be perfect, no matter what.