This teacher promised to always support her students — years later she went the extra mile.

Being an educator is a profession, but most people who choose to be teachers aren’t there for the money.

Their career choice comes from a deep need to nurture and develop their students and communities.

Recently, Chicago teacher LaShonda Carter showed how being an educator goes well beyond what happens in the classroom.


Carter was up late on the morning of August 23rd and received a message on Facebook from Larresha Plummer, 18, a former student at Harper High School. “We always talk, even though I left Harper, I still keep in contact with all of my students,” Carter said told CNN.

Photo by LasShonda Carter/GoFundMe

Plummer has a three-week old baby named Taliyah and was struggling to get by. She wanted to attend a job fair the next day, but didn’t have a ride or anyone to babysit.

“There was no way I would have let her take a baby in a bus, I told her right away that I would pick her up in the morning,” Carter told CNN.

Hours later, Carter picked up Plummer and Taliyah and drove them to the job fair. She sat with the baby in her car while Plummer filled out job applications. Carter posted a video on Facebook to ask for help for Plummer and her baby.

“I’m reaching out because I need you alls help. I need my village because this beautiful little baby needs some things,” Carter said. “I'm going to do what I can as much as I can as an educator.”

The Heart of Educator Pt.2 (I need your help)

Posted by LaShonda Carter on Thursday, August 23, 2018

After the job fair, Carter took Plummer to apply for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), to get some milk for Taliyah.

She also started a GoFundMe page for additional help.

She also gave some important advice to her former student at a pivotal time in her life.

“My previous student needs to know she can still be successful, even though she's a teenage mother. A teenage mother does not equal failure,” she wrote on Facebook.

According to Carter, Plummer now has a job and is looking to attend college in the fall.

Carter’s actions are just another example why educators are a vital part of our communities. And why real communities, where people look out for each other, are so important.

“As an educator, it goes beyond the classroom. There are things that nobody ever knows that educators do,” she wrote on Facebook.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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