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This teacher's thank-you letter to her students went viral because we all needed it.

'I want you to know I'm rooting for you from the sidelines, silently cheering you on, even if it's a decade from now.'

This teacher's thank-you letter to her students went viral because we all needed it.

At the end of the creative marketing course Jessica Langer was teaching at Ryerson University in Toronto, she wanted to find a special way to say thank you to her students.

"I've had really great students in the past, but I don't know that I've ever had a group that's so big [about 90] and yet so uniformly great," writes Langer in an email, explaining that her students are "rightfully anxious about the future."

"The creative industries are changing so rapidly," she explains. "It's hard enough to graduate into a field that's stable: to graduate into an industry that's going through such change is anxiety-making. I wanted to give them some reassurance."


She decided to send her students a heartfelt letter, imparting one final lesson.

Image via Jessica Langer, used with permission.

Her e-mail is an honest depiction of the obstacles and challenges she knows her students will face in the real world.

And not just in their chosen field of marketing either. More than 4 out of 5 students graduate college without a job lined up according to The Washington Post. In 2014, the overall unemployment rate for people under 25 in the United States was 14.5% — more than twice the national average at that time.

Langer concludes the letter by offering a perspective on success and failure that reminds her students not to define themselves by their obstacles or setbacks by writing (emphasis added):

"These things happen to everyone. They are not a reflection of who you are: they are a reflection of the circumstances, usually outside your control. And if you have a setback, please don't give up. I want you to know I'm rooting for you from the sidelines, silently cheering you on, even if it's a decade from now."

In response, Langer's students flooded her inbox with gratitude. One student named Blayne Stone, who had been rather quiet in class, sent her an email that said he would carry the lessons he learned from her with him his whole life. Another wrote a letter to Langer's department asking they keep her on at Ryerson.

One of Langer's students was so moved by the letter that she posted it to Twitter, where it quickly went viral.

Langer's message about personal value resonated far and wide beyond the doors of her classroom. It was a message many people needed to hear.

Being an adult means having successes and failures. In those moments, Langer wants her students — and anyone who reads her letter — to remember that work is not the end-all-be-all of their value as a person.

When there are setbacks, it's important to remind yourself that there are people in your corner you can call upon to give you strength. Perhaps that's why Langer's thank you resonated with so many people; her sentiments represent every teacher and mentor who inspire us to keep pushing forward, even during our darkest hours.

Her letter's conclusion says it all (emphasis added):

"Success looks different on different people, and your success will look different than your friends'. Each of you also has different strengths, and different challenges. That's also okay. Each and every one of you is valuable.

You matter. To me, to your friends and family, and to the world."

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

As Canada's women's soccer team prepares for its gold medal match against Sweden this week in Tokyo, it also prepares to make history as the first Olympic team to have an openly transgender, non-binary athlete win a medal at the games.

Quinn, the 25-year-old midfielder, announced their non-binary identity on social media last September, adopting they/them pronouns and a singular name. Quinn said they'd been living openly as a transgender person with their loved ones, but this was their first time coming out publicly.

"I want to be visible to queer folks who don't see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago," they wrote. "I want to challenge cis folks ( if you don't know what cis means, that's probably you!!!) to be better allies."

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