This team stood up against gender inequality in sports. Their fight hit home for one girl.
True
DICK'S Sporting Goods

When the U.S. Women's Hockey team takes the ice at the 2018 Winter Olympics, their goal may be to win gold, but there's another prize at hand.

They will help girls all over the country, like 14-year-old Nina Herceg, fall in love with their sport.

Herceg has been enamored with hockey players' athleticism and ability ever since her dad started taking her to games when she was little. It didn't take her long to want to lace up her own pair of skates.


"After a little bit of begging, my dad finally let me play hockey," Herceg says. "And I quickly fell in love with the sport."

Herceg on the ice. Photo courtesy of Nina Herceg.

Herceg has now played for six years and is a member of the Long Island Lady Islanders. Thanks to the experience, she's made many good friends and connected with her dad on a deeper level.

She's also learned an important lesson about herself.

"I found out I'm resilient," she says. "It's given me confidence in other areas of my life to try new things — just by learning how to play hockey."

Since the 2006-2007 season, girls and women who registered to play hockey under USA Hockey jumped 32%, from around 50,000 players to 75,832 players.

The uptick of girls playing may have a correlation to the U.S. Women's Hockey Team's recent gender equality advocacy.

It's definitely deeply affected Herceg.

"They're willing [...] to fight for what they knew was right," says Herceg. "It inspired me."

The women's hockey team's activism both on and off the ice has sparked Herceg to continue pushing women's hockey forward.

Last year in Herceg's English class, students were assigned to write a letter to any business or company on a topic they were passionate about. She wrote to NBC Sports about the lack of coverage of women's sports, particularly hockey.

"It would be great if we could get more coverage for the women because it would inspire little girls all over the world to see them on TV and to have them think, 'That could be me someday,'" she says.

While NBC responded to her letter stating they do whatever they can to air women's sports, Herceg has yet to see much change in coverage.

Still, this has only motivated her to continue playing hockey. After all, she's seen the members of the U.S. team persevere despite being treated unfairly and unequally.

Herceg with the rest of the Long Island Lady Islanders. Photo courtesy of Nina Herceg.

With the women's team getting ready to fight their way to the podium, Herceg often wonders what inspires them to keep pushing forward despite the challenges they face as women athletes?

"How do they not get discouraged?" she wonders.

While she may not have the chance to ask the players this question directly, one thing is for certain: With girls being inspired by their example, we will continue to see them breaking down barriers. Because for them, it's more than a sport; it's about carrying on a legacy of women reclaiming spaces that are rightfully theirs.

"They're proving that it's possible for us to chase our dreams," Herceg says.

This story was produced as part of a campaign called "17 Days" with DICK'S Sporting Goods. These stories aim to shine a light on real occurrences of sports bringing people together.

Pexels / Julia M Cameron
True

In the last 20 years, the internet has become almost as essential as water or air. Every day, many of us wake up and check it for the news, sports, work, and social media. We log on from our phones, our computers, even our watches. It's a luxury so often taken for granted. With the COVID-19 pandemic, as many now work from home and children are going to school online, home access is a more critical service than ever before.

On the flip side, some 3.6 billion people live without affordable access to the internet. This digital divide — which has only widened over the past 20 years — has worsened wealth inequality within countries, divided developed and developing economies and intensified the global gender gap. It has allowed new billionaires to rise, and contributed to keeping billions of others in poverty.

In the US, lack of internet access at home prevents nearly one in five teens from finishing their homework. One third of households with school-age children and income below $30,000 don't have internet in their homes, with Black and Hispanic households particularly affected.

The United Nations is working to highlight the costs of the digital divide and to rapidly close it. In September 2019, for example, the UN's International Telecommunication Union and UNICEF launched Giga, an initiative aimed at connecting every school and every child to the internet by 2030.

Closing digital inequity gaps also remains a top priority for the UN Secretary-General. His office recently released a new Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The UN Foundation has been supporting both this work, and the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, which made a series of recommendations to ensure all people are connected, respected, and protected in the digital age. Civil society, technologists and communications companies, such as Verizon, played a critical role in informing those consultations. In addition, the UN Foundation houses the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), which advances digital inclusion through streamlining technology, unlocking markets and accelerating digitally enabled services as it works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Keep Reading Show less
via 1POCNews / Twitter

We're more than nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic and things are only getting worse. On Wednesday, December 2, America had its deadliest day yet with nearly 3,000 people succumbing to the virus.

America is experiencing its greatest public health crisis in generations and the only way we're getting out of it is by widespread administration of a vaccine.

However, if people don't take the vaccine, there will be no end to this horror story.

Keep Reading Show less
True

This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Sometimes it seems like social media is too full of trolls and misinformation to justify its continued existence, but then something comes along that makes it all worth it.

Apparently, a song many of us have never heard of shot to the top of the charts in Italy in 1972 for the most intriguing reason. The song, written and performed by Adriano Celentano and is called "Prisencolinensinainciusol" which means...well, nothing. It's gibberish. In fact, the entire song is nonsense lyrics made to sound like English, and oddly, it does.

Occasionally, you can hear what sounds like a real word or phrase here and there—"eyes" and "color balls died" and "alright" a few times, for example—but it mostly just sounds like English without actually being English. It's like an auditory illusion and it does some super trippy things to your brain to listen to it.

Plus the video someone shared to go with it is fantastic. It's gone crazy viral because how could it not.

Keep Reading Show less

With vaccine rollouts for the novel coronavirus on the horizon, humanity is getting its first ray of hope for a return to normalcy in 2021. That normalcy, however, will depend on enough people's willingness to get the vaccine to achieve some level of herd immunity. While some people are ready to jump in line immediately for the vaccine, others are reticent to get the shots.

Hesitancy runs the gamut from outright anti-vaxxers to people who trust the time-tested vaccines we already have but are unsure about these new ones. Scientists have tried to educate the public about the development of the new mRNA vaccines and why they feel confident in their safety, but getting that information through the noise of hot takes and misinformation is tricky.

To help increase the public's confidence in taking the vaccine, three former presidents have volunteered to get their shots on camera. President George W. Bush initially reached out to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to ask how he could help promote a vaccine once it's approved. Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton have both stated that they will take the vaccine if it is approved and will do so publicly if it will help more people feel comfortable taking it. CNN says it has also reached out to President Jimmy Carter to see if he is on board with the idea as well.

A big part of responsible leadership is setting an example. Though these presidents are no longer in the position of power they once held, they are in a position of influence and have offered to use that influence for the greater good.

Keep Reading Show less