+
uber driver, caregiver, ohio

Uber driver befriends her 88-year-old passenger.

A chance meeting between an Uber driver and an 88-year-old man with dementia has completely changed both of their lives for the better.

In March 2020, Paul Webb of Columbus, Ohio called for an Uber to take him to the Verizon store to fix his broken cell phone. Luckily for Webb, he was picked up by Jenni Tekletsion, 52, in her Toyota RAV 4 for the short trip.

"When he called for a ride—when he just talked to me by phone—I knew this guy, I’m going to take care of him,” she told ABC6.

“She was very personable, easy to talk to,” Webb told The Washington Post.

Two decades ago, Tekletsion emigrated to the United States from Ethiopia. She drives an Uber on the weekends to send money back to orphanages in her country of birth. At the same time, she had a job as a banker for a financial institution while simultaneously working on her doctorate in business administration.


A few minutes into the ride, Tekletsion began to feel bad for Webb. “I could tell how lonely he was,” she said. “I had a feeling that he needed help. I told him I live nearby his house, so I said, ‘From now on, when you need a ride, just call me.’"

The next day, Webb took her up on the offer for a ride to a nearby gas station to get some milk.

Over the next few weeks, he continued to call Tekletsion and she also would stop by his house to check on him. “I started coming here every single day after work to take him out to eat,” she told The Washington Post.

For a year, the two shared a meal together every day, alternating between who would pick up the check. Tekletsion also drove him wherever he needed to go, whether it was the supermarket or a doctor’s appointment.

As their relationship grew, Webb’s health began to decline and in April of this year, Tekletsion decided to quit her job to become his full-time caregiver. The pay was half of what she was used to making, but the benefit of helping her friend more than made up for the difference. Her husband works three jobs so she had the financial flexibility to make it happen.

However, at first, she had to convince Webb's two children, Keith and Melanie, who were skeptical of their relationship.

“The hardest part was to build trust with his children,” Tekletsion told The Washington Post. “I explained to them who I am and where I come from, and that I don’t need anything from Paul, but I want to take care of him and help him in his daily life.”

But she soon won his children over with her pure dedication.

“Consistency. She was real. She did what she said she was going to do, and she did it in a way that was genuine," Keith told ABC6. “She’s the same. In a world that’s ever-changing, rarely will you find someone who does not change. She’s the same. To this day, it’s mind-blowing.”

Tekletsion and Webb’s friendship is a wonderful example of what can happen when people who need help are able to find big-hearted people who are ready to give. And to think it all began with a simple rideshare.

“How lucky am I to get to spend my days with Paul?” she said. “It was the best decision I ever made.”









10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

Keep ReadingShow less

Saving the life of one small animal among the billions upon billions of living things on Earth may not seem significant in the big picture, but when that one small animal's life is in your hands, it means the world.

Yassin Elmahgoub is a medical student from Egypt who recently shared the journey of a tiny baby parrot he rescued. The parrot, who he named Mumble, was born with birth defects and wasn't able to stand or walk. With the help of a parrot behavior consultant, Elmahgoub hand-fed Mumble, nursed him to good health and helped him develop mobility.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed more than 8 million times, Elmahgoub shared Mumble's journey from his earliest days until he was finally able to walk on his own.

Keep ReadingShow less