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Whirlpool

Saul Calzadilla is one of those teachers kids just love. He can always find ways to make learning fun.

All images via Whirlpool.

And his "Green Machine" gardening program is Exhibit A.  


During a typical day at his school in Nashville, Calzadilla's students learn about life, death, and the consequences of their actions (like don’t pick a melon too early or it won’t become ripe) in a garden right outside the classroom.

"For almost every other science class, we find ourselves out in the garden exploring," Calzadilla says. "Putting the seeds in, pulling the weeds out, and making sure there’s hay spread out to keep the weeds from coming back up. It’s a lot of fun."

And of course, with all that dirt, mud, and water, the kids get really messy in the process. (But, hey, isn’t that part of the fun?)

While it can be fun to be messy, it didn’t take long for Calzadilla to realize all that dirt might not be so fun for some families that didn't have easy access to a washer-dryer.

And that's why laundry programs, like the Whirlpool Care Counts™ laundry program, can be so helpful.

Many of Calzadilla’s students are from low-income families that don’t have access to laundry machines at home, and the frequent laundromat visits can get expensive quickly. That meant not everyone was having fun in his class.

Some kids wouldn’t participate in the gardening activities out of fear that their parents would get "really mad" at them if they came home dirty. A few even started missing school because they didn’t want to re-wear their dirty clothes to school.

Instead of learning and playing uninhibited, these kids were letting their fear of getting dirty affect their learning. And most importantly, they were missing out on a class that taught them valuable life skills at the same time.

It was hard on the parents too.

Monica, a mom at the Nashville school, remembers how stressful it was once when she couldn’t afford to repair her dryer after it went on the fritz. You don’t have to be a parent to realize that getting kids ready for school each day is no joke — but in addition to the common morning ritual, Monica also spent her mornings deciding whether she should send her kids to school in damp clothes or in something from the dirty pile.

Something seemingly as simple as access to clean clothes has a far-reaching impact on the education and self-esteem of children.

That’s why the school knew it had to do something, and thanks to a donation from the Whirlpool Care Counts™ laundry program, they were able to install a washer and dryer for all to use.

Suddenly, families could visit the campus and do their kids’ laundry free of charge.

Calzadilla noticed positive results from the jump.

"Kids come to school with more confidence and focus on the things that matter, like playing in the garden or making friends when otherwise it might have been difficult for them," he says.

Plus, thanks to parents like Monica, using the laundry facilities is stigma-free.

As a member of the parent-teacher association, she knew the onus was on people like her to reassure other parents that no one would judge them for using the washer and dryer. "Knowing other parents are there to support you is really helpful," she says. "It’s a lot easier than hearing the teacher say it."

Having the facilities is good enough for most, but the effects of the program are more profound than just clean clothes for the kiddos.

It fosters a sense of inclusion in the community that wasn’t present before.

While they’re waiting for the laundry, parents are able to volunteer in the classrooms and spend time getting to know their fellow moms and dads.

For Monica, a stay-at-home mom, it gave her the adult interaction she desperately craved by helping others. "It gave me a sense of purpose," she recalls.

Thanks to this program, teachers can focus on learning, parents can focus on parenting, and kids can focus on being kids.

And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  

Parenting is a really tough job, but the washer and dryer at the school has helped to alleviate some of that stress. Instead of spending money and time at the laundromat on a Tuesday night, parents can save their money and help their kids with homework.

Overall, parents at the school are a much happier bunch because of it.

"It’s just an amazing thing, not having to worry about if clothes are going to be clean or dirty or if their kids are going to be smelly," Monica beams.

Often, it’s easy to take clean clothes for granted and forget how much of a privilege it is. An unavoidable aspect of childhood is getting dirty — and no kid should feel ashamed to do what comes naturally to them.

That's why the Whirlpool Care Counts™ laundry program has already donated washers and dryers to 58 schools nationwide, and they plan to donate even more in the coming months so that other kids can learn and play without being afraid of getting a little dirty.

"It’s something so small, but it’s so big at the same time," Monica says.

Anything that helps make the world a better place is always a big deal. Even if it’s just cleaning up life’s little messes.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

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Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


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