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MA: Comeback kids | CommonWealth Magazine

MA: Comeback kids | CommonWealth Magazine | The Good News | Scoop.it

Jazzmin Hernandez doesn’t fit anybody’s profile of a likely high school graduate, never mind a soon-to-be college student.

When she was 10, she and her older brother spent two years in foster care as their mother battled drug addiction. By the time she was in high school, Hernandez was back home with her mom, but in a bad relationship where she suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her boyfriend. She felt increasingly isolated at Revere High School. She got pregnant, and after Averyanna was born, Hernandez and her daughter were kicked out of her home by her mother, with whom her relationship had become increasingly strained.

Hernandez dropped out of school and stayed with friends for several months before getting her own apartment. She worked three jobs, putting in 80 hours a week to make ends meet. After three years out of school, however, she knew she was going to have a hard time keeping her head above water on low-wage service jobs, to say nothing of having little chance of getting beyond subsistence wages to give herself and her daughter a better life.

That’s when someone told Hernandez about an alternative high school in Chelsea that offered a solid curriculum for students who had dropped out. What’s more, Phoenix Charter Academy had an onsite child care center, so she and Averyanna could head off to school together each day. Last year, Hernandez decided to take the plunge.

“I was nervous,” she says. “My test scores were horrible. I could not read out loud without messing up the whole time. And then I met Mr. Chen,” she says of Yu Chen, a humanities teacher at Phoenix with whom she developed a quick bond. “He knew my background, he knew my story. And he didn’t just take that as an, OK, we’re just going to excuse you for everything. It was more of a reason to challenge me.”

In June, Hernandez was one of 29 students at Phoenix who received their high school diplomas. The poised 22-year-old has become a straight-A student, while holding down two part-time jobs and caring for her daughter. And she’s now on her way to the bachelor’s degree program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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The House overwhelmingly votes to rein in the NSA

The House overwhelmingly votes to rein in the NSA | The Good News | Scoop.it
The House of Representatives just voted 293 to 123 to limit a controversial NSA surveillance program. Here's why that matters.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades's insight:

A step in the right direction to protect individual privacy and liberty

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It Doesn't Get Much Cuter Than These Little Black-Footed Cats

It Doesn't Get Much Cuter Than These Little Black-Footed Cats | The Good News | Scoop.it
The Philadelphia Zoo recently unveiled the newest additions to their animal kingdom family and the adorable overload is simply off the charts.

The zoo is home to a pair of black-footed cats, Ascari and Aza, who gave birth to three kittens on April...
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades's insight:

too cute.

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'Bust through blues' with positive attitude - Air Force Link

'Bust through blues' with positive attitude - Air Force Link | The Good News | Scoop.it
Air Force Link'Bust through blues' with positive attitudeAir Force LinkIn moments like these we all can make a difference and make our environment a more positive place.

Via Bill Palladino - MLUI
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Bill Palladino - MLUI's curator insight, December 13, 2012 8:40 AM

Even the US Air Force understands the upside of Happiness.

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Boosting school funding 20 percent erased the graduation gap between rich and poor students | Vox.com

Boosting school funding 20 percent erased the graduation gap between rich and poor students | Vox.com | The Good News | Scoop.it

Spending more money on educating children in poor districts can dramatically change the trajectory of those children's lives, according to a new working paper examining the effects of court orders that attempt to equalize funding for poor and wealthy school districts.


Additional money spent educating a child from a poor family made that child more likely to graduate high school, less likely to fall into poverty as an adult and more likely to complete an additional year of education, public policy researchers from Northwestern University and the University of California-Berkeley found.


On some measures, such as the high school graduation rate, the gains from a 20 percent boost in funding at all levels of education were enough to entirely erase the gap between poor students and students from wealthier families.


School funding has traditionally mostly come from local property taxes, which can lead to a wide gulf between poor and wealthy districts. Between 1971 and 2010, 28 state supreme courts have required states to change their school funding system to reduce those differences.


The researchers, C. Kirabo Jackson and Claudia Persico from Northwestern University and Rucker Johnson from the University of California at Berkeley, looked at the effects of these court-ordered changes. They compared students in school before the reforms were implemented to students who were in school when the reforms were passed and students who went to school after the reforms.


They used data from a sample of 15,000 children born between 1955 and 1985, part of a longitudinal data set that followed those children into adulthood and measured their income.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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A Revolution in Women's Health in India

A Revolution in Women's Health in India | The Good News | Scoop.it
Arunachalam Muruganantham has helped bring cheap sanitary pads to rural India, by inventing a simple machine to make them - but it nearly cost him his marriage.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades's insight:

A man fights adversity and stigma to help women throughout India with personal hygiene...with serious societal impact. 

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Ground-breaking stem cell transplant gives hope to 6-year-old Sarah - Toronto Star

Ground-breaking stem cell transplant gives hope to 6-year-old Sarah - Toronto Star | The Good News | Scoop.it
Toronto Star
Ground-breaking stem cell transplant gives hope to 6-year-old Sarah
Toronto Star
“I don't think there are words to describe how happy we are,” says Leah. Sarah has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), ....
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How Self-Compassion Heals

How Self-Compassion Heals | The Good News | Scoop.it
 Self-compassion—being nice to yourself—may be the secret to bouncing back after a breakup.


COMPASSION: http://www.scoop.it/t/science-news?tag=compassion





Via Sakis Koukouvis
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades's insight:

This should extend beyond just healing from a break up.

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Foster Families Find Support with Elders in Housing Community

Foster Families Find Support with Elders in Housing Community | The Good News | Scoop.it
About 15 percent of seniors in the U.S. live below the poverty line and many struggle to find affordable housing. But a unique community in Oregon is offering low-income seniors reduced rents, in exchange for volunteering time.
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The Secret to Better Work (and Happiness)

The Secret to Better Work (and Happiness) | The Good News | Scoop.it
We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
(Filmed at TEDxBloomington.)
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On changing the brain to be happier

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Transcript of "The psychology of your future self"

Transcript of "The psychology of your future self" | The Good News | Scoop.it
"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades's insight:

How we can change and be better for it

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The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate

The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate | The Good News | Scoop.it
It's time to accelerate the shift toward a low-carbon future
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Iran mother spares life of son's killer at his execution | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Iran mother spares life of son's killer at his execution | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis | The Good News | Scoop.it
Iran mother spares life of son's killer at his execution - The young Iranian man who escaped a hangman's noose with just seconds to spare when his victim's mother intervened was the beneficiary of a high-profile campaign to save his life.
In a case that has provoked surprise in Iran and across the world, the killer, known only as Balal, was saved dramatically on Tuesday, as a crowd looked on, awaiting his execution.
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The Economic Benefits of Educating Women

The Economic Benefits of Educating Women | The Good News | Scoop.it
More investment in female education could increase GDP growth by about 0.2 percent per year in developing nations
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Yet another piece on why educating women is a net positive.

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Study: Kids just as happy in non-traditional families - AMERICAblog (blog)

Study: Kids just as happy in non-traditional families - AMERICAblog (blog) | The Good News | Scoop.it
Study: Kids just as happy in non-traditional families
AMERICAblog (blog)
A new British study shows that children are just as happy if they live with a step-parent, a lone parent or two biological parents.
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