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As 2016 came to a close, Tani Adewumi was just five years old, and living in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. He and his family lived in a constant state of fear because the terrorist group Boko Harum was very active there; they endured harrowing attacks that eventually forced them to flee the country, their homeland.

The family ended up in a homeless shelter in Manhattan, a desolate berth after such a difficult journey. But it was in New York that young Tani would find something that would change his family's life forever: chess. Today, Tani is a 9-year-old chess phenomenon who has appeared on the Today Show and across the talk show circuit. And unbelievably, he recently moved his family into ...

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For the last eight years, TotalLink2 Community has worked with young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, offering a wide range of services promoting employment, independence and durable social connections. They also provide career and vocational services, including support with skill development and job placement. Based in Northbrook, Illinois, the organization's mission is to enhance their community by providing opportunities for these citizens to grow and contribute through social connection, employment and life-long education.

Sadly, the Covid pandemic has put much of this vital organization's regular programming on hold--and like many of us, they've had to pivot to th...

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A summer youth camp for disabled kids that operated in upstate New York starting in the 1950's, Camp Jened was a refuge for an entire generation of special needs kids. Run by a group of what were then called hippies, the camp gave disabled kids a chance to experience all the things a "normal" kid would in summer camp.

But Camp Jened wasn't just the source of a lot of treasured memories. It also proved to be the wellspring of a landmark piece of legislation: the Americans with Civil Disabilities Act. And now, the camp has been immortalized in Crip Camp, a fascinating documentary now airing on Netflix.

A former camper himself, James Lebrecht directed the film with Nicole Newnham, with Michelle a...

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When Felecia Gaston founded Performing Stars of Marin in 1990, a nonprofit art academy serving the underprivileged, she began with no budget whatsoever. “I had no idea about fundraising, writing grants, doing all the networking, filling out the 501(c)(3)s,” Gaston says.

Fast-forward 30 years, and today more than 3,000 young people have attended the program--and many have gone on to achieve at a level they never thought possible. By making classes, scholarships and other assistance accessible to families unable to afford performing arts programs, Gaston opened up a new world to kids who otherwise may have never had the chance to participate in the arts.

One excellent example is John...

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Most of us would be hard-pressed to remember what we were doing when we were four years old. Not Mikaila Ulmer: she was starting her own small business. After an unlikely inspiration--being stung by a bee--Mikaila had come to realize the vital role that bees play in the ecosystem. And almost eleven years later, her business, Me & The Bees Lemonade, has grown into a huge success.

Selling flaxseed lemonade sweetened with local honey (her grandmother's recipe), Mikaila donates a percentage of her profits to organizations fighting to save honeybees. And after introducing her lemonade on “Shark Tank”, Mikaila was able to secure a $60,000 investment to continue to grow her enterprise. T...

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When it comes to public policy, there are some issues that tend to be portrayed as permanent, systemic, just "part of the landscape". Poverty often seems to be one of these, sadly. But this of course is an illusion: like all social conditions, poverty is the result of specific choices made by governments, businesses and other powerful institutions.

There may be no better illustration of this point than the story being told in Canada right now. In 2016, the Canadian government began giving parents a small amount of money — a few hundred dollars a month — to help subsidize the costs of child raising. The amounts are very modest, but the results have been enormous: in just one year, ...

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In today's America, it can often seem like our biggest problems have become part of our way of life, and that they are simply here to stay. The woes of the American family top this list: for years divorce rates have climbed, and the family institution has at times appeared to be critically, and chronically, endangered.

But there's good news on the horizon. According to the most recent figures, the American family is on the rebound. And this is especially good news for our most valuable resource--our children.

As outlined in the recent article in USA Today, the past decade has shown promising signs of a resurgence in childbearing, along with a marked decline in divorce rates and an increase in ...

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An eighth grader from Minneapolis, MN, Sanya Pirani has a slightly different take on Christmas than most kids her age. Pirani created the non-profit Sanya’s Hope For Children several years ago, when she was just eight years old.

With the help of volunteers--Sanya's helpers--Pirani packages and sews hundreds of gift bags for homeless children at Christmastime. The gift bags, full of toys, clothing, books and school supplies, are given to homeless kids in the Minneapolis Metro area just before Christmas.

“We get to....hand donate these bags to the children and it’s really an amazing sight to see,” says Pirani. To hear more about this remarkable youngster and the progress ...

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On October 11, the world observed the International Day of Girls: a day dedicated to raising awareness of the serious issues facing the world's 1.1 billion girls, and promoting their empowerment. It's an enormous issue–one that requires our attention far beyond that single day.

Each year, about 246 million children are harassed and abused either at or on their way to school. Girls are disproportionately affected, a reality that curbs their academic lives and makes it more likely they will drop out. But things are slowly changing: fully twenty-five million child marriages have been prevented, just in the past ten years.

These two things–ending child marriage, and working to make sur...

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Opportunities for education in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa are scarce, and more than one-fifth of primary-school-age kids do not attend school throughout the region. Not content to sit on the sidelines, an organization called Street Child is acting to provide solutions for sub-Saharan children.

And they haven't been slow to the task. In the last decade, the org has helped to educate more than 250,000 children, and helped over 25,000 families start their own businesses. Now they've even enlisted the help of the royal family: Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, became a Patron Ambassador of Street Child when the organization joined forces with Children in Crisis.

For more about this impres...

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