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10 Young Girls Who Are Knocking Down Society’s Walls and Influencing Change

Let’s be truthful: females and minorities are at a disadvantage. In fact, unless you are a Caucasian male, you face unfair challenges. Many people simply accept this as “just the way it is” and find a way to deal with it. That seems like the easiest thing to do: take the path of least resistance, try not to rock the boat, accept our lot in life. And, with that, we go on about our days and lives, finding a way to live the best we can.

Then, there are those of us who simply refuse to accept how it is, and these are often what we consider heroes. They are the ones who take the road less traveled, go against the grain, and rock every boat necessary to reach their desired outcomes. They are the trailblazers, and we admire their strength and courage and dedication. And why not? They are admirable people. 

What, though, is more impressive than an adult blazing new trails and working hard to change something? When a young female does it. These amazing girls have multiple “strikes” against them: their gender, some of them their race, and- of course- their ages, but they let none of those things stop them from reaching their goals. Consider the ways in which they are working for things they believe in.

Greta Thunberg

This young lady knows that protecting the planet lies in the hands and actions of its inhabitants. At only 16, she addressed the UN on the topic of climate change. Most of us are too nervous to address our middle school class or coworkers in a large meeting. Greta put her game face on and became the leader of what is known as the largest climate strike in history. 

Mikaila Ulmer

Have you ever been stung by a bee? Or, better yet, have you ever wondered just what a specific insect or “pest” does for us? Mikaila Ulmer has done both. At only four years old, she was stung by a bee while selling lemonade. This led her to study just how important bees are for the planet. At only nine years old, she went on Shark Tank to promote her business Me & the Bees, which sells flaxseed lemonade that supports bees. Next time you visit a Whole Foods store, look for her lemonade sitting on shelves.

Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny and Autumn Peltier

These two young ladies have found fighting for clean water as their cause. You might recognize Amariyanna. At only eight, she wrote a letter to President Obama about the Flint water crisis, which resulted in the President’s visit. She even spoke at the White House regarding the issue.

Autumn Peltier is a fifteen year old Native who spoke at the UN about communities, especially indigenous ones, that lack access to clean drinking water. She was only 13 when she addressed the UN, and is quoted as having said, “We can’t eat money, or drink oil”- wise words from one so young. 

Malala Yousafzai

At only 17, Malala took on the fight for providing an education to everyone- an unaccepted idea in her part of the world. Even though she has put a target on her back, so to speak, from organizations that do not believe in women’s rights, she pushes on with the goal of helping women meet their own educational goals. 

Bana al-Abed

Do you remember what you were doing at 8? It is safe to say that most of us were playing as opposed to dealing with the war in Syria and becoming such a young refugee. Though this experience could have easily hardened young Bana al-Abed, she chose a different route. She used Twitter to share a very detailed account of what was really happening in Syria, and the truth of the suffering behind it. She was offered a book deal, and used her platform to petition worldwide leaders for change in the war-torn country. She quickly became one of the youngest activists for change.

Sophie Cruz

At a mere six years old, Sophie Cruz was facing losing her parents due to immigration laws. She took it upon herself to write a letter to the pope- one that was intended to keep ICE from breaking up families. Now, at eight, she continues to fight immigration laws.

Asia Newson and Maya Penn

These two young African American businesswomen are making waves. Maya Penn started an eco-friendly clothing business at only eight years old. Since then, she has been name a “SuperSoul 100 Entrepreneur” by Oprah, had her own TED Talk, and started a nonprofit for environmental changes.

Asia Newson started selling candles at only five years old. She is now a teenager and uses her platform and talents help build small businesses in her hometown, teach other children how to run a business, and even providing jobs. 

Jazz Jennings

Jazz is a transgender teenager who has been standing up for her beliefs since early childhood. She has her own show on TLC- one which she has opted to use as a way to be a positive role model for other members of the LGBTQ community.

These young women are making strides and knocking down walls. It inspires us to ask ourselves: How can I be a positive influence and spark change? Do I accept my life “the way it is”, or do I take it by the horns and dictate my life instead of it dictating me?

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New Kiwi Hospital in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands

Shannon Jackson

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New Zealand, known for its stunning landscapes and unique wildlife, is home to the kiwi, a flightless bird and the country’s national icon. The kiwi is a curious and endearing bird, with a long, slender beak, soft brown feathers, and a round body.

In rural Kerikeri, a new kiwi hospital has been established by the conservation group Kiwi Coast to care for injured kiwi. This hospital is a vital addition to the region, as the kiwi population is on the rise in areas where communities are actively engaged in intensive pest control efforts.

Andrew Mentor, the coordinator of Kiwi Coast, explained that the increasing kiwi population is a positive sign but has led to more injured birds. These injuries often occur due to interactions with dogs, cars, and ponds. Currently, injured kiwi are taken to the Bird Recovery Centre in Whangārei for treatment and recovery. However, the long travel time to the centre adds extra stress to the already ailing birds.

The new kiwi hospital, built on land provided by a local farmer in cooperation with Puketotara Landcare and local hapū Te Whiu, features nine pens, each equipped with a nesting box and native ferns and grasses. Additionally, a clinic with three brood boxes is available for quarantine and intensive care.

The hospital anticipates receiving kiwi in need of care due to factors like drought, climate change, or attacks by dogs or feral cats. Being able to stabilize and rehabilitate these birds locally will greatly reduce stress and improve their chances of recovery.

The establishment of a dedicated kiwi hospital in the Bay of Islands is a significant step forward in conservation efforts. As a stronghold for kiwi, this region will likely see more kiwi and, consequently, more incidents requiring rehabilitation. Having a local facility will ensure that injured kiwi receive prompt and effective care, ultimately contributing to the preservation of this iconic species.

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Heroic K9 Biza Saves the Day in Freezing Cold

Kevin Wells

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In a remarkable story of bravery and skill, a K9 police dog named Biza became a hero in Auburn, Massachusetts. Biza, a female German Shepherd with the Auburn Police Department, played a crucial role in finding a 12-year-old who went missing in the freezing cold weather.

The adventure began late at night, around 10:30 PM, when the young child left home without their mother’s permission and no way to contact anyone. With the temperatures dropping and concern growing, the police were called in to help find the missing youth.

Enter K9 Biza and her handler, Auburn Police Officer David Ljunggren. Together, they set out into the cold night with one mission: to bring the child back home safely. Biza, with her keen sense of smell, was given something to sniff to pick up the child’s scent. Before long, she was on the trail.

Imagine trekking through the night, following a determined dog who is your guide, your hope. Biza tracked the scent for over two miles, leading the officers through the dark. Her training and instincts were put to the test, and she passed with flying colors. The officers found evidence along the way that the child had passed by there not too long ago, thanks to Biza’s incredible nose.

Finally, Biza’s hard work paid off. With additional officers joining the search in the area Biza had led them to, the missing child was found a short time later. Thanks to Biza and the police team’s efforts, the story had a happy ending, with the child being safely located and returned home.

Deputy Chief Richard Mills of the Auburn Police had high praise for Biza, saying, “Biza is a good dog.” This simple statement speaks volumes about the trust and bond between K9 units and their handlers, and the incredible work they do together.

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A Heartwarming Tale of Rescue: Saving Ryszard the Puppy

Shannon Jackson

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In a small village named Kuligów in central Poland, an adventurous little puppy named Ryszard found himself in a big, unexpected adventure. Ryszard, an 8-month-old pup, along with his seven siblings, embarked on an escape from their home near the Bug River. However, their adventure quickly turned into a dangerous situation when the river began to flood due to an ice jam breaking.

As the water rushed towards them, six of the puppies managed to swim to safety, but Ryszard wasn’t so lucky. He ended up stranded on a small island in the middle of the now swollen river. This island became his home for almost a week. Imagine being all alone in such a scary place, without any food, warmth, or your family. Ryszard was cold, hungry, and exhausted, howling for someone to help him.

The Bug River and its surroundings experienced the worst flooding they had seen in over ten years. The situation was dire, and even local firefighters tried to rescue Ryszard. But the river was too dangerous for them to reach him. The water was flowing fast, filled with ice and debris, making any rescue attempt extremely risky.

Then, after five long days, hope arrived from an unexpected place. A team of maritime specialists, sea rescuers from Kołobrzeg—a city on Poland’s northern Baltic coast—heard about Ryszard’s plight. They decided to embark on a massive journey to save him. These heroes traveled 700 kilometers (about 435 miles) across Poland to reach the little island where Ryszard was stuck.

Their effort was not in vain. The team successfully rescued Ryszard, bringing him to safety after his terrifying ordeal. It was a challenging mission, but the rescuers believed that saving Ryszard was worth every bit of the effort. As one of the rescuers, Paweł Depta, said, traveling the 1,400 kilometers (roundtrip) was entirely worthwhile.

Ryszard and his siblings are now under the care of a foundation that is helping them recover from their adventure. They’re getting lots of love and the care they need to bounce back. Videos of Ryszard’s recovery show him getting better, a testament to the resilience of our furry friends and the kindness of humans who go to great lengths to help them.

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Bus Driver’s Heimlich Heroism Saves Choking Third-Grader

Shannon Jackson

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Quick thinking and calm under pressure made a Volusia County school bus driver a real-life hero last week. Mayrelyn Lopez, while attending to a minor bus backseat ruckus, noticed a third-grader struggling for breath, turning alarmingly purple. Without hesitation, she sprang into action, saving the boy’s life with the Heimlich maneuver.

Lopez, like many bus drivers, is trained in first aid and emergency procedures. But nothing beats firsthand instinct. As she swiftly walked back to the front after resolving the disturbance, she spotted the boy, Levi Holder, gasping for air and clutching his throat. “I say, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ Grab him and just do ‘this’ so fast,” Lopez recounted, demonstrating the Heimlich maneuver.

Her quick action dislodged the piece of candy stuck in Levi’s throat, sending it flying. Relief washed over both of them as air returned to Levi’s lungs. “Thank God, I [stood] up at the right moment,” Lopez admitted, shaking her head. “I was scared.”

Thanks to Lopez’s bravery and her training, Levi is back home and doing just fine. The eight-year-old, still shaken but recovering well, had only words of gratitude for his rescuer. “She was very nice,” Levi said, his voice tinged with awe. “Thank you for saving my life.”

For Lopez, the simple act of helping a child in need was all the reward she needed. “I’d want somebody help my kids if they are in that situation,” she said, her voice thick with emotion. “It’s just something you do.”

Her quick thinking and heroic deed resonated within the community. School officials lauded Lopez’s professionalism and heroism, and parents expressed their heartfelt gratitude for her swift action.

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Michigan Man Saved from Icy Waters by His Dog and a Brave Police Officer

Renee Yates

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In a remarkable rescue story from Traverse City, Michigan, a 65-year-old man owes his life to his loyal dog and a quick-thinking police officer. This heartwarming tale began on a chilly day at Arbutus Lake, where an afternoon turned into a life-threatening situation.

A Scary Fall Through the Ice

The man, enjoying a day near the lake, suddenly found himself in danger when he fell through the ice. Trapped in freezing water, he could only keep his head and shoulders above the surface. His faithful dog stayed by his side, anxious but unharmed.

The 911 Call and a Rescue Attempt

Someone called 911, and soon, a police officer arrived to help. The officer tried to throw a rescue ring to the man, but it didn’t reach him. That’s when the officer had a brilliant idea involving the man’s dog.

A Clever Rescue Plan

The officer, identified as MCO Bennetts, called to the dog, asking the man to send her over. The man told Bennetts that his dog’s name was Ruby. “Ruby, come here! Come here, Ruby!” Bennetts called out. Ruby, wagging her tail, ran to Bennetts.

Bennetts then attached the rescue disc to Ruby’s collar and asked the man to call her back. As Ruby returned to her owner, Bennetts instructed the man to take the disc from Ruby and start kicking his legs to stay afloat.

The Dramatic Rescue

“Bring your feet up to the surface by kicking your feet!” Bennetts shouted, pulling the man onto the ice’s surface. He urged him to hold onto the disc while he kept pulling the rope, dragging the man to safer ice near the lake’s edge.

Finally, Bennetts and a local firefighter grabbed the man’s arms to complete the rescue, with Ruby still attached to the rope.

A Happy Ending

The state police said the man was taken to a hospital for treatment and was later released. The rescue was celebrated on social media, with special praise for Ruby. “What a good girl!!! Amazing ice rescue from 7th District, MCO Bennetts. Creative thinking helped save a life!! EXCELLENT JOB MCO Bennetts and RUBY!!” read a tweet from the agency.

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