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All Ivy Leagues and Seven other Top Colleges Contend for Florida Teen

Ashley Adirika, a high school student in Florida, has always wanted to attend an Ivy League university. Consequently, in the late autumn, she sent applications to the eight institutions.

Ashley started opening eight browsers on her laptop on Ivy Day, the spring day when the most prominent institutions reveal their first-year admission decisions, one for each applicant’s portal. One letter of acceptance appeared. Another follows. Another, please. It wasn’t until she got them all that she realized she was missing out on a lot.

For Ashley whose mom left Nigeria for the US 30 years ago, it was a bizarre experience. Family members, including her four siblings, squealed with joy as they handed Ashley acceptance letters that day.

“I decided to attempt each school and see what happened. And I had no idea I’d be admitted to every single one of them,” and she cried tears of joy.

Ashlyn, who recently completed her senior year at the Senior High School in Miami Beach, is now a member of an elite club: Ivy League schools have accepted fewer than 12 percent of their applicants since 2018. Only 3.2 percent of Harvard’s applications were approved this year, the lowest percentage in the university’s history.

In addition to Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Emory, Ashley was accepted into seven other prestigious universities. This September, she plans to study government at Harvard.

On the debate team, she’s been a major player. Ashley was torn between Harvard and Yale, but in the end, it came down to what she wanted to accomplish in the future. Learning how the government operates and how policies might be used to improve the economic inequities in different areas of the country are her goals.

“Yale was my #1 choice before the college application process. In the end, I found that Harvard’s policy, as well as social policy programs, were just superior, so I decided to attend Harvard for my graduate studies in public policy “She says so herself.

Ashley was a member of the debate club as well as the president of the student council while in high school. Debate Coach, Bess Rodriguez, at neighboring Carol City Middle School, recalls how Ashley, then an eighth-grader, was drawn to debate because of her natural curiosity about the way the world works.

According to Rodriguez, the other students feared debating her because she was such a powerful presence in the squad.

“She had a great deal of knowledge and was articulate. Topics like whether or not the United States should sell armaments to Saudi Arabia were debated in depth. She dived deep into the material, as she always did, “The middle school’s English teacher, Rodriguez, says the same thing.

“Oh no, we must discuss Ashley,” would be the cry from the rest of the class. Everyone from the local bar association to college debaters would comment on how young I was when I told them I was in the 8th grade. ‘She needs to become a lawyer,’ said everyone.”

While in high school, Ashley continues to participate in debate, and she expects to do so at Harvard University as well. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school. But she doesn’t know what she plans to do with her law degree.

“In terms of public policy, I’m particularly interested in how it might be used to improve the lives of marginalized groups. That means that, for the time being, I’m planning on becoming a lawyer, “She told herself. Nevertheless, in the long run, I intend to use that as a springboard for policy work.”

As a way of helping other young women, she founded a non-profit.

As far as Ashley is concerned, one thing is for certain: she intends to continue making a difference once she graduates from college.

At the tender age of 17, she founded a mentoring and sisterhood initiative for young women of color called Our Story Our Worth. She thinks that being a member of the debate team taught her how to speak clearly to other members of the group.

Her mother is a single parent of five children, and Ashley says she owes much of her work ethic to her and the ladies in her life.



Brave 12-Year-Old Girl Saves Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning





In a remarkable act of courage and quick thinking, 12-year-old Jaziyah Parker from Fort Worth, Texas, became a true hero when she saved her family from a dangerous situation. Jaziyah’s keen observation and immediate action prevented a potential tragedy from unfolding.

One day, while Jaziyah was at home, she noticed something was wrong. Her mother and younger brother began to feel sick and lose consciousness. Jaziyah didn’t panic but instead sprang into action. She grabbed the phone and dialed 911, desperately seeking help. In the recording of the 911 call, Jaziyah can be heard saying, “Something wrong with my mama. Can you hurry up and come?” Her plea for assistance was a crucial step that would ultimately save her entire family.

Little did Jaziyah know, her family’s home was filling up with a silent but deadly gas called carbon monoxide. This odorless and colorless gas can be extremely harmful and even fatal when inhaled. But Jaziyah’s sharp instincts and timely call for help prevented a tragic outcome. Her actions ensured that her family received the necessary assistance in time.

The Fort Worth Fire Department recognized Jaziyah’s bravery and quick thinking during a special ceremony held on May 23, 2023. The firefighters honored her for her heroic act, commending her for the bravery she displayed in a challenging situation. Jaziyah’s actions exemplify the importance of staying calm and taking action during emergencies.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious concern, as it can occur in any home due to faulty appliances, heating systems, or ventilation issues. This incident serves as a reminder for everyone to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in their homes and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of poisoning. Symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, and confusion should never be ignored, as they could indicate carbon monoxide exposure.

Jaziyah’s story is an inspiration to us all. Her courage and quick response saved her family from a potentially fatal situation. She serves as a shining example of how even young individuals can make a significant impact and help those in need. Her actions remind us that heroes can emerge at any age, and we should always be prepared to lend a helping hand in times of crisis.

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Building Dreams: The Story of Morgan’s Wonderland

Kevin Wells



Imagine a place where everyone, regardless of their abilities, can come together and experience the joy and excitement of a theme park. Thanks to a remarkable man named Gordon Hartman, such a place exists. Gordon’s love for his daughter Morgan, who has both cognitive and physical disabilities, inspired him to create an incredible park where she and others like her could feel included and have the time of their lives. This magical place is called Morgan’s Wonderland.

Morgan Hartman, a spirited and happy young girl, went undiagnosed for many years. Her dad, Gordon, cherished her joyful spirit and never wanted to see it fade away. One day, while on a family vacation in 2006, Gordon witnessed a heart-wrenching moment. Morgan couldn’t participate in a pool activity with other children simply because she couldn’t communicate verbally. This realization left Gordon with a lump in his throat, realizing that all Morgan wanted was to join in and play.

Motivated by his daughter’s desire to participate, Gordon made a decision. He would build Morgan’s Wonderland, an extraordinary theme park that would be fully accessible to individuals of all abilities. Drawing on his previous experience in construction and enlisting the help of other experts, Gordon set out on a mission to create a place where no one would ever feel left out.

In 2010, Morgan’s Wonderland opened its doors to the public, becoming the first-ever fully inclusive theme park in the world. Every aspect of the park was carefully designed to ensure it could be enjoyed by individuals with various disabilities. From wheelchair-friendly pathways to sensory play areas, every detail was thoughtfully considered to accommodate everyone’s needs.

The success of Morgan’s Wonderland didn’t stop there. Over time, the park expanded to include a sports center and a camp with an outdoor adventure park. These additions provided even more opportunities for people of all abilities to come together, play, and forge lasting memories.

Since its opening, Morgan’s Wonderland has welcomed visitors from all around the globe. People from dozens of countries and all 50 states have come to experience the magic of this unique park. One of the most amazing aspects of Morgan’s Wonderland is that individuals with disabilities can enter the park for free. This ensures that financial barriers don’t prevent anyone from enjoying the wonders of this inclusive oasis.

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Deep South’s Remarkable Rise in Reading Scores

Renee Yates



In recent years, a remarkable transformation has taken place in the deep south of the United States. States like Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, which were once notorious for their low reading scores, have experienced a dramatic improvement in the literacy skills of their students. This incredible progress has led to the region being hailed as a model for other states seeking to enhance reading abilities among their youth.

For many years, Mississippi consistently ranked among the lowest in reading scores across the country, along with its neighboring states, Louisiana and Alabama. However, in a surprising turn of events, these states have witnessed significant positive changes in their reading proficiency levels. Mississippi, in particular, has climbed from being the second-worst state in terms of reading performance to a respectable 21st place in the national rankings. What’s even more impressive is that this progress has continued even during the challenging times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic when most states faced setbacks.

So, what has been the key to this apparent “Mississippi Miracle”? The deep south states have implemented literacy laws aimed at early screenings to identify reading difficulties and have placed a strong emphasis on phonics instruction. These measures have played a vital role in improving reading outcomes for students. By identifying struggling readers early on, educators can provide targeted interventions to address their specific needs, preventing further learning gaps from developing.

Moreover, the deep south states that have experienced substantial gains have invested significantly in training thousands of teachers in the science of reading. These educators study the most proven and research-backed methods of teaching reading effectively. By equipping teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills, students receive high-quality instruction tailored to their individual requirements, promoting reading success.

In addition to training programs, the deep south states provide ample support and assistance to both teachers and students. They understand the importance of creating a supportive environment that fosters reading development. By offering resources, mentorship opportunities, and ongoing professional development, educators are better equipped to meet the diverse needs of their students. This comprehensive support system ensures that teachers can deliver engaging and effective reading instruction, ultimately leading to improved outcomes.

Furthermore, these states have implemented consequences for schools that do not prioritize reading instruction adequately. By holding schools accountable, policymakers emphasize the significance of reading proficiency and encourage educational institutions to prioritize literacy education. This approach helps create a culture where the importance of reading is acknowledged and where schools take proactive measures to ensure that all students acquire the necessary reading skills.

The “Mississippi Miracle” serves as an inspiration for other states struggling with low reading scores. It demonstrates that with the right policies and investments, significant progress is possible. By prioritizing early screenings, emphasizing phonics instruction, providing extensive teacher training, and offering robust support systems, states can elevate reading proficiency levels and transform the educational landscape.

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SafeWatersAI: The App That Predicts Shark Attack Risk with Accuracy

Shannon Jackson



A groundbreaking new phone app called SafeWatersAI is revolutionizing water safety by accurately forecasting the risk of shark attacks. Developed by a team of brilliant engineers and data scientists, this app utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze historical shark attack data, shark behavior, and marine weather conditions. With an impressive 89% accuracy rate, SafeWatersAI aims to protect both humans and sharks, making water activities safer while ensuring the well-being of these majestic creatures. Moreover, the app’s creators are committed to environmental conservation, as 5% of the profits will be allocated to ocean cleanup initiatives.

SafeWatersAI harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of data related to shark attacks. By examining historical records and studying shark behavior patterns, the app’s algorithms identify key factors that contribute to the likelihood of an attack. Additionally, the app considers marine weather conditions, which can influence shark activity. By combining these insights, SafeWatersAI generates accurate risk forecasts, allowing users to make informed decisions about their water activities.

The primary goal of SafeWatersAI is to promote safety in the water for both humans and sharks. By providing reliable risk assessments, the app helps swimmers, surfers, and beachgoers take necessary precautions to minimize the chance of shark encounters. For instance, on high-risk days, users can avoid wearing shiny accessories or swimming with open wounds, as these factors can attract sharks. Staying in shallow waters and hiring additional shark spotters are also recommended precautions. By adopting these measures, individuals can reduce the likelihood of shark attacks while enjoying their time in the water.

SafeWatersAI not only prioritizes human safety but also recognizes the importance of preserving marine ecosystems. The app’s creators have pledged to donate 5% of their profits to ocean cleanup initiatives, emphasizing their commitment to environmental conservation. This ensures that while people benefit from the app’s predictive capabilities, efforts are also made to protect and maintain the habitats of sharks and other marine life.

SafeWatersAI is a dynamic application that continuously analyzes new data to enhance its accuracy and effectiveness. As the app collects and processes more information, its AI algorithms become increasingly refined, resulting in even more reliable risk forecasts. This commitment to ongoing improvement ensures that users receive the most up-to-date and precise information, enabling them to make informed decisions about water activities.

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Breaking Barriers and Sailing to Victory

Kelly Taylor



In a remarkable display of skill, determination, and courage, Kirsten Neuschafer from South Africa made history as the first woman to win the prestigious Golden Globe Race. This challenging sailing competition involves circumnavigating the world in a grueling 235-day journey, testing the limits of both sailors and their small fiberglass sailboats. Despite being the only female participant, Kirsten emerged triumphant, surpassing 15 other sailors to claim first place. Her victory is a testament to her unwavering spirit and passion for sailing.

The Golden Globe Race is an arduous and demanding competition that pushes sailors to their limits. With strict rules that exclude the use of modern electronics, contestants must navigate using only the sky and stars, relying on celestial navigation and traditional sailing techniques. This year’s race saw a high dropout rate, with only three sailors successfully completing the entire journey. The grueling nature of the race highlights the exceptional skill and resilience required to emerge victorious.

From the outset, Kirsten Neuschafer understood the challenges she would face in the Golden Globe Race. As she embarked on her adventure, she acknowledged the significance of luck and preparation in this unforgiving competition. In February, while rounding Cape Horn, she confronted harsh conditions, battling fierce 55 mile-per-hour winds and towering 25-feet waves. Undeterred by the elements, Kirsten persevered, guided by her love for single-handed sailing and the thrill of relying on celestial navigation.

Kirsten Neuschafer’s triumph is not merely a personal achievement but a groundbreaking moment for women in sailing. As the first female winner in the history of the Golden Globe Race, she has shattered gender barriers and proven that women possess the skill, strength, and determination to compete at the highest level. Kirsten’s victory serves as an inspiration to aspiring female sailors, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and challenge societal expectations.

Kirsten Neuschafer attributes her success to a combination of preparation and luck. Recognizing the unpredictable nature of the race, she emphasized the need to be well-prepared while acknowledging the role of fortune. By diligently honing her sailing skills, studying celestial navigation, and understanding the intricacies of her small fiberglass sailboat, Kirsten positioned herself for victory. Her story emphasizes the importance of both dedication and adaptability in achieving extraordinary goals.

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