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Horse Gets Lost for 8 Years, and Then Gets Returned to Owner

When a horse owner gets their favorite horse returned after losing the animal in the wild for eight years, signing it off as gone, and then being surprised by the reunion, it’s a pretty amazing thing. Shane Adams had his life turned upside down dramatically almost a decade ago, including losing his home, his marriage to a divorce, and being seriously injured himself. Suffering from a brain injury in a car crash, Adams literally had his world reshaped, and he never expected to be reunited with his horse, Mongo, ever again after that fateful turn of events.

However, last September in 2022, Adams was going to be surprised again.

The man had spent his early decades growing up around horses. Being a Utah native, Adams was like many in the desert state, regularly riding horses to travel and explore the vast wilderness of the region. When he came across Mongo, the bond between him and the animal was unique and amazingly tight. However, in 2014, on a camping trip, things went horribly wrong for Adams. With a loud racket that woke the man up and had him scrambling out of the tent, Adams woke up fast enough to see Mongo taking off with a pack of wild Mustangs. No matter what happened, the horse was gone, and Adams himself ended up getting lost in the snow and blizzard affecting the area.

Adams hoped that the horse would just burn out his energy and then return, since Adams and family were what the animal knew. However, that wasn’t going to be the case. Adams kept looking for the horse in the wild for another three years, but without luck. With his dad helping, Adams scoured the countryside, but they never saw a sign or glimpse of the horse after that tear-off from the camping site. Adams didn’t give up; he contacted all the typical agencies in the area who would likely come in contact with wild horses, like the federal Bureau of Land Management, and left information to identify Mongo with. No luck.

Adams himself also had no time to keep up the search much. He had to maintain his career as a foreman on a construction project, and the work was picking up with more demand after hours and on the weekend. By 2017, everyone involved pretty much wrote off the horse as gone. And BLM never found any sign of the horse in any of their mustang roundups either.

However, towards the end of September 2022, there was finally a call from BLM to Adams. They found Mongo. The horse had been gone for 8 full years, but sure enough, the agency found the animal’s hiding spot. He had been grazing and running with a mustang pack in a high-security zone that blocked off most regular people traffic. BLM got an exception to access the area to collect more wild mustangs, and in that dragnet they picked up Mongo. The previously-domesticated horse stood out from the wild mustangs, being bigger and taller. Mongo also acted very calm around people and was not alarmed by their presence, unlike the Mustangs now facing captivity for the first time in their known lives.

Remembering Adams’ story, BLM horse inspectors went over the animal and eventually found his identification brand hidden under overgrown fur from winter. After getting the call, Adams trucked out for a four-hour drive to pick up his lost horse, still not believing it was Mongo. Sure enough, there was the horse, a lot lighter from hard living, but it was Mongo.

Today, Adams rides Mongo as he did before, and the horse pretty much acts like nothing ever happened. It may very well be that after living hard scrabble for eight long years, Mongo decided he was done with adventuring and needed some catering. Adams was happy to oblige his old friend.

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America’s Youngest Teacher Started Her Career at 16

Kelly Taylor

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Shania Muhammad became a teacher at just 16 years old, after graduating from college at 15. She grew up in a home where learning was very important. She told “Good Morning America” about how her older brothers and sisters were big influences on her. They did well in school, which inspired her to do the same.

In seventh grade, her father noticed her advanced skills and started preparing her for college entrance exams. This led to her enrolling in college early and feeling like a superhero because she was so young. By 15, she was already finished with college and soon got a job offer to teach.

Muhammad waited until she was 16, so she could drive herself to work, and then started teaching 8-year-old students. These students see her as an adult and respect her, she says. In her classroom, she loves to keep the kids active with group work, presentations, and debates, creating a dynamic and engaging environment.

She encourages open communication in her class, telling her students they can talk about anything with her. Muhammad believes it’s important to have more confidence in success than in failure.

In her conversation with “Good Morning America,” Muhammad shared her view on facing the unknown with courage rather than fear. She encourages people to not hesitate and to create opportunities for themselves if they don’t already exist.

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Millions Tune In To See Conservation Group Save Seals

Kelly Taylor

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Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) is a group with a big heart and an important mission. Based in Namibia, a country with long, beautiful coastlines, OCN is dedicated to saving seals, especially the cute baby ones, from dangerous plastic and fishing lines.

Imagine you’re at the beach, and you see a group of seals playing and lounging around. Suddenly, you notice something’s wrong. One of the seals is stuck, tangled up in a mess of plastic or fishing line. It’s struggling and can’t get free. That’s where OCN comes in.

The team at OCN, led by Katja and Naude Dreyer, a married couple passionate about the ocean and its creatures, runs across the beach, right into the groups of seals. They’re on a mission to find any seal that’s trapped in harmful debris. Once they spot a tangled seal, they quickly and carefully cut off the entangling mess and set the seal free.

Since 2020, OCN has rescued about 3,000 seals! That’s a lot of happy, healthy seals swimming back in the ocean because of their efforts. Their rescue missions became super popular online during the pandemic. People all over the world watched their videos, feeling a bit better seeing the seals being saved during tough times.

OCN’s work is unique and impactful. Jeff Harris, a research ecologist, mentioned that the number of seals OCN saves is much higher than in other parts of the world. While he managed to free 100 sea lions in his best year, OCN often saves that many seals in just a month!

The Dreyers started OCN about twelve years ago. Initially, Naude would try to free the seals using a paddle or by grabbing them, but it was tough. Things got better when they received a special seal rescue net, making their missions easier and safer.

During the pandemic, when their kayaking business paused, they focused even more on rescuing seals. They also shared their work online, touching people’s hearts worldwide. Their video titled “Baby seal thanks his rescuers” got over a million views!

OCN not only raises awareness about the seals but also shows us the bigger problem – our oceans are filled with trash. They’ve shown that every little bit helps and that we can all do something to protect our marine life.

With donations from kind-hearted people, OCN has grown, now having a team of seven dedicated members. They’re doing more than just rescuing seals; they’re inspiring others to care about our oceans and the creatures that call them home. The Dreyers themselves have even changed their lifestyle, choosing not to eat fish and other animal products, to live in a way that respects the animals they work so hard to save.

So, Ocean Conservation Namibia is not just about saving seals; it’s about changing the way we see and treat our oceans, one rescue at a time.

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Hero Bus Driver Saves Students from Fiery Danger in New Orleans

Kevin Wells

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In a heart-stopping incident in New Orleans, a school bus driver named Kia Rousseve became a local hero when she saved nine students from a burning bus. Her quick actions turned a potentially tragic situation into a story of courage and quick thinking.

It was a regular Wednesday morning, and Rousseve was on her usual route, about to make her fifth stop, when she noticed something alarming: smoke was coming from the bus. Without a moment’s hesitation, she knew she had to act fast. “As soon as I seen the bus smoking, my instinct was get them off of the bus,” Rousseve recounted.

A little girl on the bus ran up to her and confirmed her fears, saying the bus was on fire underneath. Rousseve didn’t waste a second. She stopped the bus and made sure all the students got off safely. “I turned the bus off and got off. When I got off, the bus blew up,” she said, describing the terrifying sounds of the explosions.

Rousseve’s primary thought during the ordeal was her child, which fueled her determination to ensure the safety of all the students on board. Her employer, Community Academies of New Orleans, praised her actions as “Courage on wheels.” Having driven school buses for three years, Rousseve demonstrated experience and bravery that day.

Feeling grateful and proud, Rousseve believes a faulty alternator was the cause of the fire. She’s relieved and happy that she could save the lives of the children, as well as her own. “I feel great about saving other kids’ lives and saving my life,” she expressed, adding that she felt divine protection was at play during the emergency.

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Mackenzie Scott’s Big Give: $640 Million to Nonprofits

Shannon Jackson

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Mackenzie Scott has made headlines again with her generous donations to nonprofit organizations. Initially, Scott promised to give $1 million each to 250 nonprofits, but she surprised everyone by more than doubling her donation! Now, she’s giving a whopping $640 million to 361 organizations.

So, who is Mackenzie Scott? She’s a billionaire philanthropist who likes to help out by giving her money to groups that do good things for communities. This time, her organization, Yield Giving, decided to help even more than planned because of the great work these nonprofits are doing.

Scott worked with an organization called Lever for Change to find these nonprofits. They had a big, open call where nonprofits could apply for the money, and the response was amazing. Lever for Change said they were so impressed by the work these groups are doing that they wanted to give money to more of them.

Here’s how it broke down: 279 top-rated nonprofits got $2 million each, while another 82 organizations received $1 million each. These groups do all sorts of important work, like helping people get back on their feet after being in jail, or creating theater programs with young people in Los Angeles.

What’s really cool is how they decided who got the money. It wasn’t just a few people making all the decisions. Instead, the nonprofits got to score each other, and then a panel of experts made the final picks. This way, lots of different voices helped choose the winners.

Scott and her team believe it’s important to shine a light on these organizations that are making big changes but might not always get noticed. They want to make sure these groups have what they need to keep doing their great work.

Mackenzie Scott said sharing information about these donations is important because it helps others see the good that comes from giving. She hopes that by talking about it, more people will be inspired to help out in their own ways.

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Waldo Middle School Receives Grant from Portland Trail Blazers Foundation

Kelly Taylor

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In Salem, Oregon, Waldo Middle School has received exciting news that has left the community buzzing with anticipation. Thanks to a generous grant from the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation, the school is set to enhance its support for students in need.

Every year, the Trail Blazers Foundation’s “Take it to the Court School Grants” program awards funds to schools across Oregon that are making a significant impact on children’s lives. Waldo Middle School is one of the lucky recipients this year, a recognition that has thrilled Sonia Bosquez, the Community School Outreach Coordinator. “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it,” she said, acknowledging the stiff competition from other deserving schools.

The grant will bolster the efforts of “Waldo’s Closet,” a school initiative that provides essential supplies like clothing, shoes, hygiene products, and even snacks to students facing hardships. “We came up with it as a way to help students on a day-to-day basis,” Bosquez explained. The program has grown to support students from other countries or those experiencing emergencies, often extending aid to their families as well.

Annie Klug, Executive Director of the Trail Blazers Foundation, emphasized their commitment to supporting historically marginalized and underrepresented communities. The foundation focuses on connecting youth to the environment, education, and sports. “We exist to raise money and get it back out to exceptional schools and nonprofits and students,” she stated.

The grant holds special significance for students like Jhoana Escalona, an 8th grader at Waldo Middle School. “For me, it feels special because there are a lot of kids whose parents can’t afford the fees and can’t pay,” she said. The support means a lot to students whose families are working multiple jobs and may not have the opportunity to watch their children participate in sports and other activities.

The Trail Blazers Foundation’s ability to provide these grants is powered by the fans. “We have fans that purchase ‘Rip City’ license plates or 50/50 raffle tickets at our games, and all of that contributes to our ability to make those grants,” Klug explained.

The grant from the Trail Blazers Foundation is more than just financial support; it’s a beacon of hope and an affirmation of the community’s efforts to support its youth. Waldo Middle School is poised to make an even greater difference in the lives of its students, thanks to this generous contribution.

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