It’s good news for Rehan Staton who recently got admitted into Harvard Law after overcoming some difficulties.
When Staton was eight, life was easy and beautiful. Life had its awesome components—loving parents, a supportive big brother and a comfortable private school education including a homeschool teacher.
Things went awry when his mother abandoned them and jetted off to another country. This would lead to some other issues—his father lost his job and had to hustle three jobs to make ends meet. Food which was once plentiful became a scarce resource. And they had to cope without switching on the thermostat.
“I would have to sleep with a heavy jacket on when it was cold,” Staton said. “I was always angry and hungry. It affected my academic work at school, and I started to perform horribly.”
His academic performances dropped and from being one of the top performers in class, he became one of the worst performers. Staton pointed to the fact that he was always dozing off in class as it was warm there. Getting to seventh grade, the bad academic performances continued and a teacher advised he needed special education. This statement made him lose interest in school.
It was evident something had to be done. Staton’s father went on a trip to the local community center and sought for assistance on who would help teach his son. There, an aerospace engineer proffered to help educate Staton for the rest of the year without collecting a dime.
“I ended up making honor roll the rest of the year,” Staton said. “He was like an uncle or godfather that gave me food and a place to stay sometimes. After we stopped the tutoring sessions, my grades suffered again.”
Staton would spend his high school years training rigorously in his pursuit to be a highly skilled boxer.
“I won a lot of martial arts competitions,” Staton said. “From all my teachers, mentors and classmates — no one ever asked me about school or college. It was always, ‘How’d your tournament go? How’s training? When’s the next match?'”
His dreams on becoming a success through boxing would later suffer a blow when he suffered severe tendinitis in both shoulders. He was unable to wield his arm over his head for months. The injury wasn’t a major career threat and he could recover but since he lacked medical insurance, Staton said physical treatment wasn’t a route to follow.
Now that his aspirations of turning into a pro boxer had suffered a blow, he began applying into colleges desperately. Albeit, he was rejected by all.
Whilst recovering from the injury he suffered, he was employed as a trash collector at a local sanitation company. Many of his colleagues that worked there had gone to prison. They noticed his creativity and intellectual ability which made them ponder: “What are you doing here?”
“They would say, ‘You’re smart,'” Staton said. “You’re too young to be here. Go to college, and come back if it doesn’t work out.”
This was a surprise to Staton as it was the first time someone outside his family and his seventh grade tutor would praise his intellectual ability.
“Teachers, church leaders, and other upper echelon people known for being a role model in society were the ones that never saw anything in me,” Staton said. “It was the sanitation workers that lifted me up to make me even want to go to school.”
Co-workers helped speak to the executives at the sanitation company and Staton was thereafter connected to a professor at Bowie State University—one of the schools that denied his application months ago.
The professor was in awe during their conversation and he persuaded the admissions board to rescind their decision.
Now that he had to go to college, Staton’s older brother, Reggie had to drop out from school. Someone had to work alongside their dad in order to make money, else they would forfeit their house. Staton said it was a decision Reggie made on his own accord.
“My brother knew I’d be stuck if I didn’t jump on this opportunity and go to school because of my grades,” Staton said.
Staton would go on to get a 4.0 and he matriculated to the University of Maryland, where he excelled as the president of the undergraduate history association, history representative for the dean’s cabinet and eventually as the graduation speaker for the class of 2018.
Even as a student, Staton would wake up every morning, persisting in his job as a garbage collector. He was always working two separate shifts between classes. Doing this, he had to stay away from partying.
“I had to give up any sort of social life,” Staton said “I just put my head down and stuck to a schedule to make it all happen.”
After graduation, Staton had a health issue but that didn’t stop him from getting a job at a political consulting firm in Washington, D.C. He passed the LSAT and sent applications to law schools. This he did while working full time.
It would take a while though. In March, Staton learned he’d been accepted into his dream schools—USC, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.
“It was a surreal moment for me,” Staton said. “It made me feel like my brother and my dad’s sacrifices were not in vain. We did it.”
Staton would eventually settle for Harvard Law School. For people searching for inspiration in these trying times, Staton says “love yourself enough to get what you want out of life. You can always see the light in any dark situation, and you need to hold on to that light.”
The Man Who Saved Hundreds of Dogs in a Hurricane
Ricardo Pimentel never expected to be compared to Noah, or a pied-piper, or a dog-whisperer. However, his role in life may have very well been fated for what he was about to do ahead of a big storm that was coming towards his region.
Hurricane Delta was expected to hit the Mexican Yucatan with full force. The area was familiar with tropical storms, but heavy-stage hurricanes were rare. One of the last times a major hurricane hit the area, it ended up leaving major city areas buried waste deep in ocean water pushed inland. Knowing full well what another hurricane could do, Ricardo decided to do his best for the animals nobody else was going to do anything about. As a result, one man managed to save over 300 dogs, more than a handful of chickens, a hedgehog, and even rabbits. And even sheep ended up finding some shelter under his patio roof.
The wind and rain howled against Ricardo’s house, but it was going to stand and make it to another day. And for the animals he saved, they too were going to make it and live longer a well. The conditions afterwards were less than ideal. There was a tremendous amount of cleanup and removal of broken items that were needed. That said, the animals all seemed to understand what was going on and none of them attacked each other during the entire affair. They all made it through the hurricane safe, alive, and healthy.
For his neighbors and family, Ricardo’s actions were no big surprise, however. The home and surrounding area were already well-known for being an animal sanctuary, a saving place for those creatures that either were not wanted, lost, too old to be adopted or similar. The sanctuary had managed to operate for at least a decade now, located 20 miles to the south of Cancun.
Ricardo needed help, however, during the hurricane. So, with his home computer and a basic Internet connection, he asked for help. Ricardo didn’t need to say much; the photo of his room and house looked like a real-life version of a dog farm running free inside a house.
The storm passed, like they all do, but Ricardo still had 300 dogs plus the rest of the barn to take care of, feed, clean up after and relocate. Fortunately, unknown to Ricardo, his social media plea had gone into sharing mode at hyper speed. The photos and his request went viral, and everyone, thousands he never knew or will ever meet, began to help. In addition, his own neighbors chipped in and arrived to help Ricardo clean up the sanctuary as well.
In the big picture, Ricardo hopes the help can go farther and actually produce permanent homes for many of the animals he takes in, making room and allowing him to save additional new arrivals that always come in. It would be wonderful if the hurricane’s outcome and attention translated into more, but Ricardo is definitely grateful for what was provided. He saved hundreds of lives among the animals he cared for. And, Ricardo even found a way to adopt one of the dogs he saved for himself as well.
Couple Lets Dad and Kids Confined To High Rise Apartment, Vacation At Their Beach House
Not many people get to say they experience the kindness of Santa at Christmas, and even worse, before the holidays.
Well, the Gifter came in the form of a kind and loving couple who saw the plight of a father and his two children and felt the need to do something about it.
The couple gave the family their vacation home to enjoy for several days. What could have prompted that act of kindness?
Ever since the pandemic, Sam Smith has been cooped up on the 15th floor of their apartment building on the Eastside of London. He was not alone. His children Zenduel and Lysander, ages three and six respectively, have been stuck in the apartment with him all these months.
Additionally, the apartment is very cramped; therefore, three people moving around almost every day can be discouraging. Not being able to go to the parks or playgrounds in the apartment’s vicinity due to closure heightened the children’s frustration. Going outdoors for a maximum of an hour some days was now a luxury to this family.
The children passed the time many days by drawing images on the walls of the apartment. It had officially become a graffiti space.
Being in a one-bedroom apartment with two children as a single parent is no easy feat, especially noting the various studies that reveal the general problems that already come through single-parenting.
The family’s situation was brought to the BBC’s attention, thorough investigations, and research about the pandemic’s effects on families. BBC producers then invited Sam and his two children as guests on the breakfast show.
As Sam explained his living situation on the breakfast program, Ken and Sheila Sims happened to be watching, and the family’s story drew their compassion.
They were quarantined at their home, located on the Devon Coast, watching the program as they usually did.
The husband, Ken, could empathize because he too spent a large part of his youth in a high-rise apartment building. He became disheartened about the family’s plight and decided to speak with his wife about an idea he had that would bring some semblance of relief to the family.
Ken knew that the best thing he could do for them was to get them out of the apartment for a while. He, therefore, offered his cottage to the Smith family to enjoy a sun-kissed beach vacation.
Excitedly, Sam and his children were receptive to the idea and began packing. It was a vacation like no other as the children played in the sand and splashed in the water each day.
The children now drew in the sand instead of on the walls, and they even tried to catch fish in a little stream. They had a whale of a time.
Sam was initially speechless. He just let the boys capitalize on the space around them and have all the fun in the world.
Ken and Sheila also beamed with pride, knowing they could do something that Ken would have appreciated when he was a child.
Sam says he will be forever grateful.
Saskatoon Dog Lost In Blizzard Reunited With Family
A dog is back into the warmth of it’s home and the loving arms of its owners after spending three days lost in a blizzard, which many feared had killed him.
Despite the worries, efforts to find the Golden Retriever never ceased, and the outpouring of social media support showed that humankind is still helpful and sympathetic.
A cross-country skier returned the year and a half old Golden Retriever after finding him with only minor injuries despite three days in a snowstorm.
It all began in Saskatoon last Sunday when the dog’s owner Julia Neufeldt agreed to let Louie hit the Furdale Dog Park to have some outdoor fun. A close friend had asked to walk the dog they decided to let him go.
However, the fun dog walk led to terror as Louie had wandered off, and they could not find him anywhere. Julia, who was devastated by the news, had become consumed with thoughts of all the possibilities, especially with the vast expanse that they had to search for the Retriever. She added that it felt as though a family member had gone missing, and it was overwhelming.
As desperation kicked in, Julia took to Facebook to share her pain with friends and family, but what happened next blew her mind. It’s like the whole town heard about what happened, and the show of support kept rolling in, and so many searched for the missing pet dog.
Bolster From Social media
Julia said she expected a few dozen friends to share the information if anyone came across the dog. However, the post went viral, and not only friends but total strangers were sharing it and reaching out to the family to lend their support. Julia has a seven-month-old son so venturing out into the snowstorm to search for the dog was not possible.
However, scores of volunteers kept up the search and kept her updated by sending images whenever they spotted the dog. It was hurtful that Louie could be seen but was not accessible. They then lost sight of him, but on Wednesday, everyone decided to make a last-ditch effort to find the dog and get him home.
Julia had joined the search at this point, armed with a blanket and a glimmer of hope that finding Louie was still a possibility. Then the best phone call they could receive came in from the Saskatoon Animal Control Agency. They told her someone had seen Louie.
The cross-country skier was brought to Louie by his dog Banjo, amid their trip. The Animal Control team then linked the skier to Julia, who was delighted and thankful.
She had a mixture of emotions from shock to relief at getting back the dog safely. According to Julia, Louie has lost a few pounds but is poised to recover. He has a torn ACL but will get a surgery done soon.
She has since shared the great news with newfound friends on Facebook, and the encouragement and complimentary messages continued to flow.
Julia says her family is still in astonishment at how people rallied around despite not knowing them. She says this act of kindness outshines any negative news.
In the meantime, Louie will have to stay put for a while, but he is being fed, pampered, and showered with love. Julia adds that the little things that would bug her, like Louie wanting to run in and out of the house continually, are now minuscule after what they just endured.
She says the empty nest feeling has dissipated, and they are happy to have him in the warmth of the house again.
A Team of Surgeons In London Have Successfully Separated Conjoined Twins
Marwa and Safa, two conjoined twins, have returned home after a thriving separation surgery. The surgery was done in London at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Three major surgeries have been performed on the beautiful girl twins. It took about 50 to 60 hours for the doctors to complete the whole procedure.
As informed by the doctors, conjoined twins are rare and happen only one out of 60k births. Conjoined twins are also referred to as craniopagus twins. A large majority of conjoined twins usually die after 7 or 8 years of age.
Thanks to the doctors that they have managed to succeed in the operation. A group of 100 people in Great Ormond Street Hospital, including nurses and other staff, took care of the twins.
The surgery was carried out in February 2019. All the medical expenses were paid by a Private donor, Murtaza Lakhani. He is a wealthy and kind businessman from Pakistan and extended his helping hands to save the girls.
The two girls, Marwa and Safa, have been taking regular physical therapy to boost the mobility after the operation. Since the completion of the surgery in 2019, both the girls and their mother have been living with their uncle in London to conduct the post-surgery treatments. The girls, now aged three, have some learning difficulties, as told by their physiotherapist.
However, the girl’s mother, Zainab Biwi, is very optimistic about her children. “God in the face of the doctors have saved my children,” said by her in an interview. She also added that the doctors had tried so much to make the operation a successful one, and she can’t thank them enough regarding that.
When asked the lead surgeon, Owase Jeelani, about the operation, he said that he and his entire team is delighted to bring the smile back on the mother’s face. However, he also mentioned some of his uncertainties regarding the conjoined twins. He stated, “I think Marwa has done well and carries on making progress. When I look at my family, I feel that maybe it was the right thing to do, but for Safa, as a single person, I am a bit unsure.”
By answering how much he got scared before the surgery, Dr Jeelani made us learn that he is still troubled by his choices in the operation theatre. The girl twins had a common blood vessel connecting their brains, and only one of them could receive the critical blood corpuscles. Doctors gave them to Marwa, who was weaker than Safa. But as a result, Safa suffered a stroke, and now she has permanent damage in the brain. Dr. Jeelani feared she might not be able to walk ever.
He also said that both girls’ outcomes would have probably been better if they were separated earlier. But it took several months to raise the fees of the surgery.
In January, the same surgical team has operated on another pair of conjoined twins from Turkey and were successful. The twin boys, named Yigit and Derman Evrensel, have responded to the treatments better than the twin girls.
The Incredible Way One Man Saves a Woman from Being Body-Shamed…
As a working mother and wife, Savannah Phillips had her share of challenges, but she overcame them to produce a viable career and contribute to her family’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, she also had her own limitations that were all to vivid in her mind, especially as she found herself traveling more and more due to her work. The simple fact was, Savannah was a larger woman. And while in most cases that was not an issue, the condition created particular issues for her when flying. Because of her size, Savannah regular chose seats without people next to her, but it wasn’t always available.
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