His students were getting killed. So, Principal Cook took action and created a safe space for them.

When Akbar Cook arrived at West Side High School in Newark, he knew something needed to change. Principal Cook saw that the high schoolers he served faced serious challenges in their community, including gang violence and drugs. After his first summer with the school—during which two students were killed—Cook decided to take action. He approached the school’s Alumni Association to brainstorm ideas for giving students more structured activities to keep them off the streets. With the help of volunteers and fundraisers, they launched the Lights On program in the summer of 2016. Now in its fourth year, the program has proven to be a resounding success. The high school offers students a safe space with fun activities every Friday night …

This dad singing ‘Ave Maria’ at a Disney resort is magic. Just watch his daughter’s face.

Visitors at Disney World’s Grand Floridian resort didn’t expect an opera performance from a guy in a football jersey, but that’s what they got. Justin Gigliello surprised Disney park goers with an impromptu rendition of “Ave Maria” during his family’s recent trip to Walt Disney World. His daughter asked the pianist in the lobby of the Grand Floridian resort if he’d play while her dad sang, and the result was, well, magical. According to his Twitter bio, Gigliello is a voice and piano instructor, so it’s no surprise that his vocals were on point. But the visual of this dude in a football jersey and shorts singing a classic opera song while a pianist in a tuxedo accompanies him is …

Retailer’s conversation with the worst customer in the world went viral. Prepare to scream.

‌via Shutterstock‌ Holy moly, get ready to read what has to be one of the craziest exchanges ever between someone selling something and their potential client. A little haggling is sometimes to be expected, but this person went above and beyond. It seems a man wanted a blanket crocheted for his sick girlfriend, but his attitude left much to be desired. Twitter user @Forexposure_txt tweeted screenshots of the whole text conversation, and you can read the exchange below. He’s rude right out of the gate when the person crocheting the blankets doesn’t get back to him as quickly as he’d like. via Twitter via Twitter Everything seems to be going along well (except for his statement about “business practice”) until …

Japanese researchers release a new device that redefines breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has astronomical benefits for infants, but it can be extremely difficult in the early stages. Nursing an infant can be mentally and emotionally taxing for nursing parents, a factor that discourages many. Even though breast milk is full of health benefits, it’s not always fun or possible. And while The World Health Organization advises parents to aim to breastfeed their children for a minimum of six months, there are many social, and economic factors that make that a challenge. For lactating parents, it’s often one more thing to add to a list of overwhelming daily responsibilities. I’ve been breastfeeding off and on for the last three years of my life (and counting). While I’m immensely grateful for a life …

An Ohio mosque opened a free medical clinic for people who can’t afford healthcare.

A northeast Ohio mosque has opened a medical clinic that is is free and open to all who can’t afford healthcare. For millions of Americans who live without health insurance, going to the doctor is a big deal. With soaring healthcare costs in the U.S., many people simply forgo getting the medical help they need because they can’t afford it—a reality that makes us unique among the world’s developed nations. That reality is what compelled the Islamic Center of Cleveland to transform some of its storage space into a free medical clinic. No fees. No copays. No insurance requests. The Cleveland Ibn Sina Clinic is open on weekends and free to people of all religions and backgrounds. The only thing …

Breastfeeding just got a whole lot more accessible for non-lactating parents.

Breastfeeding has astronomical benefits for infants, but it can be extremely difficult in the early stages. Nursing an infant can be mentally and emotionally taxing for nursing parents, a factor that discourages many. Even though breast milk is full of health benefits, it’s not always fun or possible. And while The World Health Organization advises parents to aim to breastfeed their children for a minimum of six months, there are many social, and economic factors that make that a challenge. For lactating parents, it’s often one more thing to add to a list of overwhelming daily responsibilities. I’ve been breastfeeding off and on for the last three years of my life (and counting). While I’m immensely grateful for a life …

Heavy metal protesters scare off homophobic church group with a little kid’s musical instrument.

The Westboro Baptist Church are a family-based cult out of Kansas on a seemingly never-ending hate-speech tour. The family drives from town to town stopping at schools, state capitals, and events to scream vicious homophobic, anti-American, anti-semitic, and Islamophobic rhetoric. Along the way, they fill their coffers through litigation by suing municipalities and counter-protesters who attempt to block their constitutional right to free speech. via Elvert Barnes / Flickr The cult scheduled a demonstration against Democratic Delegate Danica Roem on Monday, March 11, at the Virginia state Capitol in Richmond and soon realized they were messing with the wrong person. Roem is the state’s first and only openly transgender lawmaker, the vocalist of a thrash-metal band, and friend of Randy …

The moving way these women got their parents to meet them halfway on marriage.

What do you do when your family expects you to get married but you just aren’t ready? Women around the world continue to face this question as gender roles and expectations morph from generation to generation. In China, marriage expectation runs deep, which in turn often creates a divide between millennials and their parents. According to their parents, women are supposed to find a husband while they are young.  Meanwhile, the independence and ambition of modern young women are often criticized rather than praised. All photos via SK-II. But the world is changing fast. Many young Chinese women either aren’t ready for marriage or don’t feel the need to conform to the cultural expectations attached to it.  Marriage rates in …

Dove is offering $5,000 to dads without parental leave at their jobs.

The workplace has daddy issues. While it’s common for a new mother to take maternity leave postpartum, there’s still a stigma surrounding paternity leave. Most dads don’t have access to paid time off to experience their child’s crucial first few weeks of life. Furthermore, they feel as if their jobs might be in jeopardy if they do opt to spend time with their bundle of joy. In order to combat the stigma around paternity leave, Dove Men+Care is offering $5,000 to new dads planning to take full-time paternity leave. Dove has pledged $1 million to new fathers across America for the next two years. “Less than 1 in 5 men in the U.S. are offered any paid paternity leave. Most …

This simple ‘test’ can help identify potentially abusive partners early in a relationship.

Most abusers don’t start their relationships by hitting their partners. That’s why early warning signs are vital to recognize. I know two women who recently left abusive partners. Both men seemed sweet and likable—even gentle—each time I saw them. Both had some lovely qualities as people and even as partners. And both turned out to be controlling, increasingly abusive partners behind closed doors. The thing about domestic violence is that most people don’t enter into relationships with someone who abuses them from the get go. It’s often like the analogy of the frog in boiling water. If you place a frog into a pot of boiling water, it’ll jump right out. But if you put it in a cool pot …