Good news Thursday: Teacher turns superhero, students build website to connect volunteers


7-year-old’s wish for an all-terrain wheelchair granted

Emery Aders’s dad, Scott Aders, and his younger brother Ezra push him over grass and curbs with ease with a new all-terrain wheelchair. (Preston Crawley)

Emery Aders is a sociable, happy 7-year-old. He also has a nervous disorder which has left him unable to walk.

On Saturday, June 13, Emery got a present from the Make-A-Wish Foundation: a new wheelchair. But, this isn’t just any wheelchair. Emery’s chair was built by the Orem-based company Extreme Motus and is designed to go where most wheelchairs can’t. Emery’s new off-road chair can go anywhere; it even floats in water.

Bolivian school teacher gives virtual classes as superhero

Art teacher Jorge Manolo Villarroel, wearing a Captain America costume, teaches an online class from his home, amid the new coronavirus pandemic in La Paz, Bolivia, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. His classes have become so popular that siblings fight for computer time to learn from this costumed teacher. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Jorge Manolo Villarroel, an art teacher in Bolivia, transitioned to remote classes in March. To make his classes extra special, he started dressing up in different, homemade superhero costumes. Now his students and their siblings argue over who gets to tune in for each class. While the transition to online learning has been difficult due to technological barriers, Villarroel said there are many positives to the new system.

“For years, they have entered our adult world, now it’s time for us to open up to their world, which is chat,” he told The Associated Press. “When they speak they can be limited, but in chat they expand, they become the teachers and show me applications.”

Kindness spreads with volunteer links at Corona Connects

In this May 17, 2020, still image taken from a video conference call, Hadassah Raskas, 22, and other leaders of the website Corona Connects promote opportunities for people to volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy of Hadassah Raskas via AP)

A handful of college students got together at the beginning of the pandemic to create a way to help people even if they couldn’t get together in-person. The initiative, Corona Connects, started as a spreadsheet and has grown to a whole website with over 3,00 volunteer opportunities.

“I think the beauty of this platform is that we’re reminding people you might be geographically and physically alone right now, but we’re all interconnected,” Shalva Gozland told The Associated Press. “We’re here for you. And we’re one society. We’re one humanity.”

Netflix CEO to donate $120M to historically black colleges

In this Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, Netflix Founder and CEO Reed Hastings smiles during an interview in Barcelona, Spain. Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million toward student scholarships at historically black colleges and universities. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, will donate $120 million to historically black colleges and universities to help fund student scholarships. The donation comes at a time when people across the U.S. are pointing out racial injustices. The money went to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College.

According to The Associated Press, Hastings said “everyone needs to figure out” how to contribute to and help black communities.

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