Good News Thursday: Prison inmates earn bachelor’s degrees, teen builds wheelchairs for disabled animals

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25 prison inmates earn bachelor’s degrees

Prison inmates graduate college thanks to the Cal State graduation initiative. (Good News Network)

Twenty-five incarcerated men received their bachelor’s degrees during a commencement ceremony at California State Prison, Los Angeles County. Cal State, located 70 miles from the prison, launched its Prison B.A. Graduation Initiative in 2016 with support from President Barack Obama’s Second Chance Pell Pilot Program. The students earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a focus on organizational communication.

“Today, an education to me, means freedom, redemption and opportunity… The opportunity to show that we are not our worst decisions, that we crave to be a part of the larger society so that we can put to use our unique combination of lived experience and education,” graduate Dara Yin said.

Teen builds wheelchairs for disabled animals

A dog uses a wheelchair made by sixteen-year-old Shaine Kilyun uses her passion for animals to create low cost wheelchairs for animals in need. (Good News Network)

After studying YouTube tutorials, 16-year-old Shaine Kilyun made wheelchairs for animals that might otherwise be put down. Kilyun has custom designed almost 12 wheelchairs specific to each animal’s needs. She only charges for the cost of the material, which is roughly $700 cheaper than models from traditional sources.

“I just love animals, and I wanted to make a difference somehow. I’ve saved a few lives and I really hope to save more,” Kilyun said.

Researchers develop method to eliminate invasive diseases

Australian researchers found a way to eliminate invasive diseases including dengue, yellow fever and Zika. (Good News Network)

Researchers in Australia have shown that a bacteria can eliminate the invasive, disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. During the summer of 2018, 3 million of the mosquitos in Northern Queensland were sterilized with the Wolbachia bacteria and released across three trial sites to help tackle Australia’s health and security challenges.

“Over 40 percent of humans suffer from mosquito-spread diseases, so it’s an opportunity for Australia to develop environmentally-friendly mosquito control tools to tackle current and future mosquito incursions,” said Larry Marshall, chief executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

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