Good News Thursday: Therapy dog helps middle schoolers cope with mental illness, 9-year-old boy graduates from high school, Canadian college student wins $48 million lottery


Therapy dog helps middle schoolers cope with mental illness

Willow the therapy dog comforts middle schoolers at Monticello Middle School, giving them snuggles and kisses every Wednesday. (WCCO)

Every Wednesday, students of Monticello Middle School look forward to greeting Willow, a golden retriever therapy dog. Willow has been not only a mascot but a close friend for the students since 2021.

Amy Walz, the founder of You’re Not Alone, brings Willow to provide emotional support to students who may be battling with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. “You can be in the dark and dealing with depression, bullying, anxiety,” Walz said.

Willow is able to help the kids who may feel alone, feel loved through weekly visits. Walz hopes to put a therapy dog in every middle school in Minnesota to help other kids who may need a friend. 

9-year-old graduates from high school

9-year-old David Balogun from Pennsylvania graduated from high school this week. He has dreams of becoming an astrophysicist. (WGAL)

David Balogun, a boy from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania graduated from high school at 9 years old. David completed his education working from home with Reach Cyber Charter School.

“He’s a nine-year-old with a brain that just has the capacity to understand and comprehend a lot of concepts that are beyond his years and sometimes beyond my understanding,” his mother said. 

David wants to be an astrophysicist someday to study black holes and supernovas. When he isn’t studying, his hobbies include piano, sports and martial arts. 

Canadian college student wins $48 million lottery

Juliette Lamour poses with her $48 million check after winning the lottery in Ontario. She plans on using the money to go to medical school. (OLG)

Juliette Lamour, a Canadian university student, has made history after she won $48 million in the lottery last month. At 18 years old, she is Canada’s youngest person to win a jackpot of this size. 

Lamour’s grandfather encouraged her to buy the ticket, and she received the good news while she was at work. Instead of going home as her boss insisted, her mother encouraged her to stay and finish her shift.

Lamour has plans to continue to work hard and put the money towards her educational fund and hopes to go to medical school in order to become a doctor. 

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