I’m doing well

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“I was only sixteen when I got pregnant. I was so disappointed in myself. I thought I’d end up like one of those pregnant teens on Maury. I did finish high school – I will say that. But afterwards I had no good options. My family didn’t have money. My son’s father wasn’t around. It was on me to do something. So I joined the Navy. I was basically gone for the next six years. I had to leave my son with my parents. It was an extremely hard decision. But anything I did was going to look bad—if I had stayed behind, I would have just been a bum ass ‘project girl’ with a kid. I had to provide. And I was still a kid myself, so I needed experience. When I came home for good, my son was seven years old. He lives with me now. We’re working on it. I’d love for him to be a ‘mama’s boy,’ but in a lot of ways he’s still closer to my parents. He gives them random hugs and kisses. I have to ask for mine. So we’ve still got a ways to go. But I used the GI Bill to get a bachelor's degree. And I’ve got a job where I make real money. I’m proud of myself. I work in a place that I never could have imagined when I was sixteen. I have ‘work friends.’ I spend my day with people who are motivated to be better—not just in work, but as people. I’m doing well. And considering how I started— that’s an amazing thing.”

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I ended up surviving

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“Back in college they called me Mailbox Head. Because my head was pretty big. Mailbox Head was a little bit reckless. I didn’t really have a plan in life back then. I drank too much. I threw illegal parties on campus. I climbed abandoned bridges. One time I broke my tailbone because I thought it’d be fun to make a toboggan out of a beer banner. The wild behavior carried over into the first few years of my marriage. But when I was 27, my daughter was born. Three months later I went hiking with my buddies, and I started to climb a cliff without ropes. And I got about eighty feet up, and I couldn’t get any higher. But I also couldn’t get down. I was so desperate that I was about to jump. I kept thinking about my daughter. Somehow my friend talked me down, and I ended up surviving. But that was the end of Mailbox Head.”

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Best way to honor our communities is to serve them

Part of me definitely died when our daughter was born

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“My wife urged me to take this little trip to New York so that I can clear my head. It’s just for two days. But my leash has been so short lately that it feels like an eternity. Part of me definitely died when our daughter was born. I was always a free spirited person. I traveled a lot. I never had a boss. I had all the choices in the world. But a lot of that disappeared in order to make things possible for my daughter. I watch her during the day. And I’m not mad about it. This is the happiest time of my life. It would be great if my daughter was here right now. It’d be so fun to watch her run around the park. But I’d also be worried about her safety. And the diaper bag. And the car seat. And the stroller. And our next meal. And our next place to stay. There’s always a flickering flame of worry that doesn’t go away. Back home we live by the beach. And if my wife ever senses that I’m getting overwhelmed, she tells me to go jump in the ocean. And that resets me for a few days. It’s all I need. I just need a little space to be me. Because it can be so easy to get lost in helping a new person become someone.”

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Moto-moto wisudawan

Hari yang melelahkan tapi juga menyenangkan. Memotret orang-orang yang dilanda kebahagiaan: para wisudawan. Menyenangkan betul. Yang sadar kamera hasilnya bagus, yang candid juga oke. Tapi kalau mau lebih oke dan sip ya.. ke studio foto profesional. Foto wisuda dijamin lebih membekas, apalagi fotonya dengan keluarga. 

So after graduating college, I set out build a world-class adventure company

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“When I was eighteen, a large group of students visited Ghana from the UK for a youth development program. It was an expensive program. It cost thousands of pounds. But I got to join for free because they needed some Ghanaians for a smattering of cultural diversity. The program was a mixture of community service and adventure. We actually came canoeing on this very lake. The whole time I was thinking about how much money was being made from our natural resources. And how much of that money was leaving Ghana. I became determined to make Ghana money out of the Ghana environment. So after graduating college, I set out to build a world-class adventure company. It’s been over five years now. We have twelve full time employees and twenty-five adventure locations. Best of all, I think we’re creating an adventure culture in the country. Our clients were 70 percent foreign when we started. Now they’re 80 percent Ghanaian. Behind me is Survival Island. It’s my latest project and biggest risk yet. I constructed a full ropes course, and one day I hope to build the world’s longest zip line. That would really put Ghana on the adventure map.” (Accra, Ghana)

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Hari Anti Hukuman Mati Sedunia

Ini gambar dari aksi Amnesty International Indonesia hari ini di Taman Fatahillah.

I really have a wonderful mother

I’d always dream of getting a college degree, but I got married right after high school

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“I’d always dreamed of getting a college degree, but I got married right after high school. We started having children right away, so it wasn’t easy to convince my husband to let me study. The one time I tried to mention it, he immediately said ‘no.’ But a few years later we were in the passport office and I saw an advertisement for a university. I pulled on his sleeve, pointed at the sign, and said: ‘Lets take a look. It’s only a look.’ That very same day I enrolled in classes. Each night I’d wait until 2 AM, after everyone’s demands had been answered, and the whole house was asleep. Then I’d begin my studying. I’d work until morning, wake the children up, and prepare them for school. Only then could I rest. It was exhausting but I was so happy. It felt like I’d gone back in time and my kids were my siblings. During my third year I was pregnant again, and I was terrified that I’d go into labor during my final exams. But I got my diploma. It was the happiest day of my life. My husband was thrilled for me. Everything is different now. I understand the world. I used to be afraid to leave the house. But now I feel powerful. And it shows.” (Cairo, Egypt)

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