Entertainment

See the heart-bursting moment a man 'proposed' to his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter.

Dating as a single parent isn’t easy. Just ask Cassandra Reschar.”I have full custody of my daughter and very little ‘me’ time,” she wrote on How He Asked. There are over 13 million parents in the U.S. just like her.Then she met Grant Tribbett online, and the two hit it off big-time over the next couple of weeks, constantly trading messages and eventually phone calls.Their relationship blossomed from there, and one day, six months or so into dating, Tribbett asked Reschar and her 5-year-old daughter, Adrianna, to come on a walk through the woods with him.In the middle of the forest, on a small wooden footbridge, Tribbett dropped to one knee and asked Reschar to spend the rest of her life with him.The proposal was a big surprise, but Tribbett had a few more tricks up his sleeve:”As soon as he got down on one knee, my friend, who is a professional photographer (Mandi Gilliland), came out of hiding and captured one of the best moments of my life!” Reschar wrote. All photos by Mandi Gilliland Photography, used with permission. Kids aren’t usually invited along on romantic walks in the woods, but Tribbett wanted Adrianna to be there for an incredibly touching reason.After getting the “Yes!” and sliding an engagement ring onto Reschar’s finger, he turned to Adrianna and got back down on one knee.”Adrianna, can I be your daddy?” he said.”To promise to love and protect you for the rest of your life?”He even offered her a small heart necklace.As Reschar burst into happy tears, Adrianna could only muster a meek “thank you” at first.”I finally get a Daddy, Mommy!” Adrianna finally yelled, according to her mom.”I finally get a Daddy…”The family’s story is capturing hearts all across the internet. “He knew that my daughter was my world and that this wasn’t just a commitment between us but a commitment to our family,” Reschar told the Huffington Post.The photos are touching, but they also prove an important point: Most research has shown that parental makeup plays little to no

Entertainment

A YouTube star shares her thoughts on following your passion.

When Hannah Hart posted her first video on YouTube in 2011, she had no idea what it would turn into.“[It] was originally just a joke for a friend,” Hannah says. She had just moved from San Francisco to New York and was working as a proofreader. One night, she was chatting with her friend on the other side of the country when her friend shared that she missed Hannah’s “drunk kitchen.” “I was like, ‘Man, I’ll send you a video right now,’” she recalls. “So, using Photo Booth on my MacBook, I shot a video, cut it up, and sent it to her, and then a bunch of strangers watched it.” Hart in the first episode of “My Drunk Kitchen.” Image via Hannah Hart/YouTube. The video went viral.It wasn’t long before viewers started clamoring for another episode. So she made another one, and the YouTube series “My Drunk Kitchen” was born. From there, Hannah’s career as an online celebrity took off. She not only continued making videos for her “My Drunk Kitchen” series, but she started experimenting with other kinds of videos too. She soon left her job, moved to Los Angeles, started collaborating with other YouTube celebrities, and ended up dedicating herself to her passion full-time. When she went all-in, she discovered that she had a passion for entrepreneurship and that she enjoyed building something in a new medium. Over the following six years, she created a brand for herself online. She has also written two books — the parody cookbook “My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going With Your Gut” and “Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded” — and is currently the star of “While the Water Boils,” a YouTube series she creates in partnership with Barilla. Hannah Hart in “While the Water Boils” season 3 trailer. Image via “While the Water Boils”/YouTube. Through it all, Hannah says, it was her passion for connecting with people that really drove her to build this career online. “I was always the person that was talking too much in class, always staying after school

Entertainment

An 11-year-old wrote a rap about being bullied. His favorite rapper brought it to life.

11-year-old Isaac wrote a rap about being bullied. Too embarrassed to perform it, he sent it to his favorite rapper for help. Mac Lethal, a Kansas City rapper best known for his super-fast delivery and the best breakfast anthem of all time, put Isaac’s rap over a beat and made a video of the powerful letter. Image via Mac Lethal/YouTube. Isaac’s story of bullying is heartbreaking and familiar. Isaac and another kid named Thomas used to be great friends — riding bikes, swimming, and playing video games together. Now, Thomas won’t stop physically and verbally tormenting him. All GIFs via Mac Lethal/YouTube. Isaac keeps trying to reconnect with his old friend, and he even let Thomas copy his math work. But he took advantage of Isaac’s kindness. Isaac has no idea what went wrong or how it happened. And it really hurts. But despite their falling out, Isaac still has hopes he can salvage the friendship, and he wants Thomas to know he cares. Losing a trusted friend is hard enough. That same friend turning into a bully without an explanation? It’s absolutely devastating and painful. That pain comes through in Isaac’s gut-wrenching lyrics in the full video below:Dealing with bullies is something too many kids deal with every day, but there’s a lot we can do. Sadly, there are bullying situations like Isaac’s in many classrooms and schools around the country. 28% of students in grades 6-12 have experienced bullying. More than 70% of kids say they’ve seen it in their schools. Bullying prevention and intervention are complicated, but approaches that involve the entire school community show promise. When everyone — including students, families, teachers, and staff like bus drivers, cafeteria monitors, and school nurses — encourages a culture of respect and models kindness, it can go along way. Students also benefit when teachers, parents, and other trusted adults talk to them about bullying and ensure they know how to find help for themselves or other kids who need it. Photo

Entertainment

After the Philando Castile verdict, his classmates raised thousands in scholarship money.

High school classmates of Philando Castile were gutted last week when the police officer who killed him on the side of a suburban Minnesota street was found not guilty. Protesters gathered in November outside the St. Paul school where Philando Castile worked. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images. In the week since, several of them have turned their outrage into action, raising over $5,000 for a scholarship in Castile’s name. “We really didn’t ask for it. People just didn’t know what to do with their grief and all of that,” says Abby Heuckendorf, who went to school with Castile from fourth grade on and is a member of Central Honors Philando, the group that established the fund. Heuckendorf and a half-dozen others who grew up with Castile established the scholarship fund shortly after his death in 2016 at the suggestion of Central High School’s principal. The small team settled on the scholarship as a fitting tribute to the memory of their classmate who continued to work in the school district where they grew up as a much-beloved kitchen employee — known to students as “Phil” — for 14 years.The money raised in the days following the verdict adds to the over $45,000 that Central Honors Philando has raised in Castile’s name since the shooting. “It still feels like losing somebody in your larger family circle,” Heukendorf says.The first scholarship grant was awarded to Marques Watson-Taylor, a 2017 Central graduate who the group selected based on an application that the committee felt accorded with Castile’s background and values. Philando Castile’s mother Valerie, left, and sister Allysza with scholarship recipient Marques Watson-Taylor. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook. The committee has raised over $45,000 since The group was planning to kick off a fundraising campaign — culminating in an outdoor community event in August — for next year’s award when the verdict came down. “It was like, ‘Oh, we’re back to square one,'” says Adrian Perryman, a member of the fundr

Entertainment

Reminder: McConnell overcame polio as a kid with big help from the government.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. Long before Mitch McConnell was attempting to dismantle the Affordable Care Act as majority leader of the U.S. Senate, he was fighting for his health as a small child growing up in Alabama — with help from the federal government.When he was just 2 years old, McConnell was diagnosed with polio, Death and Taxes reported. As McConnell explained to his Senate colleagues in 2005, his mother had been “perplexed about what to do”; his father was serving overseas in World War II at the time, and — as these were the days before Medicaid or Medicare — health care options were limited. McConnell’s mother worried her son might become disabled.McConnell was fortunate to live a short drive away from Warm Springs, Georgia, where a polio rehab center had been established by President Roosevelt.It was funded, in large part, through public efforts. A child in bed recovering from polio in 1950. Photo by Douglas Grundy/Three Lions/Getty Images. In the mid-1930s, roughly a decade before McConnell started receiving treatments at the center, Roosevelt’s March of Dimes fundraising strategy for the center grew into a remarkable success. The president had asked Americans to send dimes to the White House in support of children living with polio, and within just one month, $268,000 (about $4.6 million today) had been raised. Kids like McConnell benefited greatly.“We had left Warm Springs for the last time, and the physical therapist there had told my mother, ‘Your son can walk now,'” an emotional McConnell told the Senate in 2005. “‘We think he’s going to have a normal childhood and a normal life.'”McConnell’s health scare from seven decades ago —concerning a disease that’s now eradicated in the U.S., no less — is incredibly relevant today. Children who are in similar circumstances as McConnell once was — kids living with costly, threatening health ailments, whose family situations complicate their access to care — could be harmed greatly should the Re

Entertainment

This Target ad totally nails what it means to be an athlete. And yeah, it's a big deal.

An athlete is anyone who moves their body for the fun and thrill of moving it, regardless of size or ability. Target’s latest ad gets that in a major way. The latest campaign for the company’s activewear line, C9 Champion, showcases badass athletes kicking butt at any age and size and in any activity or discipline. These are real people with real bodies we need to see more of. There’s a black man doing yoga on a football field. And why shouldn’t there be? Go ‘head on, brother. All GIFs via Target/YouTube. A young kid shreds on a skateboard, having the time of their life. See you in the X Games, kiddo!A woman with a disability zips up a rope, making a hard feat look effortless. You’re killing it! And teen ballerina Lizzy Howell even makes an appearance, doing dazzling pirouettes. Rock it, girl!These athletes aren’t the exceptions; they’re the rule. No matter your size, shape, ability, or activity, there is no wrong way to be an athlete. It doesn’t matter what your middle-school P.E. teacher said or what runs through your head while you’re at the gym. You may not get paid for what you do or even be especially good at it. But if it makes your heart happy and keeps you moving, congratulations, you’re an athlete. Seeing people of different abilities, body types, sizes, backgrounds and ages celebrate their bodies and strength is empowering and affirming. Actor Riz Ahmed said it perfectly in his lecture on diversity and representation at British Parliament: “Every time you see yourself in a magazine, on a billboard, TV, film — it’s a message that you matter, you’re part of the national story, that you’re valued. You feel represented.”Real representation and visibility connect us to people who aren’t like us and challenge our expectations of what different bodies can do. Some people may not think of black men as graceful or lithe or even recognize that plus-size ballerinas exist, let alone shine. Target’s ad is proof that even 40 seconds of representation can change mind

Entertainment

Girl Scouts will now earn badges in cybersecurity and it's totally awesome.

What’s next for the Girl Scouts? Oh, you know, defeating hackers. No biggie. Five fearless girls in New York City this March. Photo from Drew Angerer/Getty Images. The 105-year-old, 1.8 million-scout-strong organization announced that, in addition to badges for public speaking, first aid, mechanics (and, yes, selling cookies), young scouts can now expect to earn laurels for cybersecurity as well.The announcement is part of a team-up between the Girl Scouts and cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks. Led by an expert panel, the groups will be rolling out the first in a series of 18 different badges in September 2018. “It is our hope that our collaboration will serve to cultivate our troops’ budding interest in cybersecurity,” said Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo in a press release.The Girl Scouts say the exact curriculum’s still being decided, but the topics would build on each other and could touch on areas such as protecting privacy, combating cyberbullying, and more high-level skills like data manipulation.Today’s girls are growing up in a world where cyber smarts are just as important as street smarts.Smartphones, smart watches, smart televisions — heck, we even have smart clothes! “Activate jet pack… ACTIVATE JET PACK! God, these things.” Photo from Michele Tantussi/Getty Images. Combine that with social media and it’s astounding how much information each of us is uploading every single day. Knowing how to keep your information safe is becoming a necessary life skill.This is also about showing the girls how to take cybersecurity by the horns and make it work for them.Women are seriously underrepresented in many STEM industries, including cybersecurity. One report found they made up just 11% of cybersecurity jobs. But we’re going to need them. Forbes wrote that in 2016 there were over 200,000 unfilled cybersecurity roles in the United States, and there seems to be no end to the recent data leaks and security concerns.One possible reason for this gender gap,

Entertainment

They tested a seat so people with disabilities could ride a camel. Here's how it went.

On edge of the Sahara Dunes, a few miles outside of the Moroccan town of Merzouga, a camel named Omalise seems to suspect something is up. On her back is a bulky contraption — a tall fabric seat held in place by metal piping and tied down with a tangle of unfamiliar straps. Image by Eric March via Moroccan Accessibility Travel. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s not her usual saddle, and it’s definitely not heavy enough to be a rider. Unclear what the attentive crowd of rapidly chattering humans around her wants her to do, she tries to stand up.Within milliseconds, three trainers hustle over to coax the confused camel back to the ground.”Of course, right now, the camel is a bit uncomfortable with the situation, but she’ll get used to it,” says Mbark, Omalise’s handler, through a translator. Mbark has lived semi-nomadically around the pack animals his entire life. For the past 12 years, he’s worked in the country’s booming tourism industry, facilitating camel excursions for visitors who want an up-close-and-personal introduction to the desert.Today, he’s spending his evening preparing his impatient camel to give tourists with disabilities the opportunity to experience the type of Hollywood epic-worthy trek through the desert sands they imagine when they dream of his home country.Riding a camel has long been out of reach for travelers who lack full mobility, but Moroccan Accessibility Travel (MAT) hopes to change that with the advent of a custom saddle that mimics the action of a wheelchair on the animal’s back. The seat is the brainchild of Erik Neufeld and Jeremy Schmidt, who purchased the tour company in 2016 with the goal of providing their disabled clients access to the country’s full range of historic sites, restaurants, markets, and natural attractions.Getting a client onto a camel and over the dunes (a “classic Morocco” experience, according to the pair) is a problem that has perplexed them from day one — and one they believe they’re finally getting close to solving.

Entertainment

Watch an eye-opening video that spells out why Hollywood needs trans actors.

Hollywood has a problem on its hands.In the video above, produced by ScreenCrush in partnership with GLAAD, several transgender actors dive into how the entertainment industry is failing to fairly represent an already marginalized group. Those flaws, as ScreenCrush senior editor Erin Oliver Whitney says, end up hurting trans people offscreen too.”I didn’t grow up watching many positive or accurate depictions of trans or gender nonconforming people on screen,” says Whitney, who is nonbinary and transgender, and helped produce the video. “And the roles I did see certainly weren’t played by trans folks.” Actor Alexandra Grey (“Drunk History,” “Transparent”). GIF via ScreenCrush. That, in a nutshell, is the big problem.Here are three vital takeaways from the video, “Why Hollywood Needs Trans Actors,” which is part of ScreenCrush’s Our Hollywood series:1. There are very few transgender characters in TV and film — and even fewer that depict trans folks as real people.As the video points out, citing a GLAAD report, there was just one major Hollywood film that featured a transgender character in 2015 — and that character was the butt of a joke. That wouldn’t be such an alarming statistic if most Americans knew several trans people in their own lives and, as a result, understood that transgender people are as complex and relatable as anyone else. But that’s not the case. Laverne Cox, who stars in CBS’ “Doubt” and Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” is one of the very few prominent Hollywood actors who are trans. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Just 16% of Americans report knowing someone who is transgender personally, which means the vast majority have perceptions of transgender people largely based off what they see in the media. When the very few trans characters on TV and in films consistently fall into harmful stereotypes — like, that trans people are all mentally unstable — what picture does that paint to audiences? And, even more consequential, what kind of

Entertainment

A viral photo of a calm dad and a screaming toddler holds an important parenting lesson.

Young kids don’t always pick the best times to have emotional meltdowns.Just ask any parent. Grocery stores, malls, and restaurants (or any place with lots of people around) in particular seem to bring out the worst in our little ones, prompting explosive tantrums that can make even the most stoic parent turn red-faced with embarrassment.But why be embarrassed? It’s just kids being kids, after all.Actor Justin Baldoni recently shared a poignant photo with his own daughter and the big lesson he learned from his dad about such moments.Baldoni, best known for his role on the show “Jane the Virgin,” shared a photo his wife, Emily, took while the family was shopping at the local Whole Foods.In it, Baldoni, along with his father, stares down at his daughter, Maiya. She’s crying and/or wailing on the floor. Who knows about what. Her body is twisted into classic tantrum pose.The two men look calm. Almost amused, but not in a mocking way.They certainly are not embarrassed despite a hoard of people around them in the store.When Baldoni posted the photo to his Facebook, he recalled the way his father used to act during the actor’s own tantrums, and how it helped shape him into the man he is today. I tried to stay off social media yesterday to connect with my family without distraction so I’m posting this today….Posted by Justin Baldoni on Monday, June 19, 2017 “My dad always let me feel what I needed to feel, even if it was in public and embarrassing,” he wrote.The post continued:”I don’t remember him ever saying ‘You’re embarrassing me!’ or ‘Dont cry!’ It wasn’t until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development. Our children are learning and processing so much information and they don’t know what to do with all of these new feelings that come up. I try to remember to make sure my daughter knows it’s OK that she feels deeply. It’s not embarrassing to me when she throw tantrums in the grocery store, or screams on a plane. I’m her dad…not