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Prisoners Win Debate Against Harvard Debate Team

Sherry Rucherman

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If you wanted to place bets on who would be the winning debate team in a competition between Harvard University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and a team of prisoners, it would be a safe bet to place it on Harvard. However, you would have been wrong and if you actually bet money, you would have lost.

The maximum-security inmates that won this debate are part of the Bard Initiative. This is a new program that offers a college education for prisoners. The Bard College debate team already has an impressive record. Not only has the team won against Harvard but also a team from the University of Vermont and West Point.

The debate was about whether public schools in the United States should have the ability to deny enrollment to students who are undocumented.

Bard College is located in Upstate New York and is pushing boundaries on what prison life should be and how rehabilitation should be done. It has been seen as a shining star in an industry that is normally tainted and full of corruption. The results of the program have been pretty amazing. The Bard Prison College reports that just 2% of their imamates ever return to prison after release. Prisoners who aren’t part of the program return to prison at a much higher rate. The college reports that 97.5% of graduates who get released from prison never go back.

Many of the inmates realize that the Bard education program can be a life-changing opportunity and this is why they give everything they have to the program. It also isn’t easy. The debate team faces several difficulties when preparing for a debate. In today’s society, it makes sense to use the Internet in order to prepare for a debate but the inmates have no Internet access.

There are also many hurdles to overcome in order to join the debate team. It requires special permission from a prison guard. One of the top debaters is in prison for manslaughter and has said that he feels very lucky to be a part of the program.

The Bard Prison Initiative program works to redefine the affordability, availability, and expectations that are usually associated with higher education in the country. Since 2001, the program has created plenty of groundbreaking opportunities for college within the prison system. These programs can help transform any negative impacts create access to higher learning. Today, the program currently has over 300 students in full-time programs that end in degrees from Bard College. It also offers support for the alumni in and around New York City.

The student body of the program mostly mirrors that of the prison system. Many students come from communities that didn’t have educational opportunities and many are impacted by crime and incarceration. The majority of the inmates in the program were first arrested as children. Some did end up completing high school but most earned a GED in prison. Once enrolled, students engage with the college full term and have a course of study that matches the intensity of any normal undergraduate learning experience. After release from prison, the alumni of the program become taxpaying independent citizens. Some go on to attend graduate school while others have careers in human services, the arts, media, and business. These individuals contribute to their communities just as you would expect from any college graduate.

The newest initiative, the Bard Microcollege, further expands this scope of work and helps deliver liberal arts educations to isolated communities outside the prison system through partnerships with different community-based institutions. 

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Life

Parents Leave Their Daughters Home Alone to Watch The House, Return to a Jaw-Dropping Surprise!

Lea Lomas

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If you’ve paid even a lick of attention to Hollywood during your life, you’ll know that kids at home alone are prone to throw a party. At least, that’s what the movies tell us, right? When Karen and Chip Schoonover decided to take a much-needed vacation, they opted to risk their home turning into the set of Party X by letting their daughters watch the property. While they enjoyed their vacation, their daughters got busy creating the surprise of a lifetime. Are you ready to hear how four daughters change their parent’s lives forever?

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Animals

Did You Know That A Dog Owner Is More Likely To Kiss Their Pet Than Their Partner?

Leslie Tander

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Those who have dogs tend to truly love their pets. There is nothing that they won’t do for them. While most of us already know this, there is something to be said for having the necessary facts to back up these suspicions. As it turns out, dog owners may love their pets even more than we initially thought. A recent survey has turned up some rather interesting findings. 

Riley’s Organics is the dog treat company that is responsible for this survey. We cannot get over these results. According to the results, 52 percent of those who responded said that they kiss their dogs more often than their partners. We imagine that there are more than a few jealous significant others out there. 

We did not realize that there were so many people out there who did not mind being covered with doggy germs. That is real love right there! However, there are those who will try to claim that there are certain benefits to these kisses. Those who own dogs will often find themselves getting sick less often than those who do not. 

That is because they are exposing themselves to the type of germs that are designed to keep them safe. Our dogs already do so much for us and now they are actively keeping us from getting sick. Is there anything that these dogs can’t do? This survey also shows that there is a wide range of people who would rather share their bed with their dog, as opposed to their partner.

This is actually somewhat understandable. At least a dog is not going to spend the whole night snoring or hogging all of the covers. There are also studies that speak to the benefits of sharing a bed with your dog. Many pet owners report that they are more likely to get a better night of sleep when their dogs are sleeping close by.

Dogs are more than willing to offer their unconditional love at all times. They do not need very much prompting, either. Anyone who has ever seen how a dog behaves when their owner comes home after a long day will definitely agree. The way that they lavish affection on their humans is a sight to behold. If you are anything like us, you probably agree with the results of these surveys as well.

A whopping 94 percent of the survey’s respondents said that they consider their four legged friends to be their best pals. The health benefits that dogs have to offer go further than just their kisses and their ability to keep you warm at night, though. Your dogs are also going to need to be walked on a consistent basis. This allows their owners to get some much needed exercise and stay in shape.

Is there anything that dogs can’t do? They are able to provide us with their undying love and affection. They even help us to get fit. No wonder so many people love to give them lots of hugs and kisses. We are right there with them! If you found the results of this survey as humorous as we did, you are definitely going to want to pass this story along to your closest friends and loved ones. 

To be quite honest, we do not deserve dogs. They are so kind and thoughtful. They do not ask for anything in return, either. All they need is a little bit of love, a warm place to sleep and some food in their bellies. If only the rest of us could learn to be as appreciative as our dogs can be. The world would most definitely be a much better place….that is for sure! 

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Life

7-Year-Old Uses Illness to Promote Cancer Awareness

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It happens quite often that children end up on the business side of the media in order to promote a cause whether it’s political or otherwise, and whether or not the child actually wants the attention. But this is not the case with Emerson Hoogendoorn who has chosen to use her story as a child diagnosed with a normally deadly form of cancer to promote the cause of finding a cure.

One would expect that just about anyone diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor would resign his or her self to living out their remaining days in the comfort of entertainment, family, friends, and massive doses of painkillers. But Emerson has decided that she wants to raise awareness and more. She has also begun raising money entirely on her own by becoming a small business owner, working tirelessly to make her business a success, and using the money she earns to promote cancer research as well as to donate to the cause.

She sells bracelets, cookies, lemonade, wind chimes, and just about anything else she can market online. She makes most of what she sells herself, adding to the appeal of her online shop. She was first taken to see her family doctor when she started experiencing double vision, severe headaches, and nausea. Soon, she was diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer that was eating away at her young brain.

However, she has since been taking an experimental medication, and since that treatment began, when Emerson was first given her deadly diagnosis- her tumor has shrunk to an amazing 12% of the size it was originally at when it was first discovered in an x-ray. That is an unprecedented result. Not only is Emerson giving hope to other children with similar cancer conditions with her generous endeavors, but she is also giving them hope with her continually improving prognosis!

In addition to this, her case is giving invaluable data to researchers who will be looking for ways to use the treatments which seem to be working for Emerson on other children.

According to Cancer.org, as many as 11,000 children in the United States are anticipated to have been diagnosed with cancer before the end of this year. These are children under the age of 15, who have barely had a chance to experience life and the fullness of their own potential.

Due to major advances in cancer treatment, as many as 80% of these children will survive their fight with the dreaded disease. In the 1970s, the survival rate for children with cancer was roughly 58%. The progress has been substantial, and researchers are always doing their best to push those numbers forward another fraction of a percent. It is due to thousands of professionals working diligently largely on donated funds that the science and practice of cancer treatment become gradually more effective over long periods of time.

With the help, the critical data, and the inspiration provided by brave and wonderful young people like Emerson Hoogendoorn, it is possible that even those numbers can be further improved.

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