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First-Ever Black Valedictorian for Princeton University in 274 years

Leslie Tander

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Based out of New Jersey, Princeton University is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It is part of the exclusive private Ivy League group of universities.  It has a proud 274-year old history and at that time it has never had a black valedictorian. That is until the year 2020. Princeton announced that Nicholas Johnson of the class of 2020 as its first-ever black valedictorian. Although Princeton has been a primarily white Caucasian university, it is proud of its growing student diversity and celebrates this achievement by Nicholas. Princeton University has taken conscious steps to promote racial diversity. As of 2020, Princeton has increased its black student body to 8% in its undergraduate programs. This almost double the percentage at other rival universities such as Duke and Dartmouth.

Nicholas Johnson belongs to Montreal, Canada. At Princeton, he was studying operations research and financial engineering. The announcement for the valedictorian was done in April 2020 and Nicholas will be speaking at the virtual commencement ceremony to be held on 31st May 2020. It unfortunate that with the COVID-19 situation, Nicholas will not be able to speak at an in-person commencement ceremony. In any case, this moment holds a special place for Nicholas, given the historical ties of Princeton University to the institution of slavery. Nicholas was not expecting this honor and is extremely thankful to his parents and grandparents for instilling the values of hard work in him and for all the sacrifices they have made for him. He is also proud of his African American heritage and looks forward to keeping up his academic excellence. He hopes his achievement will inspire future generations of black students.

During his time at Princeton, Nicholas was actively involved in extracurricular activities. He participated in internships abroad and was part of the cultural immersion trips to South America, Asia, and Europe. His senior thesis was based on the development of software to combat obesity in Canada through a preventive community-based intervention system. His research also included social distancing measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Nicholas was worked as a software engineer at Google’s state headquarters for California.

Nicholas is an avid fan of the Toronto Raptors from the NBA and also enjoys playing basketball. In his free time, he enjoys playing chess and having meaningful discussions with his teammates on various topics such as academics, sports, and world history. Nicholas was a popular student amongst his classmates. He was always ready to help fellow students and was extremely down-to-earth in his demeanor. He was friendly to classmates from all races and was a promoter of cultural diversity and participated in several events in the field of debates, dramatics, and sports.

The faculty at Princeton describes Nicholas as a personable and hardworking individual. They were able to recognize his outstanding brilliance while teaching him. They were particularly impressed with Nicholas’s interest and drive in solving some of the pressing challenges of the world such as obesity. Nicholas was ready to go above and beyond the requirements of the curriculum. They believe with his work ethic and ambition, he could change the lives of millions of people. The faculty is proud of his achievement and wish him the best in the future.

For the future, Nicholas has ambitious goals. This coming summer he will intern as a software developer for the D.E. Shaw Group, which is a well-recognized technology development company. After his internship, Nicholas will begin his Ph.D. program in operations research at the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

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Life

35 Life Hacks That Will Revolutionize Your Life

Lea Lomas

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Life is all about learning and as we age, boy, do we learn a lot! In order to make the most out of the wisdom we gain from age, we’ve decided to collect 35 of the most clever life hacks on the internet. You can use these simple life hacks for everything from work and travel to getting chores done faster around the house. 

Once you learn these life hacks, you will never want to go back!

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Life

35 Life Hacks That Will Revolutionize Your Life

Sherry Rucherman

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Life is all about learning and as we age, boy, do we learn a lot! In order to make the most out of the wisdom we gain from age, we’ve decided to collect 35 of the most clever life hacks on the internet. You can use these simple life hacks for everything from work and travel to getting chores done faster around the house. 

Once you learn these life hacks, you will never want to go back!

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Animals

A Koala Mother Babysits Three Joeys

Mackenzie Freeman

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The parents who have several young children at home often talk about the challenges that they face. Caring for even one very young child is certainly difficult. Having three kids like this just multiplies all of the associated obstacles. Strangely enough, many animal parents don’t quite seem to have the exact same issues. Then again, it’s possible that koala parents might have some of the same problems. 

Very young children tend to squirm and kick whenever they’re held. Parents who have twins sometimes have a difficult time holding both of the kids at once for that reason. They might get used to it, but it still might pose a lot of challenges physically. These situations are even tougher on the parents who actually have triplets. There are koala mothers who have to care for three joeys at once. A koala mother at the Billabong Zoo was in that situation recently. 

Human parents have certain inherently advantages. The fact that humans are comparatively tall certainly helps. Human infants and toddlers are very small compared to their parents. Many animal parents are not as fortunate, including the koala mother at Australia’s Billabong Zoo.

While these koala joeys are actually capable of climbing trees on their own, they seem to prefer resting on her back. While they’re still smaller than she is, the size difference is actually relatively modest. The mother koala seems to be only around three times the size of each individual joey. Since there are three of them, she seems to be at least somewhat overwhelmed. 

The koala joeys can’t seem to sit still, and all four of them seem as if they’re struggling to get comfortable and stay that way. They aren’t resting peacefully on the mother’s back. Instead, they’re constantly shifting and stepping on her. As this is happening, she’s still trying to hold onto the tree. They almost look as if they’re scratching her at times, which is enough to make anyone feel sorry for the mother koala.

It’s an entertainingly adorable image, but the mother koala still seems to be struggling to keep up with all of these joeys. She’s being remarkably patient, especially when people consider the situation overall. These koala joeys were not actually hers. She was just looking after them.

This sort of thing might surprise a lot of people, since koalas are not especially social animals. In fact, plenty of relatively unsocial animals will care for babies that aren’t theirs. They’ll still have the caregiver instinct, which can be helpful in a zoo environment. 

Koala joeys are actually very strongly connected to their parents emotionally. They spend months in pouches, and aren’t even remotely independent for a full year. It takes them even more time to become truly independent, and they’re still very attached to their parents from that point onward. This koala is not actually their mother, but they have the same sort of bonding instinct that her actual children would have. She’s acting as their mother, and that appears to be good enough for the joeys. 

Even though they could spend time on the tree alone, many of them are not going to want to do so. Koalas are generally very inactive animals. The mother koala in particular just seems to want to rest, and the joeys are not making that easy. Still, as energetic as they are, the joeys still settle down some of the time. 

It almost looks as if all four of them are going to fall any second. Still, all koalas are adapted to this sort of situation, and they’re astonishingly good at staying on trees. 

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