And a Happy Friday to all my Memorial Day celebrants out there (and who among us doesn’t celebrate Memorial Day? It’s the unofficial start of summer, it’s a day off from school/work, and we get to honor the millions of brave men and women who sacrificed for our freedom).
So much Good News Friday goodness out there this week, including this amazing little performance by Jennifer Hudson of “The Jeffersons” theme song from the live reunion special Wednesday night (I haven’t seen it yet but I’m 1,000 percent sure I’ll love it).
Speaking of music, my voice is still a little hoarse after seeing Pink in concert Wednesday night at MSG; it’s the fourth time my wife and I have seen her and certainly won’t be the last; she put on a typically amazing show. God she’s so freaking good, live, and a great role model for young girls.
Plus, her music is sensational. Go see Pink, live, if you ever have the chance.
OK, on with Good News Friday. This first story went viral everywhere this week so maybe you’ve already seen it, but if not, it totally deserves to be shared and seen.
At the graduation for Morehouse College, a historically black school in Georgia, a billionaire named Robert F. Smith did something astonishing: he said he would pay student loan debt in full for the school’s entire graduating class.
This was, of course, huge news for grads, many of whom were leaving school with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. It was also an enormous surprise for everyone, including the one dude in this video with the best facial reaction to news you’ll see.
Check out the guy on the bottom left at the :40 mark of the video. Fantastic reaction.
Tremendous gesture by Mr. Smith; student debt is a massive problem in America, and obviously a gesture like this doesn’t solve the real issue (would be nice if Congress, led by future President Elizabeth Warren, would enact some kind of legislation to deal the crushing student debt.)
If we could only get more billionaires like Mr. Smith to do things like this… but hey, the kids at Morehouse will take it. Bravo, Robert Smith.
**Next up, sometimes life is as simple as a guitar-playing Dad, a newborn son, and falling asleep.
Saw this on Upworthy.com the other day and it made me smile. I saw a 3-day-old baby up close this week and man, newborns are just so precious.
I predict this kid will grow up to be a musician.
**And finally today, stories like this give me so much hope. From ABCNews.com:
“Frank Baez was a teenager when he started working as a janitor at New YorkUniversity’s Langone Tisch Hospital, cleaning patient rooms, bathrooms and hallways.
On Monday, Baez, now 29, graduated with a nursing degree from the same institution where he started as a janitor.”
That’s right: Baez, who says he could barely speak English when he started working at the hospital at age 15, now is a full-fledged nurse.
According to the story, Baez eventually left the job to finish his bachelor’s degree at nearby Hunter College, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. But Baez said he always knew he wanted to return to where he started: NYU.
“While working [at NYU] with the nurses, I realized I wanted to be one of them,” he said. “I learned how much they advocate for their patients and the passion they have for their job.”
“I was never an A student. I just studied a lot and worked a lot,” he said. “Of course there were times I doubted myself, but then I felt that I wanted to do something more for myself, that I deserved better, that I wanted to continue to move forward and grow and go on with my life.”
“What I did was, I never gave up,” Baez said.
What a terrific young man, and a great role model. (Personal aside: My wife delivered both of our babies at NYU-Langone hospital, and the nurses there were beyond amazing and kind. Can’t say enough good things about them.)