It wasn’t all bad
When Houston high school student Michael Brown found out last December that he’d been accepted to Stanford University, he screamed with joy. It was only the beginning of a remarkable run. Over the next three months, acceptances rolled in from all 20 of the highly selective colleges the 17-year-old had applied to—including Yale, Princeton, and most recently Harvard—with full rides to each. It was a pay off for years of hard work: Brown, the child of a single mother, had a 4.68 GPA and a 1540 on the SAT. “I am just very happy,” said Brown, “and very honored to share my story and inspire other students.”
Some heroes don’t wear capes—they carry pizza boxes. Pizza delivery driver Ralph Letner was taking a pie to a trailer park when he noticed one of the homes was on fire. Letner sprinted inside and crawled below a cloud of smoke before shutting off the electrical breaker and rescuing the homeowner from the blaze. “The way I was raised is to help people in all situations,” says Letner. “And sometimes it can mean having to put your life on the line to help keep someone safe.”
Since Isabella Pieri’s mother died from a rare brain illness in 2015, her father, Philip, has tried to be both a mom and a dad to his 11-year-old. But there’s one mom-job he wasn’t able to master: fixing Isabella’s hair. “She’d get mad at me for pulling her hair,” Philip says. So on her way to school in Alpine, Utah, one morning, Isabella asked her school bus driver, Tracy Dean, if she could braid her hair. Dean was happy to help and now spends a few minutes every morning styling Isabella’s locks. “It makes me feel like she’s a mom pretty much to me,” says Isabella.