This School Counselor Paid Off $42K of Debt on a $36K Salary. Here’s How

When Val Breit graduated from college in January 2012, she picked up her diploma and a bill for $ 42,000 in student loans.

Val had been saving for her wedding, but now out of school, she felt the weight of her student loans more heavily than before.

As she looked at her repayment options, she saw that if she stuck to the plan she was automatically assigned to, she’d pay an extra $ 32,000 in interest for her master’s degree in school counseling.

“I started bawling,” she remembered. “How am I ever going to repay that?”

It was the moment she decided to stop ignoring her debt and prioritize paying it off.

How to Pay Off Debt Without a Second Job

Val and her now husband, Nathan, had been engaged for over a year when she graduated. They were planning a small wedding that would cost $ 10,000. After help from family and her fiance, Val was left with $ 2,500 to fund on her own.

So she started living frugally while in school to be able to save for the wedding. She would eventually cover most of her portion with those savings.

Nathan, who had about $ 9,000 in student loans himself, admired what his bride was doing but didn’t feel the same urgency about paying off his own debt. He’d maybe put an extra $ 20 per month toward paying it off, but he was always supportive of Val’s mission.

Even in marriage, Val and Nathan didn’t combine their incomes. So instead of working extra or starting a side hustle, Val decided that to pay off her student loans, she’d just continue the frugal lifestyle she’d adopted to save for her wedding.

Val had just started a job as a school counselor making $ 36,000 per year. Even though her student loans were more than her salary, she was determined.

“We really looked at things through the lens of, ‘Do I want this thing now — like a new couch set, for example — or do I want to get rid of this debt?’” Val said. It was this perspective that influenced all her day-to-day decisions.

Here are some of the things she did to cut expenses.

She carpooled to work. “I had a 35-minute commute each way to work, and I carpooled with co-workers almost every day for two years to save on gas and car maintenance,” Val said. “My husband also carpooled on his one-hour-each-way commute for two years.”

She used a flip phone. Val tried to get a smartphone with a data plan, but it never fit in their budget. “My friends had smartphones in college. My co-workers had smartphones at work. My mom even had a smartphone before I did,” she said.

They got hand-me-down furniture. “We had a kitchen table with ugly plastic paisley that was probably from the ‘80s,” Val remembered. Their bed, barstools, recliner, end tables, coffee tables — almost everything was stuff their family members wanted to get rid of.

They drove old cars they could pay cash for. Val’s was used with 100,000 miles, and Nathan’s was an old beater they bought from an elderly woman who could no longer drive. “He was still driving it when it was a ‘collector’ at 20 years old!” Val joked.

She made manual loan payments. “Since my lender could never get my autopayments right, I ended autopayments, sacrificed the whatever-percent reduction and made every single payment manually.” Val usually made two per month: the first for what was due, and the second for whatever was left in her checking account that would allow her to keep a $ 1,000 balance.

“The manual payments made me a little more angry at my loan and motivated me to just pay it off faster,” she said. “I didn’t know it at the time, but by being active with my payments instead of passive, I always knew exactly how much I still owed and how much was still going toward interest. Both made me sick and fueled my debt-payoff fire.”

The Finish Line

In May 2013, after almost a year of being married, Val and Nathan bought a house in a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin, and finally combined their finances — and their efforts to become debt-free.

They continued to live frugally, budget and live without smartphones. In the fall of 2014, they were down to the last $ 9,000. They found out they were pregnant, and Val knew she didn’t want to still be paying off debt when they brought home their baby.

After taking a look at their sinking funds for things like cars and traveling, they realized they had enough to pay it all off. Then they could rebuild those funds as if they were paying off the debt. So in November 2014, she made her final student loan payment.

Val had her baby in May 2015. And without debt payments, she was able to afford to quit her job — the job that provided 60% of the household income and the family’s health insurance — and now gets to stay home with her.

“I fully believe paying off my student loans and getting us together living this lifestyle of living below our means, budgeting and knowing how to tighten things up is the reason I can be a stay-at-home mom.”

Val has since written a book to help others pay off their student loans quickly, even without a six-figure income or the time to start 100 side hustles.

“It all started with paying off debt,” Val said. “That really changed our lives and our family’s life.”

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Say What Now? Nuns Accused Of Embezzling Half A Million Dollars From Catholic School To Gamble In Vegas [Video]

Two nuns at St. James Catholic School in Torrance, California, allegedly embezzled as much as $ 500,000 in tuition, fees and donations.

Authorities say they spent some of the money on trips and gambling at casinos while telling parents the school was operating on a shoestring budget.

via CBS:

Bank records show Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Lang were embezzling from the school for at least 10 years, the Press-Telegram reports.

Kreuper, who retired as the school’s principal earlier in 2018, handled all tuition checks and fees. She allegedly withheld some checks and deposited them into a secret account only she and Chang were aware of.

While investigators found the two gave some of the stolen money back to the school, the rest was used for their “personal gain.”

They kept up the charade, telling parents that the school was operating on a tight budget, all the while using the embezzled funds for lavish vacations and trips to the casino.

The report claims the archdiocese and the church are not pursuing criminal charges after the nuns said they’re sorry.

This is the ‘Sister Act 3′ storyline we deserve.

The post Say What Now? Nuns Accused Of Embezzling Half A Million Dollars From Catholic School To Gamble In Vegas [Video] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Announces Senior Leadership Team

PASADENA, Calif. — The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine reached a significant milestone today as it announced the newest members of its senior leadership team, composed of a world-class, multidisciplinary and diverse group of leaders who will oversee the planning, design and implementation of all areas of the school.

“I am thrilled to welcome these distinguished individuals to the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine leadership team,” said Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, founding dean and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. “Their progressive and thoughtful leadership, combined with their innovative ideas and vision for the future of medical education, will play a vital role in establishing a world-class, 21st-century academic medical institution. We aim to train students to be outstanding physicians who also will join with others in transforming health care delivery across the nation and beyond.”

Dr. Schuster, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, was previously William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chief of general pediatrics and vice-chair for health policy in the department of medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The new leaders, consisting of seven deans, three department chairs and a senior vice president, represent decades of academic and health care experience and will play an integral role in driving the strategic direction of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. They are:

José M. Barral, MD, PhD, appointed chair of the department of foundational science. Dr. Barral comes from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he served as tenured professor in the department of neuroscience, cell biology and anatomy in the school of medicine; senior associate dean for academic affairs in the graduate school of biomedical sciences; and director of the MD-PhD combined degree program. Dr. Barral is a Pew Scholar in the biomedical sciences and has garnered numerous awards including the University of Texas System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award.

Paul Chung, MD, MS, appointed chair of the department of health systems science. Dr. Chung comes from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital, where he was a professor of pediatrics and chief of general pediatrics. He also served as a professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Chung, who also is an adjunct senior scientist at RAND, has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other public and private agencies. He is president-elect of the Academic Pediatric Association.

Maureen T. Connelly, MD, MPH, appointed senior associate dean for academic and community affairs. Dr. Connelly comes from Harvard Medical School, where she served as dean for faculty affairs. She is a founding member and former leader of the New England Network on Faculty Affairs and recently served as the chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Faculty Affairs. Dr. Connelly’s academic appointment was in the department of population medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, a managed care organization committed to population health strategies and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, where her research focused on women’s health and patient decision-making. 

Walter D. Conwell, MD, MBA, appointed associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity. Dr. Conwell comes from CPMG (the Colorado Permanente Medical Group), where he held the positions of physician director of diversity, equity and inclusion and medical director of sleep medicine and outpatient sleep diagnostics. Prior to joining CPMG, Dr. Conwell completed an administrative fellowship in diversity and inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver during which he focused on pipeline program development and assessment. Dr. Conwell previously served as the program coordinator for the Summer Medical Education Program Chicago Consortium which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Anne Eacker, MD, appointed senior associate dean for student affairs. Dr. Eacker comes from the University of Washington School of Medicine, where she was associate dean for student affairs and a practicing general internist. She has served as medical director of the general internal medicine center in the department of medicine at the University of Washington, and as an associate professor for the division of general internal medicine in the department of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Eacker is a recipient of the 2018 American College of Physicians Washington State Chapter Outstanding Clinician-Educator Award.

Walter Harris, MBA, PMP, appointed senior vice president for administration and finance. Mr. Harris comes from the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., where he served as senior associate dean for administration and operations and associate vice president for operations and chief operating officer. He previously served as deputy commissioner for operations and chief operations officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Abbas Hyderi, MD, MPH, appointed senior associate dean for medical education. Dr. Hyderi comes from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine (UIC), where he was associate dean for undergraduate medical education. He was the co-chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges Core Entrustable Professional Activities Pilot’s Entrustment Concept Group. He was chair of UIC’s curriculum transformation task force and co-chair of UIC Provost’s interprofessional education task force. He founded the Essentials of Clinical Practice and Professionalism 2 course and is a recipient of UIC’s College of Medicine Alumni Council Emerging Innovator of the Year Award and Illinois Academy of Family Physicians Teacher of the Year Award.

Michael Kanter, MD, appointed chair of the department of clinical science. Dr. Kanter comes from The Permanente Federation, a physician-led group that provides care exclusively for the more than 12.2 million members of Kaiser Permanente, where he serves as executive vice president and chief quality officer. He also serves as regional medical director of quality and clinical analysis for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. He is a recent recipient of the American Public Health Association’s prestigious 2018 Donabedian Award for Health Quality for his pioneering work in developing and spreading the Sure Net program, which helps reduce missed or delayed diagnoses and increases medication safety.

Carla Lupi, MD, appointed associate dean for assessment and evaluation. Dr. Lupi comes from the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, where she served as associate dean for faculty and before that as assistant dean for learning and teaching. She also was a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. She was a contributor to the American Association of Medical Colleges Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Faculty Development Concept Group. She has served as a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners since 2016.

Elizabeth McGlynn, PhD, appointed interim senior associate dean for research and scholarship. Dr. McGlynn is currently vice president of Kaiser Permanente Research and executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research.  She is an internationally known expert on methods for evaluating the appropriateness and quality of health care. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and is the former chair of the agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s National Advisory Committee and is on the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation Board of Directors.

Lindia Willies-Jacobo, MD, appointed associate dean for admissions. Dr. Willies-Jacobo comes from the University of California, San Diego, where she served as assistant dean for diversity and community partnerships, professor of pediatrics, director of the program in medical education-health equity and member of the recruitment and admissions executive committee. She is principal investigator on two Health Resources and Services Administration grants that focus on developing a diverse health care workforce and is the Western regional representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges Group Student Affairs Committee on Student Diversity Affairs.

“As we embark on this exciting effort, our inaugural leadership team’s expertise, dedication and innovation will drive our pursuit of educational excellence,” Dr. Schuster said. “I am thrilled with the team we have brought together and appreciative of their enormous talent and commitment. I look forward to partnering with our new leaders, our existing leaders and the rest of the medical school team to build a school we can be proud of.”

The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine is based in Pasadena, California. Its mission is to provide a world-class medical education that ignites a passion for learning, a desire to serve and an unwavering commitment to improve the health and well-being of patients and communities.

About the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will offer more than a conventional medical education. It will provide students with the unique opportunity to be taught by the physicians of Kaiser Permanente and immersed in one of the nation’s highest-performing health care organizations. Students will gain real-world experience in an environment that embraces diversity of thought, experience, and culture, and values their wellness and total health. This approach will create physicians with the knowledge, skills, and passion to lead the transformation of health care in our nation and help diverse communities thrive. Learn more at

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:




Main RSS Feed – Kaiser Permanente


Children who start school a year early more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Children who enter elementary school younger than their peers are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Children born in August in states with a Sept. 1 cutoff birth date for school enrollment have a 30 percent higher risk for ADHD diagnosis than peers born in September, which may reflect over-diagnosis.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily


High school e-cigarette use has jumped nearly 80%. Now, the FDA wants new regulations

Vaping increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since last year, prompting the US Food and Drug Administration to propose new measures against flavored nicotine products that have propelled the rise, the agency announced Thursday. – RSS Channel – Health


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Hip-Hop Wired Exclusive: T-Pain Goes Deep Into VR On ‘T-Pain’s School of Business’ [Video]

T-Pain's School Of Business

Source: FUSE / Fuse

T-Pain might best be known as one of R&B music’s top hitmakers, but he’s also got a savvy eye for upcoming business trends as evidenced on his new Fuse series, T-Pain’s School of Business. Tallahassee Pain sat down with the creators of virtual reality software Mind Show and got into a deep discussion with one of the founders who was the 3-D animator that created The Matrix bullet effects.

On T-Pain’s School of Business, T-Pain meets with entrepreneurs and start-up organizations as they try to get their next big idea off the ground. On tonight’s episode, the founders of Mind Show reveal the science behind their VR setup and even get T-Pain in on the action by playing an animated tomato heckling a piece of lettuce in a performance venue.

We have an exclusive clip from tonight’s T-Pain’s School of Business episode featuring T-Pain The Heckling Tomato below.

Check out T-Pain’s School of Business tonight (Nov. 13) on the FUSE network at 11:00 PM ET/PT.

For more information about the series, click here.

Photo: FUSE

The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired


Jean Paul Gaultier Teams With Samba School for Rio Carnival

COSTUME PARTY: Moving from cabaret to carnival, Jean Paul Gaultier has partnered with leading samba school Grêmio Recreativo Escola de Samba Portela for the 2019 edition of the Rio Carnival in Brazil.
On March 4 at the city’s Sambadrome stadium, the school is to parade seven floats themed around the story of the late Brazilian samba singer Clara Nunes.
All of the troupe’s dancers will sport costumes designed by the couturier, working alongside iconic carnival designer Rosa Magalhães, Portela’s artistic director, and themed around the eagle, the school’s symbol. The traditional carnival costume is based on a lavish plumed headdress and heels.
Gaultier, who in September opened his “Fashion Freak Show” revue at the Folies Bergère in Paris, traveled to Rio de Janeiro last month to visit Portela’s hangarlike base in the city’s north, meet with Magalhães and learn about the history of the school. Founded in 1923, Portela is the biggest title holder of the Rio Carnival, having won 22 championships. 

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While Training to Defend His Heavyweight Title, Daniel Cormier Moonlights as a High School Coach

Ahead of UFC 230, Daniel Cormier discusses how he balances life as a world-famous fighter and a high school wrestling coach. 


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3 siblings killed in car crash at school bus stop

ABC News

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News


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Using 529s for Going Back to School

using 529s for going back to schoolReaders, have you ever considered using 529s for going back to school, either for yourself or a partner? If you’re thinking about getting a law degree or enrolling in another graduate program in the future, you should know the basics of using 529s to fund your education. I’m betting that the typical Corporette reader is more familiar with these tax-advantaged savings plans than the general public — only a third of Americans know what they’re for, which I assume is partly due to their oh-so-creative name — but it’s been quite a while since we’ve discussed them, so it’s time for an to use 529s to go back to school(By the way, the 529’s lesser-known name does reveal its purpose: QTP, or “qualified tuition program.”) Here’s our last discussion on tax-savvy investments such as 529s — and also check out our 529 tips for working moms.

One major change since then, which will only apply to you if you have kids or are considering having kids someday, came courtesy of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Congress passed in 2017. Under the new rules, 529 funds can be used not only to pay for college but also for tuition at K–12 public, private, and religious schools. (We’ll get into that later).

Psst: On the subject of grad school, we’ve previously shared tips on how to financially prepare for grad school, as well as how to transition from a lawyer’s salary back to paying tuition and — for when you’re out of school — tips on how to pay off big student loans

Here are some questions and answers about using 529s for going back to school, including a few tips from Jane Yoo, CEO of Jane Financial, a financial planning firm in Oakland, CA, that serves Gen X women professionals:

What are the tax advantages of opening a 529?

With 529 college savings plans, investment growth and withdrawals aren’t subject to federal taxes. The plans are administered by states, although you can use one from anywhere you choose, and some states offer their own tax benefits when you make contributions. For example, New York residents can deduct up to $ 5,000 ($ 10,000 for married couples filing jointly) on state income tax. If you live in Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, or Pennsylvania, you can still get a state tax deduction if you have a plan from another state. Note: In addition to the 529 option called a college savings plan, you have the option of the less popular 529 prepaid tuition plan, which both states and educational institutions can offer. (Only states can offer college savings plans.)

What can 529 plans be used for?

You can use funds from a 529 to attend a college or university or to enroll in post-secondary training — options include graduate schools, community colleges, trade schools, qualified online degree programs, and even many schools outside the U.S. (Here’s a searchable database.) As mentioned above, 529s can also fund tuition at private elementary and secondary schools, up to $ 10,000 per beneficiary per year.

When should I open a 529 plan?

If you’ve decided to go to grad school yourself, the answer is “now.” Regarding a child’s college education, says Yoo, “It’s never too late to get started.” She adds, “I have many friends and clients who worry that they’re supposed to start saving as soon as the child is born. I generally recommend selecting the age-based option that invests the contributions in a mix of stock and bond mutual funds that gradually become more conservatively allocated (e.g., more bonds than stocks) as the child approaches age 18. I like 529 plans that use low-cost, broadly-diversified investments from Vanguard or iShares; the Utah, Arkansas, and Virginia 529 plans are good places to start your research.”

How much can you put into a 529?

The IRS doesn’t set a specific limit for 529 contributions, but the money can’t exceed the beneficiary’s expected qualified education expenses. States have their own maximums; for example, New York allows up to $ 520,000 in contributors for a single beneficiary. If you’re lucky enough to have someone lending a hand as you save for your education (or your child’s), here’s what you should know: The gift tax exclusion for 2018 is $ 15,000 per beneficiary (increased from $ 14,000 for 2017), but that max can go up to $ 75,000 when a single year’s contribution is treated as being made over five years — that’s called “superfunding.” (For a couple who is married and filing jointly and wants to avoid the gift tax, those numbers become $ 30,000 and $ 150,000.)

When can you withdraw the funds?

A 529 isn’t like an IRA — you won’t pay a penalty for withdrawing your money “early,” as long as you put it toward qualified education expenses. However, you need to use funds from a 529 in the same calendar year in which they’re withdrawn. There’s no set deadline to take the money out, either, which is helpful if you decide not to go back to school and are planning on having kids. (See below.)

Can you use the funds for anything else, such as a down payment on a home?

No. If you withdraw money from a 529 for anything other than qualified educational expenses, you’ll have to pay state and federal income tax and an additional 10% federal tax penalty on your earnings.

Can a 529 plan be transferred to someone else?

When you open a 529, you can designate anyone as beneficiary — including yourself, of course. Within a family, you can change a plan’s beneficiary or roll over funds distributed from a 529 plan without tax penalty. For example, if you’ve been saving money in a 529 for grad school and at some point your plans change, you can simply change the beneficiary to your child.

Should I be worried about putting too much money in a 529?

If you’re considering a 529 for yourself, or especially for your child (or a future child), here is Yoo’s advice on what she said is the most common misconception about these plans — that you’ll “lock up” your money:

[Some clients are] concerned about over-funding the 529 plan; perhaps the child will receive a scholarship, or go to a lower-cost state university. If you are fortunate to have saved more than needed in the 529 plan, you have a few options. You could transfer the balance to another family member (e.g., the child’s sibling if applicable, niece/nephew, or even to yourself if you plan on obtaining a graduate degree). Or you can simply withdraw the unused balance, and (1) pay a 10% penalty on the earnings (not the original contribution) for using the funds for non-qualified education expenses, and (2) pay income taxes on the earnings.

Be sure to track your contributions over the years so that you can bifurcate the balance into contributions vs. earnings (e.g. growth) on those contributions. Note that if you withdraw the unused balance because your child received a scholarship, the 10% penalty on the earnings is waived, but you still would have to pay income taxes on the earnings.

Are you considering using 529s to go back to school? Have you used a 529 to fund your own education before (or your partner’s)? If so, how did you choose the plan?

Further reading:

  • What You Should Know About 529 Accounts and Financial Aid [MarketWatch]
  • For Most College Savers, Prepaid 529 Plans Don’t Make the Grade [Morningstar]
  • How to Withdraw Money From a 529 College Savings Plan [Consumer Reports]
  • 529 Contribution Limits [The Balance]
  • The Cost of Going Back to School as an Adult [NYT]


Elementary school teacher accused of child rape

BENTON, La.  — A Louisiana elementary school teacher is accused of rape and video voyeurism of children. News agencies report that Benton Elementary School physical education teacher Aubrey “Perry” Norcross was arrested Wednesday on a charge of video voyeurism, and the rape charge was added Friday. The two charges involve different children. The Times of…
News | New York Post


Samson Lee Smith blasts Absolutely Ascot petition as ‘acceptable racism’ and says he was bullied mercilessly at school because he was a traveller

SAMSON Lee Smith has blasted a petition calling for Absolutely Ascot to change his name and says it’s indicative of the prejudice he’s faced all his life.

In an explosive interview, the 22-year-old said he believes the only reason residents of the posh town want the show renamed is because some of the show’s biggest stars are from the gypsy and travellers community.

Samson Smith has blasted the Absolutely Ascot name change petition and said it’s based in ‘acceptable racism’

Samson is one of the ITVBE show’s most popular characters and says he’s had a brilliant reaction from those in his community who are normally wary of allowing cameras into their lives.

It took over two years for TV bosses to persuade Samson to come on board and while he’s been overwhelmed with positive comments, he says the local petition is frustrating.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, Samson says: “I faced so much racism growing up – it’s disgusting.

“Racism towards gypsies and travellers is one of the only, if not the only, acceptable form of racism in modern day culture.

The 22-year-old, here with his sister Claudia, said he’s faced prejudice his whole life because he is from the gypsy community

“The petition to get the show renamed is because there are gypsies associated with the area. I think it’s an underlying race issue.”

Growing up in Slough, Samson faced racial abuse on a daily basis and was taunted at school for being a gypsy.

He explains: “At school I was picked on and called the Pikey. That is the lowest as the low. It’s like calling a person of colour the N word. But that word gets bandied around they don’t realise the harm and the hurt they cause.

“I did feel isolated as a child. At school you had to tick a box to say if you were a gypsy or traveller.

Sharing pictures from his family photo album, Samson says he felt isolated at school after being taunted by cruel bullies
He was born into the gypsy and traveller community community and said he’s only had positive comments about appearing on Absolutely Ascot

“And then you were put in a classroom with other gypsies and travellers and a teacher who knew nothing about our culture tried to teach us about being a gypsy or a traveller. The whole system is useless. It might be better now but if it isn’t, it shows how nothing is changing.”

Samson hoped he would have left the taunts and the prejudice at the school gates.

However he says he still faces discrimination on a daily basis.

Samson adds: “I’ve been stopped from entering bars and restaurants for being a gypsy. They will never tell you the real reason.

Samson says racism to those from the gypsy and traveller community is still seen as ‘acceptable’

“I always dress smart in trousers, shoes and a shirt and they’ll stop me coming in. The most ridiculous excuse I’ve ever heard is being told I couldn’t go into an establishment because I had curly hair.

All you can do is end your night and go time. I am polite, I don’t want to row with anyone.

“But people have their judgements on who they think travellers and gypsies are and it shines through.”

Taking part in Absolutely Ascot, Samson says, is allowing viewers an insight into what life is really like for many people in the gypsy and traveller community.

He hopes to show viewers what life is really like for those from his community

And it’s this which gives him hope the show will be commissioned for a second series.

Samson says: “Being on Absolutely Ascot is giving a real representation of my life, it’s not like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

“It shows off our culture and our community. I’ve had people stop me in the street to tell me how much I love the show.

“And I’ve had an amazing response on the gypsy community. I’m giving them real representation.

“Getting a second series would be like my birthday and Christmas coming all at once because I want to keep showing people what being part of the gypsy and traveller community is really like.”

Absolutely Ascot continues on Sunday at 10pm on ITVBE.

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TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun


Attending the ‘best’ high school may yield benefits and risks for students

Parents often go to great lengths to ensure that their children attend top schools, surrounded by high-achieving peers who often come from advantaged backgrounds. But data collected from individuals over a span of 50 years suggests that these aspects of selective schools aren’t uniformly beneficial to students’ educational and professional outcomes in the following decades.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily


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Kurt Eichenwald: I Was Kicked Out of School for Having Epilepsy


Convulsions dominated my first two years at Swarthmore College. My first neurologist, Dr. Charles Nicholson, instructed me to tell no one about my epilepsy because otherwise I would be subjected to severe discrimination. I hid out in my dorm room, and begged my roommates to keep my secret. My second neurologist almost killed me with toxic levels of medication. Broken bones, burns, nightmares, and hopelessness led me to plan suicide.

Then, in the summer after my sophomore year, I met Dr. Alan Naarden, a top neurologist. His treatment decreased my number of convulsions dramatically. He instructed me to stop hiding and to seek emotional support from a school psychologist.

For the first time, I began walking the campus alone. Over eight weeks, I experienced two convulsions outside; just a month earlier, before my medication change, that number would have been in the dozens. For the first time since my diagnosis, the school was being exposed to my seizures.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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You May Be an Adult, but You Never Forget Your School Dress Codes

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Miryam is 23, but every morning before she leaves for work she may as well be 16. If she wears a dress or skirt, she pauses to make sure her dress passes “the fingertip rule”—meaning the hem falls below her arms, when placed at her side.

“When I try on a dress or skirt, I put my arms down to see if it’s short or not,” Miryam said. “It won’t stop me from buying it, but it will inform what sort of circumstances I wear it in. The other day at work, I wore a skirt that just made a cut for the rule, and I felt really weird about it.”

For women like Miryam, teenage dress codes influence outfits worn well after their first legal drink.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Black Moms Matter: Should Paddles In School Make A Come Back?

Remember how back in the day teachers and principals were allowed to physically discipline students when they misbehaved? Do you think spanking in schools should come back? Kym and Sherri aren’t sure that’s the best idea. Kids today are so bold and some of them are just plain crazy! If the student manages to take the paddle away from the teacher then teachers will be the ones being spanked in school. Now that’d be hilarious!


Black America Web


Scientists use AI to develop better predictions of why children struggle at school

Scientists using machine learning — a type of artificial intelligence — with data from hundreds of children who struggle at school, identified clusters of learning difficulties which did not match the previous diagnosis the children had been given. The researchers from the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge say this reinforces the need for children to receive detailed assessments of their cognitive skills to identify the best type of support.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily