Good News Americans #1

We’ll begin with an amazing story of academic achievement.  Alena Analeigh Wicker, whose home is near Fort Worth, Texas, has just been accepted to study medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.  Med school acceptance is always impressive, but even a whole lot more so in this case. You see, Anna Wicker is just 13-years old!!  She graduated from high school at age 12 and is currently working toward her Bachelors’ degrees (literally) in biology at both Oakland University and Arizona State University.  Acceptance to the program at Alabama made her “the youngest black student ever accepted to medical school.” She started out studying engineering in college, but switched to biology with a planned future in viral immunology to help fulfill her “passion for volunteering and going out there engaging with the world.”  And to cap off her special story, this very impressive young lady was adopted, and home schooled!!  She’ll be a physician already out practicing or researching, at about the same time most new American medical students are just beginning their studies!

Twenty-five-year-old Pizza delivery driver, Nicholas Bostic, of Lafayette, Indiana, was on his route early one morning when he spotted a house on fire.  He called authorities, then approached the home, calling out and then knocking on the front door.  Failing to get any response, he broke a front window and made his way into the house, then upstairs, where he found four sleeping children, ages one to 18, the latter obvious in charge with the parents not at home.  He got all those children out, then learned that a fifth child, a six-year-old, was still inside.  He alone re-entered the burning structure, found the child and exited through that same window.  All of the children made it out, uninjured. Mr. Bostic, however, “suffered severe smoke inhalation and arm lacerations, and was airlifted to a hospital in Indianapolis.”  As he began his recovery, a relative initiated a GoFundMe effort, that to date has raised over $400,000 to help with Bostic’s considerable medical bills.  This is a remarkable example of genuine, selfless heroism, clearly disregarding his own health and safety to rescue five children who otherwise would certainly have died in that fire.  We wish Nicholas Bostic all the best for a full recovery.  His courageous efforts are a true example of what right looks like.

On July 4th, at a Highland Park, Illinois parade, as we all remember hearing, a disturbed young man shot and killed seven Americans and wounded about 45 additional.  But this past Independence Day could have been remembered for a double tragedy, had it not been for a phone call from an anonymous woman in Richmond, Virginia, who overheard two men talking about shooting at parade goers in that city. She then acted responsibly by reported what she’d heard to police.  Police officers found the men in question, discovered several weapons and considerable ammunition in their home, and arrested the two.  Turns out both men are Guatemalan nationals, aliens, and one had even previously been deported!  No question, a human-lives tragedy was averted thanks to the concerned individual who called police.  “There is no telling how many citizens this hero citizen saved from one phone call … one phone call saved numerous lives on the Fourth of July,” said the police chief later.  Reminds us of the potential life-saving reality of that “See Something, Say Something” admonition.

Outside a church in Buffalo, Minnesota, there was sewer with its protective cover carelessly left off. A little four-year-old boy was trying his best to replace the cover by kicking it, but in so doing, actually ended up falling into the sewer, which was said to have been about 4-5-feet deep.  Also just leaving the church service, a 12-year-old girl, who happened to be a Girl Scout, witnessed the fall, ran over, and lying flat (or actually may have jumped in, the story was not clear), she managed to grasp the fallen boy’s hand to keep his head from going under the vile sewage water.  Either way, soon, an adult male was able to “pull both children from that sewer.”  The 4-year-old, drenched in sewage, and bruised, was taken to a local hospital for observation.  That boy’s mother was quick to credit that 12-year-old Girl Scout: “You saved him, and I don’t think he’d be here if you weren’t here.  I’m so thankful that God put you here today.” Great live-saving story of a young girl quickly reacting to an emergency.

Allegedly, in an attempt to separate church and state, the City Council in Haven, Kansas voted unanimously to remove decals from the city’s police cars that read “In God We Trust,” which the department’s officers had purchased with their own money.  Well, that decision didn’t sit well with many of the town’s citizens who were “outraged” by the un-pre-publicized removal vote.  At a subsequent “packed” Council meeting, the removal order was rescinded by a 3-2 vote.  Said one resident: “I think it’s important to our community. In town, we have multiple churches – it’s a big part of our community here.”  The “In God We Trust” decals were placed back again on all of Haven’s police vehicles. Interesting how Haven looks and sounds a whole lot like “Heaven.”

Finally for this edition, Illinois philanthropist Peter Kadens has stepped up big-time to help students, at five public high schools in Chicago, head for a better life hopefully well away from poverty. His non-profit organization, Hope Chicago, is making debt-free college possible for thousands of these students.  In addition, he, along with other donors, is also planning to pay for the cost of a secondary education (college or vocational school) for one parent or guardian of each assisted student.  Turns out that student retention rates can actually be higher among students who go on to school at the same time as a parent!  “Poverty is intergenerational.  We can’t solve poverty with one-generation solutions,” said Kadens.  With those selected Chicago inter-city schools, his goal is to “award 30,000 scholarships to college and vocational programs over the next 10-years for students and a parent.” There are no selection criteria for these scholarships. Said Kadens: “There are enough barriers and obstacles put up against these folks.  We put zero barriers up.  If you are sitting in this school (any of the five schools selected) as a freshman through senior year, you are going to college.” Major kudos to Peter Kadens for this remarkable helping-hand-up-out-of-poverty program for these very fortunate students.  It would be terrific to see a program like his spread out via many additional philanthropists throughout America! No tuition debt going in vs. potential full or partial federal government debt forgiveness at the other end (which also ‘forgives’ personal responsibility!!).


(Alena Wicker’s story via, Alex Oliveira, 7-20-22; Bostic heroism via, Ethan Letkeman, 7-20-22; Richmond tragedy averted via, John Binder, 7-7-22; Sewer rescue via, Nick Gilbertson, 6-16-22; Haven, Kansas police decals via, Nick Gilbertson, 5-19-22; Peter Kadens scholarship program via, Daniella Genovese, 5-17-22).