How 20-Year-Old Jaden Smith Saved Flint, Michigan's Water

How 20-Year-Old Jaden Smith Saved Flint, Michigan's Water

Jaden Smith decided to create "The Water Box" which will filter out the harmful lead in the water.

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When hearing the town Flint, Michigan, most people think about their water crisis that occurred three years ago. We saw headlines, read articles, and even sent thoughts and prayers to the Flint residents. However, even with all these thoughts and prayers, there was still no action being taken to help filter their tap water. Years later, residents of the town are still hesitant to drink their own tap water in fear of cross-contamination.

The Flint water crisis started in the spring of 2014 when officials decided to switch the city's water supply from Detroit to sourcing it out of their local river. This change occurred because the government officials wanted to save some money, so rather than paying Detroit for their water, they decided to get it where it's more local. It was soon after this switch that residents noticed the color and scent of the water, and it seemed out of the ordinary. But this issue didn't get acknowledged until October of 2014 when it was discovered that lead had been contaminating their waters. The company General Motors decided to remove the local Flint water from their plant because it was corroding the engine parts.

In the Spring when then the issue was addressed, the city closely examined the water levels and tested the lead. The amount of lead was 13,000 per billion, which means that one glass of the lead-infused water was enough to leave a child hospitalized. A pediatrician and Flint water activist, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, decided to take action into her own hands. She analyzed the data in the Hurley Children's Clinic where she worked and found that the number of kids with high lead levels had doubled (some even tripled) after the water contamination. Dr. Hanna-Attisha urged parents of young children to avoid tap water.

Three years later, and Flint, Michigan is still having an issue with the filtration of their tap water. Jaden Smith is a well-known person in the media; he has acknowledged the crisis in Flint and taken action to help restore the quality. Smith, at just 20-years old, has created his own foundation and partnered with First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church to get clean water. They have designed "The Water Box" which will eliminate lead and other harmful contaminants that are found in the tap water. Previously, the church had donated 5 million bottle waters to residents, but that has a large carbon footprint and bottled water donations are declining. Therefore, the new Water Box will replace the bottled water distribution and solve the ongoing problem.

Jaden Smith created a company called JUST water, which is made from a paper-based bottle and a sugar cane lid! Smith has looked to reduce the amount of plastic that we use on a daily basis, starting with how we drink our water. The company prides itself on having 100% sustainably sourced spring water, so you can be confident that it's safe and beneficial for the environment.

Jaden Smith is the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and he is well known for his music and acting career. Smith released his newest album in 2018 called The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story. Jaden has become a social icon, with over 11 million Instagram followers. He is also known for hanging out with model Jordyn Woods and Kylie Jenner

Jaden Smith has been a true leader in this crisis, and it is mind-blowing how it took a 20-year old to step up and find a solution to this three-year problem. It is so admirable to see a person in the media do something for the environment and for the residents of this town. They have been on a journey of dirty water for so long, and I hope that Smith's foundation, as well as the Church, can help eliminate some of that unnecessary stress.

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18 Times Kate Middleton Was Actually All Of Us In College, Beside The Princess Thing

Every girl has to go through her clueless college stage before she reaches Duchess status.
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Kate Middleton is basically a household name by now, and how could this not be the case when she has the gorgeous hair, kind smile, and incredible fashion sense. With her constantly in the spotlight looking so put together, we sometimes forget that the Duchess was actually all of us in college!

Here are 18 times that Kate proved she was just like all of us.

1. Going all out in the name of school spirit

There is nothing like breaking out the war paint and screaming for your home team. Like Kate, we all love to get a little messy and make some memories with our friends.

2. Hanging out with the roomies

Some people may not get lucky in this area but for those who are best friends with their roommates, they understand the love. It's a dream come true for everyone who has always wanted to live with their best friends. It's like a sleepover that never ends.

3. Dressing up cute on the first day of school...

You got to make a good first impression on your way to school. Whether it's during your 7 A.M or 4 P.M., it's always best to dress to impress.

4. ...and wearing yoga pants for the rest of the year

And this goes all the way until the last week of school when you don't bother getting out of bed to wear pants at all.

5. Going grocery shopping and throwing in cookies, ice-cream, and every type of Pringles because your mom isn't there to say no

You'll probably regret that in a few months when the Freshman Fifteen kicks in.

6. Walking for miles from your car to your dorm carrying groceries

We can't park by the apartment for a solid five minutes to carry our groceries up to the kitchen or we will risk a ticket, but we can walk a few miles carrying food that gets heavier, and heavier, and heavier with every step.

7. Going out for a night on the town on a Friday night

Dancing, laughter, and fun? Everyone in college has been to a party or two. It's a classic part of the college experience. Sometimes you just need a distraction from all the essays and tests.

8. Being so late to class you threw on whatever your hands grabbed next

We've all been there. Our alarm doesn't go off, we press snooze a few too many times, or forget to even set an alarm and next thing you know we are running around the dorm room like Taz from Looney Toons. You throw on whatever, then run to class.

Unfortunately 9/10 times our outfits don't turn out. Although, Kate can certainly pull off this look, no matter how mismatched.

9. Pretending your walking to the same building as the cute boy you met so you have the excuse to keep talking to him

I am very guilty of doing this. Although I missed my class, at least I got to talk to the really cute boy who has class at 9:45 in the STEM building. It was worth it.

10. Sitting on the floor or standing because you're a poor college student who can't afford chairs or tables

Eating on the floor? Always. Being a college kid is tough and sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to obtain the others. Such as choosing chocolate milk and Halo Top over vegetables and hair conditioner.

Judging by Kate's beautiful locks, she chose the conditioner.

Probably the vegetables too.

We should just all follow her example.

11. Going on cute date with the boy you followed to class-turned-boyfriend

Now my short-lived romance may not have extended farther than us talking and walking to his class, but Kate and William obviously had a better ending. Nevertheless, college is the place to grow and date and possibly find the one.

12. Keeping your hair long and growing because you can't afford to get it cut

Don't trust your roommate. No matter how many times she begs you to let her cut it. Don't.

13. Turning 21 and getting dressed up and going out with your best friends

While this one probably doesn't apply to Kate, since you can drink at age 18 in most countries, all my people in the United States know the sweet freedom of turning 21. It's an iconic time in a students life and marks a huge milestone as well.

14. Passing out flyers for some type of movement or protest

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger - which is why college is the time to stand up for what you believe in. May that be RedforEd, Planned Parenthood, anti-Abortion, Trump, the Wall, pizza bagels, it's all an exercise of the first amendment.

15. Ranting to your friends about the professor that just "doesn't understand you"

You know your thinking about that professor right now as you read this. And you know that that's your reaction whenever they give you a bad grade or say something you disagree with at the tiniest degree.

16. Getting glammed-up for those senior photos

Pick out your best outfit and make sure it's a good hair day because everyone will be viewing these photos forever... and in Kate's place that is more than true. Luckily she looks as gorgeous as ever. Does she ever have a bad hair day?

17. Walking out of your last class knowing you'll never have to write a single paper again

And purposefully not thinking about how you will be going into the real world in less than a few days.

18. When you've graduated and realized you have no idea what you're going to do with your life

Maybe a prince will be right around the corner to sweep you off your feet so you won't have to figure your life out.
Cover Image Credit: Laura Warshauer

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The Kate Spade Foundation Follows Through On Their Million Dollar Promise

One year and a million dollars later, the fight against mental health issues continues.

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Going through a mental illness can be one of the most isolating and lonely feelings known to man. When you're in that state of mind it's hard to imagine that anyone could feel as bad as you do right then and there let alone have gone through something similar. Not only that, but many people will suffer in silence, avoiding speaking up or asking for help. Which, if anyone who's battled a mental illness would know, is not an uncommon feeling.

It's hard to speak up and ask for help, especially with something that feels so deeply personal and at times hard to describe. Many people find ways to cope and regain a balance in their lives. Many others never find that balance.

Roughly one year ago, on June 5, 2018, Kate Spade took her own life after battling depression and anxiety for nearly her entire life. It seemed completely out of the blue and nearly everyone was taken aback. But that's the nature of mental illness in some ways. We don't understand the severity or how deeply someone may have been struggling with their mental illness until it's too late.

The reality of mental health is often harrowing, especially when it comes to access to help. An increasing number of Americans are seeking help for a mental health condition but millions still remain with unmet needs or an undiagnosed condition. Many states with a mental health work provider workforce have only one worker for every four individuals requesting therapy.

But there are organizations across the nation who are working to make mental health care not only more accessible but affordable as well. The Kate Spade New York Foundation has just completed their $1 million donation pledge to mental health services such as The Jed Foundation and the Crisis Text Line.

Kate Spade's death, alongside those such as Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams, proved to many of us that mental health issues affect us all regardless of our wealth, fame or status. In the time following their deaths, I felt that we've become more honest with ourselves and worked hard to destigmatize mental health as a whole. Her death raised the conversation surrounding mental health to new levels that I don't think had previously been touched. Regardless, there's always more work to be done and we should all aspire to live in a world where those affected with these illnesses no longer feel alone.

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