The Wednesday Five: Good News Edition

In this week’s Wednesday Five, we share with you nothing but feel-good news: How a love of reading helped a woman go from homeless to Harvard; the ‘Ole School Supreme Dance Team’ of women over 40 has all the right moves; using the arts to promote healthy aging; a 100-year-old world record holder shares her running secrets; and the joy of family in photographs.




How A Love Of Reading Helped This Woman Go From Homeless to Harvard

5928397284_ac130525b4_bImage by Peretz Partensky via Flickr. (CC

These are Connie Chung’s numbers: 38 years old, 1 bachelor degree, 3 graduate degrees from Harvard, and 6 years being homeless on the streets of Los Angeles as young woman. What saved her? Committing to her education — even while homeless. Reporting on her story in GOOD magazine, Gila Lyons writes:

Chung performed well academically, though she admits she had some behavioral issues that went largely ignored. “[Teachers] weren’t equipped to deal with my needs and had no idea I was homeless… I didn’t talk about it until I was 25 years old,” she reflects. “I was surrounded by overachievers, many of whom were achieving more than me.”

Where is she now? Paying it forward, of course. Chung works for the Oakland anti-sex trafficking organization Misssey, committing her time helping young people that are homeless.

Read the full story at GOOD.

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‘Ole School Supreme Dance Team’ of Women Over 40 Has All the Right Moves

What the dancers of the for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks all have in common is their age: 40 plus that is! They are mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and retirees — and they are all heating it up on the dance floor. Read more at



Using the Arts to Promote Healthy Aging

In her recent column for The New York Times on Personal Health, Jane E. Brody writes about the powerful marriage between the arts and healthy aging:

“Across the country, the arts in their myriad forms are enhancing the lives and health of older people — and not just those with dementia— helping to keep many men and women out of nursing homes and living independently. With grants from organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institute on Aging, incredibly dedicated individuals with backgrounds in the arts have established programs that utilize activities as diverse as music, dance, painting, quilting, singing, poetry writing and storytelling to add meaning, joy and a vibrant sense of well-being to the lives of older people.”

Brody unpacks the growing number of arts programs around the country, centers dedicated to the study of aging, clinical studies, and documentary films chronicling the use of the arts in improving the lives of men and women as they age.

Read more at The New York Times.

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