The Week (US)
It wasn’t all bad
■■ The classes of 2020 and 2021 at Wilberforce University in Ohio got a welcome surprise at graduation. “Because we are in awe of your strengths and perseverance, we wish to give you a fresh start,” said university president Elfred Anthony Pinkard. Wilberforce, a historically Black college, erased more than $375,000 in student debt owed to the college through funding from nonprofit organizations. “I couldn’t believe it when he said it,” said graduating student Rodman Allen. “I can use that money and invest it into my future.”
■■ Five strangers banded together to drive 600 miles on a rescue mission: to save an injured pigeon. The plan was coordinated over social media by Mel Tillery, who found the bird sprawled in the middle of the road in Baltimore. Tillery contacted Danielle Ramsey of the Ramsey Loft pigeon advice blog, who suggested the best hope was bringing the pigeon to Ramsey’s aviary in Georgia. Tillery set out in the early afternoon for the first leg of the trip to Herndon, Va., where she passed the pigeon to the second driver. Finally, “Passenger” arrived at Ramsey’s home at 2 a.m. “When am I going to get another chance to participate in a pigeon rescue caravan?” asked Mae Kwong-Moses, the last driver.
■■ A Michigan judge’s decision to give Edward Martell probation instead of a yearslong prison sentence for drug dealing changed Martell’s life forever. In 2005, Judge Bruce Morrow challenged him to instead become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. “You have greatness within you,” Morrow said as he gave him his number. Martell worked his way up, first enrolling in community college, then graduating from undergraduate and law school, all the while staying in close contact with Morrow. After overcoming many obstacles, Martell, now 43, stood before Morrow again—this time to be sworn in as a lawyer. “I just cried like a baby,” Martell said.