National and Massachusetts VFW Provide Hurricane Maria Relief to Puerto Rico

Video by Allyson Morin Article by Matt Benedetti Photos Courtesy of VFW Post 754 Post Commander Gamalier Rosa https://youtu.be/jw1MwjZvC7A In the fall of 2017, as the scale and scope of the damage from Hurricane Maria became apparent to Jose Santos-Alvarez, the Senior Vice Commander of VFW Post 12064. He knew his community of Ponce and …

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Singular Moments

https://youtu.be/aHv67lMxvNA This weekend, my younger sister Alexa came home for a visit. We had a great time exploring the woods and filming a video, which I have prepared for you today. She shares some perspective about the little moments in life by the river.

The Women Who Burned Mountains | Sneak Peak

Here is a sneak peak of my new work, The Women Who Burned Mountains. This story profiles the life and legacy of a strong line of mountain women who came to inhabit the MacTom house of Savoy, Massachusetts. These women were fiercely independent, morally-complicated characters who subverted the dominant narrative of the roles of women …

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The Power of Paws: Therapy Dogs Proven to Boost Mental Health

The stress of college weighs heavily on the mental health of many students. Therapy dogs can provide the answer for stress relief and self-care at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Through the Paws Program, Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, a group that places well-trained therapy dog teams in programs around New England, visits the Student Union …

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The Impacts of Dramatizing Mental Illness

Originally published on the Amherst Wire A man with schizophrenia stands atop a building with a stranger's baby in his arms in a whirlwind of delusions. A depressed student who has been bullied their whole life brings a gun to school and commits suicide by police. A beautiful young woman stares at her skin and …

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Twin History Teachers Combat Under-Performance in Springfield School

SPRINGFIELD, Mass--At Springfield’s High School of Commerce, two teachers are strikingly similar to one another. Both men are new hires teaching U.S. History in classrooms located along the same brightly lit hallway. Born in 1992, by 1999 the pair moved with their family from Chicago to Massachusetts. After graduating from Westfield State University they found …

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As My Grandmother Says, “Make Sure You Really Capture the Suffering.”

My grandmother Margaret starts her day by 2:30 a.m. every morning to carefully comb her feathery bangs into submission, vacuum the carpets, and walk the beagle. Like her dog, I too am forced to march along to certain traditions from time to time. Her no-nonsense attitude accepts nothing less--no matter the weather or whether any of us actually want …

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