Hits and misses of President Obama’s final State of the Union address

Tuesday night was President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union.

Appropriate for the moment, his speech was retrospective, examining the work he was able to accomplish, and some of his shortcomings, over the past eight years.

Man orphaned by Rwandan genocide awarded full ride to Harvard

At just 9-years-old, Justus Uwayesu became an orphan and street beggar in Rwanda. He had not bathed in more than a year when an American charity worker, Clare Effiong found him.

Fast forward 13 years and Mr. Uwayesu isn’t just living in a different world, but rising through the academic ranks of not just his nation, but America’s. After learning English, French, Swahili and Lingala, the man, now 22, enrolled as a freshman at Harvard University on a full-scholarship. 

Poverty’s affects on children attending Philadelphia Public Schools


The city of Philadelphia was recently voted one of the most attractive cities to live in. From 2006 to 2012, the city’s population grew after declining for 50 years.

While Philly is enjoying success as the latest thriving city, its public school system hasn’t been without its flaws. According to a series produced by NPR, the city’s child poverty rate is close to 40 percent.

Poll: Majority of America wants to raise minimum wage


The U.S. government hasn’t raised its minimum wage since 2009. Those earning the minimum make $7.25 hr., an income bracket that is sure to keep them in poverty.

But according to a new Gallup poll, 58% of self-identified republicans would vote to raise the minimum wage to $9 hr.

From Gallup Politics:

“…more than three-quarters of Americans (76%) say they would vote for raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour (it is currently $7.25) in a hypothetical national referendum, a five-percentaged-point increase since March. About one-fifth (22%) would vote against this.”

U.S. Census: 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty

According to most recent data collected by the U.S. Census, 1 in 6 Americans are living in poverty. The number of poor people in the country is 3 million higher than the official count.

Out-of-pocket medical costs and work related expenses are believed to be the main causes for more people entering the lower income bracket. The data is part of a new measure released by the Census, which is aimed at providing a fuller picture of poverty in the country.

Congress would have to agree to adopt the new data, which would result in a higher poverty rate from year to year, as well as higher government payouts for aid programs.