Blog Posts by Ellen's Good News

  • Homeless Teen Proves Where There’s a Piano, There’s a Way

    When James Matthews had nothing else, he had his piano. Now, he also has Carnegie Hall.

    CAPTION HERE

    The 24-year-old pianist at the University of West Florida will be making his debut at the famed music venue this month after growing up in poverty, even living homeless at one point. Matthews is a music performance major on a scholarship, and was chosen to perform after winning honorable mention in the 2014 American International piano and strings competition.

    Matthews will perform on April 20th, and says he's still coming to terms with all that's transpired.

    "I am extremely nervous," Matthews tells the Good News Blog. "I can't believe that I am going to be there because I just entered the contest on a leap of faith."

    Matthews was raised in Lakeland, and has been playing the piano since the age of 3. He spends up to 10 hours a day practicing, and describes the instrument as a stronghold throughout the difficult times in his life.

    Determined to go to college, the young prodigy used his musical

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  • Where Emma Goes, Cinnamon Goes

    When Emma and Cinnamon go for a walk, every care in the world melts away… even the snow.

    In a YouTube video going viral, the toddler and her BFF mustang take a stroll down a wintery path, and it makes not only the twosome and cameraman happy, but the rest of us as well.

    The scene was captured at Justin Dunn Horsemanship, a ranch in Guffey, Colorado for building relationships between people and horses, and a camp for children with or recovering from cancer.

    Emma and Cinnamon have such a blast in the snow, the youngster barely has time to speak, except to say that she loves the horse.

    And we love Emma too.

    More of the Good News:
    Community Bans Together To Get a New Home... for a Horse
    The Award for Cutest Photoshopped Puppy Picture Goes to These People
    Nothing Comes Between This Goose and Her Retiree Boyfriend

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  • Is There Anything This 12-Year-Old Can't Do with a Soccer Ball?

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    Katelyn Penner spends her free time juggling a soccer ball around her hometown of Beaverton, Oregon. By juggling, we mean juggling nonstop while walking across the city, ordering at a drive-thru, playing on a park slide and sinking a basketball shot with her legs, and never dropping the ball.

    Exhibit A:

    The 12-year-old, who lives just outside Portland, has been playing the sport since she was 3, and has been participating in professional soccer player Yael Averbuch's YouTube challenges to take on tricks and film them. Katelyn currently plays for Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club, and says the sport allows her to express herself.

    "It gives me a sense to feel accomplished," Katelyn tells the Good News Blog. "I can express my talents."

    Up, around, over and through, Katelyn has been expressing herself in the community and online, periodically uploading videos and even getting a response from Averbuch to a move she created. As part of the pro's charge, Katelyn put together what she dubbed

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  • Guess Who: Your Family Edition!

    A brand new way to play Guess Who. (Photo: Reddit)If your stash of old games is gathering dust, here's a way to make them new again.

    A Redditor shared a pic of his personal game of Guess Who, with all the cartoon faces replaced with photos of his family members.

    This is a great way to remain familiar with relatives you don't get to see that often. Plus, you can ask if the person got sloshed at Thanksgiving last year, and know immediately who it is!

  • The Cast of 'The Lion King' Turns Air Travel into a Treat

    A plane full of lucky travelers had some seriously awesome mid-flight entertainment when the Australian cast of "The Lion King" broke into song!

    While traveling back to Sydney from Brisbane to announce the new season of the show, the cast delighted their fellow passengers and flight crew with an a cappella performance of "The Circle of Life."

    Never mind more leg room -- can every flight come with a Broadway cast?

    More of the Good News:
    Nurse Goes from Passenger to Hero When Pilot Falls Ill
    Nelson Mandela Honored with Flash Mob
    YouTube Performer's Unusual Passion Becomes Full Time Job

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  • Baby and Corgi Are the World’s Most Adorable Duo

    From the moment that Miriam and Chris Lowe brought their daughter Claire home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day last year, their 4-year-old Corgi named Wilbur has been totally fixated on her.

    "When Claire's doing tummy time on her blankie, Wilbur always comes up and lies down next to her," Chris, from San Francisco, tells the Good News. "Sometimes they just end up staring at each other!"

    "I think he's just like a worried big brother," he continues. "He's fine when people play with her and pick her up, but he always has to sit and watch them do it. He follows us wherever we carry her throughout the house."

    Check out a gallery filled with photos of this precious pair, and keep up-to-date on their future adventures at Claire & Wilbur.

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  • Adorable Puppy Defies His Fear of Heights

    The only way to get over your fear of jumping off the couch is to face it head on and feet first, as Pierre the French bulldog proves in this adorable video.

    Posted to YouTube by Pierre's owner Ann Poirier, the puppy took his first leap off the sofa when he was a mere 9 weeks old after some intense debating, a good stretch, and the realization it was the only way back to his doggy bowl.

    Remember, if Pierre can do it, so can you!

    More of the Good News:
    Puppy and Little Boy Make Adorable Napping Duo
    Puppy Does Great Impression of What Everyone Feels like in the Morning
    The Award for Cutest Photoshopped Puppy Picture Goes to These People

     

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  • This Talented Dad Made His Son’s Superhero Fantasies a Reality

    Dreamworks animator Daniel Hashimoto has worked on movies like "Kung Fu Panda" and "How to Train Your Dragon," but his favorite films have been the ones he makes with his 3-year-old son, turning ordinary playtime into thrilling scenes right out of an action movie.

    Hashimoto, who goes by "Hashi," works as a Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks, but really loves to create visual effects. "I've been playing with my son James, and he has a really great imagination," Hashi tells the Good News blog. "He'll always wake up and tell me the character he is that day."

    "One morning he was being Iron Man and he was blasting everything in the kitchen," recalls Hashi. "And so I decided to film it and composite a laser in there."

    He posted the video, updated with fancy special effects, on his Facebook page, and got an overwhelmingly positive response from friends and family. Hashi decided to keep making videos, sharing them on YouTube under the channel name The Action Movie Kid.

    "The first couple

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  • 14-Year-Old Could Save Government Nearly $400 Million Dollars

    It took a ninth-grader to come up with a simple solution that could save the U.S government $400 million annually, and it all revolves around the type of font used on paperwork.

    CAPTION HERE

    Suvir Mirchandani, a 14-year-old who lives just outside of Pittsburgh, began researching the general cost of ink and printing when as part of a science project he was in the sixth grade at Dorseyville Middle School, and determined that his local school system could save $21,000 a year if it switched from a font like Times New Roman to one with narrower strokes like Garamond.

    He used a computer software program to calculate the difference, and published his results in the Journal of Emerging Investigators. Shortly thereafter, he was asked by the Journal to calculate potential savings if the federal government similarly switched fonts.

    That total came to about $370 million.

    "The change is easy to make, but the results are so impactful," Suvir tells the Good News Blog. "I was really surprised."

    Interested in both

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  • This Amazing Program Knows that Art Can Change Lives

    One of Los Angeles' most inspiring programs helps kids in need in the simplest way -- through art supplies and unending support.

    Free Arts for Abused Children brings free therapeutic and healing art programs to children who have experienced abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness. It's no surprise that kids in these stressful situations are desperately in need of an outlet to express themselves.

    The organization, referred to as Free Arts, was founded in 1977 in Malibu, CA by two art therapists. "They knew the healing power of art, and that's really our motto -- art heals," the program's community liaison Trevi Fountain tells the Good News blog.

    The program is comprised of volunteers who travel to shelters, group homes and community resource centers throughout L.A. County. Their programs offer kids aged 4 through 18 the opportunity to do arts and crafts projects, as well as other artistic activities like dance, improv and singing.

    One of their programs, called PACT, provides an

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