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The Most Inspiring Stories of 2017 You Need to Know About

  • 16. Artist Born Without Hands Draws Stunning Photo-Realistic Portraits Polish-based Mariusz Kędzierski was shockingly born without hands, and yet not even that could stop him from pursuing a career as an artist. "For me, a disability doesn’t mean that I can’t live my own, great life," he tells The Huffington Post. Kędzierski has created over 700 hyper-realistic drawings by balancing a pencil against the ends of his arms. He says of his work, "Each drawing takes me more than 20 hours. But if you want to be the best, you have to practice, and you can not look for any excuses." Follow all of his uploaded masterpieces on Facebook. Mariusz-Kedzierski-Art-8  
  • 17. A Tearful Reunion of a Refugee Father with his Family After 4 Years This film by Robert Fuqua shows the heartwarming reunion between a Sudanese mother and children, who had moved to America in 2012, and the father, Dyan, who had stayed behind in a refugee camp until the immigration process had been finalized. Dyan's wife was pregnant when she first arrived in the U.S. and was quickly taken under the care of a Christian ministry called The Village Church. She was unsure if her two sons would ever see their father again. And then, just a few months ago, Dyan's immigration status was approved. This video shows the moment when Dyan steps off the plane and sees his wife, his eldest son, and for the first time, the newest addition to his family. He is home again, and you can feel the love. [embed]https://vimeo.com/192009410[/embed]
  • 18. Teacher Inspires His Students to Learn With the Power of Music In a school with a high poverty rate and below-average reading levels, teacher Michael Bonner knew he had to find an innovative and unorthodox method to get his students back on track. He offered his second-grade class at South Greenville Elementary School in Greenville, North Carolina a deal: pass the next test and they would shoot a classwide music video. And guess what? It worked! Their first video went viral, and after meeting Ellen DeGeneres in Los Angeles, they even shot a professional video with rapper Big Sean. Now, the class is finishing up their fourth music video for passing another test. They write their own truthful lyrics like "We got a lot of good grades though, if your teacher don't trust you, he gon' get you ey" and "Reading helps us learn information for school so we can answer questions and we can be cool." Bonner tells NBC Nightly, "I think it's bigger than a music video now. I think they understand that 'man, we can really do this.'" For more information, check out this reported video from NBC Nightly News: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/inspiring-america-teacher-motivates-students-with-music-891473475958