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Another deadline passed and we have two more winners! I know everyone is anxious to hear who won, but there are some formalities involved. I assure you that the winners will be announced once they are confirmed. Phase I participants (schools and youth groups) have one more month to complete any or all of the final three chapters of TH7 and be eligible to win a $1,000 gift certificate for school supplies.

As you work your way through TH7, you’ll notice that the clues are getting a bit tougher. No worries – I’m here to help. If you ever get really stuck, just leave a comment or email me (sherrykoch@thanksusa.org) and I’ll send you additional clues or direct you to a great research resource. This week, let’s focus on Chapter 5 Australia:

8.  In 1975 a Labor Party government instituted national health insurance in Australia.  Ten years earlier, in the United States, a Democratic Congress and installed health insurance for those 65 and older.  Though the Australian program covers all adults, both efforts adopted the same one-word name:

This chapter is all about finding the similarities between the two nations. Read each clue carefully because many hints are worked into the actual clues. Here are some additional facts to help you solve this one:

** Current U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney became eligible for the program on March 12, but declined to enroll at this time

** The Australian program had a slightly different name before adopting the moniker in 1984 during the Hawke Government

** The plans of both countries have their share of advocates and critics who wish to reform the programs to better serve their residents

** Although a Commonwealth of Australia, Norfolk Island is, for the most part, a self-governing territory that does not participate in this program

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Need some additional inspiration to finish Chapter 5? Gaze into the eyes of this cute joey…he has absolutely nothing to do with this clue, but he is from Australia and he’s too cute to ignore!

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Again, Phase I participants have four weeks left to finish up the final chapters of TH7. If there is a particular clue from any chapter that you would like to see addressed here, please leave a comment. Keep in mind that all Phase I participants are encouraged to register as Phase II (individual) participants and play on their own. Individual participants have until August 15 to complete TH7 and be eligible for prizes. Good Hunting!

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As a child, Whitney Benevides had amazing teachers who offered both inspiration and direction. Now, in her senior year of Elementary Education studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate, Whitney is looking forward to being an amazing teacher herself. To complete her studies, Whitney was awarded a $3000 EMC Corp/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship through ThanksUSA.

Whitney, Joey, and Ava Benevides

Whitney has always had a desire to help children and a trip to Africa with the Youth With A Mission organization helped shape her educational goals. Whitney worked closely with children left orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. Getting to know the children opened her heart and her mind. She realized that teaching young children was what she was meant to do. “It was heartbreaking to leave children who faced such loss. Photos just can’t convey what they live with,” reports Whitney.

Upon earning her BA, Whitney plans to work in the public school system. She has developed an understanding of the different learning styles of children and plans to use appropriate strategies to reach every child. Whitney explains, “What’s most important is the delivery of education. We need to move away from the lectures and make learning more interactive, more hands on, for students.”

Whitney believes that working within the public school system will allow her to help children who may need the most educational assistance. “My main goal is for each of my students to have the opportunity to live their dreams.  I have the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives and I will not take this privilege lightly,” says Whitney.

Although Whitney is a very outgoing and dedicated student, she is facing one of the most challenging times for a military spouse – the deployment of her husband, Airman First Class Joseph Benevides, United States Air Force.

Like most military spouses, Whitney is surviving deployment by keeping busy. She regularly volunteers with Vive Church and is mentoring a fellow education major. She has also put her studies to good use by working with struggling readers through Target Read and volunteering with Junior Achievement…all while maintaining a perfect GPA! She is also caregiver to Ava, the puppy that Joey gave her as a deployment companion.

The ThanksUSA team shares Whitney’s belief that every student deserves a great education and we are eager to see her impact the lives of students. In closing, Whitney shares her appreciation to our supporters:

“The EMC Corp/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship through ThanksUSA has lifted both a financial burden and my spirits. As a rising educator, having the support of my community is essential for my effectiveness in the classroom. I am eternally grateful for the generosity shown to me through this scholarship. Thanks to your support, in less than a year I will obtain my teaching degree and begin a new journey of transforming the lives of students.”

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