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5 Good Things: Proud calls, free tuition, woman beats cancer & more
CNN 5 Things
Mar 2, 2024

Some elementary school students can’t wait to call home each week and share their good news! A historic donation means some future doctors won’t be burdened with debt when they graduate. A New Jersey woman is cancer free, after trying a new, game-changing treatment. An 8-year-old chess prodigy made history. Plus, which state really has the best pizza?

For some more goodness on Saturdays, sign up for CNN's The Good Stuff newsletter.

Episode Transcript
Krista Bo:
Hey there! At CNN, we believe in keeping you in the loop with what's going on in the world. We get it, though. Sometimes it can be a lot to take in. That's why we're switching things up. Starting today, each Saturday, we'll take a breather from the breaking news and focus on stories that remind us of the good stuff happening. You know, the kind of stuff that brings a smile to your face. Maybe even makes you giggle a little. You'll hear from some really cute kids who are very proud of themselves. Plus, how some med school students lives were changed this week.
Sam Woo:
I don't have to work two jobs. I can focus more on my academics. I can focus more on things that I'm passionate about.
Krista Bo:
From CNN, I'm Krista Bo, and this is 5 Good Things.
Principal Katy Lumb
Hi, can I please speak with Meghan? Hi, can I please speak with Vicki? Hi, can I please speak to Daniel?
Krista Bo:
Getting a call from the principal's office usually isn't a good thing. Well, an elementary school in upstate New York makes it a point to let kids call home to share some good news.
Principal Katy Lumb
Tell mommy why you're calling.
I'm getting a proud call!
Hazel's parent
Oh, honey, that is so amazing. I'm so proud of you.
Oliver's parent
Hey, buddy.
Hey, I got a proud call.
Oliver's parent
I'm so proud of you, bud.
Krista Bo:
Richard Mann Elementary School has this really sweet program where a group of students get to call their parents or guardians to tell them all about their good deeds or accomplishments at school.
I'm kind to other people, and I'm really, driven and united.
Jacken's parent
For having a positive attitude and being responsible helper.
Jacken's parent
Oh, that is amazing.
And I was the best at my reading test.
Principal Katy Lumb
You did a great job on your reading?
I was the best one to do it.
Krista Bo:
It's called the Proud Calls program, led by Principal Katy Lumb.
Principal Katy Lumb
It's important that every child comes to school every day and feels like they belong. It doesn't take winning a gigantic award or acing a test for us to feel proud of who they are in school.
Krista Bo:
Students at Albert Einstein School of Medicine got the gift of a lifetime earlier this week.
Dr. Ruth Gottesman:
I'm happy to share with you that starting in August this year, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine will be tuition free.
Krista Bo:
A historic $1 billion donation from former faculty member Dr. Ruth Gottesman means every student will get free tuition from now on. Now, this is no doubt a dream for the students, but for some, this also means the world to their families.
Trevor Barker:
I try to send money home to my mom and I'm going to help take care of her after medical school. So she was the first person I called.
Krista Bo:
Trevor Barker is a first year student at the school. He takes out loans, gets Snap benefits, and has two part time jobs.
Trevor Barker:
My mom is a very spiritual person, so she's like, I've been praying for this for a long time and and she's really happy. Once it really hit her, she just broke down and started crying.
Krista Bo:
Sam Woo is in a similar boat. He told us he tries to send home money to his family, on top of juggling loans and part time work.
Sam Woo:
I think with everyone I felt shocked, I felt emotional. I don't have to work two jobs. I can focus more on my academics. I can focus more on things that I'm passionate about.
Debra Marsdale:
So I just, in my heart, had a feeling that all things were going to lead to the yellow brick road and the rainbow at the end.
Krista Bo:
That rainbow at the end Debra Marsdale's talking about is her cancer free diagnosis. Her doctor says she was the first person in the world to try a new treatment for metastatic melanoma, a rare but deadly form of skin cancer. It works by extracting a person's own immune cells from their tumor, where they can then be replicated and then essentially supercharged and infused back into the patient to fight the cancer. The treatment was just approved by the FDA two weeks ago. Debra was part of the experimental trial. She told me it was a grueling process, both physically and emotionally, because she was diagnosed shortly after she lost her husband to cancer.
Debra Marsdale:
The thing I really care about most is that this is definitely going to save more lives.
Krista Bo:
But she still has some unfinished business to take care of up at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper University Hospital.
Debra Marsdale:
Everybody rings the bell. So when I'm up there one of those days, I'm going to ring that sucker.
Krista Bo:
An eight year old chess prodigy made history by becoming the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster in a classical game over the board.
Ashwath Kaushik:
I knew I could beat him. I'm proud of my game and how I played.
Krista Bo:
Ashwath Kaushik from Singapore defeated 37 year old Jacek Stopa in the fourth round of the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open in February. You can tell Ashwath really loves chess just by how much he plays.
Ashwath Kaushik:
On weekends I practice 7 to 8 hours. I want to be a world champion when I grow up.
Krista Bo:
Coming up, we'll tell you which state says it has the best pizza. Or at least they think it does. Can't get enough of all this goodness? Well, then you've got to sign up for CNN's The Good Stuff newsletter. For a weekly dose of more uplifting news and cute animal videos straight to your inbox every Saturday. You can find the link to sign up in our show notes, or you can head to Alright, which state first comes to mind when you think of good pizza? Well, Connecticut's governor went ahead and recently declared New Haven the pizza capital of the US.
Gov. Ned Lamont:
It was voted on unanimously. We did not allow New York or New Jersey to vote.
Krista Bo:
CNN's Taylor Galgano is with me. So Taylor, personally, as someone born and raised in Jersey, I don't know if I agree with Connecticut on this one.
Taylor Galgano:
Okay, but Krista, didn't you tell me that you like pineapple on your pizza? So I don't know if we should really be taking your word for it.
Krista Bo:
Hey, lots of people like pineapple pizza. Don't knock it until you try it.
Taylor Galgano:
Fine, fine. You're right. Maybe I have met 1 or 2 people, but honestly, I have my own issues with this. Because what about New York? I feel like New York has really good pizza.
Krista Bo:
'Seems like we have a Tri-State debate on our hands.
Taylor Galgano:
Well, then I'm actually going to add to that debate because I talked to some New Yorkers about this, and they had quite a bit to say about it.
New Yorker:
I mean, I guess like we have to give them something like New York is better in everything else, so we'll throw them a bone, I guess, with pizza.
New Yorker:
I guarantee you that 100% New York has the best pizza.
Taylor Galgano:
Why do you think that is?
New Yorker:
Because it's New York, cmon now!
New Yorker:
I mean, I know Connecticut's got, like, really good spots in like New Haven and things like that, but like, for me, it's all about that New York slice.
Krista Bo:
Alright, that's all for now. Join us tomorrow for the next edition of One Thing. Host David Rind sits down with CNN's Josh Campbell to discuss the fentanyl crisis in the U.S., and how one city is stepping up to try to address it there. 5 Good Things is a production of CNN Audio. This episode was produced by Taylor Galgano and me, Krista Bo. Our senior producer is Faiz Jamil. Greg Peppers is our Supervising Producer. Matt Dempsey is our production manager. Dan Dzula is our Technical Director and Steve Lickteig is the Executive Producer of CNN Audio. We got support from Joey Salvia, Haley Thomas, Alex Manasseri, Robert Mathers, Jon Dianora, Leni Steinhardt, Jamus Andrest, Nichole Pesaru, and Lisa Namerow. Special thanks to AJ Willingham, David Allen, and Katie Hinman. Thanks for listening. Till next time.