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A few weeks ago, I found Acorns. The app is still in beta and is being released slowly but from what I have seen thus far it is pretty amazing.

You connect a bank account and all of your spare change (ex. if you spend $1.48, it will pull $.52) will be invested in a diversified portfolio of your choosing. You are able to see your positions and your account balance is always shown in real time. You can even add additional money if you feel like it. I added an extra $5 this month just because!

What’s neat is they give you a projection of what your account will look like with variables (the length you leave your investments and the amount you invest each month) that you can adjust. Currently, I am investing in a moderately aggressive portfolio and I am looking to make around $500 over the course of 10 years. It may not sound like much but that coming from $.65 here and there is impressive!

There are still a good amount of bugs on the app, lots of crashing and pages that won’t load but the idea and the interface is pristine. It also helps that if at any point I don’t like the app, I can pull all of my investments for only a 1% charge!

But Acorns looks like a keeper and so I will let my investments grow!

Last year I worked at a chain restaurant, one that will remain undisclosed. It was a nice establishment, the kind that makes the same food no matter what location you go to, and is consistently lauded for their attention to customers’ needs. It was an interesting experience that gave me a greater perspective in regards to social mobility in America… or the lack thereof. There were five things that were made very clear to me while at that restaurant; some things I already knew but didn’t quite understand and others that made me reevaluate my position in a lot of debates with friends, professors and even family.

1. The lower middle class and working class work harder than any other.

I don’t say this with disrespect toward any other class but when put in perspective I have never seen such intense labor worked with such little return. There is a very popular misconception that the poor are lazy and though I never believed that statement, being a part of their daily process gave me a much greater understanding to their plight. Most of my coworkers worked two full time jobs, making less than most people earn at part time jobs. At my job alone, they were on their feet for at least 8 hours, oftentimes more… Multiply that by two and subtract it from 24 and you get a measly 8 hours to find time to care for your children, shop for necessities, budget the little money you have, and somewhere in between that all, sleep… to then get up and do it again.

2. There is a direct link between class and health.

Much of the political debate surrounding health care revolves around institutions that do and don’t provide insurance and though that is a very pertinent and important conversation that needs to be had, we need to start thinking about the way in which jobs continue this cycle of poor health, both mental and physical. I have worked in both the corporate sector and now the food industry and there is a great divide in the care that is given to employees. Why is it that when I work eight hours at a desk, sitting down all day, I get an hour break (sometimes more!) but when I was standing on my feet for nine or ten hours, I got 30 minutes to rest? I became so physically exhausted that while having a conversation with my manager I started to fall over, I would literally roll and fall out of bed in the morning, and my words became so jumbled that people no longer took me seriously. This is the start of many, many health issues and is what contributes to preexisting conditions… what insurers deny you for… so sad.

3. College is not the golden ticket out.

We need to stop convincing the youth that they need to let go of their dreams, the excitement they have for art, and the passion they demonstrate for all the things they love that are considered ‘impractical’. It is all of those things that employers look for… passion, dedication, and imagination. There were a handful of people working with me who had graduated from college with majors that were considered the best: Chemistry, Biology (on the premed track), Philosophy (with a concentration in law). Having a college degree does not make you stand out anymore. Going to college doesn’t set you apart. It is your attitude and your drive and your perseverance in the midst of trials that will ultimately make you different, find you a job, and help you move forward. We need to teach our children that. We need to support organizations that are teaching our children that. My generation, the youth, they are the future and rather than making our future diverse, we are populating it with people who indistinguishable, with college degrees that no longer mean anything.

4. The number of managers (and people in general) who perpetuate sexist agendas, who are blatantly racists, or care too little to stand up for their workers (or other people in general) far outweigh the good.

That is a problem. How can anything be different when we let the people who are supposed to lead us damage us? How can we promote diversity when those who are charged with finding it, hate it? How can we teach others to care for their neighbor when we sit and watch our neighbor be taken advantage of?

5. I will never fully understand.

Though I worked at my restaurant and dealt with all of the issues that I mentioned above, I had a way out. I had a choice. I decided that I didn’t want to take the mistreatment or exhaustion anymore so I quit. I was able to do so because I have a supportive mother and I am more privileged than I’d sometimes like to admit. I decided I would just look elsewhere for a job. I had a choice when so many other people don’t. Though I now understand more than most, I will truly never understand what it means to be stuck in the place you are and search so hard for resources that were never truly meant for me.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t fight. I resolve to be different. I resolve to take a stand for those who don’t think they can on their own. I will no longer wait.

**This post was originally published on MomsRising.org with minor edits.** 

This blog post is written in collaboration with Neutrogena & Latina Bloggers Connect. Though I have been compensated to write this post, all opinions herein are my own.

My face is incredibly sensitive. Sadly, it always has been. As a young teen, I struggled with acne and now as a man leaving my teenage years behind I get painful, razor bumps when shaving too often. It also probably doesn’t help that I use generic soaps and lotions to wash and care for my face…

So, when I was given the opportunity to partner with Neutrogena I jumped at the chance. My friends have always spoken highly of their products and have pushed me to spend the extra few bucks to get a face wash, lotion and shave cream that was not only made for sensitive skin but maintained a great smell upon application. Now, I understand why their recommendations were always so strong and why America has made Neutrogena the #1 skin-care line for men!

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Neutrogena sent me a bottle of Invigorating Face Wash which is clinically proven to improve skin’s healthy look while not over-drying; the gel cleanser also has a really great cooling lather. Additionally, I received not one, but two, products from the Razor Defense Line: The Shave gel and Daily Face Scrub. The Shave Gel protects the face from both cuts and razor bumps and The Daily Face Scrub actually builds your skin’s resistance to razor irritation! Finally I received the Triple Protect Face Lotion which has SPF 20 sunscreen. As I am going abroad in the next few months, having a lotion that protects my face from my own silly mistakes and the sun’s harmful effects is a must!

These neutrogena products have really made me reevaluate the way I care for myself. As a man, I find that there is not enough stress placed on how important our face actually is (not just for attracting people) but for overall health. It may seem silly but caring for my face in this way and watching my skin really light up has encouraged me to care for my body more completely and I know it will only get better from here!