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Spider-Man Becomes the Latest Big Movie to Adopt a Social Cause

Sony is encouraging Spider-Man fans to make a difference by volunteering. Cheap promotional stunt? I appears not.

Last summer Spider-Man got a makeover in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, morphing the character from the traditional Peter Parker we all know into half-black, half-Latino Miles Morales, a teen whose family was trying to get him into a charter school. While the latest Spidey film, Sony's upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man, takes us back to the Peter Parker era, the studio took a new-school approach to the character's heroism through Tuesday's "Be Amazing, Stand Up and Volunteer" day of service.

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Formerly Homeless Student Starts Nonprofit to Help His Peers Get to College

19-year-old student Orayne Williams got his first home when he went to college. Now he's working to get other homeless teens there, too.


Nineteen-year-old New York City student Orayne Williams knows a lot about how to avoid becoming a statistic. Last year Williams, who was abandoned by his family when he was 12 and spent his teen years living in homeless shelters, managed to graduate from high school with honors and enrolled at Manhattanville College on a full scholarship. His campus dormitory was his first non-shelter home in years.

His achievements are so inspiring that the New York Daily News made him their success story of 2010 and their readers generously donated $15,000 to him. But Williams is determined to not be a happy exception. Last November, he founded a new nonprofit, the Progressive People Movement, Inc, which hopes to help at-risk "youth break free from the cycles of homelessness, incarceration, poverty and failure."

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