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1 minutes | Nov 27, 2019
Changemakers Playground podcast - Episode #14 - CherylAnn Gengel, Be Like Brit
The organization Be Like Brit was born out of pain and tragedy. Britney Gengel was a college student who went on a missionary trip to Haiti in 2010. While she was there, Haiti suffered a catastrophic earthquake of 7.0 magnitude. For the next 33 days, Britney’s family didn’t know if she was alive, or whether she was one of the 300,000 who died. Sadly, on Valentine’s Day, they received the call that their beloved daughter was gone. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, Britney’s family rallied and decided to fulfill what ended up being Britney’s last wish, conveyed to them in the last text she ever sent, in which she said she wanted to come back and help the children of Haiti. Several years later, Brit’s Home in Grand-Goâve, Haiti was opened. The orphanage serves as home to 33 girls and 33 boys (representing the 33 days that Brit’s family waited to hear news of their daughter), ages 5‒18. The mission of Be Like Brit is to "continue the compassion of Britney Gengel by serving the children of Haiti through sustaining a safe, nurturing home rooted in the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love while developing a sense of social responsibility, community involvement and unconditional love.” Listen to the podcast to learn more about the important work they're doing!
29 minutes | Oct 29, 2019
Changemakers Playground - Episode #13 - Raquel Knight
Racquel Knight – who’s under 30! -- grew up in a small, rural district of Jamaica called Bellevue. Each school day, Racquel and her schoolmates would spend thirty minutes or more trying to find a desk or chair, or fighting over what little furniture was already there. If a chair had three legs, she would be forced to improvise, leaning it against the wall and manipulating her body weight to avoid falling. Other times, she would use her backpack as seating. This problem still exists today, especially in the rural areas of Jamaica where there is an increased need for classroom furniture. Chairs and desks are often broken or misplaced. As a result, students are either sent home, or left to sit on the floor, which makes it difficult to participate in class. During her college years, Racquel began to reflect on her experience in Jamaica. She decided to create One Chair 4 One Child (OC4OC) to address the need for furniture in rural Jamaican classrooms. OC4OC is working tirelessly to ensure that every school in Jamaica has adequate seating – and desks -- for students. Tune in to my interview with Racquel to learn how she makes it happen!
47 minutes | Jul 30, 2019
Changemakers Playground Episode #12 - Christopher Swan
Christopher Swan is on a big adventure! He travels around the country, interviewing unique and inspiring people for his podcast, My Big Story with Christopher Swan. In doing so, he’s sharing stories that would otherwise not be heard — stories that celebrate our inherent differences. These thought-provoking conversations are held with people that have taken chances and carved out uncommon paths. In them, Christopher talks with people about their ideas, dreams, and truths. In turn, his own story unfolds. Why does he go to all this trouble, schlepping recording equipment around the United States and paying for all of it out of his own pocket? To create a world where everyone belongs. Listen in to learn more about Christopher, his story, his passion and his vision for a world in which there's room for everybody!
54 minutes | Jul 9, 2019
Changemakers Playground Episode #11 - Give $1/Day
Give One Dollar a Day was born as a response to needs that several nurses in a Northern CA hospital were seeing on a daily basis ― the need to help families struggling to cope with a child who was seriously ill. The organization’s founders ― Amy, Shauna, and Brie ― discovered that it was too complicated and took too long to try to help these families by going through the hospital system. They also wanted to help families that didn’t necessarily have a child who needed hospitalization, but was still seriously ill. They formed Give One Dollar a Day to help ease the financial burden of children and families affected by illness. These women have seen families struggle to pay for things we might take for granted ― food while visiting the hospital, the parking fee, transportation to/from appointments and treatment. Give One Dollar A Day offers families support to get through what is likely one of the most difficult periods of their lives ― they help with bus passes, taxi fare, gas cards, grocery store gift cards, utility bills, rent, school supplies, car payments, housing expenses... Whatever it is that keeps the parent(s) up at night, they look to ease that burden. Imagine how many families they could help if each one of us would Give One Dollar A Day! To learn more about the work they're doing and how you can help -- or start something similar where you live! -- listen in!
26 minutes | Jun 13, 2019
Changemakers Playground Episode #10 - Roots of Music
The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders is a musical group of great fame and critical acclaim ― they’ve marched for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints; they performed for United States President Barack Obama. They’ve played with the Louisiana Philharmonic, and serenaded the inauguration of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. But what makes them really special is that the group is comprised of youth! This amazing group of kids represents a community effort that goes so much deeper than “merely” musical excellence for outstanding youth. Each year, and as an integral part of their mission, the organization serves on the order of 200 low-income youth from across New Orleans. In a time when community struggles can greatly hold back the growth, development, and achievement of our most precious resource ― young lives ― The Roots of Music has assembled an incredible change-making model that combines musical instruction and school tutoring, with nutritious meals and transportation, and which leads in turn to inspirational performances, community building, mentorship, pride, and personal success. Listen in to learn more about this amazing group and how they're changing lives for young people in New Orleans!
40 minutes | May 14, 2019
Changemakers Playground #9 - Judy Giovangelo & Ben Speaks
Can you imagine the pain of finding your child, dead? Now imagine the pain of knowing they committed suicide. As a Mom, I'm not sure I could go on after that. But somehow, Judy Giovangelo found the strength to transform the tremendous pain of losing her son Ben to suicide into an organization and a movement to help teens feel good about themselves and to provide them with the tools they need to be strong and resilient. Ben Speaks provides positive channels of expression for youth, families and communities through events, education and resources. Tune in to learn about Judy's journey and about how Ben Speaks is saving lives.
38 minutes | May 7, 2019
Changemakers Playground #8 - Rachel Gorham & the Healing Hands Project
Imagine being homeless. You've got nowhere to sleep, eat or bathe. Now imagine being a homeless woman, trying to negotiate your period. Less than ideal, right? When Rachel Gorham -- a nurse focused on women's health -- moved to Seattle, WA, she noticed the high number of homeless women and started talking to them about what life was like for them. It became clear that one of the top things she could do to help was to provide women with the supplies they needed to better manage their monthly cycle. The Healing Hands Project now distributes free menstruation kits to women around Seattle, working with area homeless shelters to get the kits in women's hands. Listen in to learn all about Rachel, the Healing Hands Project, and the difference it's making for homeless women in Seattle.
22 minutes | Mar 21, 2019
Changemakers Playground Podcast - Episode #7 - Liz Stookey Sunde
Growing up, Liz Stookey Sunde (daughter of Noel PAUL Stookey, of the famed folk trio, Peter, Paul & Mary) was profoundly influenced by the music her father was playing, the impact he had on audiences across the globe, and the social activism in which he was deeply involved. Liz is carrying on this legacy, combining music and activism as co-founder of their non-profit, Music to Life. Liz and her father believe that music, of all kinds, can serve as a catalyst and accelerator for social change and empowerment; as a tool to educate, recruit and mobilize people around issues. Listen to this episode of the Changemakers Playground to learn all about Music to Life and how they're creating social justice through music!
45 minutes | Feb 18, 2019
Changemakers Playground Podcast - Episode #6 - Hubie Jones
Wow. What can I say about Hubie? He started his career as a Changemaker in his 20s. Has been involved with the creation of more than 100 nonprofits (including City Year!) who do ground-breaking work. Has served as Dean of Boston University School of Social Work. Worked with mayors, governors, presidents. And at 86, is still at it! Listen to this episode to hear about what it takes to be a Changemaker for life!
39 minutes | Feb 4, 2019
Changemakers Playground Podcast - Episode #5 - Julia Saluck
Julia Saluck is only in high school, but is already making a world of difference -- literally! Each year, Julia travels to a different developing country to build a classroom for the area children, who have no place to attend school. She raises every penny she needs to make this trip, and gives up her spring break to do sweat-inducing, back-breaking labor. But it's a labor of love! To find out more about this extraordinary teen, listen to my interview with Julia, who's truly a Changemaker!
121 minutes | Jan 24, 2019
Changemakers Playground Podcast - Episode #4 - Dan Holguin
After finding his coach, mentor and father-figure dead, Dan Holguin's life headed in a downward spiral, costing him his job, his relationship, his truck and his home. Dan is now an American Ninja Warrior contestant and has been named one of the best fitness coaches in Montana for the past few years. Tune in to this episode of the Changemakers Playground Podcast to hear Dan's inspiring story and to learn how he went from down in the basement to the tops of the mountain!
33 minutes | Jan 7, 2019
Changemakers Playground Podcast - Episode 3 - Sarah Jenks
For years (and years and years!), Sarah Jenks struggled with her body. Her weight. Her appearance. Having gone through her own transformation, Sarah now helps women around the world come home to themselves. Listen in to learn all about Sarah, her journey, and about how you too can come home to yourself!
20 minutes | Dec 24, 2018
Changemakers Playground Podcast - Episode #2 - Simon Eber
From the age of 13, Simon Eber has been working hard to make a difference in the lives of Worcester, MA youth. Founder and Kid President of Simon Says Give - Worcester, Simon gives out backpacks stuffed with school supplies to hundreds of graduating 6th graders so they can start middle school on the right foot. He also throws and delivers birthday parties for kids who might not otherwise be able to celebrate. Listen in for a massive dose of inspiration from this extraordinary young man!
38 minutes | Dec 8, 2018
Changemakers Playground Episode 1 - Maggie Dunne
At age 17, Maggie Dunne made her first trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She was so brokenhearted by what she saw. Determined to do something to make life on the reservation easier, Maggie returned to Pine Ridge and established Lakota Children's Enrichment, a non-profit developed to empower Lakota youth. Tune in to learn about Maggie, her work, and the youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation and how Lakota Enrichment is changing their lives.
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