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Articles

Jake Hanrahan: Irregular Warfare

As audiences turn from mainstream news reporting, independent journalism is gaining in popularity and trust. Riveting stories of conflicts and crime on the world stage are brought to us by journalists who accept the risk of putting themselves in harms way. They do it to get the story behind today’s headlines so the rest of us can know what’s actually happening in the world. One such independent journalist is Jake Hanrahan of the UK, who brings us stories from some of the world’s most dangerous hotspots. His firsthand reporting also covers the underworld of organized crime, exposes extremist political views, and dives into conspiracy theories. Take a look at his showreel to see what takes to get the story… Journalistic Integrity at Stake In an interview with Defiance, Hanrahan shares his view on why audiences are becoming distrustful of mainstream news, “Because a lot of people are getting sick of what they’re seeing every day. It’s not just kooky people. Normal people now, everybody is just going like, ‘Hang on, I’m sick of this. I’m sick of being told what

April Braswell: Breaking the Ice with People

Getting into a Conversation Comfortably, Confidently, and Casually When the Holiday season is in full swing, this is a particularly easy time of year to break the ice with people every day of the week. Whatever the time of year or season, there is often a seasonal event or occasion upon which you can lean to assist you in how you break the ice with people who are complete strangers. This can assist you whether you’re a single looking to date and get more comfortable and socially skilled or a new sales person needing to sell items, services, or just yourself as a professional. Developing your ease and agility for breaking the ice with people stands you in good stead in all social and business professional interpersonal situations. Whether you’re a single hoping to get the cute guy to ask for your number or a get the beautiful woman to talk to you and give you her phone number when you ask for it, or possibly a sales man or woman looking to make more selling connections, many people want

Stanford Thompson: Creating Social Harmony

By his example, he’s helping the under-served through the power of music. Change the Tune For Stanford Thompson, music is more than notes and pitches. He believes, like many others, that music can heal broken communities, uplift downtrodden children, and make Philadelphia a better place. Unlike others, Thompson is a world-renowned trumpet player who uses his musical talent for social justice initiatives. His art is undeniable, he’s performed solos with Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the North Springs Philharmonic, and traveled as far China, Czech Republic, Germany, Kenya, and Austria playing his tunes. But to Thompson, the sweetest sound doesn’t come from his trumpet, it comes from helping those in need. His organization, Play On Philly, pairs world-class musicians with students who are struggling academically due to life circumstances. He shares his results about the life-changing effects of music and remains committed to the arts through his many leadership positions on the board of the Marian Anderson Award, American Composers Forum, and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Due to his commitment to social justice through music,

Anastassia Elias: Heart for Art

A thing of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Artists like Anastassia Elias make our world come to life. Their ingenuity, resourcefulness and clever outlook allow us to see beyond the norm. Elias pushes artistic boundaries by using often overlooked materials and turning them into masterful artistry. “I often take what others don’t see and turn it into something that everyone can connect to,” she says. Elias is a Paris-based digital artist, illustrator, and innovative do-it-yourself (DIY) designer, residing in Landerneau, a small town in the western part of France (Brittany) near Brest, who uses precise techniques to inspire free thinking and bring attention to important global issues. Her mediums include painting, paper collages, ink, photos, fiber, drawings, and recycled materials. Thanks to her unique outlook, her artwork has been featured in exhibits all over the world, including the National Museum of Singapore, the Portuguese Film Festival, and in Milan, Italy. She’s on a Roll We’ve all heard the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but Elias knows this all too well. As an artist, illustrator,

Jonna Mendez: Veil of Spies

Risking it all to turn the odds to America’s favor. If I told you the Soviet Union fell with the help of glued-on facial hair and commuter dummies would you believe me? Well, probably not. But if a former CIA master of disguise told you it was true, you would. Seemingly innocuous things like wigs and ink pens were essential parts of the CIA’s ingenious toolkit for protecting assets who gave us vital information, consequently protecting millions of American lives. Tools like this were invented out of necessity during the Cold War, and Jonna Mendez, former Master of Disguise at the CIA, was the Mother of Invention. All-American Girl Mendez was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky to a family whose roots in the county were six generations deep. The plucky blonde no doubt learned the ways of the hills as all Kentucky children do; how to make something from nothing and fashion what you need with what’s on hand. Skills like these would come in very handy in her career. She graduated high school in Wichita, Kansas, attended nearby Wichita State,

Jim Ziolkowski: Building the Human Spirit

One brick at a time, his labor of love empowers lives and communities through education. A man with a wonderful soul wrote a book about walking in the shoes of the less fortunate. If you took a walk in Jim Ziolkowski’s shoes not only would they be covered in dust from foreign lands, they’d make your heart swell with love for your fellow man. In his book, Walk in Their Shoes, he poses the question: can one person change the world? In his life he’s already proven it. Heartland Upbringing Ziolkowski grew up like millions of other kind souls in the heartland of America. Raised in Jackson, Michigan, he enjoyed the peaceful life of small town U.S.A. and all the charming trappings associated with it. Attending Church with his parents was a big part of that wonderful childhood. His faith, deeply embedded in his consciousness, would affect not only his life but the fates of thousands. College Grad with a Conscience After graduating from college, Ziolkowski traveled the world, but not like your typical Eurorail backpacker. After hitchhiking around Europe