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INSPIRATION

Articles

Sharon ‘Ife’ Charles: A Chosen Life- Faithful, Fearless, Free

The Racial Divide In 1998, a young mother living in Crown Heights, N.Y. felt inspired to get more involved in her community. Only eight years after the infamous Crown Heights riots of 1991, she recognized that a growing racial division was once again resulting in violence on the streets. Sharon ‘Ife’ Charles had been observing the deteriorating conditions in her Brooklyn community since giving birth to her first child in 1989. But significant progress had been made since the riots and she was determined that Crown Heights would never again return to those dreadful days. The children, including her own, would have a safe community wherein to grow and prosper. To ensure that outcome, Charles knew a courageous change agent would be needed. As she did her grass roots work on the street during the day, and then searched her heart at night, she knew precisely who that agent would need to be. In fact, that soon-to-be heroic person was visible with every glance in her mirror. She was known on the street as ‘Ife.’ A Watershed Workshop To build

Bethany Hamilton: Discover Hope in the Hard Things

We all have a story. And we are currently living it out. Gradually twisting and turning with sweet victories and sometimes bitter defeats. A mixture of honey and salt, like lemons and lemonade. Large or small, we encounter challenges as we live out our stories. Maybe you know “salt” as trials, tribulations, tests, traumas, hurdles, bumps in the road, setbacks, or heartbreaks. But regardless of the name, these more difficult aspects of life are part of the human experience. Where we differ is in whether we let the hard things we encounter define us. Does this salt enhance the flavor of our life or is it overpowering and making it something we can’t quite stomach? My story shifted significantly when I was 13. Faced with a trauma that altered my body, I had to answer: how will this affect my story? Fortunately, back then I had a steadfast mindset that presented only one option: move forward in faith and trust that out of bad can come good. Without knowing it I maintained a perspective that was focused on achieving the

Chloe and Maud Arnold: Sisters with Rhythm and Shoe

This sister act helped pioneer a tap dancing renaissance, tapping their way to success and stardom. Fierce Footwork As children, Chloe and Maud Arnold were usually heard before they were seen. In unison they count “Five. Six. Seven. Eight.” followed by the pitter patter of their fancy footwork — it became their calling card. They danced virtually everywhere they went. Their passion and aptitude for dance was plain to see, especially in tap. Their parents supported the “fierce footwork” of their daughters, and encouraged each hip sway, jazz kick, and paradiddle. Those tap dancing girls became tap dancing divas, grabbing the attention of mega-stars like Beyonce, Ellen Degeneres, and world-renowned dancer, Debbie Allen. The attention isn’t unwarranted, these dancing sisters are raising the bar on what it means to dance out loud. Mentored by a Legend  Eventually, the sisters tapped their way into the graces of dance legend, Debbie Allen, who mentored the girls and their talents, ensuring that they were ready for success early on. At the age of 16, Chloe was cast in Allen’s play, the Brothers of

Words of Wisdom: Insightful And Provocative

“Change Your Thoughts and You will Change Your World…” Dr. Norman Vincent Peale How does this work you may be asking? Change your thoughts and you change your world? I believe it’s true, but before I explore how it works, I want you to take a minute or two to think about how you experience the world around you. And to help with that, I’ll describe two extreme worlds knowing that you are probably somewhere in-between. Two Extreme Worlds One extreme world tends to be chaotic, urgent, full of busyness, and has an overall sense of feeling overwhelming. This world tends to be unpredictable and uncertain which leads to feelings of worry, fear, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The other extreme world is the complete opposite. It’s calm, less busy, pleasant, and full of deep, meaningful relationships. This world leads to feelings of optimism, fulfillment, hope, excitement, and a sense of community. Okay, so how does the process of changing your thoughts to change your world work? What Dr. Peale is referring to is more than just your thoughts. He’s referring to

John Deatrick: Paradise Lost

Finding Perspective and Gratitude in Tragedy For most of us, it is a few minutes segment on the news and then we’re on to the next story. For those involved though, it is an enduring nightmare. Time seems to slow down to a crawl – each minute feels like an hour – each hour a day – each day a lifetime. John Deatrick knows best because he recently lived the nightmare. “People see what’s on TV, and they see the videos, but it’s much worse. It was unreal,” he said. “You hear about Hurricane Katrina, and I know it was awful, but I didn’t really understand what people were going through. I wasn’t there, I didn’t see it with my own eyes. I didn’t see the suffering, I didn’t see the people trying to get their lives back together. I feel like I have a much greater perspective on that now. It’s surreal. I still can’t believe, five months later, that it happened.” ESCAPE FROM PARADISE At 8:30 a.m. on the morning of November 8, 2018, John and Donna Deatrick

Jessica Cox: A Real-Life Superwoman

At its core, this is a human story of grit, resilience and extraordinary achievement. People who soar to great heights while inspiring others to do the same are an uncommon breed. They come from all backgrounds and arrive in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most develop their abilities over their lifetimes, little-by-little, as their experiences shape them. More uncommon still are the few who are simply born to be leaders. Let’s meet an extraordinarily rare born leader.    Baby Jessica first graced our earth in February 1983 when born to Inez and William Cox in Sierra Vista, Arizona, a mountainous Sonoran Desert suburb of Tucson. Her parents’ hearts were broken, their sense of normalcy shattered when they first saw their baby’s body. Due to a rare birth defect, Jessica was born without upper limbs. One of life’s great moments of pride and joy shifted sharply to grief and worry. The Grieving Process Everyone’s grieving process is unique and personal. While the Cox’s worked through their initial stages, including denial, anger and guilt, they mostly worried for their beautiful little girl’s

Nancy G. Brinker: For the Love of a Sister

Ambassador to the world, she carries the banner to eradicate breast cancer on a global scale. Most of us have seen the waves of pink-clad walkers and pink-lit city structures. We have come to know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Over the years, many organizations have made valiant attempts to bring awareness to the disease. But it took a single promise made to a dying sister that would launch a mission to bring breast cancer awareness into every household and on the world stage. Woman of Accomplishment Nancy G. Brinker, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary and U.S. Chief of Protocol is well known as a communications and policy expert. She is a four-time Presidential Appointee, twice with Senate Confirmation. Her distinguished career has led her to audiences with world leaders, corporate executives, academic thought leaders, and experts in medical science and healthcare. She has many feathers in her cap to be sure. But it is fulfilling her sister’s wish that has created the most enduring legacy, directly impacting the lives of everyday people, policymakers, scientific

ALEXANDRA JONES – ARCHAELOGIST

This real-life Indiana Jones not only reveals ancient artifacts but helps young people discover their cultural heritage. Next time you’re asked to name a charismatic archaeologist with the last name of Jones, Dr. Indiana Jones shouldn’t be the only one who comes to mind. Just like the fictional character, the pursuit to preserve history has pit Dr. Alexandra Jones in her fair share of adventures. The only difference — her stories are real. Jones has searched for ancient artifacts at a site that explorers once believed was a city made of gold. She’s researched the cliffside mega-homes of civilizations rumored to be run by lavish female elites. She’s dug deep to find insight into the lives of slaves at a private 17th century mansion with Civil War ties. Dr. Jones’ adventures are larger than life, and her passion for archaeology has helped her reach enormous success. Today, she is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Baltimore and founder of Archaeology in the Community (AITC), a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing students to the wonders of archaeology through

Ned Norton: A True American Hero

How one man looked beyond the physical limitations of others and brought them quality of life, liberty, and happiness. True heroes are few and far between. But thanks to his selfless humility and patience, Ned Norton has a very special calling with very impressive results. He isn’t hard to find being either at his gym teaching wheelchair-bound people independence through upper body workouts, helping wounded combat veterans overcome fitness obstacles at a low-income housing project in Albany, NY, or sending fitness equipment overseas to help victims of war and landmines. Norton is on a mission to make the world a better place one person at a time, one workout at a time. As a former elite trainer for professional athletes, he used his physical therapy knowledge to create Warriors on Wheels, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled people not only improve their range of motion, but also their quality of life. With many clients paying only $25 per month, he’s not in the Warriors on Wheels business for the money. “I just love to see people smile,” he said.

Leigh Steinberg: Show Me The Money!

It’s this simple. Leigh Steinberg is a living legend in his business, which places him in truly rarified air. His life, and his four decades-long career as a sports agent, have been so richly varied, so replete with triumphs, setbacks and re-emergences, that he is a treasure trove ripe for exploration. And that we did. Throomers is exceptionally grateful to Mr. Steinberg for both his transparency and largesse on behalf of our readers. Who a man ultimately becomes can often be traced to his roots. This is certainly the case here. Leigh Steinberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, which may begin to explain his ‘reach for the stars’ personality and driving work ethic. His father and mother were a teacher and librarian respectively, which accounts for his penchant for intellectualism and eloquent communication skills, and his habitually being in the service of others. How many can say that when at college, in this case UC Berkeley, they were Resident Advisor to Steve Wozniak, a founding member of Apple Computer? Just Leigh Steinberg, we imagine. Whether he suggested to