Patriot PAWS: Service Dogs for Disabled Veterans

Highly trained, four-legged friends do more than just provide companionship —they serve our heroes. Man’s Best Friend Turned Helper Ever since she was a child, Lori Stevens has loved dogs for their unconditional love, loyalty, devotion, and friendship. Her love for dogs grew into a career and she became a certified professional dog trainer. In 2005, her son joined the military following in his grandfather’s footsteps which further solidified her admiration for those who serve our country. That same year, several disabled veterans contacted her for help to train their dogs. “After working with these veterans and visiting the VA Hospital in Dallas, I realized just how many of our disabled veterans are in desperate need of assistance dogs and I knew I had to help,” recalls Stevens. Watch this short video of Stevens on the importance of the work they do… It started in 2006 in a small storefront in Rockwall, Texas, where Stevens and a few friends opened up Patriot PAWS Service Dogs, a privately funded non-profit organization. They had the capacity to train only eight dogs at

Bill Magee And His Family: Operation Smile

Giving Disadvantaged Children Worldwide a Reason to Smile. Healthy Self-Esteem, a Process As children, we look in the mirror and carefully inspect just who is looking back, usually with degrees of disappointment or harsh judgment, much of it unfair. Out in public, while most people are friendly and complimentary, a handful of others will be unfriendly, mean-spirited and at times bullying. Maybe we have a bad haircut, an acne breakout, braces that look like steel girders, a head the size of Charlie Brown’s, or some other perceived imperfection. Every time we hear a compliment, we feel good and are drawn to that person. When we are the target of derision, we withdraw and shrink a little. I certainly did. All of it, the good and the bad, is absorbed like a bone-dry sponge for future self-judgment. Our self-esteem, the very fuel for all our potential achievements, is formed in these moments. It can be boosted with a smile and compliment or torn to shreds by mean-spirited ridicule. Most of us learn to brush it off, put it in perspective and

A Preeminent Technology – Futurist Looks into the Mirror

The Making of a Futurist We recently had the privilege of interviewing a gentleman named Kevin Kelly, the former editor/publisher of Whole Earth Review (1983-90), co-founder of Wired magazine (1993), and founding editor and co-publisher of the Cool Tools website (2003). Born in Pennsylvania in 1952, Kelly was educated in New Jersey. Because his father used systems analysis in his job at Time magazine, his son developed an early interest in cybernetics, which is the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things. Given the future that was speeding towards us, his timing was impeccable. After spending one year at the University of Rhode Island studying geology, he decided to take his studies outside the classroom by traveling extensively, including backpacking throughout Asia. This experience remains today one of the influential periods of his life. Now 66 years of age, Kelly, his wife, biochemist Gia-Miin Fuh, and their three children live near San Francisco. He is an accomplished author and an exceptionally popular lecturer focused on the future of science and technology. His Future Vision is Our

Ben Anderson: Award-Winning War Correspondent

He’s in the trenches reporting on the ravages of war and its human toll — true-life dramas that don’t make front page news. Places You’ve Never Been To, Things You’ve Never Seen Ben Anderson stands feet away from combat soldiers as they try to rescue prisoners trapped in a dilapidated building. In the distance, plumes of black smoke rise revealing a city smoldering in ruin. It’s war, and Anderson is front and center, risking his life for his reporting. As an award-winning journalist, television reporter, and writer who is well known for his work on VICE News on HBO and BBC, Anderson goes the distance to get the story. He’s been to some of the most dangerous nations in the world like Afghanistan, North Korea, and Libya, armed with a video camera, pen and paper in hand, watching international politics play out right before his eyes. Get a firsthand look at Anderson in action in this VICE News video clip… Conflict Resolution Anderson was raised in the relatively sleepy hamlet of Bedford, England and now resides in Brooklyn, New York, a

Tanea Smith: Triumphant Wordsmith

Sharing her art and words, she’s living proof you can craft your own path to success despite the odds.  The three words Tanea Smith uses to describe her life philosophy are faith, tenacity, and determination. All are well-chosen words for this amazing NYC phoenix who rewrote her life’s plan at the tender age of 19. But another comes to mind as well, and that word is victorious.  Against All Odds  Born in 1975 in Brooklyn, New York to a hardworking single mother, Smith experienced the struggles that often accompany life in the ghetto. Her mother was strict with her and her sister, reminding them as they came of age not to become young mothers themselves. But it happened for Smith all the same. The young woman faced the consequences head-on without flinching.  Ambitious Resolve  When her baby son was nine-months old, Smith became resolved toward a different future than what fate might have planned. At age 19, she put into practice the three words that would become her life’s mantra: faith, tenacity, and determination. She refused to accept her reality as

M.L. Liebler: American Poet, Professor, Activist

Detroit’s working-class champion of poetry wants everyone to experience true freedom of expression through literary arts. A poet captures the free flow of ideas and feelings into written form, rousing powerful imagery and stirring emotions of the reader or listener. Among great contemporary poets is Professor Michael L. Liebler, recipient of many awards including the 2017-2018 Murray E. Jackson Scholar in the Arts Award from Wayne State University. Beloved Poet and Teacher Liebler is a senior lecturer at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where he has been since 1980, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on varied subjects including English, Creative Writing, American Studies, Labor Studies, Living Authors, and World Fiction. He is also recognized as a leading literary arts activist and organizer. To further educate and inspire people in the craft of writing, Liebler became the founding director of The National Writer’s Voice Project in Detroit as well as the Springfed Arts: Metro Detroit Writers Literary Arts Organization. Called the “bard of Detroit” by the Detroit Free Press, he describes what we get from poetry in an interview with

Dr. K. Renee Horton: World Class NASA Scientist

She’s teaching diversity and elevating courage and resilience in those aspiring to be in scientific fields. The race to space is a mission filled with heroes of legend. These are the people we look up to, the people we remember and put up on our walls. Our list, however, is incomplete. We need to add those unsung heroes, those men and women who make a difference, to its roster. At the NASA Residential Management Office at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, we find one of those hidden figures, Dr. K. Renee Horton, who fought adversity and a disability yet excelled in one of the world’s most prestigious scientific fields. She works as the quality engineer at the facility and the former Lead Metallic and Weld Engineer for the NASA Space Launch System (SLS), a key player in the success of deep space exploration on this, the most powerful rocket ever built. She was nine-years old, when her love of space, the universe, and the stars was initiated upon receipt of a gift by her father, a telescope. “I

Theo Fennell: The Ultimate Precious Metal Wizard

Elegant, theatrical, indulgent — his fanciful flair in craftsmanship is the ultimate in luxury jewelry and silverware. Imagine having a gorgeous dream. You’re running through a field of sparkling jewels dotted with buttercups of the purest gold. Sparkling bumble bees dance in the air around you, trailing all the colors of the rainbow from their wings. Now wake up and see your dream sitting on your nightstand in the shape of a ring you can slip on and wear with delight. This is the upscale, whimsical world of Theo Fennell. Born for Conquest Fennell was born in exotic Egypt to a military family and it isn’t surprising that one of his heroes is Lord Nelson who gallantly saved Britain from Napoleon’s invasion. Perhaps this was a foreshadowing of a soon-to-be master jeweler defending traditional British jewelry smithing from extinction. Fennell, although having been raised in an army atmosphere, emerged from childhood with an innate propensity for whimsy which would serve him very well later in life. The Etonian Schooled at Eton College, one of the most famous schools in the

Mareko Maumasi: Forged in Folded Steel

He found his calling in the fiery flames of blade smithing and became a master of stunning hand-forged blades. Many years ago, there stood a child on the banks of the Puget Sound, the salty sea breeze fanning his creative embers. Born with the innate desire to craft and build, he made many things from a very young age. As he looked out across the Sound, he didn’t know the kind of Kill Bill ancient blade master and epic artisan he would become. If he did, he would’ve smiled like a knowing Beatrix Kiddo. How Awesome Began Mareko Maumasi grew up in Washington State and, like many other kids, liked to build stuff. He was a budding artist who loved crafting things with his bare hands. It just came naturally to him. By his teen years the creative embers led him to cooking and he opted for a career in the restaurant industry. Some years later, while concentrating on his food craft, he met a man named Bob Kramer who would fan Maumasi’s creative embers into an inferno of metal artistry.

Nonny de la Peña: Immersive Journalist

Storytelling brought to life: Experience the true impact of news and stories by being there through virtual reality. Hunger prowls the streets of Los Angeles like a wolf. Living in LA is a struggle and making ends meet to provide for family is coming up short. Another day is about to pass in hunger, and you are there, a witness to this sad commentary on hunger in America. You’ve just been immersed in a true-life journalistic drama using virtual reality. When you’re done, take off your headset and have a nice day, or better yet, feel compelled to do something to make a difference in our world. It’s one thing to read about something and another thing entirely to live it. Award-winning Mexican-American journalist, documentary filmmaker, and CEO/Founder of Emblematic Group, Nonny de la Peña is spearheading a new tech movement that will help bridge the gap between experience and reality and bring the story to life through virtual reality. De la Peña’s virtual reality projects through the Emblematic Group have won many awards and she has been nicknamed the