Celine Peyraud

Finding Joy and Purpose in Laos.

I was born in Switzerland in 1980, a very sporty and temperamental little girl. During my teenage years, I first studied languages, then sociology and political science and eventually earned...

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Donna Ongsiako

On a Mission to Help Survivors of Violent Crimes.

I’ve lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey, my entire life.  My daughter, Kiersten, was born the day after I turned 20.  I was young, single and unprepared but I had...

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Menopause Meets Its Match.

Growing up in the northeast of England in a working class neighbourhood meant that there was lots of opportunity for me to be led astray.  As I started high school...

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Digging Up Your Buried Dream at Any Age

I’ve known I was a writer since I was three. I was one of eight kids, and when you grow up in those great big families, you desperately want something...

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Change Advocates


Menopause Meets Its Match.

Growing up in the northeast of England in a working class neighbourhood meant that there was lots of opportunity for me to be led astray.  As I started high school and, in a concerted effort...

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Ilene Lainer

Improving the Lives of People with Autism

As a young woman growing up in New Jersey, I would not have imagined that in my 50s, I’d be President of NEXT for AUTISM, a non-profit organization focused on building and supporting innovative programs...

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Turning the Loss of Her Son Into a BIGVISION For Sober Life

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in the 60’s where I had a very nice, normal childhood in a modern orthodox Jewish family. My family included a brother and a sister, great parents, and...

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THE RESILIENT


Donna Ongsiako

On a Mission to Help Survivors of Violent Crimes.

I’ve lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey, my entire life.  My daughter, Kiersten, was born the day after I turned 20.  I was young, single and unprepared but I had a lot of support from...

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Lisa Luckett Cozmeena

The Light in 9/11

My daughter Jen hadn’t been feeling well so I took her to school a little late that day.  She had just started 2nd grade in our quiet little New Jersey town.  I got home a...

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Ilene Rainer

One Mother’s Poignant Campaign After Losing Her Son to Overdose

I grew up in New Jersey, in a close-knit Italian family.  My husband, Tito, is from Argentina.  I have three sisters and a brother and between us we have nine kids who are all very...

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Lady journaling

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We love to share stories about courage, strength, and determination. Please send a brief summary of your journey or someone you know to Rose@gritandsoul.net

UNCONVENTIONALS


Mary Gibbons Profile photo

An Accidental Tour Guide to the Arctic

I’ve taken the scenic route through, well, just about everything in my life! I was married for about 5 minutes in my 20’s (his folks lived in a castle in Portugal, what was a girl...

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Career Transformation from Nurse to Goat Farmer!

I grew up in Oyster Bay, Long Island surrounded by animals.  My dad brought home a lot of strays and we had a menagerie that included horses, dogs, cats, turtles and even an injured owl....

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How a High School Dropout Became a Successful School Principal

At 86 years old, I’m a widow, mother of four boys, one granddaughter that I raised as my own, and retired educator. I was born on July 31st, 1931 in Newport News, Virginia. My six...

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CAREER SHAKERS


Denise Woodard Partake Foods

My Child’s Frightening Food Allergies Sparked a Passion Within Me

My entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to education, were nurtured by my parents.  I grew up in a small town in Fayetteville, North Carolina to an African American father and a Korean mother.  While my father...

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Unexpected Path for a Champion of First Generation College Students

From Actress to Entrepreneur I’ve always followed my own zig zagged path through life. I went to Wellesley College wanting to be a Supreme Court Justice but ended up going to acting school. Ah, remember...

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Beginning a Modeling Career in her ‘50’s!

Growing up in Canada, it was inevitable that I would embrace outdoor activities in all seasons, however, in the dead of those long winter months, when frigid temperatures prevented any sort of outdoor fun, I...

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Mature Woman looking at laptop

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