Changing the World for People With Disabilities

I learned a long time ago to plan for the best but also to be a realist and prepare for the worst. The health challenges I’ve had since early in my life have shown me that since we cannot control everything, it is all the more important to live as much as possible when you […]

1300 Miles to a Stronger Self

Johanna Lakin

As far back into my past as I can remember, I had a loud, dominant inner critic–a voice that forced me to see myself through the eyes of negativity, failure and condemnation. Even as a small child, the act of making an error when playing a game, a less than perfect piece of schoolwork or […]

Resilience in the Face of Covid: How We Saved Our Business

Kiko Ezeonwuka_resilience-in-the-face-of-covid-how-we-saved-our-business

My mom was the typical Japanese woman. No more than 5 feet 2 inches and under 100 lbs. But she was scary as hell. I was born in Tokyo, Japan. Before I had turned four, my mother died, and my father remarried shortly after. When I was seven years old, in 1992, my family emigrated […]

The Light in 9/11

Lisa Luckett

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 little before 9:00am and as I walked in the phone was ringing.  My friend said, “Lisa, what tower is Teddy […]

The Journey from Banker to Naturopath

Penelope McDonnell

After completing my undergraduate degree in Business, I started a career in investment banking which I enjoyed. But a variety of circumstances led me to take a break from that. My husband had a good career opportunity in Europe, and I thought that would be a great thing for our young family, so we moved […]

Empire Dragons NYC Changes Life for Cancer Patients

As a nurse, I had always been interested in the importance of movement and exercise for patients.  The idea was reinforced when I began working with cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).  I knew it was important for patients to move and remain active during treatment.  In 2003, I took time off […]

A Passionate Champion of Foster Children

Gretchen Biedl Foster Care

I moved to New York City from a small town in Oklahoma when I was 18 because I thought I wanted to be in theater. I was drawn to theater because it was what I had done in high school and I loved it. In retrospect, I had no professional female role models in my […]

Providing Hope for Others After Devastating Personal Tragedies

In 2012, I was at the height of my career, headlining at Chico’s House of Jazz; a premiere venue in New Jersey for jazz artists. It was a sold-out show. The love of my life and husband, Joe, was by my side when I gave a performance to remember. My dreams were becoming a reality. […]

From Voiceless to a Voice for Others

Catherine Grace O'Connell_Lyme Disease illness

Every woman has a story in her heart. She deserves a voice to share that story. As a young child, I was silenced by sexual abuse. It took me 54 years to find my voice. Today, my mission is to use my voice to inspire those who don’t have one, and to create confidence and […]

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 immersed myself in another childhood passion, playing dress up.  As the years went on and I was in my teens, […]