"You achieve your destiny when you block out the world saying no and hear your voice saying yes…". Kwame Alexander listens to his voice. He is a poet, educator, and a New York Times Best-selling author of 32 books, including The Crossover, the 2015 Newbery medal winner for "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". Kwame has received a National Book Award Nominee for his novel Booked and has been the recipient of The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Prize, three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. His appointment in 2018 as the NEA Read Across America Ambassador highlights Kwame’s belief in the power of poetry and literature to inspire, engage, and empower young people - a belief that serves as the guiding force behind the #AllBooksForAllKids initiative Kwame created in partnership with Follett.
DR. ANITA GOEL
"Sometimes we need to look through a different lens to see life and the universe at work..."Dr. Anita Goel, MD, Ph.D, is a world-renowned nanobiophysics scientist and innovator. Through her work as Chairman and CEO of Nanobiosym, Dr. Goel is leading to advance personalized precision medicine, digital health and global pandemic preparedness with her FDA authorized Gene-RADAR technology. Named by MIT’s Technology Review as one of the World’s “Top TR35 science and technology innovators” and by Scientific American as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Biotech Visionaries,” Dr. Goel earned a Ph.D in Physics from Harvard University, an M.D. from the Harvard-MIT Joint Division of Health Sciences & Technology (HST), and a B.S. in Physics with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University. She is the recipient of three DARPA Breakthrough Research Awards and the winner of the first XPrize for healthcare.
Jon Dorenbos spent 14 seasons in the National Football League, including 11 seasons with the 2017 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. He became the longest tenured player with the Eagles and made 2 Pro Bowls. His NFL career ended in 2017 due to a life-threatening heart condition. Dorenbos grew up in Woodinville, Washington. After a tragedy struck his family at the age of 12, Dorenbos turned to magic as an escape during a time of mourning. Last year, Dorenbos finished 3rd in the Finals of America’s Got Talent. He has been regularly featured by Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen Show. Dorenbos reflects and shares several motivational life lessons in this episode including the power of forgiveness.
"Taking time off to reflect is where we find our greatest ideas..." Lisa Sun found one of her ideas becoming the Founder & CEO of Project Gravitas, a company whose origin story dates back to her first professional review at McKinsey & Company. Realizing the transformative power that clothing can have on mindset, Lisa launched Project Gravitas to offer innovative apparel and styling solutions designed to give every woman a confident sense of self. Lisa has found creative ways to show off her style, having been named one of Washingtonian Magazine's Best Dressed Women and featured through Oprah Magazine, W Magazine, ELLE, InStyle, Marie Claire, People, Cosmopolitan, TODAY Show and CNN.
Known as “The Shark” for his aggressive play on the golf course, Greg Norman was a natural on the links and entered his first pro tournament after only five years of picking up the sport. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, Norman won 91 international tournaments, 20 PGA Tour tournaments, and 2 major Open Championships. But, it wasn’t always as easy as his record would have you believe. After losing a six-shot lead in the Masters Tournament, he learned a valuable lesson. In this video, Norman explains how he changed “A negative situation into a positive one.”
"There is a brokenness, out of which comes the unbroken . . . " At the age of five, Becca Stevens experienced a series of life-changing events. Understanding that she was not broken transformed Becca's life and in turn has transformed thousands more. A leader, priest, healer and entrepreneur, Becca is the president of Thistle Farms, a multifaceted, international nonprofit that provides a sanctuary for survivors of prostitution, trafficking and addiction. The New York Times, PBS, ABC World News, NPR, CNN and the White House have all recognized Becca for her transcendent and transformative work.
John Carney’s career in football spanned four decades, which is tied for the longest by an NFL player. He played college football at Notre Dame and was named to Notre Dame's all-time team by Sports Illustrated. Carney played 11 seasons with the San Diego Chargers, earned his first Pro Bowl selection, and remains the Chargers' all-time leading scorer. He went on to win a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2010. Prior to his success, Carney experienced several setbacks in his career. Watch how he explains the lessons that taught him how to recognize these moments as, “A roadblock, stepping stone, or hurdle.”
"Sometimes feeling uncomfortable is where we find strength, courage...our true nature." Adriane Brown was eight years old in 1966, when she and her brother integrated a previously all-white school in Virginia. By sixth grade, she was class president. She’s been a leader ever since. Adriane has been honored with numerous awards including MIT recognizing her with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award and STEMconnector naming her one of 100 Women Leaders in STEM. Adriane was President and CEO of Honeywell Transportation Systems and President and COO for Intellectual Ventures. She has served as a key Board member for eBay, Raytheon, Allergan and Axon.
"A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are built for . . . " Going beyond his comfort zone has helped David Sable lead and succeed in life. David has become a global business leader and Senior Advisor at WPP, the world’s largest company dedicated to Creative Transformation. Formerly Global CEO of Y&R, David is a leading industry thought leader and early digital pioneer. He was selected as both a Top 20 Must-Know Global Influencer by LinkedIn, and as a Top 10 Most Generous Marketing Geniuses by Fast Company. Passionate about giving back, David serves on the boards of the Special Olympics, UNICEF, and UNCF, and in the commercial world is on the board of directors of American Eagle Outfitters. His inspirational new book What Would You Wish For? encourages children to be kind and realize their potential to make the world more peaceful.
Earl Benjamin was born and raised in the Virgin Islands where he says there was 1 movie theater. He moved to New York where he studied and worked in journalism until a friend introduced him to SoulCycle. He soon discovered his true passion in helping people uncover their strongest selves and hasn’t looked back since! He creates an adventurous class with meaningful experience. Today, he is one of the top instructors at SoulCycle and credits his mom for his inspiration and advice of starting small and building. Benjamin lives by a mantra of “Dream. Do. Repeat.” and in this interview speaks of the importance of failing.
When Jessica Darcy's youngest daughter Ella-Jane opened her eyes one morning, something had changed. The glasses she loved so much had grown too familiar. Why couldn’t she have something of her own creation? She wished for eyewear that would match her style and mood every single day. Jessica and Ella-Jane decided to create Funoogles to solve the problem and allow kids the ability to choose and interchange the color and style of their glasses. Inspired by their story, Lionsgate films reached out to Jessica to help with the marketing of the motion picture and best-selling book Wonder. In this episode, Jessica talks about her life lesson and the effect with kids as a way to express creativity, assert individuality and boost self-esteem.
Be yourself - Everyone else is already taken. How do you go from humble roots to success in all walks of life? Be true to yourself no matter how intimidating the surroundings and always be willing to expand your world and your reach. Joe O'Donnell grew up in a tough, blue collar town and went on to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. O’Donnell has become one of Harvard's most devoted and inspiring leaders. He has been recognized as one of the most influential people in Boston. O'Donnell founded the Boston Culinary Group and is owner of Allied Advertising Agency. Of his many philanthropic efforts, the one that is closest to his heart is the Joey Fund, which he and his wife Kathy started to honor the memory of their son Joey who died at the age of 12 from cystic fibrosis.