Baby So Right CEO/Founder Donald Todd is Today’s Honoree

Baby So Right is a patented pacifier protection system created with baby safety and parent convenience in mind.

What makes Baby So Right unique is that it is the world’s first retracting pacifier holder that safely pulls dropped pacifiers into a holder before they ever touch the ground.  It prevents contamination from germs and lost pacifiers .

Baby So Right was founded by a Veteran with the goal of helping military spouses with small children, manage a busy family schedule and prevent lost pacifiers.

The founder partnered with fellow Veterans that were dedicated to owning and operating their own business. This Veteran owned business highlights the qualities and skills that service members possess, such as leadership, courage, and commitment to serving.

Baby So Right saves parents from the hassle of constantly having to stop what they’re doing to pick up and clean dropped pacifiers.  Stop the drop with Baby So Right auto-retracting pacifier holders.

“Our mission is to create cutting-edge technological products that are safe and functional for making an impact in the quality of life of babies and  small children.”

Visit https://www.babysoright.com/ for more information

 

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Author Kenneth Joyner is Today’s Honoree

About the Book:

While it’s hard to fathom, an estimated 27.4 million children are growing up without their biological father. This leads to an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, and potential criminal activity. As shocking as this may be, there are some things that young men and their families can do to stop this vicious cycle and live a successful and fulfilling life.

Without a Father is able to show young men, single mothers, and community leaders and mentors how to help young men navigate their way through a world that sometimes seems to be working against them. More so, author Kenny Joyner shows all men that they have value and that their presence in a child’s life matters more than they may understand.

Whether you’re a fatherless son looking for inspiration from a man who walked in your shoes, a single mother trying to get a peek inside your son’s head and heart, or an absentee father working to cultivate a relationship with their child, Without a Father can give you the necessary tools and guidance you need. In the book, you’ll discover how to take real-life experiences and use them to overcome obstacles and better your life while also learning key principles to help you become the success you’re destined to be. Finally, Joyner teaches you how faith works with you and in you to combat fears, insecurities, and shortcomings that may be holding you back.

About the Author:

Kenneth Joyner is a husband and father who is passionate about helping others reach their full potential. He is also the co-founder of the non-profit organization Boys With A Purpose, which mentors young boys through an after-school program.

This former educator who failed his Praxis test 6 times before becoming a teacher, ironically, is now a leadership development strategist who travels the country training teachers on how to develop better relationships with their students. He attributes his perseverance to his mother, who raised four children on her own. While she is proud of him for “surpassing any and all expectations” she had for him, Kenny knows it was her strength that gave him the courage to pursue his dreams and, inevitably, write his first book.

Having grown up without his father and enduring the hardships that came with that journey, he wrote Without A Father as a guide to help others use their experiences; to move them from a life of fear to one of faith. He is taking his experiences and bridging the gap for other young men who have gone through similar struggles. His hope is to build strong young men for the future and place them on the path of success.

Order his book now on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Without-Father-Faith-Kenneth-Joyner-ebook/dp/B07ZPWD12V/

 

 

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Author and Podcast Host Dr. Dennis Gregory is Today’s Honoree

Dr. Gregory, first and foremost, is a man of FAITH. In that light, he has dedicated his life to articulating an entirely new vision for the future of urban education grounded in the Word of God.

The General Gregory Podcast is a doctoral level breakdown on what is truly wrong with urban education and WHY we need something very different. Dr. Gregory believes that the current model of urban education is completely under the control of the elites does not serve the interests of African Americans or people of color. This podcast explains why that is. It is not easy listening.

In the end, Dr. Gregory sees urban education as fertile grounds to develop it into a ‘beacon of light’ to show society a better way forward. He proposes, after several episodes of thinking the environment through, that urban education become a fully integrated unit of a commercial bank. That bank will be called the Tolton Bank; named after father Augustus Tolton, the first black priest in the United States.

Visit http://generalgregory.com/about/ for more information.

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Mental Health Advocate and Author Achea Redd is Today’s Honoree

In early 2016, Achea Redd was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. After hiding her condition out of fear and shame, Achea quickly realized it was only getting worse, affecting her physically to the point of a nervous breakdown. It wasn’t until she acknowledged the situation with her loved ones, seeking out treatment from her therapist and doctor, that things started to get better.

As a form of self-expression and healing, Achea Redd created her own blog, sharing her feelings about mental health and authenticity. The flow of support she received from the community compelled her to create Real Girls F.A.R.T.—a space to empower and equip women with the necessary tools to use their voices and become their best, most authentic selves.

Achea uses her life experience and mental health disorder to help women find their voice and let it out. Those goals are central to  her  new book  Be Free. Be You.

Visit https://realgirlsfart.com/about/ for more information.

 

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Author and Journalist Iris Dorbian is Today’s Honoree

Leah is a sweet, sensitive 15-year-old girl who loves Taylor Swift, binge-watching reality TV and just wants to get through the rest of junior high without any trouble. At least that was the plan. When the school bully pushes Leah too far, she snaps. And her world turns upside down.

Arrested for assault and battery, Leah is deemed a juvenile offender and sentenced to an unusual form of rehabilitation: a Shakespeare workshop where she has to memorize scenes with other teen offenders and perform on a big stage for an audience.

Sentenced to Shakespeare is a contemporary young adult novel from prolific journalist Iris Dorbian. Loosely inspired by the real-life Shakespeare in the Courts program in Massachusetts, Sentenced follows Leah’s transformative journey as she grapples with the idea of being punished for defending herself after the bully’s behavior had gone widely ignored by school officials. She hates the bully, but she also hates what the bully drove her to do.

Not wanting to disappoint her parents even more than she already has, Leah immerses herself in the Shakespeare workshop, where she finds comfort and solidarity with the other juvenile offenders, relating to this group of strangers more than she anticipated.

Leah even encounters something she’s never experienced before — love. But when a new “friend” throws her under the bus, Leah is forced to confront her choices and stop blaming her bullies, or else risk losing the opportunity she’s been given to make a new life for herself.

Author Iris Dorbian is a professional business and arts journalist whose credits include Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts, Investopedia, DMNews, Jerusalem Report, the Forward, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. She is the former editor-in-chief of Stage Directions magazine and author of Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater, which was published by Allworth Press/Skyhorse Publishing in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal, ThisSpace.org, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

To learn more, please visit www.irisdorbian.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn at Iris Dorbian; on Twitter at @IrisDorbian; on Facebook at Iris Dorbian; and on Instagram at irisdorbian.

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The Dog Lady of Mexico Alison Sawyer is Today’s Honoree

The dream of a slower-paced life on an idyllic island was shattered the minute Alison Sawyer Current got a glimpse of the neglected cats and dogs on the island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Instead, to date, Alison and a handful of volunteers have rescued and brought hope to over 12,000 of these animals. Her remarkable true story comes to life in The Dog Lady of Mexico, which shares the real-life efforts behind the rescues as told through the character of Rose, and details the almost insurmountable obstacles that were faced in an attempt to help these poor animals.

What they encountered after their move was an island overrun with starving, neglected and abused dogs and cats—unsterilized, unwanted animals that wander the streets and are considered a threat to the community’s health. Their unchecked breeding brought more and more puppies into a world where they’d be destined for the same miserable life. Rose couldn’t sit by and watch, and soon started helping in whatever way she could.

Rose’s experiences accurately reflect the tireless journey of author Alison Sawyer Current, who began rescuing in 2001. Her valiant efforts to help dogs and cats grew into the nonprofit Isla Animals, which offers free spays and neuters, low-to-no cost veterinary care, arranges adoptions, and runs owner education to help whittle the number of animals destined for the same existence.

The problems Alison encountered were numerous. There are no veterinarians in many areas, so most of the animals are never vaccinated or treated for parasites. The average dog is thin, mangy, and tick and flea infested. Needless to say, they are not welcome inside the home so even dogs that have owners are subject to the same conditions as street dogs. Since most of the people can’t afford a car, and taxi drivers refuse to pick up passengers with dogs, they have no way to get to a veterinarian … and the cycle just goes on and on.

Readers of The Dog Lady of Mexico will experience a world very different from their own, and will see firsthand the blood, sweat, tears and, yes, even laughter, that accompany such massive rescue efforts. They get to share the journey of Rose, whose life takes an uncharted course into unknown territory, and experience the passion that changed a life forever.

Alison is a recipient of The Doris Day Animal Kindred Spirit Award, and in 2007 she was invited to Mexico City for the first Forum on Small Animal Overpopulation in Mexico. To date, Alison has spayed or neutered more than 20,000 animals and promoted adoptions in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

To learn more about Isla Animals or to find out how to support their programs, please visit the website www.islaanimals.org 

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BUMI Founder Thérèse Ilunga is Today’s Honoree

Thérèse Ilunga was born in Kabozia, a remote village in DRC. She was one of 12 children and the eldest of eight girls in her family. Her parents insisted they attend school, so Thérèse walked more than seven miles a day to class. She returned home in the evenings, and while her mother was working in the field, she helped her grandmother with food preparation and cleaning—a job as “second mother” that would become her training to be a mother to thousands of orphaned children.

At the age of 19, Thérèse became a teacher in her local community, and she began traveling through Africa as a missionary with her future husband Lucien when she was 21. At the age of 28, she completed her nursing studies in Belgium and had an inherent desire to return to DRC to open a healthcare center, even as many of her schoolmates choose to stay in Europe. Nothing could stop her from returning to her home country, and in 1985, Thérèse and Lucien returned to DRC.

During their first year, Thérèse drove a red Toyota pickup truck with her three children in the back seat from village to village that served as a mobile medical clinic. Their car was also their home. Over the next three years, she assisted in childbirth, cared for the sick and buried the dead. Amidst the chaos and sadness, she officially founded BUMI in 1988—which means “life” in Luba language from the Katanga region—with the hope of providing a better life for the next generation.

BUMI is a humanitarian organization centered on the protection and education of vulnerable children in the city of Lubumbashi. The organization’s main goal is to restore dignity to children’s lives and to provide access to the same opportunities Thérèse and her siblings had that allowed them to lead productive lives as adults.

There is no discrimination or distinction toward children who are rescued. BUMI takes in newborns, street children with HIV, children with disabilities, teenage moms, children who have escaped abusive homes, orphans and many more. Each child is provided with adaptive care tailored to their needs so they can become accomplished citizens that will carry a message of future peace and hope. Whenever possible, and only when it is deemed safe and appropriate after thorough assessment, children are reunited with their families if they have living parents or guardians.

BUMI’s campus is an enclosed, protected site that spans more than 21 acres. Their Children’s Village is home to approximately 150 children ages 0-18 who are provided with family stability and a loving environment where an educator plays the role of “mum.” Their on-site school offers preschool, primary and secondary education courses for children living in the Village as well as several hundred children in the surrounding village. Monthly fees to attend school range from $5 to $8 USD, but children are never turned away if they are unable to pay. Preschool and the first two years of primary school are always free of charge. Thérèse believes that a proper education is the main component to ending the cycle of poverty.

The organization’s Health Center provides basic healthcare for children living in the Village and has the capacity to serve nearly 18,000 underprivileged families living in the surrounding communities. Facilities include a consultation room, pharmacy, two in-patient wards and a labor-and-delivery room. BUMI doctors specialize in pediatrics, vaccinations, well-baby checks and maternity services.

Adjacent to the Children’s Village is the BUMI farm, a project originally created to provide agricultural training for young adults to better prepare them for jobs as adults. The farm includes lemon, orange and papaya trees, dozens of vegetables like cabbage, kale and spinach, and an enclosure for pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens. They breed animals on site and sell them to restaurants and hotels in Lubumbashi as an income-generating project for the home and utilize the fresh produce as a sustainable method of feeding children in the home and at school.

Turning a child away in a country where there is no social support could mean a death sentence for them. Since its creation, BUMI has cared for more than 1,500 children—many of whom have become responsible adults, while others have been successfully reunited with their families. No child is ever turned away from BUMI, and as soon as they walk through the village doors, they are no longer orphans or vulnerable—just children.

 

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