Former African Taxi Driver Turns Her Successful Restaurant Over To Her Sons

Masswana Restaurant Manager, Yohanes Tekestes, on his parents exodus from conflict-ridden Eritrea to taking the reigns of the family business.  

Almaz Ghebrezgabher, Co-Owner, Massawa Restaurant, is feeling a great sense of relief.  After 30 years of cooking and managing the East African, Massawa Restaurant, with her husband, Amanuel Tekeste, she is expanding the restaurant, and turning the business over to her four children.

She has trouble articulating her happiness and feelings of accomplishment but when we watch her on the video, we share in her joy.

Continue reading “Former African Taxi Driver Turns Her Successful Restaurant Over To Her Sons”

Almsgiving As A Way Of Life: Luang Prabang, Laos

Every day at 6am the residents of Luang Prabang line up on the sides of the streets to offer food and alms to the Buddhist Monks living in nearby pagodas. It is an act of love and honor. The monks are not pitied, but revered. The person giving the alms is below the monk. The ritual is usually silent with a periodic smile, hello or thanks. We are human after all and sometimes crave a bit more connection and humor. Continue reading “Almsgiving As A Way Of Life: Luang Prabang, Laos”

Community Is Essential For Veterans To Feel Connected

We spoke with best-selling author and award-winning filmmaker, Sebastian Junger on helping veterans transition and integrate into the US after being overseas.   His interview will be used in FourBlock, a career readiness resource for veterans.   His full interview can also be viewed at Columbia Business School’s Leadership In Practice YouTube Channel here.

Jay Corcoran, left, with Sebastian Junger

His interview was so powerful and timely we want to share a few of the video highlights below. Continue reading “Community Is Essential For Veterans To Feel Connected”

Inequality in America: Pictures From The San Francisco Frontlines

The story is as old as America: the haves and the have nots.  Mention “homeless,” people’s eyes glaze over, “can’t we talk about anything else?” But here we are.  San Francisco.  Visiting for work.  We have been here numerous times over the past two decades for various work-related trips.  There has always been a homeless problem in San Francisco, LA, San Diego.  The temperate weather, decades-long failed government policy, are two of many reasons for the problem, but this last visit we felt things have gotten worse.

The city felt like a refugee camp of tens of thousands of mentally ill and addicted people roaming the streets. seeking shelter, while millions stepped over the bodies with their eight dollar artisanal lattes and $15 chia oatmeal on their way to work in the gleaming towers along Market Street and the Embarcadero.   Continue reading “Inequality in America: Pictures From The San Francisco Frontlines”

Leadership In Africa: Are You Leading A Purpose-Driven Life?

People can spend their entire lives in search for purpose.  We understandably seek it in family, education, work that engages us.  But sometimes that is not enough and some of us fall into a rut of the continuous grasping for power and prestige items like fast cars and McMansions that we think will satiate us and give our life purpose. 

But the externals often fail to offer the balm we seek.  Continue reading “Leadership In Africa: Are You Leading A Purpose-Driven Life?”

Leadership In Practice: Rebuilding A Nation After Trauma

Being a leader takes courage, patience, resilience and vision. Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza, Founder and CEO, Village Health Works, has those leadership attributes and many more.

Deo was born into a loving yet poor family in Burundi. At the outbreak of the 1994 Hutu/Tutsi genocide in Rwanda/Burundi, Deo was attending medical school in Bujumbura, Burundi. One day a group of Hutus came to his dorm looking to kill any and all Tutsis. Deo hid under his bed.  After the perpetrators left, he fled to the woods of Burundi and Rwanda where he hid, while witnessing senseless slaughter, for six months. Continue reading “Leadership In Practice: Rebuilding A Nation After Trauma”

What Do Kids Learn By Making Videos?

Our students at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School address their peers on what they learned about making videos at The Campus, an after-school program that teaches tech and media skills to kids in the Howard Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  It is the first computer lab developed in public housing in the US.

Founded by Senator Jesse Hamilton (D),

Emoni Talks To Her Peers at P.S. 156

to address this systemic problem of inequality, Senator Hamilton assembled teachers and community leaders to bring tech resources to Brownsville.

We spent an academic year teaching kids about storytelling through photography and video.  Their stories and observations can be seen on their blog: Brownsville Visible

In addition to the blog,  check out the video below to learn what Emoni, Tyrese, Isiah and Kymani learned in making their stories.

To see the student videos, click on the links for the Brownsville Barber Guru and the interview with Local Hero, Brownsville Collaborative Middle School  Principal, Gregory Jackson.

Wounded Warriors Soar at STRIDE Adaptive Sports Snow Fest

They came from all over the east coast to meet their friends and cheer each other on as they overcame physical and mental hurdles, not to mention braving the sub-zero temperatures and ski the slopes of Jiminy Peak.  We don’t know who was more inspiring, the Wounded Warriors or the STRIDE Adaptive Sports team, but watch the video and be awed.

Continue reading “Wounded Warriors Soar at STRIDE Adaptive Sports Snow Fest”