~ Al Cole from CBS Radio ~
And His 2015 People of Distinction Awards HONOREES!
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: DR. CARMEN HARRA ~ Psychologist, Author, Spiritual Teacher, Karmic Counselor… Has Coached Hillary and Bill Clinton Too!
Dr. Carmen Harra is an internationally acclaimed intuitive psychologist, author, relationship coach, spiritual teacher, and karmic counselor. Born in Transylvania, Romania, Carmen’s gift of otherworldly sight became apparent from a young age, when she had a near death experience from drowning. Since then, with her extraordinary insights, she’s been helping people realize their true spiritual genius. Carmen has been an amazing blessing to our Human Family!
She has been fortunate to meet and coach Hillary and Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Shirley Maclaine, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Nancy Pelosi, Candice Bergen, Jennifer Lopez, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Affleck, Liza Minnelli and Deepak Chopra. You’ve seen her on Good Morning America, The View, Fox News, the Today show, CBS’ The Early Show and on the pages of New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, The Hollywood Reporter, Vogue, New York Magazine, US Weekly, V Magazine and Elle Magazine. She currently, hosts a radio show, Miracle Guidance for Everyday Life on WABC 770 AM, Sundays at 10 PM EST.
Now, along with her daughter Alexandra–a gorgeous model, life coach, Huffington Post columnist and trendsetter among the millennials, she is bringing forth her newest book: The Karma Queens’ Guide to Relationships: the Truth About Karma in Relationships (Tarcher/Penguin.)This book reveals the secret of how to transform the karma in all of your relationships—with lovers, spouses, family and friends. If it’s not working or it’s broken, there may be more here than you are aware of. Karma is the missing ingredient to changing what’s not working to what is!
~ Visit the creative and relationship magic of Dr. Carmen Harra at: http://www.carmenharra.com
2015 Unsung Hero: VINICIUS MACHADO ~ A Rising Hollywood Star Who Supports “Feed the Children” and “World Vision” Too!
Vinicius Machado has been named one of Hollywood’s fastest rising Latino stars. His acting credits include many blockbuster movies and hit television series, including the original Starz series, POWER.He began his career at the age of ten, performing Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Arts Dance) and has traveled the world with his Brazilian Rhythm, showcasing his talent in many different fashions. Currently, Vinicius is filming a recurring role on another highly watched HBO series.
Vinicius is but an instrument that is always in tune with his work, family and self. He supports “Feed the Children” and “World Vision” as well as independent Film Makers and his high school theatre magnet program (Dr. Phillips High). He volunteers his time and status today for organizations such as: The Red Tie, Celebrity golf Extravaganza, to help raise money for local seniors and kids programs.
Vinicius hopes to inspire and train young people to be able to express their gifts and passion, as true to their hearts. He is committed to releasing creativity to others through his ways of expression, so that they may move with the same freedom. When not acting, he’s the Executive Creator of Beloved Minds Production, and is currently producing his next Web Series; “PROFILE”. He also is an established, and working writer, a profession he always envisioned embracing in the long run. He feels excited for all that lies ahead, he welcomes his future endeavors with grace, and is grateful to be living out his dream as a Hollywood upcoming household name.
Learn more about Vinicius at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1759256/
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: RON & CATHERINE TIJERINA ~ The Ridge Project… Standing up for the formerly incarcerated!
Ron and Catherine Tijerina are catalysts for change and savvy innovators with the ability to see past obstacles to accomplish great things. They are authors, nationally-renowned speakers, and co-Directors of The RIDGE Project, a Christian, non-profit organization they founded in 2000 and dedicated to empowering individuals and improving the lives of families across the country. Early in the Tijerina’s marriage they experienced tragedy when Ron spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit! As a result, Ron now helps the formerly incarcerated re-find their positive pathway into a wonderful life. Based on their life experiences they together authored and developed the TYRO Suite, a comprehensive collection of programs that teach the essential skills for improving life and relationships. Ron and Catherine are passionate about building healthy families, and serving those whose needs are traditionally overlooked by society. Their book HIGH FIVE: Love Never Fails shares their personal story, and provides recipe for healthy families built on five time-tested principles.
~ Her’s JUST A FEW of their selected awards, honors, and recognitions:
2010 Program Creativity Award from NAEF, Washington, DC 2010 Commendation from the Ohio Senate 2011 Family strengthening program identified as a Best Practice by US Department of HHS 2011 Identified as a Best Practice in a publication from National Fatherhood Initiative and Bureau of Justice Assistance at the US Department of Justice. 2012 Tijerinas invited to the White House – Champion of Change Event 2012 Youth Rites Of Passage (ROP) Program Highlighted in a Congressional Report on Best Practices 2013 White House Fatherhood Hero Award 2013 Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Director’s Impact Award 2014 Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Director’s Impact Award 2014 Fatherhood Achievement Award from Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, Ohio University, and OPNFF 2014 Commendation by the Ohio Secretary of State 2015 Commendation by the Ohio Senate 2015 Commendation by the Ohio House of Representatives
J-169 State Route 65 McClure, OH 43534 * Phone 419.278.0092
Visit The Ridge Project at:http://www.theridgeproject.com/
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: DR. TIANNA CONTE ~ Bringing Love & Light to our World with her Books… and her partnering with Mark Victor Hansen, co-founder with Jack Canfield, of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”!
Dr Tianna Conte is the director of Infinite Possibilities Productions. She’s a trained Naturopath, Ordained Interfaith Minster and initiated Shaman. Her passion is in integrating ancient healing wisdom and cutting edge technologies in energy mastery. Dr. Tianna is also the producer and co-star in Awaken Your Riches a movie inspired by “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Awaken Your Riches also features Mark Victor Hansen, Co-creator of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, Rev. Michael Beckwith, a star of “The Secret” and many other Spirit Luminaries.
Having experienced a near death experience & after death communications, Dr Tianna is living proof of our multi-dimensional nature. Both her educational and personal experience background offer the ground work that has helped so many in our Human Family!
Dr. Tianna is also the author of the #1 best selling “Love’s Fire: Beyond Mortal Boundaries” and “Love’s Fire: Living the Awakened Journey“. Her books are about spiritual romance & self transformation. The essence of her message is Love & Life never dies…. in fact, transformation is real…… And Dr Tianna invites you to play with possibilities and enjoy the infinite journey!
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: LANCELOT THEOBALD, Jr ~ Football Star Turned Dancer, Choreographer, Actor & Humanitarian… AFTER OVERCOMING TRAGEDY!
Early success as an athlete came easy for Lancelot; as a result he was recruited to play high school Football at Holy Cross in Queens NY. But things seemed to unravel senior year as he involved in a deadly plane crash, while visiting University Of Maine on a football- recruiting weekend. Later that same year he was involved in a train accident, car crash and almost drowned. The incredibly optimistic Lancelot would take the half full approach and take these events as a sign to begin his journey of discovering God’s special purpose for him in life.
After trying out for the NFL he was presented with a unique opportunity to play football in Europe. Playing football in Europe would teach him belief in oneself and the willingness to give everything to a dream is the only way to approach life and you may not get what you ultimately want but you get what you deserve.
THE TURN-AROUND: Lancelot continued on his Journey and would meet Richard Willis Jr who would provide that spark he was looking for. Manager and best friend for over 20 years now Richard would change his life by introducing Lancelot to the theatre where he would learn to produce and eventually executive produce plays. He would help Richard start Mozell Entertainment Group, featured on the front cover January 2013 issue of “ENDEE MAGAZINE”, www.endeeonline.com that is now based out of Los Angeles California. He would make the incredible transition from athletics to producing/executive producing to studying Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap and African for the next 4 years at Bernice Johnson’s Dance School in Jamaica Queens on full dance scholarship! He would also start taking acting classes as well. He would take the passion love and work ethic from football and now transfer it towards dance, entertainment, acting & producing.
NOW SERVING OTHERS: Lancelot would go on to create the “HIP-HOP DANCE BOOT CAMP TOUR” http://www.hip-hopdancebootcamp.com and AB-SOLUTE FUSION www.absolutefusionworkout.com One of Lancelot’s proudest achievements has been to develop the concept of older mothers performing to professional hip-hop choreography. This concept has blossomed into “MOMZ-N-DA HOOD” phenom- moms http://www.momzndahood.com/
HELPING THE HOMELESS TOO: Lancelot is proud to be the youngest executive board member of the BETHANY HOUSE which is a homeless shelter based in Nassau Long Island NY for homeless woman and children. www.bhny.org
HIS WORK WITH ANTI-BULLYING: Lancelot developed an anti bullying program for middle schools that would focus on the SUPASTAR that is in every one of us! Very much like the People of Distinction “UNSUNG HEROES!”
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: KRISTEN DOSCHER ~ A 22 Year Old Who Has Put Herself On The Map In Acting & Playwriting NYC!
Kristen Doscher is an inspiration to young people, the middle-aged and Seniors alike: At the tender age of nineteen she decided to do things HER WAY. She had a passion for acting on stage… so she wrote her own play, put together her own acting group and rented her own venue! Now she’s an acting and playwriting force in New York City to be contended with!
Kristen is a New York native and a graduate from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Upon graduating, she performed in numerous Off Broadway productions throughout the city. She was lucky enough to originate the roles of Susan Peters in Julia Pascal’s “Woman on the Bridge” and Amber Godwin in Laura Peterson’s “A Dozen Perfect Moments.” Soon after graduating Kristen discovered that she could put her creative efforts to work and produce her own theatre, portraying the roles that SHE wanted to play! Kristen went on to write two successful one act plays, “A Love Story” and “MOB” which both did exceedingly well in festivals throughout New York City. In the past two years she has made herself a staple at The American Film Market, The Sundance Festival, and most recently the EMMY’S. Her two latest films, The Meet directed by Richard Calderon and South Jersey directed by Mark Mazzeo are to be released 2015.
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: JACKIE BANKS ~ A Special Teacher in Special Ed
I was a teacher of Special Education, whose goal was to increase my student’s grade levels, particularly in mathematics, as well as prepare them to pass state exams. It is a challenging joy, if you will, to be ready, willing, and able to interact with youngsters at every grade level from pre-K to young adults in the making. Flexibility is oh so necessary, and it’s both humbling and exhilarating to know that my willingness to fill in for an absent teacher is maintaining the flow of a school.
I also serve at my church, Bethel Gospel Assembly. For 2015 I have purposed to live out my mission statement. Anyone who ever achieves anything worthwhile has to have a mission statement. Without a mission statement there is no direction. My personal mission statement includes: Reading a motivational book a week; developing a new skill set; traveling to a new geographical area either locally, nationally or internationally.
Finally, getting out of my comfort zone regularly because only when you face challenges and overcome them you can grow.
Visit Jackie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacqueline-banks/36/a5b/6a
~ Learn more about Jackie Banks and her amazing new book too at: www.Chocolateflavaluv.com
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: The CRATTY FAMILY (Tom, Gayle, Jason & Jennifer) ~ “Volunteering is an important part of our family’s commitment to our community”!
Volunteering is an important part of our family’s commitment to our community.
We, Gayle and Tom Cratty, reached out to the Human Family early when we adopted our two children, Jason and Jennifer. Jason was born in Paraguay, South America and Jennifer in Lubbock, Texas, they are six months apart. Jennifer had a complicated birth, and after four months in a neonatal care unit in Lubbock, TX, she came home to us. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy and non-verbal at the age of three, we discovered the power of music therapy while Jennifer was rehabilitating at Rusk Institute following neurosurgery at which time she began to speak. After leaving Rusk, we could not find a music therapy program for our daughter to continue her therapy so we founded a 501(c)3 not-for-profit. In 1992 our organization Heartsong was formed, a no-fee music and art therapy program for children with developmental disabilities. We managed Heartsong for fifteen years, serving over 2,000 families. We have also assisted Ferncliff Manor, a residential school for severely developmentally disabled children. Gayle was Director of Community Relations and Development, and Tom was on their Board of Directors.
Heartsong was a family activity, a labor of love – - Tom was Chairman of the Board, I was the Executive Director, Jason was a community volunteer, and Jennifer was the inspiration and benefited from the services received from a talented staff of certified music and art therapists. Jennifer is now President of the Hear Our Voices advocacy group through Westchester Institute for Human Development and is also on their Advisory Board.
Our son, Jason, has long been involved in community volunteer activities – - participating in the local Midnight Run to feed the homeless, taking a mission trip to Haiti to support youngsters at risk, volunteering with children with developmental disabilities at Heartsong, and ultimately obtaining an undergraduate degree in Community Health that would lead him to manage a program for Swim Angelfish in which he helps children with special needs and sensory challenges to swim independently and be comfortable in the water.
Gayle serves as the New York State representative from Westchester County for Family Support Services and is a Member of the Special Needs Advisory Committee for the Boy Scouts of America.Her work in connecting people and advocating on behalf of persons with special needs continues to be a passion very near and dear to her heart.
Tom’s experience in advertising, marketing and training as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt garnered while working for ABC, NBC and currently PepsiCo, proved to be an invaluable experience as he played an important leadership role in a number of organizations. In addition to his work as Chairman of Heartsong and on the Board of Directors of Ferncliff Manor, he is also on the Board of Trustees of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, a diverse community of people with a shared commitment to the arts, where students of all ages and abilities develop their talents, guided by a dedicated, excellent faculty.
The importance of working together as a family and making a difference has strengthened our love for one another and those around us. We are grateful to be recognized as 2015 PDHA Unsung Heroes and appreciate this honor!
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: SPARC, Inc ~ Executive Director, Rose Rothe ~ Enhancing the lives of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities
SPARC, Special Program And Resource Connection, enhances the lives of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities through high quality therapeutic recreation activities. About 1,000 children, teens and adults participate in SPARC through 80+ activities. Programs are open to individuals age 5+ with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, neurological impairments, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy; accommodating those with attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, speech and language disorders, physical disabilities, severe allergies, visual/hearing impairments, wheelchair/mobility needs and emotional/behavioral disorders.
Participants work on skill development in a nurturing social community that does not otherwise exist in their lives. Many families have found SPARC programs to be a lifeline as the first appropriate recreational activity they have found for their child with special needs, as well as for respite as over-extended parents . While their children are engaged at SPARC, parents find an opportunity to network with other families. This is a critical support for sharing resources, parenting techniques and social contacts.
SPARC’s professional therapists and specialists use recreational therapy interventions to help children and adults meet many goals while they are enjoying such activities as horseback riding, music, art, film making, golf, fitness, dinner clubs, dances, bowling, pet therapy, dining out/ trips, swimming and social clubs. Friendships develop which eliminate members’ prior isolation. Independence and accomplishments are gained. Self-esteem and confidence grow and inspire a positive attitude towards life. Having friends, a sense of belonging and weekly engagement in interesting activities in a joyous atmosphere, provides the quality of life that was missing for many before their SPARC involvements.
Visit SPARC: http://www.sparcinc.org/
~ 2015 Unsung Hero: ARLENE SAMEN ~ A CNN Hero, now a People of Distinction inductee too!
Arlene Samen is a Nurse Practitioner in Maternal Fetal Medicine and has received many awards for her great work, including being a CNN Hero in 2008! Arlene was also selected one of the 50 Unsung Heroes for Acts of Compassion in 2001, and has received the Soroptomist Women Making a Difference Award too. In 2009, she was a Rainer Arnhold Fellow with the Mulago Foundation. On June 4th, 2011 Arlene was a TEDxSF guest speaker. Last year she won the Steve Award for Women Helping Women.
In 2004, she left behind her University of Utah clinical practice to dedicate her life to serving pregnant women living in the most vulnerable conditions in the most remote places of the world. In her travels she learned about the plight of pregnant women and newborns in developing countries and in particular Tibet, where one out of ten newborns died due to preventable causes. She organized a fact-finding mission to understand the local traditions, religious and cultural beliefs of women giving birth.
Arlene spent over ten years in Tibet working side by side with the local government to bring a safe motherhood project to women who were poor, uneducated, and living in remote mountainous areas on the roof of the world. She brought the “Network of Safety” model to women who face death in order to give life. In 2009, One Heart World-Wide took its life saving model to remote villages in Nepal and in the Copper Canyon of Mexico. To date over 40,000 women have been touched by the “Network of Safety’ model in places few dared to go. She has endured political uprisings, earthquakes, SARS Epidemic, gunpoint, and never gave up her quest to make sure all women had a safe clean delivery. No matter what the challenges she faced, her motto was to “never give up”.
Visit Arlene at: http://www.oneheartworld-wide.org/