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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Independent Sector Names Dan Cardinali New President and CEO

Cardinali Will Join Sector-Leading Organization in July 2016 as its Next Leader; He Brings Deep Qualifications and Passion Integral to Advancing the Common Good

WASHINGTON – The Independent Sector (IS) Board of Directors announced today that Dan Cardinali, President of Communities In Schools, Inc., has been selected as its new President and CEO. Cardinali, who will take over as President and CEO in July 2016, brings extensive experience working with, organizing and leading nonprofits and charitable causes.

“I am delighted to welcome Dan Cardinali as the next President and CEO of Independent Sector. He will continue the long tradition of highly passionate and qualified CEOs who have led IS since its founding 35 years ago,” said Neil Nicoll, chairman of the IS Board of Directors. “Dan’s extensive background and expertise in the charitable community will allow him to move expeditiously to address pressing priorities for the sector. He has the skills to build upon Independent Sector’s legacy of helping a diverse sector advance the common good and he will strengthen our organization, and the sector at large, for a rapidly changing future. Our dedicated team and our Board of Directors welcomes this new chapter for IS and we look forward to working with Dan.”

As president of Communities In Schools, Inc., the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization, Cardinali has led efforts to develop and advance an evidence-based model of integrated student service provision and has launched a national growth strategy to increase the organization’s impact on improving public education.

“I am honored and grateful to join Independent Sector and look forward to implementing IS’s ambitious new vision for serving the entire charitable sector. At this important juncture in our nation’s history, it is critical that charities, nonprofits and foundations are thriving and responsive to the communities they serve,” said Dan Cardinali, incoming President and CEO of Independent Sector. “I look forward to working with Independent Sector’s members, board, staff, partners and our entire sector to strengthen IS’s role as the vital meeting ground to advance the common good. I want to thank the Communities In Schools family for their continued support and commitment to transforming public education. As I leave CIS, I know that it is well positioned for unprecedented growth and impact in the future.”

Cardinali is a 2007 Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow. He also currently serves as a trustee for America’s Promise, on the board of Independent Sector and of Child Trends. In May 2011 he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

“Dan is a courageous champion for the common good and an accomplished leader who understands the complexities of philanthropy and the importance of collaboration,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation and a director of Independent Sector. “Given the many challenges facing our world, our work has never been more necessary. We could not be more excited to have such a creative and passionate visionary in the vanguard of this work and at the helm of this indispensable institution.”

Trained as a community organizer in Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinali served on a team organizing a “squatter” community of 120,000 to secure land rights, running water and public education. He returned to Washington, D.C., to receive a one-year research fellowship at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

About Independent Sector: Independent Sector is the leadership forum for nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs whose member networks collectively represent tens of thousands of organizations locally, nationally, and globally.

Carroll Bogert Named President of The Marshall Project

Feb 23, 2016 — The nonprofit news organization The Marshall Project has named Carroll Bogert of Human Rights Watch as its first-ever president.

Bogert, who previously served as Deputy Executive Director for External Relations at Human Rights Watch and before that, as a foreign correspondent for Newsweek magazine, will oversee day-to-day operations of The Marshall Project, which covers criminal justice issues in the United States.

“I am honored that Carroll Bogert will be joining us as The Marshall Project’s first president,” said founder Neil Barsky. “In under two years, we have succeeded in establishing The Marshall Project as a first-class journalism organization. Carroll’s vision and management experience will mean we can devote ourselves even more energetically to covering the myriad issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system.”

“I’ve known and admired Carroll since we were Moscow correspondents in the final days of the Soviet Union, and I’m confident she’ll be a great partner,” said editor-in-chief Bill Keller. “She knows and respects honest, aggressive journalism. And from her successful years at Human Rights Watch, she knows how to build a mission-driven organization. I’m excited to work with her in taking The Marshall Project to the next level.”

Bogert has enjoyed a distinguished career in journalism, non-profit management and strategic communications. She began her career as a foreign correspondent for Newsweek, beginning as a stringer in China, then moving to the Southeast Asia bureau as correspondent, becoming bureau chief in Moscow, and finally working as an editor and international correspondent in the magazine’s New York office.

Bogert joined Human Rights Watch, a nongovernmental organization defending human rights globally, in 1998. Under her leadership, Human Rights Watch established an award-winning multimedia division, a digital team running websites in seven languages, and a vibrant social media presence, including the largest Twitter following of any NGO in the world. Her media staff grew from two to thirty, and the organization’s overall budget more than sextupled.

“I’ve always worked at the intersection of media and nonprofits,” said Bogert. “It’s an incredibly dynamic sector. And it has a huge contribution to make in solving pernicious social problems. To solve problems, you have to understand them. That requires first-rate journalism, and that’s what The Marshall Project has been serving up consistently, since Day One. I’m really proud to be joining this team.”

ABOUT THE MARSHALL PROJECT: Founded in 2014, The Marshall Project has swiftly become a leader among nonprofit newsrooms. In the past year we published over 400 original articles that ranged from deep investigative projects and profiles that put a human face on criminal justice; to explanatory and contextual pieces, along with guest commentary and voices from inside the system. The Marshall Project has interviewed President Obama, and is the recipient of a Polk Award and the John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Journalism.

Susan Caputo Named Senior Vice President For Market Development At Visiting Nurse Service Of New York

Will Lead team supporting growth of VNSNY Homecare, Hospice and Palliative Care, and Partners in Care

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New York, NY — February 16, 2016 – The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) today announced that Susan Cummins Caputo, RN, BSN, MPA, has been named Senior Vice President for Market Development. Ms. Caputo will lead the team that is supporting the continuing growth of the VNSNY Homecare, Hospice and Partners in Care private care businesses from the hospital system, standalone hospitals, physician and residential channels. She reports to Marki Flannery, Executive Vice President and Chief of Provider Operations.

Ms. Caputo most recently developed and implemented a strong provider growth strategy, providing executive leadership within Member Services, Network Development and Medicare operations as Executive Vice President of Amida Care, Inc., now the largest Special Needs Health Plan in New York State. “My main objectives at VNSNY include looking at all opportunities for expanding business activities across our organization, and bringing to market the wide variety of creative community-based programs and solutions that VNSNY is developing,” Ms. Caputo says.

She returns to VNSNY, where over six years she held positions as Regional Administrator of Home Care Services in Nassau County and Director of Business Development, after also serving as President, Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care for the Metropolitan Jewish Health System (MJHS). While at MJHS, she expanded the Certified Home Care Program and managed 3,000 clients under the ElderPlan Managed Long-Term Care Plan High Intensity Care Management Unit, while decreasing 30-day readmissions by 10 percent through health coach programs in key hospital accounts.

Her appointment reflects VNSNY’s unwavering commitment to its core mission of partnering with acute care providers, physicians and skilled nursing facilities to provide superior home and community-based health care to all New Yorkers, whether they are young and in need of health care services or adults facing illness or end-of-life.

“We’re delighted that Sue Caputo will be returning to VNSNY to continue to deliver on our mission of caring for those in need,” said Ms. Flannery. “She has made significant improvements in home care at each organization she’s joined throughout her career and brings significant sales and market development experience to VNSNY. Having had operations experience, she also appreciates the importance of collaborating with the operational team when evaluating business opportunities and our ability to meet the demands of our customers.”

Ms. Caputo has co-chaired the Greater New York Continuing Care Leadership Coalition and has served on the U.S. government task force for Medicaid Redesign, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Technical Advisory Panel for reimbursement and modernization, and the U.S. Senate committee for community healthcare.

With a career that began as a staff nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Babies Hospital of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, followed by nursing positions in the Pediatric Oncology divisions of New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY, Ms. Caputo is well-known in her field, and has held prominent sales and operation positions at notable companies such as Caremark, Region Care, Staff Builders Home Healthcare, Coram Healthcare. Just prior to joining VNSNY in 2000, she served as Administrator for Home Care Services at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY, where she had total budgetary responsibility for the organization, and provided clinical oversight for all professional services.

Ms. Caputo earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Molloy College in Rockville Center, NY, and holds a Master’s in Public Health Administration from the New School of Social Research in New York City.

About The Visiting Nurse Service of New York

As the largest not-for-profit home- and community-based health care agency in the nation, VNSNY has, on any given day, more than 35,000 patients under direct and coordinated care. VNSNY has the capabilities and resources to deliver a full range of home health care services throughout the five boroughs of New York City as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Services include short and long-term home care, including skilled nursing, rehabilitation therapy, HHA and companionship services, behavioral health, nutritional guidance and infusion care; services for children and families; end of life services; community mental health services; paraprofessional services; Medicare and Medicaid health plans (VNSNY CHOICE) and private care services (Partners in Care). Visit or call 1-800-675-0391 for more information.

SDSU A Top Ranking Institution

SDSU is No. 60 in the nation and No. 7 in California on the Business Journals’ list of top public universities.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2016) — For the second year in a row, San Diego State University ranks among The Business Journals’ top public universities and colleges in the United States that offer the best educational experiences to their students. SDSU is listed as No. 60 out of 477 national public universities and No. 7 of the 29 California institutions in the journal’s rankings.

The highest marks went to schools with highly selective admissions processes, strong retention and graduation rates, prestigious reputations, affordable tuitions and housing costs, diverse faculties and student bodies and economically robust communities.

The study, which was released today, ranked 477 public universities and colleges that met the following criteria:

  • At least 1,000 full-time undergraduates enrolled
  • More than half of the degrees they granted during the most recent academic year were at the bachelor’s degree level or higher.
  • They have been classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as baccalaureate, master’s or research institutions.
  • They submitted the full range of 2014 data to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
  • They are not U.S. military academies

Universities that topped the list include the University of North Carolina, the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia. Two California schools — University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Berkeley — round out the top five.

SDSU is among 11 California universities in the top 100 on the list.

Leading the way

So far this year, SDSU has also been recognized for its entrepreneurship, student and alumni volunteerism, vet-friendly campus and economic value.

SDSU’s undergraduate entrepreneurial program has been ranked No. 8 among the nation’s public universities and No. 21 for all universities in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report.

The Peace Corps recently announced that SDSU ranks No. 24 among large schools on the agency’s Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, with 32 Aztec alumni currently volunteering worldwide.

SDSU ranks among the country’s best schools for veterans. According to the Military Times, SDSU is 11th out of 125 four-year universities.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranks SDSU No. 87 in public colleges and No. 204 among all colleges that combine outstanding education with economic value.

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 35,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 94 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit

Centre Gives 2016 Registration Deadline Approaching

Participants Encouraged to Attend Success Series in March

2015 Centre Gives logo

State College, PA – The deadline for local non-profit organizations to register for Centre Gives is quickly approaching.

“All 2016 applications to participate in Centre Gives are due by Friday, March 4th,” reminded Molly Kunkel, Centre Foundation’s Executive Director. “We’ve already registered over 65 organizations and expect many more to register in the next few days.”

Centre Foundation is encouraging qualified nonprofit organizations serving Centre County to register at for its annual online giving program. This 36-hour community-wide giving event will begin at 6 am on Tuesday, May 3rd. Since Centre Gives began in 2012, the number of participating organizations has risen from 74 to over 100. Organizations with missions in all interest areas participate: education, environment, animals, the arts, and health and social services. Last year, nearly 5,000 gifts were made during the 36 hours of this online event.

“Over the lifetime of the program, community donations and Centre Foundation’s stretch pool dollars and prize money have invested a combined total of nearly $3,000,000 back into the Centre County community,” noted Kunkel.

Participating organizations are also encouraged to attend the Centre Gives Success Series that will be held in March. Sessions will cover storytelling, social media, fundraising strategies, engaging stakeholders, a four-week action plan, and donor appreciation tactics.

“These are skills that organizations can use during the 36 hours of Centre Gives, but also 365 days a year as best practices,” explained Kunkel.

More information about the sessions, dates, and registration can be found at

For more information about Centre Gives, please contact Tracy Carey, Grants & Scholarship Coordinator ( | 814-237-6229).

Centre Foundation is committed to helping donors fulfill their philanthropic goals by building and maintaining a permanent collection of endowment funds. The Foundation champions the betterment of Centre County for both present and future generations with trustworthy leadership in shaping effective responses to community issues and opportunities.

Aspen Dental, Got Your 6 And Danica Patrick Team Up To Bring Smiles To U.S. Veterans With The Launch Of The Third Annual Healthy Mouth Movement

Campaign Encourages Americans to Show Support by Smiling for Veterans

Aspen Dental Logo (PRNewsFoto/Aspen Dental)

Aspen Dental Logo (PRNewsFoto/Aspen Dental)

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Barriers like cost, lack of insurance and access to dentists nearby kept more than 155 million American adults from visiting a dentist in the past year, and among those in need are our nation’s veterans. Recognizing the importance of oral health for our nation’s veterans, and to combat the barriers to care, Aspen Dental practices are continuing their commitment to veterans in need by kicking off the third annual Healthy Mouth Movement in conjunction with Got Your 6 and Healthy Mouth Movement ambassador and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick.

“In our first year of the Healthy Mouth Movement in 2014, we noticed a need among veterans for dental services, and since then we have strengthened our commitment to serving this community who so selflessly served our country,” said Dr. Schatzie Vincent, director of clinical support and community giving at Aspen Dental Management, Inc.

The Healthy Mouth Movement kicks off today with the launch of the “Smile 4 Vets” social media campaign and continues throughout the year on a 30-city tour with the MouthMobile – a 42-ft dental office on wheels that provides free dental care to veterans across the country – and during a day of service this summer. This community-giving initiative has helped more than 4,000 veterans across the country receive $2.8 million dollars in free dental care in 2015 alone. The MouthMobile makes its first stop on Thursday, February 25 at Centennial Park in Atlanta.

Smiling For Our Vets

As part of this year’s Healthy Mouth Movement, Aspen Dental added a new element – the “Smile 4 Vets” social media campaign that kicks off today and directly benefits Got Your 6, a campaign that empowers veterans to help strengthen communities nationwide, and the veterans they serve.

  • Beginning today, people can share their smiles with hashtags #Smile4Vets and #Sweepstakes on Twitter, Instagram or at as a salute to veterans nationwide.
  • For every smile shared, Aspen Dental will donate $1 to Got Your 6.
  • Aspen Dental will display the photos shared on and on a digital billboard in The Fan Zone at the Atlanta Motor Speedway February 26-28.
  • As a thank you for supporting our veterans, everyone who shares their smile will be entered for a chance to win free dental care for a special veteran in their life, plus a trip to the Michigan race in August 2016, including an opportunity to meet Healthy Mouth Movement ambassador and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick.

“I’ve been involved with the Healthy Mouth Movement from the very beginning, and to see the impact it makes on the lives of our veterans year after year is incredible,” said Patrick. “It’s really great to see how regaining a healthy smile can truly transform veterans’ lives. I’m glad to be a part of this initiative for another year and look forward to seeing many more new smiles as I join Aspen Dental in its commitment to giving back to our veterans.”

Partnering to Protect Veteran Oral Health

In addition to offering free dental care, Aspen Dental is also supporting veterans through its continued partnership with Got Your 6. Got Your 6 – meaning “I’ve got your back” – is a collective impact campaign that works to bridge the military-civilian divide.

Of the more than 21 million veterans across the U.S. today, fewer than 10 million are enrolled for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits, and more than 1.2 million lack health insurance altogether. The disparity is even more pronounced when it comes to dental care since veterans do not receive dental benefits through the VA unless they are classified as 100% disabled, have a service-connected dental condition, or have a service-oriented medical condition that is affected by their mouth.

“Through powerful initiatives like the Healthy Mouth Movement and its ‘Smile 4 Vets’ campaign, veterans are empowered to strengthen their communities across the nations as leaders, team builders and problem solvers,” said Bill Rausch, Executive Director of Got Your 6.

For more information, visit and

About Aspen Dental Practices

Dentists and staff at Aspen Dental practices believe everyone has the right to quality, affordable oral health care. As one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the U.S., local Aspen Dental practices – more than 500 of them across 33 states – offer patients a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment to address their dental challenges. Every Aspen Dental-branded practice offers a full range of dental and denture services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work – allowing patients to have the peace of mind that they are taken care of and protected, so they can focus on getting the healthy mouths they deserve. In 2015, Aspen Dental-branded practices recorded more than 3.7 million patient visits and welcomed nearly 785,000 new patients.

About Aspen Dental Management Inc.

Aspen Dental Management Inc. (ADMI) is a dental support organization that provides non-clinical business support services to independently owned and operated dental practices in approximately 30 states. This can include services and recommendations related to finding the right location, leasing, IT services, accounting and marketing. This model leaves independent, licensed practitioners free to concentrate on patient care.

To learn more about Aspen Dental-branded practices and services, preview the patient experience, get answers to general treatment questions, find a location, and schedule appointments, visit To learn more about careers at ADMI and Aspen Dental practices, visit

About Got Your 6

Got Your 6 is a collective impact campaign that works to bridge the military-civilian divide. Combining the reach and resources of the entertainment industry with the expertise and commitment from veteran-focused non-profit and government partners, the campaign works to advance the conversation in America so veterans and their families are seen as leaders and civic assets who will invigorate our communities. In 2013 and 2014, Got Your 6 distributed grants totaling over $4 million to their veteran-focused non-profit partners. For more information, visit Be the Change, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is the organizing body and fiscal sponsor of Got Your 6.

About Stewart-Haas Racing

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The team fields four entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet for Danica Patrick and the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet for Kurt Busch. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with approximately 280 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at, on Facebook at, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram at

SOURCE Aspen Dental

Urban Youth Mentor Corey D. James Shares Touching Story of Empowering Inner City Kids in Inspiring New Book, ‘Painting Pictures’

NEWARK, NJ – After more than a decade dedicated to working with urban youths, mentor and activist Corey D. James is sharing the story of how his New Jersey nonprofit is reshaping the lives of young men and women and empowering them to seek brighter futures in an inspiring new book, “Painting Pictures: Re-framing the World of Inner-City Youth” releasing in April 2016.

“Painting Pictures” shares stories of success and tragedy, featuring real accounts of youth whose lives are permeated by negative influences. Growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods, our youth learn at an early age that they have to adapt to the rules of the streets or fall victim to it. They replicate the image of their environment, resulting in the ongoing cycle of violence, drugs, incarceration and intense tragedy. James believes this cycle can be broken.

“Painting Pictures” brings readers into the harsh and complex world in which urban youth struggle, sharing their first-hand accounts of the alarming images and circumstances inner city youth must overcome.

Although their pictures look bleak, filled with disasters, frustrations and destructive emotions, James believes a greater picture can be painted. Tear-jerking testimonies pepper the book, providing an understanding that even those raised in the most hopeless of environments can still grow and evolve into sources of inspiration for their community and for society.

“Painting Pictures” serves to remind us all that we can play a crucial role in ensuring that marginalized youth receive the support and encouragement they need to rise out of their poor conditions and paint a better future for themselves.

Corey D. James is the founder and CEO of Painting Pictures Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to making an impact in the lives of disadvantaged youth. He has devoted his life and career to directly serving at-risk youth in urban communities as a youth mentor, group facilitator and motivational speaker. A Franklin, NJ, native, James graduated from Cairn University in 2005 with a master’s of science in organizational leadership. Before launching Painting Pictures, he worked directly with youth in the juvenile justice system as the assistant director for the Youth Advocate Program in Essex and Union counties in New Jersey. He currently leads the NJ State University, Rutgers – Future Scholars program in Newark, NJ, a program dedicated to fostering students from urban communities into high-achieving college students.

Q&A with
Corey D. James
Author of “Painting Pictures”


Why did you start Painting Pictures Inc. and what is your vision for the future?

Over the past decade, I’ve had the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the lives of urban youth, both in my various personal connections with them and in the administrative positions I’ve held. My experience advocating for these youth have allowed me to develop a better understanding of their circumstances and of the conditions within their environment that enforce those circumstances. What I have found is that the unwritten rules and expectations of those raised by the streets profoundly limit their perception of themselves and what they can accomplish.

There are many programs that provide mentorship and life skills, which are vitally important, however, I felt that exposing young people to environments where they can visually see a new world and new possibilities was missing. Many youth programs provide great tools for young people, yet many never see these tools utilized so our “preaching to them” seems unrealistic. Therefore, Painting Pictures provides mentorship to urban youth, which models behavioral and structural development, but it also creates a tangible awareness for young people.

“You can only aspire to the level of your awareness and exposure.” Therefore, the vision of Painting Pictures Inc. is to help allow young people dream and attain beyond their environmental boundaries. Painting Pictures Inc. will expose young people to a world that is driven by optimism, confidence, and new experiences, but founded in hard work and practical solutions. Thus, we create opportunities for young people to experience the luxury of fine dining, the arts, college campuses, thriving communities, and even international exposure resulting in a reframing of their world. Additionally, the vision of Painting Pictures is to expose young people to successful people to further provide real life examples of their possibilities.

Have you always wanted to work with urban youth?

Absolutely not. I never saw myself in the field I am in today. My passion still shocks me and shocks those who know me well. This field was never a thought or consideration, as I was pursuing a path in ministry. I envisioned myself being the pastor of a thriving church. God had a much different and surprising plan for me.

With much hesitation, I took a job in the juvenile justice field because I was low on options and income. But as I began to work with this population, I became aware of the tragedies and trauma of the streets and the mission to make a difference grabbed my heart.

This mission that caught my attention years ago has only increased in importance over the years. Now, I can’t see myself doing anything but advocating for this population of youth.

What are some things that Painting Pictures Inc. does to help young men and women?

Painting Pictures connects young men and women with a qualified adult, which is key. Unfortunately, many of our youth are in bad predicaments due to the missing ingredient of responsible adults who care enough not to allow generational cycles to continue. Through these caring adults, Painting Pictures provide mentorship, life skills training, recreational opportunities, academic assistance, and the motivational feature of “teasing” young people – that is to provide them with exposure to better environments. Additionally, we seek to partner with businesses to provide jobs for young people.

As a mentor to urban youth who are surrounded by violence, drugs and family dysfunction, you must see a lot of tragedy. How do you stay positive?

2014 in particular was a difficult year for my mission. Young people close to my heart only days apart were stabbed, shot, and killed. I spent the beginning of that year attending funerals for lives taken from us far too soon and the next seven months in a children’s hospital supporting one of my young people who was a victim to gun violence, which paralyzed him. It was a rough time, a time of unbearable grief.

I considered giving up this type of work due to the emotional stress. Others also suggested I do something different because they saw the pain I was experiencing. I couldn’t detach myself from this mission though. Honestly, the tragedies pushed me to do more. It created a greater mission for me to do my absolute best in offering our young people an alternative to incarceration and death.

So, how do I stay positive? I stay positive with the belief that successes outweigh the tragedies. As there are difficult times that challenge one’s conviction, there are also empowering achievements that inspire me greatly. Some are small achievements, but they are still steps toward greater accomplishments.

Tell us about one of the success stories that has come out of your work mentoring young men and women.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with young people for years. With that being said, I had the privilege of starting with young people at the age of 13 who are adults today. I am still in contact with many of these young people that I worked with 10 years ago, and I have the amazing privilege to see the fruit of our labors.

One young man in particular is now 23. When I met this young person, some might have considered him a lost cause. In fact, my colleagues criticized me and called me the “newbie” as I was willing to invest so much time and energy into a young man who others characterized as unworthy. This young man had extreme drug addiction concerns, his school attendance and academic performance was inconsistent, and he hardly came home at night. On many occasions, I’ve had to go find him and bring him home as I would receive phone calls from his mother in the middle of the night – more than a few times. I’ve had to advocate for him in court due to his run-ins with the law, and I helped this young man get multiple jobs, though he couldn’t keep them. One might have given up on him, but I couldn’t find it in me to do so.

It’s important to note that visible success isn’t apparent right away. Sure, I saw small achievements in the journey that gave me hope to persevere. However, it’s most amazing when sometimes you didn’t feel like you made great impact in the moment but years later you see the impact manifests and the young person confirms that, “without your support I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

This young man now has a family that he is very much devoted to. He is holding down a full-time job, and he’s a totally different person with positive interests and a positive outlook. It’s a joy to connect with him every few months as I witness the fruits of his labors.

What are some misconceptions people have about disadvantaged youth?

Unfortunately, many people believe that these young kids don’t want help. My philosophy stems from a quote I once heard, “The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.” It is a misconception that disadvantaged youth won’t gravitate to a more positive lifestyle if it were offered to them.

I provided an illustration in the book in the chapter entitled, “Life is like a game of Spades.” The thought presented in this chapter is that because these young people have been dealt “bad hands” they react with defiance, cheating, and giving up. However, I remind the reader that defiance stems from the pain of losing the “game of life,” so then they “cheat” through illegal means simply because they want to get ahead. I remind the reader that while the misconception is that cheaters are “bad,” I see cheaters as someone who wants to win just that badly.

A quote from the book says, “No one cheats on a test that they don’t care to pass. They do it because they want the diploma, they want the success, they want the goal, but because of the way “life has been set up” cheating and deception becomes their only alternative. If they really didn’t want to win, they wouldn’t bother, they wouldn’t try.”I believe that our young people do want to live successfully and do it the right way but have found themselves at a dead end with no way out.

What do you want readers to take away from your book, “Painting Pictures?”

I want readers to first understand the trauma that urban youth are experiencing. I think too often these young people are looked upon as “bad” without assessing the factors that dictate their actions. My goal is to enlighten the reader on the causes that produce the effect.

Secondly, I desire that readers gain an understanding that all hope is not lost for these young people. And while it seems irreversible, with the right intervention, significant change can occur in the life of the young person.

Lastly, I would like the reader to walk away with a desire to be that agent of change. Some who read the book will already be working directly with youth, but I hope this book provides multiple perspectives and pushes them to do a little bit more. For others, they may have been like me and never imagined themselves working with young people. For them, I want to see a fire kindled that will create a new mission for their lives to assist inner city youth and create a better picture for their future.

Robin Ganzert wins Rare Life Leadership Award

Leadership of American Humane Association Impacts Hundreds of Millions of Children and Animals

Washington, D.C. (February 23, 2016) — Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has named Robin Ganzert, Ph.D. of Washington, D.C., as the winner of the 2016 Rare Life Leadership Award. Eagle Rare will donate $5,000 to Ganzert’s charity, American Humane Association – which protects America’s kids and animals.

Dr. Robin Ganzert was named President and CEO of American Humane Association in August 2010 after serving as the deputy director of philanthropic services at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ganzert has taken American Humane Association, first established in 1877, to unprecedented levels of success since being named President. Under her leadership, American Humane Association increased the number of children and animals helped by more than tenfold, tripled the size of American Humane Association’s Red Star Rescue fleet and ensured the humane treatment of over 350,000 animals in film and television productions through its “No Animals Were Harmed” program. American Humane Association’s latest innovation is a breakthrough study that demonstrates the medical benefits of therapy dogs for children undergoing cancer treatment.

“I love bringing my work home with me,” says Dr. Ganzert. “My two- and four-legged family members inspire my work and help me live a Rare Life.” To learn more about American Humane Association, visit

The Rare Life Award is an annual recognition program created to honor individuals who exhibit courage, leadership, survival, devotion, character and heroism. Candidates are nominated by friends, family and colleagues. Their stories and photos are posted online at, where visitors vote on these inspirational stories.

Ganzert was among the top 20 nominees, selected from 208 stories submitted through the Rare Life website. The Grand Prize 2016 Rare Life Award winner is Hershel “Woody” Williams, founder of The Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation in Ona, W.V. Williams will receive a $50,000 donation to his charity which pays tribute to the family members left behind when a soldier is killed during combat.

Ganzert was one of six runners-up receiving $5,000 to their charities of choice, with each runner-up awarded for embodying a distinct characteristic of a Rare Life: Courage, Leadership, Heroism, Character, Devotion and Survival. Eagle Rare’s prize donations for 2016 total $80,000. This is the sixth year for the Rare Life campaign, and the 2016 awards will bring total grants to date for charities to $320,000.

The other 2016 runners-up are:

Mai Christy of Milwaukee, Ore.: Character Award for Camp Courage
Jason Redman of Chesapeake, Va.: Heroism Award for Combat Wounded Coalition
Laura Leigh of Reno, Nev.: Courage Award for Wild Horse Education
Elizabeth Lumsden of San Bernardino, Calif.: Devotion Award for Operation: Destination Homebound
Kenneth Knabenshue of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.: Survival Award for Working Dogs for Vets

About Eagle Rare Bourbon

Eagle Rare Bourbon Whiskey is part of the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery, an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, (Franklin County), Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Eagle Rare Bourbon is a 10-year-old single barrel bourbon that has won multiple awards, including five double gold medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. To learn more about Eagle Rare visit

Jefferson Awards Foundation Names Billie Jean King, Eric Decker and Salesforce 2016 National Public Service Award Recipients

FOX Business Anchor Trish Regan will host the Annual NYC National Ceremony on March 2, 2016

New York (February 22, 2016)The Jefferson Awards Foundation, the nation’s most prestigious and longest-standing organization dedicated to powering and celebrating public service, will honor the country’s top public service achievers in 2016 at its annual gala in New York City. Taking place at Gotham Hall on March 2, 2016, the Foundation will also recognize individuals, organizations and young people who have made exemplary achievements in service on a local level in the past year.

“Each year we recognize America’s greatest individuals and companies who are changing their communities, our nation and the world through public service,” said Hillary Schafer, Executive Director of The Jefferson Awards Foundation. “Through celebration, we say thank you, we tell their stories, and we become a force multiplier through inspiration.”

Billie Jean King will receive the Lifetime Achievement in Public Service Award. She is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and the co-founder of World TeamTennis. Her commitment to social justice and equality are known worldwide. King joins the ranks of Robert de Niro, Tom Brokaw and Ray Chambers, who have previously received this award.

Eric Decker, wide receiver for the New York Jets, will receive the award for Greatest Public Service by an Athlete. Together with his wife Jessie, Decker founded the Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation, which strives to positively impact the lives of United States military service members and veterans as well as animals through fundraising and community outreach. In addition, Decker serves as a spokesperson for the Jets’ anti-bullying program. Previous recipients of this award include Marty Lyons, Drew Brees and Freddie Jackson.

Cindy Robbins, EVP of Global Employee Success, of Salesforce will accept the award for Outstanding Service by a Corporation. Since the inception of the company, Salesforce created a philanthropic approach called the 1-1-1 model that leverages one percent of its own workforce, technology and resources to help improve communities around the world. Companies awarded in past years include Target, Pfizer, Weyerhaeuser and General Electric.

As a way to honor the thousands of armed services members who volunteer to protect the United States every day, the Jefferson Awards Foundation will present a special award to an entire category of individual. In 2016, the Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest National or Global Service 35 & Under will be awarded to the Young American Soldier in a very special presentation.

During the ceremony, the Jefferson Awards Foundation will also announce the 2016 LEAD360 finalists and present awards to the national activation winners of 2015. LEAD360 is the foundation’s platform for powering youth service ideas. JAF activated three service projects in 2015, impacting nine million lives with a dollar value of $12 million. The 2015 activation winners are: Blessings in a Backpack, Norman Oliver, TransferNation, One World Play Project, Indiana Sports Corp, University of Arizona, Family Giving Tree, Mandi Simon and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

FOX Business host Trish Regan, a member of the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s Board of Governors will be the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening. The evening’s honorary co-chairs will be Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and NY Jets alumni Marty Lyons.

About the Jefferson Awards Foundation

The Jefferson Awards Foundation is America’s gold seal of public service. Like their namesake, they believe engaging in social good inspires purpose – and drives lasting solutions for our communities and the nation. Their five programs accelerate and amplify public service. JAF delivers tools for collective engagement and empower anyone to make an impact. They train and activate Americans to take action and to be leaders in schools, communities, workplaces and the world. The Jefferson Awards Foundation is the country’s most prestigious and longest standing public service award. With celebration, they say thank you. In sharing the stories of America’s best citizens, they empower them to do more and inspire all to take action. To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation, visit: or engage with our community on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

ERI Scientific Beta And South Pole Group Launch New Low-Carbon Indexes: 80% Carbon Footprint Reduction Of Equity Investments And Market Outperformance

Zurich, Switzerland and Boston, USA, 23 February 2016 – The launch of a new series of low carbon indexes by ERI Scientific Beta, the smart beta index provider set up by EDHEC Risk Institute, marks the practical realisation of the Risk Institute’s research efforts on reconciling financial and environmental performance. The launch represents an important moment for responsible finance as the results of the research will provide institutional investors with smart beta indexes that can reduce the carbon footprint of their equity investments by more than 80%. The smart beta indexes also outperform traditional market indexes by creating more than 50% additional value in the medium term. The new ERI Scientific Beta Low Carbon Multi-Beta Multi-Strategy Indexes are based on carbon emissions data provided by South Pole Group, a leading global sustainability solutions provider.

EDHEC Risk Institute’s approach in creating the smart beta indexes differs from numerous other methods in its objectives regarding short and medium term performance: while the majority of low carbon indexes aim to outperform stock markets in the long term by excluding companies with higher exposure to carbon, the short and medium term gains would generally produce performance similar to that of traditional stock market indexes. The green indexes produced by ERI Scientific Beta, on the other hand, aim to offer access to short and medium-term outperformance by using consensual results from financial research. The “green” premium will be able to play out as a long-term complement to performance: ERI Scientific Beta’s green and smart beta indexes already produce such outperformance performance by relying on the consensual state-of-the-art in academia in the area of factor investing and portfolio diversification.

The smart beta indexes will have a strong positive impact on the environment by excluding the largest carbon emitters, i.e., the companies with the highest carbon intensity in each sector of activity and the largest holders of fossil assets. By weighing on the value of the stocks of the excluded firms, the smart beta indexes pressurize the companies in question to change their strategy or their production process in order to be removed from the exclusion list.

“We are delighted to share our expertise with ERI Scientific Beta to produce low-carbon versions of their highly respected multi-smart factor indexes. The combination of low-carbon emissions and state-of-the-art smart factor indexes is a compelling opportunity for investors globally,” says Maximilian Horster, Partner, Financial Industry at South Pole Group.

A special workshop at the EDHEC-Risk Days conference at The Brewery in London on March 15 will address the theme of “Smart Beta & Low Carbon” by looking at the limitations of green stock picking. The workshop will examine the link between financial performance and carbon footprint reduction, and present the Scientific Beta Low Carbon Multi-Beta Multi-Strategy Indexes.

To receive a press pass to the workshop, please visit the registration website.

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