My mom took her own life when I was six years old. She was 31. As I am quickly approaching the same age she died, I am fighting daily to make sure my story doesn’t end like hers. My name is Nikki. I’m 29 years old, a graduate from Grandview Heights High School, and a stay at home mom. I work at home by filming and editing videos for my YouTube channel (NikkiLeighLifestyle) where I have almost 60k subscribers and over 20 million video views. I’ve had this channel since 2010 and have received letters from all over the world and of all races and age...

"I am a scrappy activist and advocate. The seeds of my activism were planted and have bloomed in and out of seasons and pushed me ever closer to my purpose. Season One: Childhood I was born into a family of educators who spent their careers educating children in large urban school districts. Growing up I heard stories about children who were poor, lived in marginalized communities, and often did not have enough to eat.  Of the many stories that I heard there is one that stands out. My mother was an elementary school principal.  One morning my mother was called to the cafeteria because a first grade student...

"Backstory: June 30, 2017 I lived in my own apartment for almost 4 years in April. I call my place the Cozy Cottage. I never had any major issues with my neighbors, though at one point I had a neighbor that played extremely loud music all hours of the night and day, that I could feel and hear it through my noise canceling headphones. (Note: Sensory Processing Disorder). Anyways, end of June 2017 my Dad fell and broke his hip, so I was at the hospital with him from morning until 10pm. I knew I had new neighbors (a guy and a female) above me, because I had...

"I am a mother of 3 loving children. I have 2 girls and 1 boy who are the light of my life. I am also a mother with a child who has cerebral palsy and cancer. In June of 2017, a routine MRI turned into something no mother, father, or family should ever have to go through. Trey was born with cerebral palsy which led doctors to order a routine MRI. After the MRI my family and I sat in front of a doctor as he told us that they found a tumor. After completion of a biopsy, it was confirmed that not only did Trey have a...

 A story of Fighting Blindness "When I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at age 14, I was told by my retina specialist that I wouldn’t have trouble with vision until I was “much, much older.” Apparently, late 20’s was “older.” At 28 years old, I started noticing that I couldn’t see my 6-month-old daughter’s face very well. If I stared at her eyes, I couldn’t see her nose, let alone the rest of her body. I then started realizing that if I looked at my mom on the couch, I couldn’t see my dad sitting directly next to her. I was missing handshakes, curbs, and wet...

"When I was 17 I remember sitting at my Grandfathers oak table tracing the knots in the wood a thousand times as if I were Pac-man trying to find my exit out.  As I flipped through Polaroid pictures laying on the table my Grandfather said to me in a stern voice---don’t mix those pictures up-they tell a story, from beginning to end. My knack for knowing strangers, people, community and their stories came long before I.  Like a family cornbread recipe it was handed down to me from my Grandfather to my Mother, and then I. I intend to also give it away someday. I...

Black Women And Girls’ Recognition Day is taking place August 21st at 6:00pm. The event is sponsored by The Women's Place at The Ohio State University. [caption id="attachment_9563" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Photo Credit: Jamia Shepherd[/caption] The event celebrates and empowers the lives of Black Women and Girls.  There will be spoken word performances, special guest appearances, and refreshments. And, of course, the special awarding of scholarships to young women in the Columbus community. The event will take place at The Columbus Metropolitan Library Driving Park Branch. The nonprofit organization, Education Foundation for Freedom is committed to empowering Black women and girls. They are dedicated to actively improving their lives through educational programs...

It's the beginning of August and you realize you've been vacationing through other people's Facebook posts, but not a single vacation was one you actually took. Oops. But, luckily, there are still a few days left for some summer fun. I'm not saying vacations are a must, I'm actually against the planned, yearly trips, but I do think summer is the time where you check off some things on your bucket list. Because our kids are so young and we wanted to keep the spending to a minimum, we decided to do a little staycation. What is a staycation you might ask? Well, my definition is--a little vacation...

Easterseals is an amazing program. I know because my brother Guthrie was born with cerebral palsy and attended the program.  It was life changing for him.  Well, they're hosting their annual spring Romancing the Grape event on April 29th. Romancing the Grape started back in 2002 (so they've been going at it for 15 years) and the event is by far their largest fundraiser. It raises over $100,000 in support of Easterseals’ programs that make profound and positive differences in people’s lives. Programs such as Early Intervention in which children with special needs ages 1-3 receive early childhood education and pediatric therapies vital to helping them reach...

  [caption id="attachment_9342" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Emma[/caption] Hello! My name is Emma and I have had quite the journey. I spent a year in the Dominican Republic and a month in Spain. I have taught English, tutored children in an orphanged and worked with woman coming out of sex slavery. I have experienced great times of depression and joy as I have searched for direction in my life. As time goes on, my desire to share my faith and the love God has for everyone in different and wonderful cultures around the world grows more and more. My next journey is to the Japanese Alps where I will...