My son was born in 2013 and we didn’t know there was anything wrong.       I had a completely healthy pregnancy and then he was born premature. When he was born he was jaundice—which causes yellowing of the skin and eyes. No one was worried about it because that’s pretty normal in premature babies. A couple days later they sent us home, but they wanted to watch him closely. We were getting blood drawn every three days for his first two weeks of life, and then it got a little bit better and we thought, “Oh great he’s getting better—we’re good to go. It was just a premature thing.” But...

"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...

Dr. Phing Saurer's story is one of focus, resilience, and loyalty. It's a story about overcoming and working hard. Like all of us, Dr. Saurer's story begins with her parents. In this case, her parents' quest to America in search of opportunity. "My parents came to this country, leaving behind their entire family and everything they knew to give their kids a better life. They knew no one and barely spoke any English, but giving us a brighter future was the most important thing to them. I am in awe of their selflessness and sacrifices." Dr. Saurer's parents faced many obvious challenges in their journey, but no hurdle...

"Being Her Mama Has Made Me Strong" "When life flips upside down, you can either hang there and accept it or fight to flip it back. I chose to fight. Yet, I didn’t make that choice right away. No, there was a solid few months of self pity, followed by anger, then fear, and then eventually, and quite surprisingly, strength. This is important, because we often think that we have to choose an emotion and react immediately. We can only be strong, angry, scared, silent, or happy. Yet, in reality, we are typically feeling all of these things, all at once. We have become experts at displaying one...

"I first started dancing around the age of 3." "Around the age 10 I started dancing at  Judy Dollenmayer Studio of Dance in Gahanna. I started out taking a basic ballet technique class, because at the time, I was determined to become the next prima ballerina. Then, I started to get interested in different styles. So, I enrolled in a lyrical dancing class and a competition jazz class. This was around the time Dance Moms was becoming popular.  The competition world fascinated me beyond words. Today, I am competing 15 different dances and spending 15 hours a week dancing in the studio. My name is Alexis Collier. I'm 17. Last year I decided...

#CauseCuisine "I grew up in poverty. My mother and step-dad were alcoholics and addicts. I got into drugs at an early age, and my mother signed papers for me to drop out of school. I guess you could say my upbringing was training for the life of human trafficking that would eventually choose me. I see what my human traffickers must have seen when they coerced me into that life – easy prey. My life changed in 2010 when I was put into a treatment program in lieu of serving jail time for criminal activity. After three years of continued sobriety, I started my job search and...

"My name is Jenny Aquino and I was born and raised in Columbus. I am an avid Justin Timerblake and Gilmore Girls fan. I also love spending time with my family and friends. I am a first grade special education teacher at an amazing school. I really hope that my story can help others that may be experiencing a tremendous loss. The last 3 years have been really trying on my family, and I would love others to see that it’s possible to celebrate your lost loved ones. 2015 was an exceptionally tough year for my family. It started out incredible, on January 14th I got engaged to...

 "I moved to Columbus from Cleveland, OH in 2010. Shortly after the move I went through a difficult divorce and became a single mother of 3. I needed to find supplemental income to make ends meet and keep life going. I run an in-home daycare during the day and didn’t want to put my children through having a Mom with more than one full time job. I have always been in love with art and I’ve been painting as long as I can remember. I do not have an art degree and hadn’t explored earning an income through my painting beyond selling pet portraits; I...

"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...

Who is ready for some color? The Columbus Color Run is this Saturday! So, it's the final week to register! @thcolorrun was founded in 2011, with a mission to bring people together to "make the world a happier, healthier place by creating an experience that’s more about the memories you make than your mile per minute."   And it's true--its all about the experience and the moments we can create in our lifetime with our friends and family. Everyone by now should know that it's a critical element for us here at Columbus Stories. Because, it's these types of moments and experiences that formulate our stories.  This is Jordan,...