Columbus is pretty incredible--in so many ways. We have: the BEST library in the country the best zoo in the country the best science center in America and America’s largest University. We have also been recognized as one of the 7 Smartest Cities in the World-pretty cool, huh? So, it really should be no surprise why we won the U.S. Department of Transportation $40 million Smart City Challenge. As Mayor Ginther said, "Stop acting surprised." It's true. Columbus really is the place to be and I'm darn proud of that. Because we won the Smart City Challenge and we were awarded a $40 million dollar grant, we are taking great strides to connect...

I was fortunate enough to have an amazing opportunity. I was able to go behind the scenes at Raising Cane's Hamilton location, where their G.M. Gaige McNutt graciously showed me around and gave me the “ins and outs” of this truly amazing company. Everywhere you look and turn there are stories. Stories behind what's hanging on the walls.  Gaige decided to hang framed jerseys of all the schools in his area that they have partnered with in the past by donating their time, food or funds.  And the stories are meaningful. Intentional. And full of rich tradition. Take this hard hat here. After working at Raising Cane’s...

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...

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...

DESIGN, ENTER & WIN CHIPOTLE BURRITOS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR! It may be obvious, but we're obsessed with Chipotle.  OBSESSED.  As in, we literally eat there once a week.  But, that's not the point. We have good news. If you have an obsession too, than your dreams can become a reality, because they've partnered with one of our favorite local FitFashion apparel brands, Bend Active to bring you an "Avocad-ohhh Active Wear" design contest. But, it's much more than just a contest.  You know we can't hold back from a good story. Well, in this case, the story is one of you.  Local creatives are being asked to design an "Avocado"...

#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 was a normal kid growing up. I cheered ever since I was little and did it all through school. I went to The Ohio State University for college. In 2015, my sophomore year of college,  I started experiencing numbness on the right side of my body.  All of a sudden my body couldn’t do what it used to do. I thought I was getting a cold or something. So, I went to the chiropractor's office where I lived, and they thought I had a pinched nerve in my neck. Which I did. But, the chiropractor saw me everyday for a week and I wasn’t getting better. I...