"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...

A Testimony of Courage "I'm a very passionate woman. I have a heart for the hidden cries in the inner city of single mothers and children. I love to feed the homeless--for I was once homeless with a new born baby.   I was born a crack baby at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. At five weeks old I got adopted by two wonderful people. As I began to crawl my left leg used to drag behind me. I also did not speak until the age of 4 years old. My mother kept me in therapy at Children’s Hospital. I wanted to share my story because its...

 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...

A Story of Grief @jessfpetersen "I am a married mom of three kids - Sadie, Colin and Elise. My husband Brian and I have been married for 11 years, but have known each other since we were kids. I work in media relations for Lifeline of Ohio and consider it a privilege to work in the field of organ, eye and tissue donation. I am also the #1 Button Artist in the state of Ohio...

"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...

My dad started showing signs of Alzheimer’s when I was in high school. Let me tell you, there’s no worse combination in the world than a teenager and dementia patient under the same roof. I suppose all terminal illnesses are vicious in their own way, but Alzheimer’s really enjoys itself. It relishes in its slow and meticulous nature. It doesn’t want you to miss out on anything. Especially losing your loved one twice. Once when you watch everything about them slowly disappear over the course of a decade or so and then a second time when you have to actually bury them. You’d think watching your parent...