Let me begin by saying this trip was fully compensated for. Every last part of it, but as always, that doesn't change the way I tell my story. Guys, don't you know me by now? Okay, so on to the important stuff--our little weekend getaway to Butler County. I'll be honest, like most of you, I was like, "Where and what is Butler County?!" The Donut Trail is what first enticed me, but I'll admit, there was so much more to Butler County than the Donut Trail! I'm going to give a run down our entire trip with some information about each stop--what we liked, didn't like...

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 grew up in Southeastern Ohio and was born with a genetic disorder that effects the liver called Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency.  They found it in my baby well check up. So, Nationwide Children's Hospital followed me my entire childhood. The only cure for Alpha One is a Liver Transplant.  I grew up knowing that-- that I needed a liver.   It was hard at times, but I didn't know any different. My health started to slowly go down hill my senior year of high school.  Then, I went to Marshall University my freshman year of college in the Fall of 2000.  During my first semester my health...

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...

"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...

#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...

 "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...

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...