Failing Chemistry never ended so well. Mary Castillo was a second year pre-med student at USC when things began unraveling. During a trip to Sedona, for Spring Break, she walked into a gift shop and picked up a Storyteller Doll. Mary knew in that moment that the goal she was working towards was not her true dream. She realized that her plan of becoming a doctor, making lots of money, and retiring early to write, would not work for her. Instead, she decided that she would have to take a risk and follow her passion in writing, a chance that paid off. To date, she has written
five books and continues to write every other day for eight hours. To learn more about Mary and her life as a writer read on in this week’s Young & Professional profile.
If you’re a Muslim girl growing up in North America, you can feel isolated and alienated at times. Fortunately, however, Ausma Khan is striving to inspire, celebrate, and enlighten young Muslim females with Muslim Girl Magazine. The publication tells the real-life inspirational stories of North American Muslim teens and college students. It also focuses on education and empowerment through its series “Women to Watch,” which profiles Muslim women who are making positive contributions to the world. Additionally, the magazine has features on popular culture and the arts. As Editor-in-Chief, Ausma, 38, hopes the magazine will not only inspire Muslim girls, but also reshape the public’s perception of Muslims by dispelling misconceptions and fostering dialogue between communities. She wants Muslim girls to grow up and be empowered to participate in and shape important public debates. To learn more about how Ausma is inspiring Muslim girls, check out this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
The goal of Vision XY is to empower one billion emerging leaders worldwide with information that will enable them to make a positive impact in their family, community, nation, and world. The man behind the “Vision” is 28-year-old Joshua Fredenburg. His first book “Vision, the Answer to Generation X and Y,” inspired the organization, but it is his continued dedication to helping people become leaders that makes it a success. In addition to writing books to spread his message, Joshua travels the country giving speeches to schools, churches, and non-profits. However, he does not stop at just expressing his own ideas, instead he offers others a platform from which to speak. His show “Speak On It,” provides an arena for people to voice their opinions and bring solutions to various political, social, and relevant issues of our day. Several times throughout the year he hosts the show remotely from a college campus to give more young people an opportunity to get involved and speak up. To learn more about Vision XY read on in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
When her artistic side bloomed by age five and when her professional career launched at age 10, her family knew there was something different, rare, and intriguing about her. Elizabeth Torres, age 19, has experienced a lifetime’s worth of international travel, speaking engagements, and art showings all highlighting her abilities to speak, create, and develop new motivational concepts. An average week for Elizabeth might include meeting with student groups, writing new poetry, speaking on a radio show, attending university classes, or engaging in discussion with the nation’s corporate leaders. Nothing is out of reach for this young woman! With professional accolades and the vital support of her family behind her, Elizabeth begins every day with fresh eyes and a passion to explore the natural beauty in everyone and every environment. Read on to see where all of this energy originates and what lessons you might take away from Elizabeth’s work in this week’s The LatinConnect.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Shahed Amanullah, grew frustrated with not just the hasty generalizations made about Muslims, but also the dismissive tone of Muslim leaders. He saw Muslims being discussed in the news, but no Muslim voices were balancing the views expressed. Since no one else was doing anything about it, Shahed seized the opportunity and created altmuslim.com, a nonprofit online news magazine that covers Muslim life, culture, and politics from a Western Muslim perspective. The publication promotes critical analysis, discussion, and debate within the Muslim community in the West while also showcasing commentary for non-Muslims who want a sense of the dialogue going on among Western Muslims. Today, as Editor-in-Chief, Shahed, 39, heads up a publication whose content is in the national media on a weekly basis, and he once even got to debate former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on ABC’s “Nightline.” To learn more about Shahed and altmuslim.com, check out this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.
Have you ever complained about not having enough hours in the day? Well, 23-year-old Rima Abdelkader would put you to shame. Not only does she work as a print and television Journalist, she also dedicates her time to over a half a dozen non-profit organizations. This native New Yorker spent two years in Jerusalem during the Persian Gulf War, an experience that has undoubtedly impacted her adult life. Her motto, “it is our responsibility to help ourselves as well as others,” is not just something she says, she lives it. One of the many non-profits she gives her time to is the Selective Corporate Internship Program (SCIP), a program she participated in as a high school student. It gives talented students from public high schools the opportunity to gain skills to succeed in the business world. Her responsibility to others is what sets her apart. If you want to learn more about the many Middle Eastern non-profits Rima participates in, or if you just want to be inspired, read on.
At age 10 not only did Kenji Jasper know he was going to be a Writer, he also began his career. He worked as an anchorman at a local television show. At 12, he began interning at the Washington Informer. Not many people can claim the same, but then again, 31-year-old Kenji is not just anyone. He has worked for NPR as a radio commentator, taught in the classroom and written several novels. His first novel, “Dark,” made both the Washington Post and New York Times’ best seller lists, and was just optioned to be made into a film by Fox Searchlight Pictures. He also Founded his own company, Words Lines and Phrases, an editorial services firm that works with clients ranging from magazines and websites to individuals. Although he has excelled in many fields, writing still remains his passion. His love of story telling is the common thread that connects all of his endeavors. Learn more about Kenji and his many projects as we feature him in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
Many people think that TV reporters just stand in front of the camera and talk. However, crafting a polished, compelling story that lets viewers not just watch the story, but experience it, requires tremendous preparation and behind-the-scenes work — all while under strict deadline. TV Reporter Jeff Tang, 25, of Newschannel 5, CBS’s affiliate in Nashville, TN, has a keen grasp of the art of reporting, and he has already won two regional Emmy Awards to prove it. He looks for story ideas, identifies people to interview, goes out and interviews them, reviews the video, writes the stories for three separate newscasts, edits them, and then finally speaks in front of the camera. Jeff is passionate about his work of finding people and telling their stories, and as a general assignment reporter, he enjoys being able to cover something different each day. To learn more about award-winning TV reporter Jeff Tang, dive into this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
With more than one blog created every second, there seems to be a lot of ‘noise’ on the web to sort and navigate through. If you’re looking for a destination where smart people discuss issues that matter to the young and savvy Arab-American community, we invite you to explore the world of Arabisto.com. Founder Nadia Gergis, 30, a young Business Reporter by day, became increasingly frustrated with the lack of online middle eastern resources. Instead of shrugging off her frustration, she took action by creating a now popular destination for Arab Americans – providing daily breaking news and commentary on the Middle East. Learn more about Nadia and her extraordinary team of notable bloggers as we feature them in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
There’s the monthly payment to [school name here], also a minimum balance payable to [credit card name here], and don’t forget that great finance package you received through [car dealership name here]. Millions of young adults are in debt. Are you one of them? Carmen Wong Ulrich, author and personal finance expert, founded Wong Ulrich, LLC in 2005 after meeting so many adults lacking access to personal financial counseling and spiraling downward when it came to money matters. Coming from a family where such issues were discussed regularly, Carmen knew she could offer digestible information while motivating people to take charge of their fiscal futures. Her business successes are evident through a never-ending list of speaking engagements, magazine features, regularly printed columns, and of course her book Generation Debt. Read on in this week’s Young and Professional Profile for more information on Carmen and how she’ll be able to lead you toward financial freedom.