Writing Wrongs: Troy Harris’s Story

Photo f Kristen Cervenak

Kristen Cervenak

Writing Wrongs is a journalistic magazine that features stories about social issues written by students. Last year’s issue, “Addiction: Stories of Hope”, contains interviews with residents at Easy Does It (EDI), an addiction recovery facility in Leesport, PA. The following is the summary of a piece that was originally produced for the magazine by Kristen Cervenak of Northampton Community College.

Troy Harris grew up surrounded by alcoholism and began his own battle with the illness at the tender age of 14. In the 31 years since then, he has witnessed more than his share of shock and sorrow– but through EDI he has been following a brighter path. Troy is a great chef and has dreams of entering the restaurant business. He also hopes to find a way of preventing youth on the streets from discovering drugs.

To read Troy’s advice about addiction, check out the full article.

Donate to Writing Wrongs 2017, exploring the immigration system.  Donate to Writing Wrongs

To support Writing Wrongs and the great work they do, buy the full book. Help them out by leaving a review!

Banner Photo: Portrait of Troy Harris by Katelyn Bennett


Announcing the 2017 Great Girls!

Great Taste Design Foundation has announced the winners of the 2017 Great Girls Scholarship.

Humanitarian Social Innovations is proud to sponsor this scholarship program for high-achieving Delaware girls. Meet this year’s winners!

Lena Berry-Academics and Athletics

Great Girl Lena BerryLena Berry is a recent graduate of Caesar Rodney High School. She ranked in the top 8% of her class while completing a rigorous schedule which included four advanced placement courses. Lena received Academic Hall of Fame recognition for having the highest semester average in a variety of courses during her high school tenure at Caesar Rodney High School.

Lena played on her school’s varsity field hockey and soccer teams. She was also the Teen Council president for the 2016-2017 school year. She was a member of the Arabic club and Future Farmers of America and is also an active member of Delaware’s 4H program.

 

Hollan  Brockenbrough- Academics

Great Girl Hollan  Brockenbrough

Hollan  Brockenbrough is a rising senior at Mount Pleasant High School. She has been on the Distinguished Honors list since 5th grade and is the recipient of the President’s Award for Educational Excellence.

Hollan has completed the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program and is a candidate for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been selected to serve as Mount Pleasant High School Girls State Representative for 2017.

 

Hannah Cote-Philanthropy

Great Girl Hannah CoteHannah Cote is a recent graduate of Polytech High School with an extensive list of community service experiences. She has been an active participant with Habitat for Humanity. She also participated in a mission trip to West Virginia where she spent a week rebuilding houses with a group called Sharing With the Appalachian People. She has traveled to Ohio for similar mission projects and will be traveling to Pittsburgh to repeat the same.

At school she organized a build project so students at her school could get involved and volunteer. As a member of National Honor Society, Hannah has organized community service projects visiting senior citizens and creating cards for hospital patients.

Hannah also volunteers extensively in her  community with Girl Scouts, helping in soup kitchens, at her church as a classroom teacher during Vacation Bible School, and  with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization helping to facilitate events.

 

Hannah Sturgis-Arts

Great Girl Hannah Sturgis

Hannah Sturgis is a recent graduate of Polytech High School and the Radio TV/Broadcast Media Academy.

Poetry and performing has always been a huge part of Hannah’s life. She is an actress for the Children’s Theater of Kent County, and  has won the Scholastic Art and Writing Award. Hannah is a Poetry Out Loud State Championship winner, earning the silver key.

Hannah is on the National Honor Society Principal’s Honor Roll, and has earned two Tribute Awards from Delaware Governor Jack Markell.

 

Congratulations to all of 2017’s Great Girls!

 

 

 


New Program: MELTDOWN, Based on True Events

“The fact is that one person can make a difference, and together we are much more impactful and powerful.”

Jill Murphy Long, Screenwriter of MELTDOWN, Based on True Events

 

We are proud to introduce MELTDOWN, Based on True Events, a new organization that has joined Humanitarian Social Innovations this week.

Photos: Candy Delaney, Passionate Perspective Photography

MELTDOWN, Based on True Events, is a non-profit organization with a mission to bring awareness to the long-term effects of radiation and the necessity to go green now. They plan to produce a full-length motion picture based on the true events of screenwriter Jill Murphy Long’s life during the fateful days in March 1979 and three decades later when she returns home to Pennsylvania.

Logline

An author returns home to find neighbors and classmates sick and as she links the cancers to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, she is blindsided by a brain tumor.

This drama will also recap the first five days of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident and what happened to the locals, their farmland, and the Susquehanna River after the meltdown.

“This narrative, feature film will tell their stories because many did not get a second chance at living. This movie will be their voice.” Long wrote in her screenwriter statement . Take a moment to hear the TMI Survivors’ stories in these video testimonials.

Born in  Pennsylvania, Jill Murphy Long lived in East York at the time of the 1979 TMI meltdown. Like many of the  people in Central Pennsylvania, the accident negatively affected her, but fortunately she recovered; however, that wasn’t the case for many neighbors and classmates. The Cancer Cluster Map shows the far-reaching effects, noting the neurological diseases and cancers in Central Pennsylvania that are now presenting decades later. 

Since April 2016, so many have been collaborating to produce the film in order to bring the consequences of the Three Mile Island accident to light. The Executive Film Members on both the East and West Coasts have been working tireless to secure circa 1970 props and cars plus locations and extras in both Pennsylvania and Colorado.

The medical community has published a molecular medical study linking thyroid cancer to TMI. Local residents continue to submit their diagnosis, so the medical community can test for tumors, other cancers, and neurological diseases for evidence.

A-list actors have been contacted to participate in the film and volunteers have donated their creative talents and time to create the videos, website, “green” and organic merchandise, and social media accounts. All believe in this story and want to bring this issue to light.  This is not only for those who have suffered, but for the health and well-being of coming generations.

Please check the film’s website to learn more about this production at http://www.meltdownthefilm.com. Or you can check out the trailer and other videos here.

Please consider donating to the production of MELTDOWN, Based on True Events so they can show the world the true human impact of the MELTDOWN at Three Mile Island.

Donate to Make MELTDOWN

Meet the Interns #Internductions

Humanitarian Social Innovations is pleased to host three excellent interns this summer. All are determined to make the most of their summer by gaining knowledge to help them in the working world and by making an impact in the world through their work here.

One of our new Interns this summer Jonathan Fiore

Jonathan Fiore- PR/Professional Writing Intern

Jonathan Fiore attends Moravian College where he is majoring in English and minoring in History. On campus, he is a reporter for the school’s student-run newspaper and an editor for the student publication, The Manuscript. He plans to use those skills this summer as our PR/Professional Writing Intern, writing content for our social media pages and our blog.

HSI:  “Why are you an HSI Intern?”

Jonathan:  “The reason that I am an HSI intern is not only for the experience that I am grateful to get, but also HSI’s purpose was what really drew me in. HSI wants to make it possible for non-profits and humanitarian groups to get a leg up in the world and provide them with support for their mission. I  too want to help these organizations achieve their dreams. My position here will help their message spread across the web for all to see.”

Jonathan is an avid reader, both print and online, who one day wants to publish his own stories and content for the world to see.

His life motto is that not everything is black and white; the gray area exists.  Don’t be afraid to steer off the path of normalcy and into the unknown.

One of our new interns this summer Kristen Rader

Kristin Rader- Marketing Management Intern

Kristin Rader attends Moravian College where she is double majoring in Marketing Management and Graphic & Interactive Design. Kristin is interning with HSI as a Marketing Management intern. She plans to use her experiences here as a guiding force in her management classes and in her future career. On campus, Kristin is hard at work in her PR position with the Moravian College Dance Company. She also works at at Studio South, an on-campus student-run graphic design firm at Moravian College, where she is not only a student designer, but also the Social Media Chairperson. Kristin’s graphic design work can be found on her local church website and in many places within the church environment

HSI:  “Why are you an HSI Intern?”

Kristin:  “I think their mission is very important and inspiring and I am looking forward to being a part of it. It is amazing to know that they work with so many organizations and charities in order to expand their overall outreach inside and outside of the community to help those in need.”

Kristin is an avid animal lover and enjoys the beauty of nature. She has been drawing and painting since she was a small child, which led her to pursue graphic design.  She also has a love for outdoor activities like fishing, paddle boarding, and jet skiing.

One of our new Interns this summer Rose Roberts

Rose Roberts- PR/Marketing Intern

Rose Roberts attends Moravian College where she is majoring in Political Science and minoring in both Management and Mass Media. Rose is very active on campus where  she volunteered with the Miller-Keystone Blood Center and also with the Special Olympics, Girls on the Run, and the S. June Smith Center through her sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha. Rose also helped establish an event called “Greeks for Greyhounds” in which members of Greek Life helped make almost 5,000 dog toys for Peaceable Kingdom and other animal shelters in the Lehigh Valley.

HSI:  “Why are you an HSI Intern?”

Rose:  “Leadership in service is the driving force behind what connects me to my college and my community. I love that HSI focuses on the empowerment and promotion of a variety of nonprofits. Anyone with a will to improve their community can now have the resources to make those dreams a reality. To gain experience in promoting these amazing non-profits is not only relevant experience to what I want to do in my career, but I am humbled and grateful to better understand the work being done locally, nationally, and globally to create a better world.”

Rose feels extremely grateful and honored to be able to work with Humanitarian Social Innovations in their mission to empower and promote a variety of nonprofits. She wants to give back to the community that helped shaped her into the person that she is today. She believes that HSI will allow her to do just that.

We look forward to providing a wonderful experience for our interns. We can’t wait to see what they create for Humanitarian Social Innovations.

To our Interns,

Welcome to HSI!


New Program: Overcoming Odds

“I AM ON A MISSION TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE ADOPTION PROCESS”

-Oleg Lougheed, founder and Executive Director

We are pleased to introduce Overcoming Odds, a new organization that has joined the Humanitarian Social Innovations family this week!

Overcoming Odds is a nonprofit organization that is creating a software program and website that will help ease the integration of adopted children into their new families. The program will combine educational resources with a social media platform to help connect families around the world to a support system. Another goal of Overcoming Odds is to raise awareness for issues within the adoption system by providing a space for adoptees to share their stories.

“Children who are adopted have no choice but to change,” Oleg wrote. One of his concerns is that the cultural shift internationally adopted children experience often leads to disconnection with their identities as adults, sometimes resulting in mental illness and substance abuse problems. Mr. Lougheed hopes to limit the effects of the disconnection by creating this software platform, which will feature cultural and language learning resources to bridge the cultural gap between adoptive parents and their new children, creating healthier and more stable families for life.

Oleg Lougheed is a young Russian man whose life journey led him through the streets, an orphanage, and an international adoption. You can hear him tell his compelling story in this video.

Please also consider a donation to Overcoming Odds to assist in the development of this important work.

 


Meet Our Interns!

Humanitarian Social Innovations is fortunate to be located near quality universities teeming with ambitious and intelligent young adults. Our program allows local interns to test their skills in a company position while contributing their talent and energy to an organization that returns social and financial value to its community of programs as well as the people served by those programs.

Our spring interns have been tearing it up creating content and public relations opportunities. We would love for you to take a moment to meet them!

One of our interns from Kutztown University, Grace Davies.Grace Davies: Content Writer

Grace is in her final semester of the Professional Writing program at Kutztown University. She discovered her penchant for content writing during an internship with Kutztown Community Partnership, where she authored a community blog. You have probably enjoyed reading Grace’s contributions on our blog as well. She has authored many pieces for current and future publication there. Grace is also a passionate editor, a skill that is in constant use throughout our organization. After she graduates, Grace plans to travel and work on her poetry before settling down with a career. She uses her limited spare time to watch plants grow and pet her cat.

Jane Spadaccini: Public Relations and Social MediaOne of our interns from Moravian College, Jane Spadaccini

Jane is a Music Performance major and English minor at Moravian College. At Humanitarian Social Innovations, she is in charge of our social media accounts and public relations. These duties have her writing press releases and finding places or events where we can meet people who should know about us!  Thanks to Jane, you will find our snazzy table at the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game on May 10! She is also a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority that works with numerous charities such as March of Dimes and MADD. Her hobbies include cooking and reading. Jane’s ideal career would be as a performer in the music field, but she is also interested in PR work and law.

Intern with HSI!

Interested in an internship opportunity with Humanitarian Social Innovations? Shoot us your resume today at office@humanitariansocialinnovations.com!

 


New Program: Great Girls Scholarship

Potential GTDF Scholarship winner sewing at fashion camp

GTDF hosts fashion camps where girls can learn design skills

Humanitarian Social Innovations is proud to introduce a new sponsored project; the Great Girls Scholarship. The scholarship is designed by The Great Taste Design Foundation “to help remove barriers and stumbling blocks for women and girls on their road to success and strengthening our communities.”

The Great Taste Design Foundation (GTDF) is part of the Great Taste Design Company, the brainchild of the multi-talented Mrs. De’Yanna Yancey-Harris. As an independent designer in the field, Mrs. Yancey-Harris felt the fashion industry was brimming with negative messages directed at young women. In 2007 she founded Great Taste Design Company to counteract that negativity through programs that teach young women important life skills such as leadership and self-advocacy.

The Great Taste Design Foundation awards the Great Girl Scholarship to talented girls between 7th and 12th grade in the state of Delaware. In order to win the award, the nominee must show outstanding performance in one of six areas: the arts, athletics, philanthropy, academics, leadership, or entrepreneurship. The award money can be used either for higher education and training or to further the girl’s entrepreneurial goals. Through this scholarship, Mrs. Yancey-Harris hopes to help young ladies “grow closer to their goals as well as be celebrated for their achievements.”

We can’t wait to see how the Great Girls help improve their communities, and are thrilled to be a piece of the puzzle.

Support the Great Girls Scholarship by donating today!                     Donate to Empower a Great Girl

You can learn more about the Great Girl Scholarship by visiting the Great Taste Design Foundation’s profile page.


Writing Wrongs: Elizabeth Ortiz’s Story

Photo f Kristen Cervenak

Kristen Cervenak

Writing Wrongs is a journalistic magazine that features stories about social issues written by students. Last year’s issue, “Addiction: Stories of Hope”, contains interviews with residents at Easy Does It (EDI), an addiction recovery facility in Leesport, PA. The following is the summary of a piece that was originally produced for the magazine by Kristen Cervenak of Northampton Community College.

Cervenak interviewed Elizabeth Ortiz, who became an addict at the age of nine. She started with snorting cocaine to escape from the abuse she faced from her stepfather. Her drug problem snowballed from there, and by the time she turned 15 she was an IV heroin user. Ortiz was a functional addict for most of her life, but her struggles increased after she had put her children through school. This indomitable woman was able to commit to wellness after facing numerous pitfalls. At Easy Does It, she has finally found a healthier way to relieve her pain.

Click here to read more about how Ortiz overcame her lifelong struggle.

If you like what you read, use this link to support Writing Wrongs and HSI by purchasing a copy of the book.

Are you interested in joining the Writing Wrongs staff in 2017 to explore the topic of immigration? Writing Wrongs is looking for students from a variety of fields to participate in the project. Applications are open now and can be found here. The deadline to apply is May 1st.

Banner Photo: Portrait of Elizabeth Ortiz by Katelyn Bennett


Writing Wrongs: Tyler Kline’s Story

Writing Wrongs is a journalistic magazine that features stories about social issues written by students. Last year’s issue, “Addiction: Stories of Hope”, contains interviews with residents at Easy Does It (EDI), an addiction recovery facility in Leesport, PA. The following is the summary of a piece that was originally produced for the magazine by Chloe Schultz of La Salle University

At 19 years old, Tyler Kline is one of the youngest residents at EDI. His struggle with drugs began when he was 15, and persisted through a year of homelessness and one other treatment program. He arrived at EDI just two weeks before the interview after being asked to move out of his girlfriend’s house because of his drug habits. Tyler realized he needs to make a real change, and is now learning to care for himself and his environment.

Read more about Tyler’s transformation here.

You can also purchase the entire book here.

Are you interested in joining the Writing Wrongs staff in 2017 to explore the topic of immigration? Writing Wrongs is looking for students from a variety of fields to participate in the project. Applications are open now and can be found here.

Banner Photo: Portrait of Tyler Kline by Katelyn Bennett


Program Focus: Bringing Up a Bookworm

Bringing Up a Bookworm, which provides children with foundational reading skills by encouraging parents to read aloud to them from the day they are born, is an inspiring example of what an organization can achieve through fiscal sponsorship. Bringing Up a Bookworm has been with HSI for a year now and has been working hard to expand their outreach since they first launched.

Marsha Townsend, the organization’s founder, is a fourth grade teacher in the Schuylkill Valley School District. During her free time in the summer she worked diligently to bring more books to the youth of Berks County.

“I’ve mostly been working on sending out letters to various doctors’ offices in the Berks County area. Hopefully by the end of the month I will have reached all offices,” said Marsha.

As of now, Bringing Up a Bookworm is in five doctors’ offices around Berks County. Each office receives 15-25 copies of Mem Fox’s book, “Reading Magic”, for their young patients’ parents along with a postcards that explain Bookworm’s mission and vision.

“Each office has reordered, and we expect them to reorder again at the end of the month! The response from the offices has been great. They always say they love the bags, and their patients are really excited about the books—they’re appreciative.”

When we asked Marsha if she had any advice for new nonprofits, she had this to say:

“Get some money under [your] belt. Have some type of financial footing, a base, to get started with. I didn’t have any of that, so when I started I had to get businesses interested first then order my supplies. Now I have to keep it going. I’ve started. I have to finish.”

As for the future, Marsha would love to get to the point where she is able to supply gift bags to all the doctors’ offices in Berks County. In a few years, she’d like to stretch into other counties and eventually go national.

Marsha is looking for more personal feedback from the parents that receive her gift bags. Each bag of books includes a postcard with Marsha’s contact information. If you or a member of your family receives a gift bag, please don’t hesitate to contact her so she can improve her outreach.