New Program: Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper

Humanitarian Social Innovations is proud to introduce a new member of our social impact community: Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper.

History of My Brother’s Keeper

Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper is part of the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge, which President Barack Obama sponsored. President Obama started the initiative for civic leaders in local communities to promote racial justice and therefore improve the well-being of boys and young men of color. Since its launch in 2015, nearly 250 cities, counties, and tribal nations have participated. As of 2017, the national MBK Challenge organization has become an initiative of the Obama Foundation.

Lehigh Valley My Brother's Keeper Daivd Jones

David S. Jones, Sr.

The initial meeting for Lehigh Valley MBK was at Muhlenberg College in 2015. The idea started in Allentown, however the alliance felt it needed to involve more civic leaders in the Lehigh Valley. As a result, the mayors of Easton and Bethlehem, along with community leaders, joined the cause. Former Lehigh County Commissioner David Jones is the LVMBK’s executive director.

Events and Impact

LVMBK runs several events that expose students to potential career paths. The events show the medical, energy, engineering, and and other fields to prepare them for their careers. LVMBK hosts the Education Excellence Awards to recognize high-achieving Hispanic and African-American students during cultural celebration months. This year’s African-American Education Excellence Awards will take place on February 28. LVMBK will also host Career Day on February 21 of this year. Career Day is an opportunity for students to visit Air Products so they can learn about different engineering career paths. Midnight Basketball has also been a successful mentoring program for 300 students, teaching financial, career, and life skills.

Vision for the Future

The vision for the future growth and impact of Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper goes far beyond what it has already accomplished. It will work to turn the Education Excellence Awards into a scholarship program and launch an academic summer camp for 8-9 graders. It will also expand their mentoring initiatives to be year-round. LVMBK also strives to create a support system for young men of color as they transition out of incarceration back into their neighborhoods, homes, families and jobs.

LVMBK hopes to eliminate as quickly and thoroughly as possible, the barriers that restrain boys and young men of color from achieving their full potential. As a result, Humanitarian Social Innovations will collaborate with LVMBK to help the organization reach that goal and to create new opportunities and growth for the Lehigh Valley.

For more information on LVMBK, click here.

Donate to LVMBK

New Program: We Need Books

“People may go to the library looking mainly for information, but they find each other there.”
– Robert Putnam
We Need Books Founders Ioanna Nadir

Nadir and Ioanna

We are proud to introduce We Need Books, a new organization that has joined Humanitarian Social Innovations.

We Need Books is an Athens-based NGO that works to build libraries containing multicultural spaces to educate and aid the marginalized and vulnerable populations such as the approximately 55,000 refugees and migrants living in Greece.

Over the past year, We Need Books has collected more than 2,000 books, created small libraries, participated in conferences, and begun fundraising.


We Need Books was created in 2015 by Ioanna Nissiriou and Nadir Noori. Ioanna grew up in Athens, Greece, and became a producer and eventually head of production for MTV and Nickelodeon. Seeing the refugee crisis unfold in 2015, she left the industry and volunteered to help. Nadir lived in Afghanistan, but fled as a refugee at 12 years old to escape Taliban recruitment. He learned to speak, read, and write five languages and works as a translator helping refugees in Greece.

Impact on Refugees

We Need Books has created libraries in the Schisto Refugee Camp and a Catholic Relief Services shelter in Athens. These areas contain hundreds of books in Arabic, Greek, Farsi, Pashto, and English. The books range from educational textbooks to children’s books to cookbooks and everything in between. In addition, they have also collaborated with the Antigone Project and the Melissa Project to give books to women and children refugees, while also holding workshops on library fundraising at the Goethe Institute in Athens.


We Need Books Library Refugees Greece

In the future, We Need Books hopes to design programs and services to serve the needs of the growing and diverse population, and provide work for refugees and migrants at these spaces. They plan to partner with more international institutions and run campaigns for additional fundraising.

Therefor, at HSI we are proud to bring We Need Books into our community to partner with them for maximum impact.

To find out more about We Need Books, visit their website here.

Donate to We Need Books

Life as an Undocumented Immigrant – Rainy Leonor

Writing Wrongs Katherine Coble Student Writer

Katherine Coble

Writing Wrongs is a journalistic magazine that features stories about social issues written by students. Last year’s issue, “Untold, Unseen, Unheard: Perspectives on Immigration,” contains interviews with immigrants detailing their journeys and perspectives. This is a summary of a piece originally written for the magazine by Katherine Coble of Franklin & Marshall College.

Early Life

San Pedro de Macorís is a town in the Dominican Republic where geographic beauty contrasts with poverty and violence. Despite this, Rainy Leonor felt happy thanks to strong bonds with her family and community. She lived with her grandmother and six other children after her father moved to the United States. After her sixth birthday, Rainy’s father and grandmother arranged for her and her younger brother to immigrate to New York City in 2002.

A New World and New Discoveries

The unfamiliar city and language barrier were intimidating for an immigrant like Rainy. Her cousins assisted her with learning English, and her aunt played American artists like Alicia Keys and Eminem. Rainy’s father was arrested for drug charges the same year she arrived, and was deported in 2007.

From there, her aunts and uncles raised her while she moved between New York, Reading, and Virginia. Rainy began to feel like a burden to her family, and at 13 she learned of her undocumented immigrant status. This made financial aid for college and a obtaining a driver’s license impossible. Rainy felt robbed of a childhood.

Rainy’s father called after she graduated high school, but Rainy responded with anger. She yelled at him, said she hated him and blamed him for her difficult upbringing. But her father understood. He was naïve and impatient. He desperately wanted to be with his children, so he ignored the long-term consequences of his short-term actions. Rainy regretted her outburst to her father and empathizes with parents in similar situations.

Hope Arrives

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) gave Rainy and other immigrants hope. She saved money to pay the application fee by babysitting and cleaning houses. She got a job at Burger King and enrolled at Reading Area Community College with a DACA scholarship.

Rainy now works as a community organizer at Make the Road Pennsylvania. She hopes to attend law school and work as an immigration lawyer as a way to help her people and her community.


Despite still being an undocumented immigrant, Rainy has come to terms with her life and is proud to have immigrated. She enjoys her life in America, but advises her siblings to immigrate legally. Although the future of DACA is uncertain, Rainy remains optimistic and continues to aid her community.

Donate to Writing Wrongs


Writing Wrongs will be having a Chipotle fundraiser on February 10th, click on the image for more information.Writing Wrongs Chipotle Fundraiser

If you would like to be a student writer or advisor for the 2018 issue of Writing Wrongs, click below for more information.

Writers Apply Here Advisors Apply Here



For more stories like Rainy’s, click on the image to buy the full 2017 issue of Writing Wrongs.

Writing Wrongs Immigrant Issue 2017

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.


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 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


-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!


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.