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 The mission of the "Your Mark on the World Center" is to solve the world's biggest problems before 2045 by identifying and championing the work of experts who have created credible plans and programs to end them once and for all.
Crowdfunding for Social Good
Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Api Podder

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This Organization Executes On Three Separate Goals With A Narrow Focus


Nicholas Metropulos, 19, leads Fishing for Families in Need, a nonprofit organization founded by his brother more than a decade ago. The organization teaches children about the environment and responsible angling. As the name suggests, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit also provides fish to hungry families.

Interview with Nicholas Metropulos, the Executive Director of Fishing for Families in Need.

The following is the pre-interview with Nicholas Metropulos. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: F4FN receives funding primarily from private donations and grants. All of our programs are free to the communities that we serve. To increase our revenue sources, in January 2019 we will be launching an apparel line via an e-commerce partnership with SA Fishing Company (https://safishing.com/).

Scale: Since 2007, Fishing for Families in Need has educated over 2,000 children in its Responsible Angling Education program, provided over 3,050 hot meals of fresh fish to various soup kitchens through the Fishing Tournament Donation program, and recruited over 650 local high school and college-age volunteers. The organization’s impact has been further validated over the years from receiving numerous accolades for an innovative approach to marine science/conservation education such as the 2012 USA Weekend National Make a Difference Day Award, 1st place in the Education and Literacy category of The National Jefferson Awards, and our Founder receiving the 2013 SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Environmental Educator of the Year Award.    Currently, F4FN’s annual operating budget is $75,000 with programs running 6 cities and 3 distinct countries. Each program costs $5,000 to operate for an 8-week period, and every program takes place 3 times per year (depending upon the location). F4FN has one paid employee; however, his salary is completely funded by the Board of Directors. Thus, 100% of outside donations go to programming expenses.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Environmental education (EE) within primary, secondary, and collegiate institutions remains insufficient to this day. According to the Campaign for Environmental Literacy organization, the federal government spends less than 48 cents annually per capita on environmental literacy, of which a mere 20 cents per person is used towards environmental education. However, Fishing for Families in Need and other community nonprofits have been and are working together to educate the next generation of environmental stewards. F4FN’s immersive programs create hundreds of responsible youth anglers, provide amazing volunteer opportunities for the community, and positively impact local marine and freshwater ecosystems. Our intent is to enhance these children’s lives by imparting on them skills and knowledge that will help them surmount obstacles and will empower them in their daily lives while also creating young responsible anglers who recognize the need to safeguard and preserve our marine ecosystems well into the future.

More about Fishing for Families in Need:

Facebook: facebook.com/F4FiN

Website: www.f4fn.org

Fishing for Families in Need (F4FN) was started using six fishing rods, five hundred dollars, and a desire to make a difference by a local 15-year-old despite many obstacles. F4FN’s purpose is to educate and empower individuals to become responsible anglers through hands-on programs centered on fishing in a more sustainable manner to foster widespread community engagement and change. The organization has inspired multiple children to pursue a career path in the marine science/biology fields and motivated others around the country to give back in their respective communities. The children in the classes become strong ambassadors for environmental protection and continue to educate their family and friends long after the classes end. This creates a movement for change in their community focused on marine conservation and better fishing practices.

Nicholas Metropulos

Nicholas Metropulos’s bio:

Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/f4fn

Instagram: @f4fn

Nicholas Metropulos was born and raised in Boca Raton, FL. He is 19 years old and a sophomore in the Management & Leadership Program at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA.  He is an avid freediver and spear fisherman and has an unresting passion for ocean conservation. Nicholas is the Executive Director of Fishing for Families in Need (F4FN), whose purpose is to educate and empower individuals to become responsible anglers through hands-on programs centered on fishing in a more sustainable manner to foster widespread community engagement and change.

At the young age of 16, Nicholas took over the Executive Director position at F4FN and has since raised over $175,000 from foundations, crowdfunding campaigns, and major donors. He has expanded the organization’s operations to three additional sites while directing programs in each of the locations (Miami, FL/ Abaco, Bahamas, St. John, VI). Since 2015, Nicholas has taught weekly seminars to over 600 children and has coordinated and managed over 250 volunteers. Additionally, he led the organization to the final round of a $100,000 grant competition in the Environmental category from the Impact 100 Palm Beach County in 2018.

Nicholas has received numerous accolades for his philanthropic efforts including Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, President’s Volunteer Service Award, Daily Point of Light Award, Men with a Caring Heart Award, Children’s Environmental Health Network Youth Leadership Award, Disney Friends for Change, and the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship. Nicholas plans to finish his undergraduate years receiving a degree in Nonprofit Management at Hellenic College, and afterwards pursuing an MBA at Harvard University to further strengthen and expand the reach and success of Fishing for Families in Need.


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This Organization Seeks To Empower Youth Globally


Cynthia English founded Global Scribes to create an international peace movement for youth that empowers them to make a difference starting wherever they are. With members in 44 countries, the organization is off to a good start.

Interview with Cynthia English; Stine Philipsen; Archana Yengkhom, the CEO & Founder; Associate Global Director; Business Development Director; Scriber of Global Scribes: Youth Uniting Nations.

The following is the pre-interview with Cynthia English; Stine Philipsen; Archana Yengkhom. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: The goal for Global Scribes, Inc. has always been to scale & implement revenue drivers along the way. Creating revenue streams through B2B advertising, retailing GS branded merchandise, B-Corps & a For-Profit entity fulfilling the long-term sustainability of Global Scribes. Today, Global Scribes is establishing Pillar Partnerships across all regions with Corporations, Foundations & Philanthropists that believe in the GS mission to empower global youth as successful Global Citizens & Peacebuilders. With its private platform, Scribers World™, launched, revenue drivers include anonymous global data collection, GS Club fees & ‘White Space’ fees.

Scale: Scale Marker I: 2000+ Scribers (@250 active participants) // Scale: 17 GS Teams, 44+ Countries, 250 Scribers (fluctuating), Core Call 1 Time Zone 1Weekly Call // Sustained by CEO & Founder, Associate Global Director, Global Interns, GS Support Leaders (at every GS Club).   With no formal marketing, Global Scribes has expanded to over 44 countries with more than 2000 youth joining the community. In the Proof of Concept Phase, GS Clubs have been launched at several schools & organizations throughout the world, including the North Carolina School for the Deaf.   To date, GS youth (Scribers) have stood on the TEDx red carpet; won an honorable mention at The Blue Ocean Film Festival; represented GS at the iEarn Conference in Morocco MEARN); met with Ministers of Education; improved their English & other foreign languages through fun, youth-led activities; successfully launched GSIM radio on iTunes & Google Play; designed & launched the GS Boutique; created Apps; written personal creative stories prompted by the monthly Spark word; initiated & driven 17 GS Teams; interviewed personal heroes; set up GS Clubs at their schools & universities; and they are just getting started!   With the capital in place to build Scribers World™ (GS cyber-secure private platform), sustain operations through scale & launch the global marketing campaign, the community will grow exponentially, allowing Global Scribes to reach its goal of 5+ million youth, representing every country of the world. To keep the integrity of the global program with the GS definitions of cyber-security and all-inclusive community, Global Scribes has pulled back growth until the private platform, Scribers World™ is in place -the prototype country grew so quickly across schools, organizations, hospitals & independent youth, etc it was unsustainable in the current fragmented structure.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Where do we go from here? In a world of global re-entrenchment, social isolation & lightning speed of technological evolution, how will our global youth be empowered stewards of our planet & build thriving engaging communities?

40% of 7.6 billion people are under the age of 25. 51% of the world’s youth are on Social Media platforms daily. Young Social Media users experience unusual and euphoric highs from peer posts reflecting ‘the perfect life’, but they also experience deep lows, social isolation and a feeling of unworthiness. Global Scribes was created to disrupt this emotional chaos by filling the gap in the market. Pioneering a digital all-inclusive global interface utilizing the very tool youth use every single day–technology–for positive youth impact. Global Scribes is rooted in giving a sense of purpose, digital competence & the 21st Century Skills needed to augment formal education,  all whilst creating their own global network.

Problem- A divided world with global re-entrenchment; Social isolation on the rise among youth worldwide; Education not keeping pace with the speed & changes of technological advancement. Are we losing grip of a sustainable unified future?

Our Solution- Global youth breaking the fear of different; Engaging in the transformative power of creative expression & cross-cultural communication; Building cornerstones, then foundations of trust & respect for global peers via technology. Youth Uniting Nations®.

GS Mission- Fostering a progressive social network of engaged youth sparking innovation & collaboration, turning ideas & aspirations into reality, while building life experiences & meaningful relationships. No politics, religion & sociodemographic segregation.

Future Vision- Opening the doors of possibility & unique opportunities for all youth to be empowered global decision makers who consider the consequences of their actions upon Humanity, Nature & our World in all its diversity. Changing the current trajectory of chaos.

‘Our world needs more than a band-aid.’  C-English

More about Global Scribes: Youth Uniting Nations:

Twitter: @globalscribes

Facebook: facebook.com/globalscribes/

Website: globalscribes.org

Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/global-scribes/

Instagram: @globalscribes

Global Scribes Inc. is a For Youth, By Youth Non-Profit (501(c)3) designed to build an empowered virtual community through common denominators of communication. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, it is a progressive social network of engaged youth sparking innovation & collaboration, turning ideas & aspirations into reality, while building life experiences & meaningful connections.

GS youth interact across diverse media platforms free from politics, religion & socio-demographic segregation. In opening the doors of possibility for all youth (ages 8 – 25) to be empowered with self-efficacy, 21st-century skills, tools for success, unique opportunities & the resilience to thrive in an interconnected world, we believe our global youth can change the current trajectory of chaos–Youth Uniting Nations®.

Our future household, community, corporate, country & global leaders–decision makers–will have the ability to think beyond ‘me’ to ‘we’ & be set to work cohesively on shared global challenges affecting all.

Cynthia English; Stine Philipsen; Archana Yengkhom’s bio:

Twitter: @stinephilipsen

Cynthia English is the Founder & CEO of Global Scribes® which fosters a unique mission of catapulting past rhetoric, politics, religion, and socio-demographic segregation to allow youth to be Youth Uniting Nations® through global friendships and shared experiences on & off the tech grid.

Cynthia first embraced the fusion of Technology and Humanity in 1998, creating ‘great dates’, a reality television show, virtual interaction & merchandising platform picked up by The Hallmark Channel.

She graduated from The Marshall School, University of Southern California, attended the Aspen Writer’s Conference, and Oxford University’s School of Continuing Education for Creative Writing, learning along the way to champion criticism, stay unique, and to keep striving toward ‘exceptional’.

In 2014, she received a Certificate in Executive Leadership for NonProfits from Duke University after launching Global Scribes on July 9th, 2014. Taking inspiration from a life living and working around the globe, she has had articles published in the United States and Europe, with her first thriller novel published in 2010.

Today she pursues her passions–creativity and outreach–heeding the impassioned plea of a young woman named Honig, whom Cynthia met on a train between Budapest and Bucharest–”please, never stop delivering world adventure to those unable to make the journeys themselves.”

And to this end, embracing the human dynamics and cultural riches she has known, she perseveres through life’s lessons to provide powerful messages of friendship, acceptance of different and distinct lives, and preservation of free spirit in all humanity, regardless of origin and culture.


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Be Thankful for Social Entrepreneurs Who Are Seriously Changing the World

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

The phrase, “change the world,” is becoming cliché. We give ourselves too much credit for too little impact when we think we can smile at a stranger or give $20 to the United Way and believe we’ve changed the world.

In fact, fans of the HBO series Silicon Valley will recognize that “change the world” and its variants are used exclusively in the show as punch lines, highlighting the fact that every entrepreneur claims to do so.

Such talk is not entirely without merit. While a new app that can be used to make our lives a little bit easier, say by having our McDonald’s combo meal delivered rather than having to drive to get it, does, in fact, change the world it, does not do so in the way in which that phrase has significance.

Scot Chisholm CREDIT: CLASSY

With about 700 million people in the world living in extreme poverty, a similar number—with significant overlap—living without access to clean water—and comparable number—again with overlap—not knowing where their next meal will come from—and not having eaten more than one meal a day in recent memory—forgive me if I’m not buying that having my McDonald’s combo meal delivered is changing the world.

But there are people who are seriously changing the world.

Just last week, I profiled Scot Chisholm, who co-founded Classy and in less than eight years helped nonprofits raise $1 billion. The company is now raising money for nonprofits at a rate of about half a billion every year—and the rate is increasing.

Then there’s Alex Scott, who would never remember a day when she didn’t have cancer, started her lemonade stand at age four specifically to help other kids with cancer. Before she died at age 8, she had raised $1 million. Her nonprofit has gone on to raise over $150 million for childhood cancer research and treatment.

Consider the life of James Mayfield, who at age 83 is continuing his fight to end extreme poverty globally. The nonprofit he launched thirty years ago works around the world but Mayfield is focused on Nepal. I once found him hard at work in a village in the foothills of the Himalaya, where is slept on the floor in a school with other volunteers. There in Nepal, through a government partnership and a unique banking model for the poor, he hopes to eliminate extreme poverty nationwide before his 90th birthday—or die trying.

These are just three examples. The world is full of unsung philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and activists who are really are making a difference, changing the world and doing good.

So, please keep smiling at strangers. Keep making donations to your favorite cause. And please, join me in thanking the people who really are changing the world.


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His Sister Was Murdered By A Serial Killer And He Opposes The Death Penalty


Christian Harrison was still a child when his older sister Kasee went missing. It would be decades before it was determined that she was one of Gary Ridgway’s 71 victims. Regarded as the most prolific serial killer in American history, he received a sentence of life in prison in exchange for information about unsolved murders, including the location of remains.

While many of the victims’ family members decried the deal as failing to adequately punish him for his heinous crimes, Christian arrived at a different conclusion. He argues that “closure” is not an event that survivors experience upon execution of a perpetrator but that it is a process that occurs largely independent of the perpetrator’s punishment.

Please be sure to watch the full interview in the player at the top of the article to understand Christian’s perspective on the death penalty.

Interview with Christian Harrison.

The following is the pre-interview with Christian Harrison. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

We’ll be discussing the death penalty with Christian Harrison.

How are you personally affected by the death penalty?

My sister was raped and then brutally killed by Gary Ridgway, the so-called Green River Killer, who confessed to killing 71 women, total. Today, Gary is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington. Under Washington’s laws at the time, Gary was eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors offered Gary a life sentence in exchange for his cooperation in locating the remains of his victims and other salient details.

What is your take on the death penalty?

The death penalty is neither demonstrably deterring nor reformative. It is, however, fiscally irresponsible, capricious and—like so many things in our criminal justice system—profoundly racist. It’s time we, as a nation, abolished the death penalty.

Christian Harrison. Photo Credit: Mickelle Bench Weber

Christian Harrison’s bio:

Christian Harrison remembers the weeks surrounding his sister’s disappearance. He was 11 years old. Christian’s sister, Kasee, who’d been physically and probably sexually abused by his own father, had run away repeatedly and had eventually been placed in state custody. At sixteen, she was emancipated… a few months later, she was dead. Nearly twenty years later, Gary Ridgway confessed to raping and killing her and tossing her body in a ditch.

Christian grew up fast in that household.

Like his siblings, he looked for ways to stay away from the dysfunction at home. High school debate, church musical productions, boy scouts… the usual. A few weeks after his 18th birthday, he moved to California… a year later, he served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After his mission, he attended Brigham Young University, where he studied International Relations, French, Mandarin, and Danish—with an eye towards taking the Foreign Service Exam and working overseas for the State Department. A year or so before his expected graduation, Christian co-founded a software company with a small team of visionaries. He went on to participate in the founding of three other software companies but transitioned into non-profit work as the economy lurched from one economic downturn to another.

Today, Christian manages marketing for Utah’s foster care system, consults on various urban development and transportation issues, and sits on a few boards of directors. He’s also active in Salt Lake City political circles. When he’s not trying to change the world, you can find Christian in the water (a mountain lake, a bubbling hot spring), attending a local band’s concert or the opening of an art gallery, or searching out the best meals in Utah.


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Filmmaker Says, ‘It’s Not the Cow’s Fault’ and ‘Millennials Are Our Only Hope’

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes or Google Play.

In a wide-ranging conversation with author and filmmaker Josh Tickell, 43, he shared two key observations. First, he said that cows get a bad rap for their contribution to global warming. Second, he says millennials are key to solving climate change.

Tickell, a self-described environmentalist, is the author Kiss the Ground and The Revolution Generation. Films by the same titles are also pending release. Tickell’s first film, Fuel, still available on Netflix, won him a Sundance Film Festival award.

As a social entrepreneur, co-founder of Big Picture Ranch, his production company, he says his four-person team operates the business on a break-even basis. You can watch my full interview with Tickell in the video player at the top of this article.

In Kiss the Ground, Tickell looks at soil’s potential to sequester carbon. He notes that each acre of agricultural land has the potential to store up to 10 tons of carbon. Extending that across 10 billion acres of farmland, there is tremendous potential to store carbon there.

Two surprising keys to carbon sequestration in the soil include tilling—actually, not tilling—and running cows over the land.

Josh Tickell CREDIT: BIG PICTURE RANCH

Tilling is a great way, Tickell says, to release stored carbon into the atmosphere and damage the soil. Modern farming tools and techniques allow for no-till farming methods, where a slice is cut in the ground, seeds are inserted and the open wound in the land is immediately sealed in a fully mechanized way. This isn’t 19th-century farming.

He notes in his book that it isn’t enough to be an organic farmer. Organic farmers who are tilling their land are failing to sequester carbon and build healthy soils just like traditional farmers.

Much has been said in recent years about the methane production of cows and their impact on global warming. Tickell says the problem is in the concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs, where about 78% of beef cattle are raised. These factory farm operations do produce tremendous amounts of carbon.

That said, when cows graze in a pasture as a mob, moving from place to place, most of their emissions are stored in the soil–they are constantly converting grass into compost. Not only do they help, but Tickell says, “that’s the only way to really create the soil regeneration that’s necessary.”

“Not only is it not the cow’s fault but for better or worse we can’t really build the kind of soil carbon we need without them,” he says.

In The Revolution Generation, Tickell takes a look at millennials and their politics.

“Most people don’t realize this, but the millennial generation has the largest voting bloc in U.S. history,” he says.

With respect to solving climate change, Tickell says, “Not only are they the only potential solution. They’re our only potential hope.”

He notes that millennials are over 50% independent and that they don’t feel like there is anywhere for them to vote. “The Revolution Generation looks at how can we create new systems that are going to empower young people to make a difference,” Tickell says.

Generation X and the Baby Boomers and become “ideologically infatuated,” he says. “So, if our party believes XYZ we believe XYZ even if that is scientifically not true. So, we have become a party before science society and that’s what happens to empires before they fall.”

There is something different about millennials, however. “Regardless of whether they’re Republican Democrat or Independent the majority, vast majority, 70 to 80 percent believe that climate change is human-made.” Simply understanding the nature of the problem is critical to solving it, Tickell argues.


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This Girl’s Thing Is Picking Up Plastic–She’s Not Your Typical 10-Year-Old


Lilly Platt moved to Holland where her grandfather began teaching her to speak Dutch. To help her learn numbers, they collected pieces of plastic trash and counted them.

She no longer needs the practice but she’s still picking up plastic. She calls her effort “Lilly’s Plastic Pickup”

She hopes her efforts not only help to reduce plastic in the oceans directly but also to inspire other people to refuse single-use plastic and to pick up plastic waste for recycling.

You’re going to love Lilly. Be sure to watch the video at the top of this article.

Lilly Platt with her plastic.

Interview with Lilly Platt, the Founder of Lillys Plastic Pickup.

The following is the pre-interview with Lilly Platt. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

For-profit/Nonprofit: Our goal will be to make Lilly Plastic Pickup  a nonprofit

Revenue model: Lilly is 10 and we hope as she gets older we will make Lillys Plastic Pickup a nonprofit organisation.

Scale: Lilly work is all done because its the right thing to do. She has pickups with various groups and individual, regularly skypes with schools in different parts of the world and makes podcasts. She also travels to different places to take part in cleanups.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Litter/trash is everywhere and Lilly helps to clean up. Everywhere she goes she picks up plastic. On the weekends Lilly does a big pickup it’s then sorted and recycled properly. Grandpa taught Lilly that anything thrown on the ground will somehow make its way into the waterways and then the sea. As all plastic isn’t biodegradable the effects of plastic on wildlife and marine life are devastating. This is one of her motivating factors to pick up plastic.

Expert Tips:

Tip 1: As youth ambassador of the plastic pollution coalition my first tip is you should always try and refuse single-use plastic like straws, plastic bags, disposable coffee cups, plastic water bottles

Tip 2: As part of my initiative Lillys Plastic Pickup I have made a 1,2,3 to help you remember what to do when you see trash on the streets. 1. Spot it 2. Pick it up 3. Put it in the bin!! See its simple

Tip 3: My grandpa is just the greatest ever and he told me in everything ALWAYS be Kind!

More about Lillys Plastic Pickup:

Facebook: facebook.com/lillysplasticpickup/

Lillys Plastic Pickup is an initiative founded by Lilly Platt. Lilly is 10 years old and an international environmental champion. Lilly picks up plastic in order to keep it out of the waterways and the ocean and inspires others to do the same and with the hope that removing it from the environment, wildlife will be protected.  She is Youth Ambassador for the Plastic Pollution Coalition, water charity HOW Global and world ambassador for children for World Clean up Day. Lilly lives in Holland.

Lilly Platt. Photo Credit: Eleanor Platt

Lilly Platt’s bio:

Twitter: @lillyspickup

Instagram: @lillys_plastic_pickup

Lillys Plastic Pickup is an initiative founded by Lilly Platt. Lilly is 10 years old and an international environmental champion. Her anti-plastic initiative has caught the eyes of local, national and international media. It has also resulted in Lilly being named Youth Ambassador for the Plastic Pollution Coalition, Child Ambassador for water charity HOW Global and just recently World Ambassador for children for World Cleanup Day. Her continued cleanup efforts have inspired many and Lilly has followers all over the world, notable followers are Barbara Hershey, James Cromwell, former president of the Seychelles James Michel and Prime minister of Curaçao Eugene Rhuggernath. Lilly has been invited to meet Dr Jane Goodall on several occasions. Lilly was invited to take part in the Plastic Whale Conference in Norway with Sky Ocean Rescue and she befriends Afroz Shah. Many media agencies have made videos about Lilly and her work. Lilly most recent activity is going on school strike on Fridays for Climate change #FridaysForFuture movement and she stands alongside Greta Thunberg in Stockholm who she has also befriended. Lil4is named in the tops 100 influencers tackling plastic pollution at no.28. In her role as Youth Ambassador for the Plastic Pollution Coalition Lilly tries to encourage people to refuse single-use plastic- she put together a reusable bamboo straw and spork set that people can take with them and use instead of single-use straws and cutlery.
Lilly lives in Holland.


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Case in Point: John Nanni Is a Living Object Lesson for Polio Vaccination


John Nanni, as most people who contract polio do, got it as a baby, just one year before the vaccine became widely available. Although he recovered from the paralysis as a child and even played sports, John has been plagued in adulthood by Post Polio Syndrome.

John is an active polio fighter who nobly uses his own situation as a living object lesson for ending the horrific disease once and for all. On the back of his wheelchair, he keeps a sign that says, “64 Years Later: This is what a Polio looks like when a child is not vaccinated.”

His unsurpassed passion for eradicating the disease primarily benefits children in the developing world. Without intervention from Rotary with help from its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, hundreds of thousands of children would be crippled every year.

Still, polio is just a plane ride away. Every child in the world should be vaccinated.

Be sure to watch the video interview with John at the top of this article.

Interview with John Nanni, the District 7630 PolioPlus Chair and USA Coordinator of the “World’s Greatest Meal to Help End Polio” of Rotary International PolioPlus.

The following is the pre-interview with John Nanni. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: Rotary International’s PolioPlus program is one of five organizations in GPEI who’s goal is to raise money to fund the efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

Scale: 1.2 million Rotarians in over 35,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

I first apply Rotary International’s Four-Way Test to anything I do.  I then do my best to inform and educate people on the need to eradicate polio worldwide and the need to help the existing 20 million polio survivors worldwide.

John sings:  www.Rhapsodyin2.com

More about Rotary International PolioPlus:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=mot%20rotary%20club

Website: www.endpolio.org

The goal of Rotary’s PolioPlus program which began officially in 1985 is the global certification of polio eradication. By eradication, we mean the interruption of the transmission of the wild poliovirus.

Rotary is working through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to ensure that no child will ever again know the crippling effects of polio.

By the time the world is certified polio-free, Rotary’s contributions will exceed US$1.2 billion to a program that is expected to total approximately US$10 billion in donor funds enabling the largest public health initiative the world has ever known.

More than one million Rotarians worldwide have contributed toward the success of the polio eradication effort to date.

Globally, the number of polio cases has fallen from 350,000 annually in the mid-1980s to 17 cases as of September 17, 2018, in the remaining 3 polio-endemic: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Nigeria being wild polio-free for over 2 years.

As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.

John Nanni

John Nanni’s bio:

John is a Polio Survivor and suffers from severe Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS).

At the age of 10 months old in 1953, months before the Salk vaccine was distributed, John was paralyzed from his neck down for 6 months.  With the help of his family, John took his first steps a year later.

John grew up in Binghamton, New York and graduated from the State University of New York at Delhi with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant Management.

John worked in the Hospitality Industry for 20 years before starting a company, Paper And Ribbon Supply Company that sold products to the restaurant industry.  In 2000, John sold his business because Post-Polio Syndrome took a toll on his ability to run the business.

John is limited to fewer than a couple of hundred walking steps per day and uses a power wheelchair for most of his mobility to avoid overuse of polio-damaged muscles and to reduce his ever-present pain throughout his body.

He joined Polio Network of NJ (PNNJ) in 1992 to learn more about PPS.   September 2012, he was appointed to their Board of Directors and is also now their Liaison for Delaware.  PNNJ is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping polio survivors and their families deal with PPS.

John joined Rotary International in 2010 after being a guest lecturer at the Rotary Club of Hamilton Township (Mercer County, NJ).  He was appointed to the Rotary District 7510 PolioPlus Committee and was part of the Rotary PolioPlus Delegation to the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on September 27, 2012, with over 100 world leaders and Bill Gates meeting to “Unite Against Polio”  

John and his wife are professional singers who perform throughout the Northeast with their Cabaret Show, “Rhapsody in 2” singing mainly Broadway Showtunes and songs from the Great American Songbook at a variety of venues, including Nursing Homes, 55+ Communities and benefit concerts for Rotary Clubs.

John’s “Polio Goals” and “Accessibility Goals” are:

– To play a role in helping Rotary International + Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) eradicate Polio worldwide.  3 remaining countries with active cases of Wild Polio Virus: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
– To help other polio survivors and their families learn how to best deal with PPS.
– To help educate doctors and other medical personnel about PPS.
– To advocate for greater accessibility for the handicapped.

Other facts about John Nanni:

Rotary District 7630 PolioPlus Chair
USA Coordinator for the “World’s Greatest Meal to Help End Polio”
Rotary Club of Middletown-Odessa Club Secretary & Club President-Elect
Paul Harris Fellow +8
Rotary International Foundation Major Donor
Paul Harris Society Member
Polio Survivors Association Board Member – a Rotary Action Group
Advocate for Polio Eradication and Rehabilitation
Advocate for Handicap Accessibility
DE State Architectural Accessibility Board Member- DE Governor Appointed
Polio Network of NJ/DE (PNNJ) Board Member – www.njpolio.org
34 Gallon Platelet Donor (279 Donations) – Red Cross + Blood Bank of Delmarva
Father of 2 great kids, Allison and Adam, who were adopted from Korea when they were babies
Polio Survivor – “Class of 1953”
Post-Polio Syndrome – for rest of my life


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How To Get Media Attention For Your Social Venture

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

A bit of good press can play a role in attracting capital, new hires and customers. Entrepreneurs often sense that this is the case but have no idea how to get media to pay attention.

Paraphrasing Jerry Seinfeld, it is important to understand that there is no success police. No one is monitoring the activities of all the social entrepreneurs in the world to identify the brilliant new ideas and share them. Your success is up to you. Don’t wait to be discovered. It will be a long wait.

Next, you’ll want to find someone who writes about the sort of thing you do. Search the news on Google for stories about direct competitors or about the social problem you hope to address. This takes time. You want to be sure you understand the journalist’s beat before you prepare a pitch.

One of the mistakes I often see is that people pitch a tangent to a story I’ve written that has nothing to do with my narrow focus on social entrepreneurship and impact investing. For instance, last week I wrote about a blockchain startup that is working actively in the developing world to provide identification for people who lack it, addressing a social problem head-on. In the week since, I’ve received several pitches for blockchain and crypto stories that have no social impact angle. It is a good idea to read enough of a journalist’s work to understand the focus of their attention. Sadly, for most journalists, the social angle is the tangent.

A thorough web search could yield dozens of journalists from CNN reporters to local newspapers and bloggers. There is no good reason to leave anyone off your list. One blogger’s post may lead to something bigger.

Finding contact information for journalists is generally easy. Many news sites will link the author’s byline to a profile that includes either a contact form or an email address. Television sites most consistently do not; a search of such sites will generally get you to a tip line email address. Professional public relations firms are helpful in this regard.

Once you have your list, there is something of an art to submitting a story—some guidelines that are helpful.

First, be sure to send your story to a person and use that person’s name in the email. When people submit a pitch addressed just “Hi,” Hi there,” or “Hi First Name,” (I really do get pitches addressed “Hi First Name”) the recipients know immediately that they are reading a form letter that may have gone to hundreds of people. Most journalists are not excited to share a story that every other outlet will carry and so they’ll ignore such an email.

Getting the attention of media can be helpful. CREDIT: DEPOSITPHOTOS

Next, you’ll get much more attention if you build a rapport with the journalist by mentioning the articles you’ve read and liked. You can get further still by subscribing to or following the journalists in some way. It is easy enough to find them on twitter and follow them there. Tell them you do. Now, you’ve become a fan and a follower, and your pitch is now more likely to be read.

You’ll then want to explain why your story is relevant to their beat and why it is interesting now. Help them see a hook that would make people want to read the story. For me, I find stories that relate to eliminating extreme poverty and improving social justice, improving global health and mitigating climate change are the most interesting. Every journalist is likely to have favorite themes. While you may not know what they are, past stories can provide clues.

It is generally a good idea to include a press release–a draft of an article the journalist can edit and submit. I never use press releases in place of original content on Forbes but I often print them verbatim at MySocialGoodNews.com and GoodCrowd.info. Every outlet and every journalist has a different view about using press releases. One thing is for sure: if you don’t provide one, they can’t use it. Best practice is to send your release in the body of the email and indicate who is available for interviews and if there are photos or video available.

Most journalists don’t respond directly to story ideas and pitches they won’t use. The reason is simple. Responding personally to each one is impossible. While I get hundreds of pitches every week, celebrity journalists must get thousands. That would include popular bloggers, YouTube celebrities and the like. That means you’ll get the same response if your pitch was completely off base or right on target but crowded out by other stories pitched at the same time. So, don’t take rejection personally. You should also feel free to follow up once, to ensure that the journalist has really had a chance to see your idea.

This strategy won’t work with every journalist every time, but it will work with some of them some of the time. If your story merits attention, reaching out this way is likely to bring it.


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#MeToo Survivor Shares Her Story Of Resilience And Hope


Leta Greene has built a happy, productive life as a mother and a professional speaker and makeup artist. She is proud of this. She is particularly proud that no one in her professional circle–many of whom she counts as friends–knew that she is a survivor of sexual abuse as a child.

As the #metoo movement gained steam over the past few years, Leta realized that it was time to share her story. She posted her experience on Facebook, went to bed and awoke to an overwhelming show of support–and an invitation from a publisher to write a book.

Her book, Love Me Too, doesn’t wallow in self-pity nor does it reveal the most intimate details of her abuse. Much of the book is a guide for other survivors, whom she hopes to help achieve the sort of profound happiness she enjoys.

She also shares some parenting tips that can help protect children from abuse, at surprisingly young ages–without scaring them.

You don’t want to miss one second of my discussion with Leta. Watch in the player at the top of this article.

Interview with Leta Greene, the Hotness of Glamour Connection.

The following is the pre-interview with Leta Greene. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

Expert Tips:

Tip 1:  I will be sharing how we can change the conversation to empower those still in abusive situations and those that are coming out.

Tip 2: We need to get VERY comfortable in talking about the causes of sexual abuse. As we talk to our children at age appropriate stages we can help protect them from potential abusers. It is not about stranger danger! 80% to 90% of those molested are done so by those that know them.

Tip 3: Module I teach of recognizing the need for a balance of love, trust and accountability to exist in relationships.

Let’s Makeup: hotnesscosmetics.com

More about Glamour Connection:

Twitter: @LetaHotness

Facebook: facebook.com/LetaHotness/

Website: LetaGreene.com

I started as a makeup artist in 1999. This gave me an up-close opportunity to see the difficulties girls and women face because I am right there in their personal space women share their challenges. In return, I shared with them what I had done to overcome issues of confidence and self-perception. My advice helped them. We had a few “adventures” in our lives that lead to more asking how we were so resilient. That lead to speaking and my first book How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness. My latest book Love, Me Too again a response to a need that those victimized need to know life can be amazing even after great darkness.

Leta Greene. Photo Credit: Emily London

Leta Greene’s bio:

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/hotness/

Instagram: instagram.com/leta_greene/

International speaker including 2 Tedx speeches and author of two books, Leta Greene doesn’t want to intimidate any of you, but she is known as “HOTNESS.” At 12, she won the Boy Scout arm wrestling competition. None of those boys ever asked her out. Leta majored in Sign Language and graduated with honors. Ironic, she is REALLY good at not talking!

Leta inspires each of us to embrace what makes us individually hot and amazing. As an image consultant and makeup artist since 1999, Leta has helped clients to not only look their best but to feel their best. Leta has also built a multi-million dollar business in the beauty industry and is a sought-after trainer for women entrepreneurs. Her message is one of honoring yourself through being authentic to who you are. It is through humor, stories, and a new way of seeing the everyday that makes Leta’s audiences of all ages want to hold on for more! Her programs range from Maturation programs for 5th-grade girls, Confidence workshop for tween and teen girls, Joy-full workshops for women, Seminars for parents on how to talk to your kids about sex, and as an energetic Keynote speaker for conference and seminars on resiliency, personal responsibility and of course the Hotness Factor.

Leta is the mother of Nathaniel, Ailsa and Katelynn, who are the most adorable children. Just follow her on Facebook and you will see that they are amazing. She says her kids and hubby bring it home for her; anytime she thinks she is too cool, it’s time to cook dinner. They help her keep it real – but she’s still hot!


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