Monthly Archives: February 2021

Christina Horner -152

Success for me is to make a positive impact on someone. If I’ve gotten someone to think about race, or racism, or oppression in a different way, and to come back to me and say “you were right” that’s success. -Christina Horner

Meet a woman who has spent her entire career in education dedicated to equity and social justice. Christina Horner is the Senior Associate for the Great Schools Partnership, a non-profit school support organization with a goal of redesigning public education and improving learning for all students. Also an educational consultant and an appointed member of the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council, Christina believes firmly: “It is a favor to society to give all kids what they are entitled to in terms of education.” A Boston College graduate with a Masters degree in Education from Lesley, Christina grew up in Roxbury and was bussed as part of the METCO program to the little town of Weston beginning in fifth grade. Her stories about what it was like to be educated in one of the most affluent towns in Massachusetts are equal parts good and bad, as she came of age in a school system where she was among a very small minority of African American students. Her decision to return to Weston early in her career as the school system’s METCO liaison is a reflection of her deep commitment to not only give back, but to make better. Christina and her husband decided that living in a town with an exceptional school system was their #1 priority, so they have raised their children in Wellesley, an equally homogenous, predominantly white community. Despite the obstacles they have faced, Christina credits her mother’s words of wisdom for keeping her positive and hopeful: “despite the messages you might hear from around you, they’re not true, and this is what you want to aspire to be.” #socialjustice #anti-racism #diversity

Joan Wallace-Benjamin, PhD -151

There is a Congolese saying that a single bracelet does not jingle. Everyone in your family are the bracelets that help you jingle. When you have that jingle, you are able to lead more fully because you have all of the people you love and care about, right there, on your arm.
-Joan Wallace-Benjamin

Welcome to the story of a woman whose awards and accomplishments are simply too vast to list here. A self-described “mission girl” Joan Wallace-Benjamin has spent 37 years focused on creating better outcomes for underserved children and families. A graduate of Wellesley College, she received her Ph.D from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. A native of New York City, Joan learned a lot about love of community and social responsibility from her loving parents. With leadership roles at ABCD Head Start, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, as temporary Chief of Staff for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and as the President and CEO of the Home For Little Wanderers, Joan is a role model for anyone who aspires to lead with purpose and passion. Her new book is called Leading A Life In Balance and includes her sage advice as a working mom. Says Joan: I think leaders lead more fully when they take as their first priority their own children and families. For the inspiring story of a stellar human being whose life has been well lived, just hit that download button. #leadership #workingmom

Amy Goober -150

Women, at some point along the way, forget or need to be reminded, that they are in control of their own lives. The philosophy is: put yourself on your to-do list. -Amy Goober

This is a story about reinvention. Amy Goober is living proof that we all have chapters in our lives and the treasure lies in what we learn from them. In her first job, straight out of college, Amy worked for a major advertising agency in Boston where she got her foot in the door as a secretary, spending four years working her way up to Account Executive. It was there that she shared her love of making cakes and was soon asked to make elaborate cakes for the agency’s high end clients. Before you know it, Amy had a plan to own her own bakery called The Icing On The Cake in nearby Newton, MA. With no business experience, she launched her tiny hole in the wall shop and grew the bakery to legendary status with two parts grit and one part chutzpah. Her decision to sell the bakery and stay home to raise her three children for the next twenty years is an ode to mother-love and her new chapters as a certified health coach, speaker, author and founder of Drive Your Life are proof that Amy is living her life to the fullest. In this chapter of her ever-evolving life, Amy’s goal is to reach as many women as she can with the message that: “the things we regret are the things we don’t do. Perfect is the enemy of done. Just get out there, and do it.” #storybehindhersuccess #reinvention #driveyourlife

Stephanie Moniuk -149

I have a vision of what I want my life to look like and I’m gonna keep working towards it til I get where I want to go. -Stephanie Moniuk

Imagine living in chronic back pain for 20 years and then, hearing your doctor tell you that surgery is not an option for your degenerative disc disease, herniations, spinal stenosis and arthritis. Welcome to the life of Stephanie Moniuk. In this interview, the founder of Knockout Wellness describes how hearing that news forced her to do her own research into the science of pain and the power of the mind-body connection. Turns out, the childhood trauma she had buried deep in her psyche was connected to her back pain and that in many cases, physical pain is a response to our unconscious emotions. A lifelong fan of boxing, she took a leap of faith and stepped into a training gym. Stephanie’s journey from pain and misery to winning the Master’s Boxing Division World Championship at 48 are chronicled in this interview. Her decision to found Knockout Wellness was based on one desire: “to be the person I wish I had when I was stuck in chronic pain.” If you are stuck in pain, hit that download button because this episode is designed to give you hope and a giant dose of kickass inspiration. #chronicpain #boxing #inspiration