Monthly Archives: September 2022

Nikki Shults: Executive Director of -208

What means the most to me is building community, finding safe spaces for the lonely and the elderly. -Nikki Shults

Nikki Shults grew up on a family compound in rural Connecticut. At the center of this compound, in the humble, makeshift home lived her grandmother whom she called “Meme”. This wise, matriarch of the family lived to be 95, surrounded by generations of the people she loved. It was on this compound where Nikki learned some of her first lessons about the elderly, community
and companionship. She would go on to pursue a BA in Gerontology and an MBA in Healthcare Management from Quinnipiac University. With only a wish to learn more about the world, she entered the Peace Corps, working in Ethiopia. It was there that she observed “you don’t need a lot to make you happy” and that what she had learned on her family compound about caring for the elderly was true in Ethiopia as well. Nikki could see that Ethiopians kept their elderly close, protecting them inside multigenerational family homes until the day they died. These days, you’ll find Nikki doing what she loves as the Executive Director of a charity called LBFE or Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly She is devoted to intergenerational programming and the organization’s mission to build communities and friendships between the old and the young. In this interview, Nikki shares some startling statistics about loneliness, the long-term effects of the pandemic on our oldest populations, and the priceless gifts of wisdom she has learned along the way from the elderly. Says Nikki: they’ve taught me that the sooner you learn to be your most authentic self, the sooner you stop caring what everyone else thinks, that is when your life begins.” #elderly #companionship #lbfeboston #peacecorps

Kathleen Ralls, PhD -Educator, Athlete, Coach & Author -207

If I can push my body to the limit physically, what can I do mentally in other parts of my life? -Kathleen Ralls, PhD

We’re back with another season of stories about women doing great things with their lives.
If you need a dose of get up and go, this episode is for you. Kathleen Ralls is a lifelong athlete who is also an award-winning educator, a high school sports coach and a Fullbright Scholar whose doctoral research on gender equity sports and voice empowerment brought her to 20 countries and 4 continents to gather crucial data from female athletes. In this interview, Kathleen shares her experiences working with and learning from girls in Ethiopia through the Girls Gotta Run Foundation. I asked here: what are the attributes at the heart of a champion female athlete? Why are athletes such great leaders? Where do they find their strength to bounce back after a loss? And what role does consistency play when it comes to performance both on the athletic field and in the workplace? Kathleen’s research into what makes female athletes tick is captured in her book: Take Her Word For It: Sports Cultivates World-Class Leaders. These days, you’ll find this exceptional woman sharing what she has learned in her own coaching practice centered on female empowerment and leadership training. If you are an athlete, or the parent of a girl who is just starting her athletic journey, hit that download button. You’ll be glad you did. #title9 #leadership #empowerment

Jenn Abelson: Award-winning Investigative Reporter -206

I’ve innately had this willingness, a fearlessness to challenge the people in charge and to not be afraid of power. -Jenn Abelson

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be an investigative reporter? In the spotlight, Jenn Abelson, reporter for The Washington Post and co-host of the new series, Broken Doors. www.washingtonpost/brokendoors. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Jenn went to Cornell University and spent time abroad, working in Israel during violent times when her family worried about her safety. In this interview, we get a bird’s eye view into the psyche of an investigative reporter who is not afraid to look into the darkest corners to find the truth. A former member of the Boston Globe’s elite Spotlight team, Jenn is also the co-author of a memoir by Chessy Prout called I Have A Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice and Hope. These days, you’ll find Jenn headfirst into the art of storytelling with her podcast series Broken Doors which examines no-knock warrants. Her decision to be a part of the show is no surprise: “I like to do things that make me feel a little bit uncomfortable and not always take the path everyone else is taking.” For a look inside the world of a gifted writer and major market investigative reporter, take the risk and hit that download button. #washingtonpost #investigativereporter #noknockwarrant