Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
As an 11-year-old kid, I was sad and unhappy, reeling from my parents’ divorce and feeling abandoned, indifferent, and vulnerable. That’s when my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Hirschman, took notice. I’m not sure why, but somehow she knew I was bound to take a wrong turn and she provided me with a detour by casting me as the lead in our school play. Her intervention changed the trajectory of my life.
After a stellar junior year competing in multiple sports, I was recruited by some collegiate programs, but everything changed when I tore a hamstring muscle gearing up for my senior year, and I never fully recovered. All interest from colleges disappeared. My senior season could have been a wash, except my pastor wouldn’t allow me to feel sorry for myself. He regularly coached me on a track, yelling out words of encouragement and reminding me to keep my head up. The fact that he was there, supporting me, when he had his own family to tend to, spoke volumes to me.
People tend not to leave my hometown. So as a business major in college, I thought my career would only take me as far as my state’s industrial hub of Detroit. That was until a professor opened my eyes, challenging my myopic aspirations. He introduced me to alumni and professionals who revealed to me a world had previously been hidden. Somehow, even before I did, my professor knew there was more in store for me.
My sixth grade experience as the lead in the school play led to my path in front of the camera today as a journalist. My pastor’s encouragement on that track led to me earning an athletic scholarship and writing a book about my success as a student athlete. My college professor’s mentorship led to me obtaining out-of-state internships, studying abroad in Spain, and having a career that’s taken me all over the globe.
Because they believed in him, those remarkable people taught a young kid how to believe in himself. Because of their love and support, today I coach young professionals, providing them with the tools they need to trust in themselves and excel. I do this because I believe in them.
– Antonio Neves