If you’d like some encouragement, consider the CNN Heroes award ceremony this week. Each year the news network honors 10 people from around the globe who have made a huge difference to their communities and the world. It is a ceremony that is filled with humor and moving stories of everyday people who have connected with their personal visions of hope, moved through tremendous obstacles, and created tangible results.
Chad Pregracke who took his personal passion for cleaning garbage from the banks of the Mississippi River and built an organization that now organizes 70 cleanups per year in 50 riverside communities and has involved 70,000 volunteers. The cleanups are fun and educational with 90% of the seven million pounds of garbage (to date) getting recycled.
Tawanda Jones, a tough love lady, who created a girls dance/drill team and boys drum line in Camden, NJ where only 49% of children graduate from high school. Through the drill team, Jones aims to teach kids about discipline, dedication and self-respect, things she believes are necessary to survive and thrive in this rough community and beyond. All of the 4,000 kids in her program have graduated and more than 80% have gone on to college or technical schools.
Dr. Georges Bwelle who brings health services to rural Cameroon. There is only one doctor for every 5,000 people in the country and services must be paid for in cash. Bwelle watched his father suffer for more than 20 years because of a lack of accessibility to health services. So, he became a doctor himself and works all week as a vascular surgeon. Still, almost every Friday, he and up to 30 people jam into vans, tie medical supplies to the roofs, and travel across rough terrain to visit villages in need. There they give free medical, dental, and ophthalmological care to those in need…at no charge. In his words, “To make people laugh, to reduce the pain, that’s why I’m doing this.”
Notably, as these stories unfolded, they tracked the three keys from Take Charge of Your Talent. Each was a true hero story built on great hopes, the persistence and creativity to accelerate through obstacles, and the creation of valuable assets that could be shared with the world.
You are no different. You have great hopes. You have success stories about times that you moved through obstacles. You’ve created wonderful assets to share with the world. The purpose of Take Charge of Your Talent is not to create heroes, but rather to wake you up to the hero you already are. It helps you get in touch with and act on what you have to offer. If the everyday heroes on CNN can live out their heroism, so can you.
To nominate a CNN Hero for 2014 fill out the form on the following page: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/nom/