November 30, 2016

Today we have some interesting conversations to share with our listeners:

In October, we took our show to Minneapolis and visited Cookie Cart, a fantastic organization that provides teens 15 to 18 years old with lasting and meaningful work, life and leadership skills through experience and training in an urban nonprofit bakery.  On today’s show Matt Haley, the Executive Director, takes us through Cookie Cart, located on West Broadway Avenue, right in the heart of North Minneapolis.  By the end of the year 200 teens will be engaged in 30,000 hours of job experience and classroom job readiness training.  The first stop for Cookie Cart teen employees is the Bakery Program — the very foundation of our youth employment training. In this hands-on, job-training program, they teach essential employment skills to every teen coming through the Cookie Cart kitchen.

Adrian’s travels also took him to Oklahoma and Muskogee Bridges Out of Poverty.  In an interview with Treasure McKenzie, Director, and Dan Morris, a member of the Steering Committee, we discover how the organization empowers low-income families to radically change their lives by discovering and overcoming barriers to success. It focuses on empowering those in poverty to investigate the barriers in the community that keep people from getting ahead and educates the entire community on the complexities of poverty.  In five years Muskogee’s program has become a national model for success in moving the needle on generational poverty.  The program offers a healthy meal for the whole family prior to the classes.  Applying a two generational approach, the children attend childcare that focuses on a Character Counts and Khan Academy curriculum.  We would like to thank Dan Morris and Kimberly O'Keefe, our Charity Liaison at The Peace Fund, for helping sponsor this episode

While in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Adrian caught up with Evanna Lynch and she talks about some issues close to her heart and organizations she supports.  As most of you know, Evanna portrayed Luna Lovegood in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise.  She is an ambassador for Lumos and visited Haiti in a new film to learn why 30,000 children there so desperately need families and not orphanages.  Lumos, founded by J.K. Rowling has released a new short film narrated by Rowling that seeks to draw attention to the disservice done to children by long-term institutional care. There are eight million children living in orphanages worldwide—even though 80% of them are not orphans.  Most children are institutionalized because their parents are poor and cannot adequately provide for them.