• All
  • Issue 01
  • Issue 02
  • Issue 03
  • Issue 04
  • Issue 05

Thomas Valentine

Thomas Valentine’s artwork can be seen throughout the city in galleries and urban settings alike. The artist has had his share of obstacles but throughout them all has maintained a need to create. He enjoys making others happy by using humor and light-heartedness in his work.

Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson is the not only the Founder and Director of the Central PA Heroes Coalition, he’s also Captain America. Donating his time to visit sick children while dressed as the famous superhero, Jason’s efforts extend to organizing fundraising events and special adventures. The nonprofit’s mission is simple: to bring happiness and smiles to all children through the love of costume characters.

Becky Rupp

Becky Rupp’s life turned to self-harm, drug addiction, and homelessness after her father’s passing. Through determination, she transformed her life and now majors in the Women in Ministry Leadership program at Lancaster Bible College where she is focused on her dreams of helping others.

Christi Albert

Christi Albert’s passion for natural health and wellness led her to develop skin-care items, oil rollers, tinctures, and CBD products through her business, Ellister’s Elixirs.

Randolph Hernandez

Randolph Hernandez works hard to make sure children do not fall through the cracks. Beyond creating a nurturing environment for students, the school resource officer in the York City School District is active with non-profit organizations for adolescence and enjoys spending time connecting the local Latino community.

Pam Wild

Surviving a suicide attempt, Pam Wild firmly believes the cause of her mental state was due to the medications she was taking at the time for depression and anxiety. She has endured over 60 surgeries to reconstruct her face after her gunshot and her testimony about the side effects of SSRIs has prompted the FDA to require warning labels on medications.

Jason Berlet

A funny guy, musician, and artist, Jason Berlet’s love of Saturday Night Live and stand-up comedians lead him to attend improv classes in New York City. The artist developed his style and became known for his Sharpie drawings on cups, take-out boxes, and just about anything he could get his hands on—all the while fronting the band, Brom Bones for the past 30 years.

Shaun Murphy

After his service in the U.S. Army, Shaun Murphy joined up with the Teach for America program and refined his idea to recruit veterans into the classroom. Shaun was recognized for his efforts by former first lady, Michelle Obama during a 2007 press conference. Now a teacher at HACC, Shaun continues to mold the minds of our youth by encouraging motivation and leadership in our community.

Samia Kreiser

Samia Kreiser grew up with a normal childhood in the U.S. until her father liquidated the family’s assets and relocated them to Jordan in order to raise his girls in the Muslim culture. Struggling with her father’s overbearing rules, Samia and her sister’s eventually escaped back to the states to join her mother.

Gina Baum

Wheelchair-bound Gina Baum has an adventurous spirit and draw towards extreme sports She also educates disabled individuals on how to live independently.

Monica Forte

Monica Forte’s youngest son, Tony, was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease only six days after his birth. The disease, which causes problems in the colon and digestive system, led the Forte family through multiple surgeries, living at hospitals, and eventually losing Tony at the age of 12. Monica remains active in her fight to help families in similar situations through her memorial fund, In Memory of Tony’s Footsteps.

TJ Griffin

A yearning to remove himself from a lifestyle of drug dealing and partying, TJ Griffin paved his way as a hip-hop manager, actor, and motivational speaker. He formed The Vision Program in order to provide inner-city youth with workshops, mentorship, and guidance with the hopes of offering hope to troubled youth.

Scott Faithfull

Scott Faithfull finds his purpose in life by sponsoring children of third-world countries through Children International. His donations have helped the boys and girls to feed their families, provide clothing and school supplies, and to further their educations.

Kim Gantz

After the unexpected death of her beloved husband, Kim learns his positive impact on the community, how to find strength through mourning, and sets up a foundation in his honor.

Tracie Young

Tracie Young, licensed wildlife rehabilitator and founder of Raven Ridge Wildlife Center, has dedicated herself to a labor of love and dedication. The donation-based public service is a temporary refuge to rabies vector species such as bunnies, squirrels, groundhogs, and skunks.

Ron Rambo with Chad Ibach

Ron Rambo was born with cerebral palsy and needs 24-hour care. Among Ron’s challenges is finding affordable housing to accommodate his needs such as wheelchair accessibility. Ramboland is now in the works to build a self-sustaining, ecologically responsible home for Ron and will hopefully set the bar for other’s in his situation.

Alaina Salks

Alaina Salks aims to break down the taboo topic of human sexuality as she integrates mind, spirit, and sex as an Authentic Tantra instructor. In her private practice, she introduces individuals and couples to the ancient traditions which are rooted in Tibetan Buddhism.

Ray Newlin

Ray Newlin’s experience with alcohol and drug addiction and the loss of two close friends, led Ray to found Cornerstone for Recovery. The network of homes for people transitioning out of inpatient facilities, rehabs, and prisons offers safe and sober living to get residents back on their feet and back into society. Ray also started the Anthony Craighead Skateboard Scholarship that gives free skateboards to underprivileged children.

Jim McMullin

Jim McMullin came from extreme poverty having grown up during The Great Depression. The need for steady work led him to join the Lancaster City Police department in 1950 where he endured shootouts, robberies, and ushered Senator John F. Kennedy through downtown Lancaster during his presidential campaign.

Will Kiefer

Will Kiefer created the Bench Mark Program through the desire to empower at-risk youth. Beyond fitness training, the gym provides academic counseling, career coaching, and offers guidance and support to kids who need it.

Richard Humphreys

For 39 years, Richard Humphreys has been entertaining children of all ages at Gnome Countryside on his Colerain Township property. Dressed in lederhosen, sporting a red kerchief around his neck and a handmade woolen cap on his head, Mr. Rich balances the struggles of near blindness due to diabetes by creating a mystical gnome land that engages children in storytelling and a lot of laughter.

Jack Frey And Jack Yuska

Jack Yuska and Jack Frey navigate through their difficult experiences while serving in the military during The Vietnam War. Together, the veterans now conduct lectures in order to educate others and help to alleviate their PTSD.

Chris & Bill Davis

Bill Davis has created his own personalized curriculum and means of communication for his son, Chris, who is living with severe autism, intellectual disability, and neurological disorders. Bill embraces each day with Chris’s happiness as the ultimate goal.

Soren West

At the age of 75, Soren West, or “Sojo” as he’s known on the trail, set out on an eight month and six day journey to complete the Appalachian Trail. Not only was Soren the oldest to hike the trail in its entirety in 2016, his hike was unique as he was accompanied by his eight-year-old golden retriever, Theo. The pair are forever changed by their adventure.

Travis Oswald

After suicide of his close friend, Travis Oswald stepped into action to create the Facebook page Mental Illness and Suicide Awareness.

Kat Ludlow

Kat Ludlow’s early years were not the happiest. Suffering abuse from a stepfather, Kat was placed into foster care where luckily, things took a turn for the best. Kat caught the traveling bug and began making her way through multiple U.S. states and eventually found herself living in Southeast Asia where she taught English, created an import/export business, and gained more life experience than most of us will see in a lifetime.

Lucy Sarah

Lucy Sarah has used her early roots of motorcycle riding to create the annual women’s ride event, The Fox Run. Her passion is to build a community of like-minded “soul sisters” and encourage other women to leave their intimidation behind and hop on a bike.

Jen Nields

Jen Nields wanted to be a humane officer ever since high school. She built her career experience after the devastating, sudden death of her father and utilized the tragedy to create Santa Claws and Paws to aide families in need. Focused on the greater good of animals, Jen throws herself into her work for the Pennsylvania SPCA.

Ellen Smoll

After the tragic, sudden loss of her son, Ellen Smoll was introduced to the Gift of Life organization where Evan’s organs became gifts for many suffering patients.

Kitty Byk

Kitty Byk was 12 years old when Hitler’s Nazi party took over her hometown of Vienna, Austria. Being of half Jewish decent, Kitty overcame working in the Labor Department, daily bombings, the advance of the Russian army, begging for food, and migrating to the U.S. just after her 20th birthday.

Malik Rhodes

Turned to art and music as therapy after growing feelings of depression and anxiety, Malik Rhodes forges on as a both a local tattoo artist and singer-songwriter through the solo project, All Hail West Texas.

Andy Stender

Born with Usher syndrome, Andy Stender is both deaf and blind and uses Pro-tactile American Sign Language as a way to communicate with others. Refusing to be disabled by the syndrome, Andy studied horticulture, enjoys building model trains, and assembles helmet liners for his job at Vision Corps.

Ken Hudson

As a young boy obsessed with fire trucks, Ken Hudson immersed himself in his lifetime career as a firefighter and Hazmat instructor.

Wayne Mutata

Wayne Mutata left his homeland of Zimbabwe at the age of 17 with the goal of becoming a personal fitness trainer. Navigating through culture shock, Wayne continued to believe in the American dream and successfully launched iTrain Studios.

Carissa Libhart

Carissa Libhart was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer at the age of 27. Now cancer-free for six years, Carissa recalls her terrifying experiences, life lessons, and how her newborn daughter paved her motivational road to recovery.

Samantha Pfautz

Samantha Pfautz has turned her life around after a D.U.I. accident that landed her in Lancaster County Prison for 9 months. During her imprisonment, Sam fully embraced the A.I.M. to Empower yoga program and is now training as an instructor.

Axel Diaz

NASA Ambassador, Axel Diaz, lends his extensive space knowledge to the community by speaking to schools and organizations and holding events.

Patience Buckwalter

Patience Buckwalter does not remember the night that her and her adoptive mother had to flee Ethiopia to the United States for their safety from dangers of the militia. Her refugee experience led Patience to help others in similar situations through the Grape Leaf Empowerment Center and her new venture, Grape Leaf Café, which allows refugee women the opportunity to showcase their cooking skills and obtain work as well social and cultural interaction with the Lancaster community.

Edith Early

Born in the days when women were rarely welcome in the scientific field, Edith Early pioneered in STEM after majoring in Chemistry. In 1944, Edith began working at Armstrong World Industries as the only woman in the factory and helped to develop groundbreaking new ways to mass-produce plastic flooring tiles.

Loryn Spangler-Jones

Determined to discover herself and make people feel something through her work, mixed media artist Loryn Spangler-Jones has built her empire through her gallery, LSJ Studios.

Leo & Nick DiSanto

Although Leo and Nick DiSanto did not particularly grow up in a musical household, the brothers have been paving their way through the music scene since their adolescence. For Nick who went to school to study sculpture, joined his two loves and began constructing wearable instruments—transforming him into a one-man band. Besides Leo’s solo career that includes busking around the world, he is a part of Lancaster’s well-known band, Vinegar Creek Constituency.

Josh Parmer

Josh Parmer’s signature trick, the blunt kickflip, caught the attention of Thrasher Magazine and paved the way to his professional skateboarding career. Years later, Josh still picks up the board but spends most of his time as a history teacher for SDOL, family man, and involvement in the Freemasons.

Osmyn J. Oree

Growing up in downtown Lancaster, Osmyn Oree struggled with his identity as a member of the black community. Osmyn experienced racism not only from differing cultures, but also his own as he was often accused of not being black enough. Using his photography as an outlet to break down stereotypical barriers, Osmyn focuses on projects that challenge cultural diversity as well as the human body.

Pam Pautz

Pam Pautz, Executive Director of the North Star Initiative, passionately works toward the organization’s objective of providing a safe haven for female victims of sex trafficking. Through their group home called The Harbor, the women will concentrate on spiritual, mental, and physical wellness.

Jaimie Ames

Jaimie Ames has endured physical training, the responsibility of securing posts, and standing her ground on base during her previous career as a military police officer.

Johnny Semaganis

Growing up on the Little Pine First National reservation of Cree, Johnny Semaganis was separated from his mother during the “Sixties Scoop” where Canadian Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed into foster care or adopted to mostly white, middle-class families. The attempt to assimilate the children pulled Johnny away from his siblings and led him to a family in the U.S.

Leiana Smathers

Leiana Smathers is a bright, bubbly, and fun 11-year-old despite her ongoing physical challenges. Born with Hallermann-Streiff Syndrome—a rare disease that has only been diagnosed to 200 people worldwide—Leiana has had multiple surgeries since birth to correct cataracts that leave her nearly blind, yet nothing seems to dampen her spirits. Full of life, she is determined not to let anything stop her.

Ray Zor

The staple-marked Lancaster punker has been taping objects to his head in Mohawk style for years—all in good fun and appreciation for music.

Frosoula Romano

Hidden behind Frosoula Romano’s glowing smile was a mass of anxiety, which started in high school. After trying medication for relief, Frosoula discovered a Bodypump class and later took to teaching Bodyflow—a Les Mills yoga-like program—to ease the anxiety that had affected her for years. Beyond her teachings, Frosoula is also a Reiki practitioner and doTerra essential oils consultant.

Sérgio Vigilato

Sérgio Vigilato is a man of many hats. The Italian born in Brazil has a rich history in music, restaurant ownership, and taxidermy.

Elizabeth Courtright

Elizabeth Courtright recounts the many obstacles of adopting a group of young siblings. The self-published writer has developed a way to give back to unique families like hers through her program called the Third Chance Foundation.

Kathy Morgan

Kathy Morgan always knew she would get cancer. Eight years after her father passed away from bladder cancer, Kathy was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2001, she participated in her first Relay for Life, forming a team called Capitan Morgan’s Cancer Crusaders. To date, the team has raised an astonishing 1.2 Million Dollars for Relay for Life—making them the top-grossing fundraising team.

Tyler Goodling

Moving to Mexico at the age of 15 wasn’t easy for Tyler Goodling and he began having suicidal thoughts and was self-harming. Finding support from his friends, family, and a group called To Write Love On Her Arms, Tyler was able to pull himself out of his deepest depression and now excels in the world of customer service at his position at Passenger Coffee.

Sarah McCann

Sarah Mccann prides herself on her work as a personal doula and future as a counselor after a personal medical discovery led her through a rigorous recovery.

Sarah Salluzzo & Jonina Turzi

Motivated by a deep love and appreciation for animals, the couple runs Lancaster Farm Sanctuary which is home to residents such as goats, chickens, ducks, sheep, and a pair of cows.

Johnny Vega

Johnny Vega was a model student—participating in sports, getting good grades, and even scoring a scholarship to Millersville University—but by the age of 20 Johnny had taken his two year drug selling to a new level by opening a pair of night clubs. Known as the “one-stop-shop,” Johnny’s luck caught up with him when he was nabbed by the authorities and ultimately spent eight years in Federal prison. Today, he serves as a motivational speaker and encourages troubled youth to choose a better path.

Brooke Magni

Brooke Magni originally discovered her love for running in junior high school but an injury and toxic relationship put a pause on her training. She eventually returned to running to pull her out of her depression and found that it helped to turn her life around. Now an advocate others, Brooke continues to run marathons and pushes herself to achieve her goals.

Drew Esbenshade & Elijah Morton

Elijah Morton believes in hustling hard and staying humble. At 25, he opened Morton’s Dance Center and has become a mentor for young performers such as Drew Esbenshade. They both share a history of being adopted, a passion for dance, and a desire to positively influence their students.

Issa Rosario

Issa Rosario, a freshman at J.P. McCaskey High School, uses spoken-word poetry as an outlet to express her inner thoughts and feelings. Through the art, Issa has become a well-spoken, confident young lady with a driven desire to perform and reach out to her peers.

Untitled Mark

Mark Springer never signed any of his work. Now recognized as “Untitled Mark,” the artist has found a love for salvaged materials and makes his mark on the world as a furniture designer who incorporates distinct angles, raw metal, and visual contradictions between form and function.

Denny One Wolf

A chief of the Métis Nation of the United States, Denny One Wolf has been actively amassing his knowledge of Native American people for more than 30 years.

Michael Azzalina

Looking forward to a baseball scholarship, Michael Azzalina’s career path changed after a devastating fall that left him with retrograde amnesia and an extensive physical recovery.

Orlando Vega

Orlando Vega celebrates sobriety after over two decades of intense drug addiction that lead him into rehabs, jail sentences, and homelessness.

Lionel Adriano

After a suppression of childhood molestation, Lionel Adriano coped with a dangerous drug addiction that led to homelessness. Things clicked for Lionel when he was offered a job at a salon and he began his journey into skin and beauty. Now the co-owner of Revolve Atelier, he continues to push himself and welcomes new opportunities.

Artie Van Why

On the day of September 11th, Artie Van Why was working across the street from the World Trade Center. Caught in the center of tragedy, Artie witnessed the aftermath of the first plane hitting the North Tower, stood under the second tower when the second plane hit, and literally ran for his life. He wrote That Day in September and now speaks about his experience and struggle with PTSD.

Jeremy Crouse

Growing up in Columbia, PA, Jeremy Crouse did not originally have a full appreciation for Lancaster County early in life. He left the area and ventured to Las Vegas where he got caught up in the nightlife of Sin City and began heavily using drugs—an addiction that led to hospitalization and homelessness. Luckily an officer helped send Jeremy back home to Lancaster where he is fully recovered and now focuses on his career as a realtor.

Angelia Reed

Also known as The Yarn Bomber, Angelia Reed began The Wrap Up! Project in order to keep Lancaster warm by placing free, hand-made scarves throughout the county.

Esther Schmucker

Having grown up as a member of the Amish community, Esther Schmucker experienced struggles and bouts of physical and emotional abuse. After giving birth to her abuser’s child at the age of 15 and later staring on The Discovery Channel’s show, Amish Mafia, Esther found her calling by helping others through Voices of Hope as well as writing a book titled “Healing in Heels.”

Jenny Mercandetti

Jenny Mercandetti found the love of her life in her partner, Shaun Mehal, but life had different plans for the happy couple. Having been clean and sober for two and a half years, Shaun fell off the wagon and passed away from an overdose five weeks after his 34th birthday. Jenny vowed to keep his most positive aspects alive through the Mighty Mehal Foundation, which provides financial assistance to those who have successfully completed a detox program and are seeking residency in a recovery or sober-living house.

Cody Smith

Cody Smith credits his successful dance and choreographing path (which includes Radio City Christmas Spectacular) to his roots in Hempfield High School’s Dance Theater production.

Angela Myers

After the birth of her third child, Angela Myers started running to stay in shape. That is when she discovered her speed and love of sprinting. She soon found USA Track and Field Masters, which is an organization for athletes over the age of 35 years old and qualified to represent the U.S.A. in Worlds. The experience of becoming a world-class athlete empowered her to pursue a career as a life coach and publish her first book entitled Living Younger.

Theresa Fackler

Having survived cervical cancer and an emotionally abusive relationship, Theresa Fackler hit the bag and discovered her therapeutic career as a boxing instructor.

Kaden Stetler

Kaden Stetler combines his love of everything Star Wars and his unwavering desire to combat homelessness through his organization, Rebel Cause.

Peaches Gehman

Peaches Gehman suffered a stroke and critical brain bleed in the midst of training for her first half marathon at the age of 59. Through her optimism and support of her family, church friends, and coworkers, Peaches pushed through her recovery and now mentors others in brain injury support groups.

Brett Clemmer

As an adult with Down syndrome, Brett Clemmer has found the confidence to live independently and secure employment through Excentia’s TRAIL program. He is proud of what he has learned and uses his skills to travel to Lancaster Central Market, cook his own meals, write emails, and work at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Jimmy Phillips

The 96-year-old spitfire, Jimmy Phillips, has seen the world through his military service during WWII. The veteran recalls boarding the RMS Queen Mary, General Patton’s motivating speeches, German attacks, liberating concentration camps, and the Battle of the Bulge.

Chris Whitcomb

Veteran, Chris Whitcomb, uses 3D modeling skills to mastermind his project, M1126. Named after the Stryker vehicle that once saved his life, M1126 is being developed to aid other veterans with PTSD through exposure therapy.

Connor Gilbertson

Connor Gilbertson is unlike your typical 11-year-old. The boy with the big heart has raised money for cancer, autism, and a number of other charities.

Kevin Eberle

Kevin Eberle’s world was turned upside down in 1986 when his best friend Connie unexpectedly took her own life. There were no warning signs and he was left angry, confused, and guilty. With the lack of support groups through his own search, Kevin began Survivors of Suicide two years after Connie’s death in order to help others navigate through losing a loved one to suicide.

Timothy Truman

Illustrator, Timothy Truman, has come a long way since his childhood doodling in central West Virginia. Finding his niche in the comic book world, his Scout and Grimjack characters are still in demand along with his extensive portfolio of artwork for The Grateful Dead.

Joe Post

Joining the military was a natural calling for Joe Post since most of the men in his family had served, however, the construction-minded veteran enlisted in the Army at the age of 25 after obtaining a college degree. He was a member of the troops sent to Iraq and was a part of a routine clearance sent into clear IEDs and EFPs. War took its toll on Joe and he returned home to later be diagnosed with PTSD—a disorder that affects approximately 15 out of 100 Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans.

Jack Chance

Jack Chance travels around the globe with the purpose of recording the musical traditions in different cultures. Having studied ethnomusicology and radio production, Jack most enjoys visiting remote areas where there is little outside influence on their musical sound.

Sean Hall

Private investigation may not have always been in the cards for Sean Hall but interest in the field and fate brought the U.S. Air Force veteran to where he is today. Cases such as insurance fraud, child custody, infidelity, stalking, and even high-profile cases like investigating the church of Scientology makes him one busy man.

Jessica Higgins

Officer Jessica Higgins recalls her time in a local boxing ring and how the experience has led her to her career with the Lancaster City Bureau of Police. She enjoys getting to know and helping the people of the community through kind gestures that go beyond the badge and uniform.

Jerome Wright

Accomplished cellist, Jerome Wright, finds his savior in the arts after enduring a traumatic history of abuse. From the streets, to his sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall, Jerome is a true testament to overcoming and excelling at whatever life has dealt.

Joey Welz

Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductee, Joey Welz, is best known for his boogie-woogie piano riffs during his time with Bill Haley and His Comets. Now as the rights-bearer to Rock Around the Clock, Joey breathes new life into the famous song with his updated versions.

Tony Padilla

Tony Padilla builds his legacy after a life of addiction and incarceration. After the experience of hitting rock bottom, Tony has remained clean for four years and takes pride in his determination to love himself and reach the many goals he has set out to accomplish.

Elena Padilla

Elena Padilla found help from local services as well as a healthy dose of fear, motivation, and resilience to overcome 22 years of drug use. Now clean for 9 years, the mother of four continues to work her way through nursing classes and provides inspiration to her patients at Gaudenzia Vantage.

Kelly Erikson

What she refers to as being a normal 25-year-old life quickly turned Kelly Erikson’s world upside down when she was diagnosed with stage-four lower bowel cancer.

Chris Caldwell

Chris Caldwell, of The Common Wheel Community Bike Center, brings community and culture together to create a bike-friendly Lancaster City. Chris continues to fulfill his desire to do something meaningful through various cycling and mechanic programs at his shop.

Abigale and Colin Fortnum

Abigale and Colin Fortnum are Disney fanatics. The couple embodies the definition of “fun” as they spend months planning and building costumes for a variety of events and collect all things Disney. Both artistic, Abigale is an illustrator with a unique style that is full of bright colors and nudes in twisted positions while Colin is a hair stylist.