Paragon: Interviews with Charities and Change-Makers
By Anthony Mastromarini
“If a lot of people love each other, the world would be a better place to live” – Tommy Wiseau. The world can be a menacing place sometimes. But amidst the chaos, there are a noble few who do try to spread the love. Join Anthony Mastromarini as he speaks with local charities and change-makers – the unspoken heroes – who are on a mission to make the world a better place to live. Tune into this feel-good podcast to see how small-scale compassion can lead to large-scale impact.
Carly is the Founder & CEO of Special Musicians, a non-profit organization that is providing opportunities for musical expression to the differently abled. The organization, which was founded in 2017, hosts weekly Sunday sessions where students learn basic music theory and how to play instruments, and it gives them an opportunity to develop behavioural and social skills. Currently, there are about 100 students enrolled at Special Musicians, which operates out of four locations in Nebraska, including Omaha, Kearney, Papillion, and Lincoln.
Learn more about Special Musicians:
Facebook: Special Musicians
Sam Potortì is the Founder and Account Manager of two popular dialect dictionary social media accounts. He has successfully scaled these Instagram pages to followings of ~130k and ~100k through disciplined goal setting, understanding his target audience, and delivering entertaining content. One of his accounts, @tuscanian.says, has recently partnered with top-tier Tuscan restaurant, @ganzovarramista, to re-write their menu with the goal of further incorporating the Tuscan dialect into the menu descriptions. Currently, he is further putting those media and marketing skills to good use with his latest project, myvitae, which aims to give individuals access to a free online directory of certifications (i.e. CFA, Google Analytics, Bloomberg Market Concepts) so that they can make a more informed decision when determining which to pursue.
Learn more about Sam:
LinkedIn: Sam Potortì
Varun is the Co-Founder of The Human Entrepreneur, a podcast and youth entrepreneurship community with the goal of democratizing access to valuable resources for young entrepreneurs. The podcast reached Top 20 in the entrepreneurship category in the United Kingdom, and the community, called the Youth Entrepreneur Movement, has already accumulated over 200 active members, despite only being launched in August of this past year. They also produce a publication, called the FourOneOne, and currently have a mentorship program in the works. Tune in to hear how Varun and The Human Entrepreneur are empowering a new generation of young entrepreneurs!
Learn more about The Human Entrepreneur:
Facebook: The Human Entrepreneur / Youth Entrepreneur Movement
LinkedIn: The Human Entrepreneur
Connect with Varun:
LinkedIn: Varun Balsara
Jana Amin is an Egyptian-American girls' education activist. She works closely with The Collateral Repair Project (@crp_amman), a Jordan-based NGO dedicated to supporting refugee women and girls. She gave a TEDxYouth Talk on changing the narrative around Muslim women. Recently, she hosted a virtual event, #17for17: Advocating for Girl’s Education, where she brought together 17 influential speakers from 17 different countries and thousands of attendees. On top of that, she conducts research on the media representation of Muslim women, having presented one of her research projects at the American University of Cairo and continuing her research through her internship at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is also a member of the Youth Activism Project (@youactproject) and a podcaster and co-founder of the series Untextbooked (@untextbooked). She has been featured in The National UAE, MarieClaire Arabia, Egyptian Streets, Daily News Egypt, Black and White Magazine, and a number of other publications. If that wasn’t enough, she competes nationally with her high school’s debate team, is part of the varsity squash team, and plays the harp. And she's only 17!
Learn more about Jana:
Instagram: @janaamin03 / @bantoota
LinkedIn: Jana Amin
Presentations: TEDxYouth Talk, UN SDG Action Panel
Mark is the founder of Macan PPE, an organization that is striving to supply high-quality face masks at affordable prices. Macan has partnered with a CE-certified and FDA-registered manufacturer and has distributed over 300,000 masks to date (an increase of 200,000 masks from when this podcast was initially recorded). The company has made and continues to make significant contributions in helping Canadian communities stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic!
Learn more about Macan PPE:
Phone: (416) 303-8638
LinkedIn: Macan & Co.
Erica is a director at OPAL Family Services, an organization that provides support and coordinates respite for families who have a child or adult dependent with a disability. Through various programs, including respite and support services, youth and adult groups, Camp Wonder, and the Respite Apartment, OPAL serves this vulnerable population and acts as an advocate for inclusion. The organization was founded in 1984 and has since grown to offer additional programs and accommodate more families. It continues to be a pillar of support within the community, even through the challenges of COVID.
Learn more about OPAL Family Services:
Facebook: OPAL Family Services
Adrian and Diana are coordinators at the ICU Bridge Program (ICUBP), an initiative that strives to limit the mental health impact of the ICU on patients and their families. Through increased communication, heartfelt gestures, and innovative projects, such as the ICU Journals and PPE Portrait Project, university volunteers help to create a warmer environment in the ICU. To date, the program is active in four hospitals (although the PPE Portrait Project has recently expanded to seven), has raised over $14,000 since May 2018, has hired 160+ volunteers from seven different universities, and is estimated to help 20,000 patients and families annually.
Learn more about the ICU Bridge Program:
Instagram: @icubridgeprogram / @ppeportraitscanada
Facebook: ICU Bridge Program
Brenden is the founder of Master Your Talk, a YouTube channel with the goal of helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs and individuals master the art of public speaking. Between his YouTube channel and associated Instagram page, Brenden publishes helpful and engaging content on a daily basis. Through his lessons and motivation messages, he hopes to inspire the next generation of public speakers.
Learn more about Master Your Talk:
Eric is the founder of Ride for Warriors, an organization with the mission of supporting those battling Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Last summer, he cycled over 1,700 miles from Medford, Massachusetts to Bay Harbor Islands, Florida to fundraise for the cause. While COVID altered his plans for this summer, Eric continues to persevere in his efforts to raise awareness for the CRPS Warriors that persevere with this chronic illness everyday.
Learn more about Ride for Warriors:
Facebook: Ride for Warriors
YouTube: Ride for Warriors
Ricardo is a co-founder of Given Values, an organization with the mission of improving access to outreach services in the Greater Toronto Area. With a focus on at-risk youth, the charity strives to support those who are experiencing tough times by organizing community programs. Through simple acts of kindness, Ricardo shows that even small gestures can help to make the world a happier place!
Learn more about Given Values:
Facebook: Given Values
Isabella, Sofia, and Mara are co-founders of Mail for Heroes, an organization with the mission of sending letters and artwork to frontline healthcare workers in order to show appreciation and support for their service. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic announcement, this trio realized that donations weren’t the only way to help the cause, but that a few kind words can also make a world of difference!
Learn more about Mail for Heroes:
Facebook: Mail for Heroes
“If a lot of people love each other, the world would be a better place to live.” - Tommy Wiseau
The world can be a menacing place sometimes. But amidst the chaos, there are a noble few who do try to spread the love. Join Anthony Mastromarini as he speaks with charities and change-makers - the unspoken heroes - who are on a mission to make the world a better place to live.
In this sneak-peek trailer, Anthony introduces himself, the describes motivation behind the podcast, and mentions what viewers can expect for future episodes. Subscribe and tune in to hear from inspirational guests and to see how small-scale compassion can lead to large-scale impact.