Recently in Aspire. Inspire. Category

In her recent TEDxTeen talk, Chelsea Clinton encouraged young people to step up and make a change.



Taylor Swift in Rodarte. Photographed by Mario Testino for Vogue.

Taylor Swift talks to Vogue about musicians, fashion designers, and of course, guys.  But who really makes her see stars? Political and charitable advocates Caroline and Ethel Kennedy (JFK's daughter and RFK's widow). 

"The only time in my life I have been starstruck was meeting Caroline and Ethel Kennedy," the singer songwriter tells Vogue. "I got to spend the afternoon with Ethel a couple of weeks ago. She is one of my favorites because you look back at the pictures of her and Bobby and they always look like they are having the most fun out of everybody. You know, eleven kids, all these exotic animals on their property.  I've read a lot about them."

She keeps the compliments coming. "Sometimes you see these people who are just so - God - so affected by all of [their success], where ambition has taken precedence over happiness.  But when I meet people who really embody this serenity of knowing that they have had an amazing life - James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson and Ethel Kennedy...." She smiles her twinkly-eyed smile. "They just seem to be so effervescent."

Check Taylor out on the cover of Vogue's January 2012 issue, which is on news stands now.  And yep, that's her pictured above - sporting a new look with straight hair and all - in a Rodarte blue chiffon dress paired with jeans.

Good stuff


best things.jpg


I get the deeper happiness of knowing the lucky streak I've had in my life will benefit tons of people - not just me.

I get the pride of knowing I did something irreversibly smart before I could change my mind.

I get the safety of knowing I won't be the target of a frivolous lawsuit, since I have very little net worth.

I get the unburdened freedom of having it out of my hands so I can't do something stupid.

But most of all, I get the constant priceless reminder that I have enough.

- Derek Sivers on why he gave his company away to charity


Hat tip: Nonsociety


Sonia Sotomayor Latina latinacover20091110.jpgSupreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is on the cover of the December issue of Latina (on stands November 17).  

She strikes a patriotic pose with her hand over her heart. (Note her fab brick red nail polish.)

Latina is honoring Justice Sotomayor as the Woman of the Decade.





Boy feels Obama's hair.jpg


This young brother is really feeling the president's fade. 

President Obama bends over to let the young son of a White House staffer touch his hair, because the child wants to see if the president's hair feels just like his own.


For the first time in our history, an African American child visiting the White House can see that someone with hair (and skin) like his (or hers) can be anything he wants to be when he grows up - even president of the United States of America.  It's amazing to see that what an Obama presidency means for African Americans - inclusion, representation, unlimited dreams and long awaited, hard fought for change - is not lost on a child this small.


Take this lesson from Susan Boyle, a 47 year old woman who has never been kissed and lives alone with her cat: It's never too late to follow your (impossible?) dream.

O Mag_december_2008.jpgOprah's column in the holiday issue of O Magazine:

The economy is in flux, and so are we. For years I've noticed that the universe speaks to us in whispers. If we ignore the whispers, we get pebbles of warning.  If we still don't pay attention, we get bricks of problems, and if we're really hardheaded, eventually the entire brick wall comes crashing down. This is a pattern I've seen repeated so often in every area of life that I know for sure when you don't pay attention to the pebbles, it's just a matter of time before the bricks show up.

Our nation's financial crisis is the brick wall that's going to force us to deal with the reality of what truly matters. And to face the spiritual crisis of figuring out who we are and who we choose to be.

Our spending and greed for material things that we think will define us have been forcibly put in check. We have a wake-up-call opportunity to get real and be real with others by finding ways to show love, give love, be love without spending a lot of money. It's a chance for us to look beneath the surface, into the culture of excessive more, more, more-ness that got us into this mess.

It will take more than a bailout to get us on the right track. We need a shift in the way we think about our lives. We may have to search deeply to recognize what matters. Sometimes when I ask people what it would take to make them happy, they don't know what to say. They forge an answer about family and friends, and yet their lives are about everything else.

Everything in life has meaning. The bigger the fall, the greater the lesson.

Barn's burnt down -

Now I can see the moon.

-Masahide (17th century poet)



Opening doors

Open doors.jpgBarack Obama's historic win and acceptance speech brought back memories of this other historic first. So moving.  And the year was 2002. Watch here.

Bobby Kennedys daughters and granddaughters.jpgRobert F. "Bobby" Kennedy, kid brother of President John F. Kennedy, was killed 40 years ago, while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Bobby was a crusader for racial and economic justice, and when he died, many thought the "dream" died too.

Not so, say the women he left behind.  Glamour talked to Bobby's daughters and granddaughters - yep, all 14 of 'em - to get full scoop on how they keep their father and grandfather's dreams alive through continued public service.

Read up over here and view their family photo album here. could register to vote in the 2008 election. 

Seventeen, MTV and Declare Yourself have teamed up to mobilize people to register to vote.  So they're co-sponsoring the "In the Time It Takes" video contest.  All you have to do to enter is create a viral  video that reminds folks that they can register to vote lickety split. 

If you want to see example videos, check out the ones done by Lauren Conrad, Audrina Partridge and Whitney Port of The Hills .  Just don't bite off what they did, k?

One grand-prize winner will receive a trip for two to Los Angeles to attend the Young Hollywood party. (Hel-lo.) Two Runners-up will each receive a $500 gift certificate to American Eagle Outfitters and an American Eagle Outfitters Declare Yourself T-shirt signed by the cast of The Hills.

Now, just so ya know, if this year's Young Hollywood party is anything like last year's, the contest winner will hobnob with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Nick Cannon, Hayden Panettiere, Lauren Conrad, Audrina Partridge, Romeo and Kristen Bell.  Definately the place to be, so go over here and enter to win.

Alice Crisci shares what it's like to lose hair, breasts, fertility and a boyfriend because of cancer. All at the young age of 31. Read her story here.

Too many young women are faced with cancer fights.  That's why Kris Carr made Crazy Sexy Cancer, a film that documents her own battle against cancer.  Read about it here and watch the trailer over here.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the asassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.   Here is his mountaintop speech, delivered in Memphis the night before his death.

Watch.  Remember.



manolo-blahnik-brown-sequined-pumps.jpgGive a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.

~ Bette Midler

Preach, Bette. Preach!

Here's to the power of you.  Make your dreams come true.


Patti LaBelle


Amina al-Amrani sells $250,000 in fruit daily.  Photo credit:

Amina al-Amrani, 57, lives in Yemen.  Despite many barriers, she has managed to start and successfully run a fruit wholesale business.  Here is her story. (Hat Tip: CNN)


Amina's culture places a low priority on educating women and girls.  She can neither read nor write.  She also lives in a country where many believe that a woman should not go into business, because it could require her to be alone with unrelated men.  She started her business anyway, despite the disapproval of others.  "My mother screamed at me that I was shaming the family, and my brother's didn't speak to me for 4 years," she recalled.

On being one tough cookie.

"I stood strong and persistent," she said.  "I kept working and I kept training, and that's how I gained the experience."


"Competition is tough," she explained. "They're all men in this field.  Because I'm a woman and I'm successful, some people try to hassle me and drive me out of business."

Why they're hatin'.

Amina brings in $250,000 in fruit sales every day. [Say what?!] She is one of the top fruit wholesalers in Yemen.

Her message to the haters (via her girl Jill Scott).

In reality, I’m gon’ be who I be
And I don’t feel no faults
For all the lies that you bought
You can try as you may
Break me down but I say
That it ain’t up to you
Gone and do what you do

Hate on me, hater
Now or later
‘Cuz I’m gonna do me
You’ll be mad, baby
(Go ‘head and hate)
Go ‘head and hate on me, hater
I’m not afraid of
What I got I paid for
You can hate on me

Why it was all worth it.

She can send all of her daughters to college.

There's More.

Watch CNN's video story about Amina's inspiring story here.

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