Posts tagged with "mentor"

Helmut Jahn photo by CAC for use by 360 Magazine

HELMUT JAHN: LIFE + ARCHITECTURE

Chicago Architecture Center Announces HELMUT JAHN: LIFE + ARCHITECTURE

A Design Retrospective Opening July 23 in CAC’s Skyscraper Gallery

New exhibit part of an international outpouring of appreciation for Jahn’s design legacy following his death in May

The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) announces HELMUT JAHN: LIFE + ARCHITECTURE, a career design retrospective of Helmut Jahn’s innovative work that has left an enduring legacy around the world and in his adopted home of Chicago. The exhibit, organized after Jahn’s death in May, will include numerous scale models of Jahn’s pathbreaking designs throughout his career. HELMUT JAHN: LIFE + ARCHITECTURE opens on July 23 and runs through October.

Helmut Jahn and Chicago were made for one another,” said Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of the CAC. “Helmut’s larger-than-life persona and his inventive and surprisingly original buildings remade Chicago in the 1980s. His brash designs and relentless pursuit of excellence invigorated Chicago, helping the architectural community move confidently beyond mid-century modernism. Helmut was, in turn, embraced by ‘the city of big shoulders.’”

HELMUT JAHN: LIFE + ARCHITECTURE will include personal and professional items generously loaned by Helmut Jahn’s family and firm. Visitors to CAC’s Skyscraper Gallery will see scale models of some of Jahn’s most recent designs, including 1000M (Chicago) and Pritzker Military Archives (Somers, Wisconsin) currently under construction. Visitors will also see scale models of buildings designed at key points in Jahn’s career, including Post Tower (Bonn, 2002), Sony Center (Berlin, 2000) and the James R. Thompson Center (Chicago, 1985). Together, these buildings, represented by scale models in the exhibit, introduce visitors to Jahn’s enduring design legacy.

Helmut was a great mentor.” said Tom Lee, Principal, Eastman Lee Architects. “He had a profound influence on me and my career and that of so many other architects in the city and around the world.”

The Thompson Center, an example of innovative post-modern design, is in the news as it is currently to be sold by the State of Illinois without protection for its historic design. A nomination to the National Register of Historic Places seeks historic tax credits for incentivizing adaptive reuse, but this process is still ongoing. To support a debate on the future of The Thompson Center, the CAC and the Chicago Architectural Club created the James R. Thompson Center Design Competition that challenges architects to envision a new future for Jahn’s post-modern masterpiece. The winning designs will be exhibited at the CAC in late summer.

With a burst of shattering, curving and bulging glass in a rainbow of colors, Helmut Jahn danced onto the international architecture scene in the 1980s, translating the discipline of Chicago Modernism into new programs and forms while melting and fragmenting its grids into a post-disco delight of shaped buildings,” said Aaron Betsky, Director of the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech. “We better save the Thompson Center, which is not only one of his greatest designs, but one of the few true celebrations of government as a public good.

HELMUT JAHN: LIFE + ARCHITECTURE caps the CAC’s 2021 reopening with all-new and updated exhibits in its 10,000 square feet of galleries. The Chicago Gallery, home to the Chicago City Model Experience, is completely overhauled with new displays on Current Chicago Projects, Chicago’s neighborhoods and the new exhibit, Housing for a Changing Nation.

The CAC’s spring 2021 reopening began with the April launch of new CAC Walking Tours and the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center (CAFC) River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady. Both walking tours and the river cruise have been popular options for Chicagoans and visitors eager to rediscover the beauty and inspiration of Chicago architecture.

For updates on offerings visit the official website. 

About the Chicago Architecture Center

The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1966, dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. A national leader in architecture and design education, the CAC offers tours, programs, exhibitions and more that are part of a dynamic journey of lifelong learning.

Opened to the public in 2018, its riverfront location is in the heart of the city, where Michigan Avenue meets the Chicago River, featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space with views of a century of iconic skyscrapers.

Through partnerships with schools and youth-serving organizations, the CAC reaches approximately 30,000 K–12 students annually, while teacher workshops provide educators with tools and resources they need to advance STEM curricula in their classrooms. Committed to serving under-represented communities in construction, engineering and design professions, the CAC offers many of its education programs—and all of its programs for teens—at no cost to participants.

CAC programs for adults and members include talks with acclaimed authors and practicing architects, in-depth presentations on issues and trends in urbanism, and classes unlocking subjects related to the built environment

Proceeds from programs, tours and the CAC Design Store, as well as from grants, sponsorships and donations, support its educational mission. Visit architecture.org to learn more and follow Chicago Architecture Center’s Instagram and #chiarchitecture on social media.

United Terminal by Rainer Viertlbock for use by 360 Magazine

50 West by Rainer Viertlbock for use by 360 Magazine

Pritzker Military draft by Helmut Jahn for use by 360 Magazine

Structured Breast Implant Outperforms Silicone Gel Implant for use by 360 Magazine

STRUCTURED BREAST IMPLANTS OUTPERFORM SILICONE GEL IMPLANTS

Ten-Year Data Shows Lower Risk of Rupture than Silicone Gel Implants as Surgeons Nationwide Report Higher Demand for IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants

IDEAL IMPLANT Incorporated today announced the release of its ten-year FDA Core Clinical Trial Data, indicating that the Structured Implant presents a substantially lower risk of two major breast implant complications compared to the silicone gel implants. While silicone gel implants have dominated the industry since they were allowed back on the market in 2006, technological advances over the past decade are now eliminating the need for accepting certain risks associated with silicone gel.

The cumulative risk of implant rupture or deflation with IDEAL IMPLANT over ten years after primary breast augmentation was only 3.7% in comparison to clinical trial data on silicone gel implants from Allergan (9.3%), Mentor (24.2%) and Sientra (8.7%) that had to use MRI scans to detect rupture. When a Structured Implant ruptures, a woman can easily detect partial deflation simply by looking in the mirror, and the multi-chamber design makes full deflation unlikely. Unlike silicone gel, any leaked saline is harmlessly absorbed by the body, and no MRI or ultrasound scan is necessary to detect a rupture.

“This data emphasizes a clear advance in breast implant technology where the old question to patients of ‘do you want saline or silicone gel?’ has become a false choice, since the original, unstructured saline implant does not offer natural results” reports Dr. Larry Nichter, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Southern California and an FDA investigator for the Structured Implant. “We moved toward silicone gel implants after 2006 because they offered a better cosmetic result over the original, unstructured saline implants. Now we have the Structured Implant technology that offers the similar natural look and feel as silicone gel and doesn’t require MRI or ultrasound scans to detect rupture. It eliminates the concern of silent rupture and offers a significantly lower rupture risk, where the saline filler is safely absorbed by the body if there is a leak. In light of this ten-year clinical performance data, the question surgeons should now be asking patients today is, ‘do you want Structured or silicone gel?'”

“Women seeking breast augmentation increasingly are demanding options that don’t require silicone gel to be placed in their bodies, and they have less patience for the risk of silent rupture,” reports Dr. Vivian Ting, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern California who presented survey data on women’s implant preferences at the ASPS Aesthetica Super Symposium in 2018. “Too many surgeons—who are predominantly male in this industry—dismiss this trend simply because they are content with the options of the past. Hopefully this data will drive home that they will have fewer ruptures, better outcomes and happier patients, when they stay current with the technology and patient preferences.”

The IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant also outperformed silicone gel implants over ten years in a second major breast implant complication: capsular contracture. After augmentation, the body may form scar tissue around the implant, which can deform the look of the breast and cause pain and firmness. Capsular contracture generally requires revision surgery to remove and replace the implant and scar tissue. IDEAL IMPLANT rates of Baker class III/IV capsular contracture over ten years after primary augmentation were only 6.6%, compared to silicone gel implants from Allergan (18.9%), Mentor (12.1%) and Sientra (12.9%).

“No woman wants to deal with breast implant complications, and this very low rate of capsular contracture directly translates to a lower risk of surgical revisions—and the expense and time associated with that,” explains Dr. Elizabeth Kerner, a board-certified plastic surgeon in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. “A year after surgery, I have to check a patient’s chart to see whether they had silicone gel or the IDEAL IMPLANT, and in my experience, the look and feel is practically identical. While different implants are appropriate for different body types, IDEAL IMPLANT has now demonstrated a superior safety profile while offering the same look and feel as gel. I think we are already seeing this trend follow science as more women demand this choice.”

Dr. Constance Barone, a renowned board-certified plastic surgeon with a busy practice in San Antonio, Texas, confirms this trend. “Demand for the IDEAL IMPLANT is high and growing quickly as women are more educated about the clinical performance data. I ensure all my patients see and feel each one of the current implant options and, almost exclusively these days, they pick the IDEAL IMPLANT.”

The IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant began FDA clinical trials in 2009, and received FDA and Health Canada approval for public use in 2014. The company also offers a first-of-its-kind optional Premium Protection Plan, which provides limited financial protection for certain complications related to the procedure and/or the implant, and is renewable for life for greater peace of mind. For more information, click HERE.

Money illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Geniusu × Microschool

GENIUSU LAUNCHES INVESTOR 5.0 MICROSCHOOL TO HELP INVESTORS

THRIVE IN THE DIGITAL DECADE

Genius Group, a Singapore-based public limited company, today announced the launch of GeniusU’s Investor 5.0 Microschool, taking place online from April 12 to May 7, 2021.

The Investor 5.0 Microschool is a four-week accelerator program that covers all four drivers of building Investor 5.0 strategies with personal guidance and mentoring to lead participants towards consistent cash flow and predictable growth.

Genius Group, the world’s No.1 entrepreneur education group, has packaged its top investment strategies, entrepreneur curriculum, and online faculty into a high impact, four-week microschool, that will set participants up to thrive in the digital decade.

Genius Group has generated 10x returns on its investments in the last year, seen its group valuation grow from $30 million to $300 million, and has also made acquisitions of over $80 million in the last year alone. This has all been driven by the investor 5.0 strategies it is sharing with students in this four-week microschool.

Five reasons to join the Investors 5.0 Microschool today:

  1. Learn how to generate 10x increase in your investments using some of the top investor 5.0 strategies that set you up for success in the digital decade.
  2. Learn how to start and manage your investments in global shares & currencies, property, cryptocurrencies, and commodities, together with how to put an Investor 5.0 Portfolio Plan together for 2021 & 2022.
  3. Receive full access to all four modules and session recordings for continuous improvement even after the Investor 5.0 Microschool has completed.
  4. Be connected to over 25,000 in the GeniusU community who are creating opportunities, connections and providing resources for each other as part of our trusted community.
  5. Get in front of 1.7 million entrepreneurs on our GeniusU platform, with your own store and a suite of future proof products.

Whether you are just starting out, you are a passive investor with basic investment knowledge or an active established investor with an investment portfolio, we have the solutions to help you succeed in global shares & currencies, property, cryptocurrencies, and commodities and build an investor 5.0 portfolio.

Join us today to reset, restructure and launch your Investor 5.0 portfolio plan to navigate and strive in the digital decade.

It’s time to turn the great disruption into your greatest opportunity for growth.

To learn more about the Investors 5.0 Microschool, please visit the website.

About GeniusU

GeniusU is an Edtech platform providing over 1.7 million students across 200 countries with personalized learning paths and microdegrees on business building skills.

About Genius Group

Genius Group is a $300+ million group of companies and is the world’s #1 Entrepreneur Education Group. Genius Group was founded by futurist and social entrepreneur Roger James Hamilton. The Singapore-based public limited company also owns GeniusUEntrepreneurs Institute and Entrepreneur Resorts LimitedLearn more here.

About Roger James Hamilton

Roger James Hamilton is a world-renowned futurist and social entrepreneur and is the founder and CEO of the Genius Group of companies. Roger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaire Master Plan, a practical guide to understanding how your mind works to enable you to live your most successful life. He is also the creator of Wealth Dynamics, Talent Dynamics and Impact Dynamics, tools used by over 1.7 million entrepreneurs to follow their flow.

All of Roger’s companies empower the Entrepreneur Movement – collectively growing our ability to create and contribute wealth. Roger studied architecture at Cambridge University before launching his first business, Free Market Media, in Singapore during his 20s.  He was the founding chairman of the renowned Green School, Bali, where his three children were educated.  Roger currently lives in Europe but, when permitted, travels extensively between the UK, USA, Southeast Asia and Australia.

Snoop Dogg illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Snoop Dog × The Voice

Multi-platinum artist, actor, philanthropist, and entertainment icon, the one and only Snoop Dogg, will serve as Mega Mentor on Season 20 of NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series The Voice.

Snoop Dogg joins superstar coaches Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, John Legend, Ariana Grande and Blake Shelton to mentor the remaining artists who have made it through the Battle Rounds, as each team prepares for the Knockouts, beginning Monday, April 19 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT). Grande, a powerhouse vocalist whose international fan base of “Arianators” has enabled her to rapidly become one of the biggest pop superstars of our generation.

During the Knockout Rounds, artists are once again paired against a teammate, but select their own song to perform individually while their direct competitor watches and waits. Drawing from his unique experience in navigating the music and entertainment industry as a renowned rapper, producer and performer, Snoop Dogg will impart a new and fresh perspective to help the artists craft their performances. Coaches alone choose the winner to advance from their team. Each coach has one steal in the Knockouts.

Additionally, the four artists that were saved by their individual coaches during the Battle Rounds will compete in the Four-Way Knockout. Each of the four artists will receive individualized coaching and rehearsals with their coach and Snoop Dogg in preparation for the Four-Way Knockout. However, the winner will ultimately be chosen by America. At the top of the final Knockouts episode, voting will open for America to choose which of the four artists moves forward in the competition after their performances. Then, at the beginning of the first Live Show, host Carson Daly will reveal which of the four artists was voted through by America, and that artist will continue to the Live Shows with their original team.

An entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg has reigned for nearly three decades as an unparalleled force, who has raised the bar as an award-winning entertainer and globally recognized entrepreneur. Snoop defines entertainment history. He has released 19 studio albums, sold over 40 million albums worldwide, reached No. 1 countless times on Billboard charts internationally and received 20 Grammy nominations. 

Snoop has also appeared in numerous films, such as, Dolemite Is My Name, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, The Addams Family, Beach Bum, Starsky & Hutch, Soul Plane and the Oscar-winning drama Training Day, among others. He has also produced several films, including VICE’s Reincarnated, Mac & Dean Go to High School and Hood of Horror through his production company Snoopadelic Films. He made his mark in television when he garnered an Emmy nomination as executive producer for the hit VH1 show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner. Snoop was also the executive producer of the acclaimed Netflix show Coach Snoop, GGN: Double G News, MTV’s Mary + Jane and the TNT game show Joker’s Wild, which he also hosted.

“The Voice” is a presentation of MGM Television, Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, and ITV Studios The Voice USA, Inc. The series was created by John de Mol, who serves as an executive producer along with Mark Burnett, Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Adam H. Sher. Season 20 marks the 10-year anniversary of “The Voice.”

Empowering women by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Lauren Rottet Pays Tribute

Architect and Interior Designer Lauren Rottet pays tribute
to Women’s History Month

Rottet’s ongoing commitment to her profession is female-forward

Lauren Rottet, FAIA, FIIDA, internationally celebrated architect, designer, and founding principal/president and owner of Rottet Studio, acknowledges Women’s History Month, and her continuing commitment to the design industry and to women who create public and private spaces.

A WBE-certified business, Rottet Studio occupies a unique place in the industry – over 60% of their full-time staff are female. Rottet is also the first woman in history to be elevated to Fellow status, the highest membership honor, by both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and International Interior Design Association (IIDA).  In the past two decades, Rottet has broken new ground with award-winning furniture, office, workplace, and hospitality design.  Her firm’s output totals more than 65 million sq. ft. of built design.

“I was raised by a father who told me that there wouldn’t be a difference between men and women in my generation, and I needed a career so that I wouldn’t need to rely on anybody else.” This is how Rottet described her decision to study architecture, after forgoing a career in medicine. “Fewer than 10 percent of women graduated in my class, but I didn’t really think consciously about being a woman in architecture. I never really thought about it as a male field,” she adds.

“I think probably the best career advice I ever received, was just to listen. You want to immediately come up with a solution or an idea, and instantly respond, but I think if you sit back and listen to the parameters,
to what the client wants, what the surroundings tell you about a project, I think that’s probably the most helpful professional advice one can give.” 

“They always say, ‘Hire your replacement, because then you can do bigger and better things,’” she says about the hiring and mentoring process. “The key to being a good mentor is recognizing when you can’t do it all by yourself, and that you have to teach someone else how to do it. The education of our staff, and of our clients is absolutely key.”

Problem Gambling Awareness Month: Dealing with Unseen Demons

By Adam Jablin

Transformational Life Coach and Recovery Mentor

Gambling addiction is real. Allow me to say that again– gambling addiction is a real thing. It’s not a lack of willpower. It’s an illness.

The medical community has four classifications to consider an illness a disease: it must be progressive, chronic, primary, and fatal. Gambling addiction fulfills all of the requirements. 

You see, it’s an uncontrollable urge—a phenomenon of cravings that one gets from a “high”. It’s as normal and necessary as needing air for you and I. 

Like a drug addict goes for a fix, or an alcoholic would thirst for that drink… the gambler chases the rush. That “rush” of dopamine is the same as a narcotic. Its an obsession of the mind that destroys families. 

Those addicted are constantly increasing the amounts for the thrill. They lie and scam to get more money, jeopardizing their most important and sacred relationships. They’re always trying to win the money back, stop all together, or resort to low measures like stealing and other fraudulent behaviors to continue their addiction. When the feel restless, irritable and discontent, they use gambling as an escape from reality. 

They may take it so far that it effects their physical health. Here is an excerpt from my book Lotsaholic: From A Sick To Sober Superman:

He lifted up his shirt and revealed a huge scar, from his upper belly across his chest and up into his armpit. “Three heart attacks. That’s how bad. I’m gonna die, kid, if I keep this up. That’s why I’ve been in here so long. I feel safe here.

I don’t trust myself out there, and I’m not ready to die.” As Tony reeled in his line, I noticed that he wasn’t wearing his fancy Rolex. Today he was wearing a simple Timex that carried the Caesars Palace logo.

“What’s with the new watch?”

He fiddled with his lure. “Tonight they take me outside for a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. Every time I go, I wear this watch. This is the most expensive watch I own. It cost me 1.5 million dollars. I gave Caesars my cash; they gave me a suite, champagne, and this beautiful watch. It’s my personal souvenir to remind me of how bad I get. It and the scar.” He bobbed his fishing rod up and down. “Say, you want to come with me tonight? I always go alone, but I sure would love the company.”

“Sure!” Where else will I get to experience a Gamblers Anonymous meeting with a former gangster?

The room was compact and dim. There was a small podium with a GA banner and about seventy old, wooden folding chairs. And the room was full. I enjoyed hearing Tony and the others share their stories. I realized how strong the high from winning is. On the wall opposite me was a giant banner listing the twelve steps of Gamblers Anonymous, which were almost identical to those of Alcoholics Anonymous, with just the slightest differences in wording.

Step 1: Admitted we were powerless over gambling—that our lives had become unmanageable. Next to the banner was a bulletin board that displayed meeting times for a list of various twelve-step programs, including Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Co-Dependents Anonymous (coda), Heroin Anonymous (HA), and Al-Anon/Alateen, a group for friends and families of alcoholics. The list went on. It occurred to me that anybody in the world can use the basic approach of a twelve-step program to achieve freedom from addiction and greater connection to a higher power. I’d discovered a new world.

But there is help out there. Now, many treatment centers, like The Hanley Center and Future’s focus on gambling and treat it like any other addiction or mental illness. Gamblers Anonymous—the famous twelve-step community has had amazing results. The solution for these illnesses is truly spiritual. These obsessions lay in the mind. Once the spiritual malady is solved, the mind and body follow quickly. So, never lose hope. 

There is a way out! 

Big Sean × McDonald’s Partner to Surprise a Young Rapper with Mentorship

McDonald’s has partnered with award-winning rapper, singer and songwriter Big Sean to serve as the second mentor in the newly-launched McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Mentors program. This virtual content series is a continuation of the company’s increased focus on serving up bright futures by providing opportunities for education and skills in the communities it serves. Starting today, people can tune in to @wearegolden on IGTV to watch Big Sean share tips and wisdom with Michigan-native Nyla Lewis during an exclusive mentoring session.

Mentorship is near and dear to Detroit-native Big Sean who partnered with McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement through his Sean Anderson Foundation. His foundation is dedicated to the education, health, safety and well-being of youth in underserved communities across the country, which aligns with McDonald’s commitment to feeding and fostering community.

“Mentorship can be key to success,” said Big Sean, who attributes mentorship as having a role in his success. “I definitely benefitted from guidance as a young adult and aspiring artist, so it’s an honor to partner with McDonald’s to pay it forward as a Black & Positively Golden mentor who is helping another artist navigate her music career.”

During Big Sean and 19-year-old Nyla’s mentoring session, the two discuss their commonalities as Michigan natives, their musical inspirations, and the Grammy-nominated rapper shares advice on navigating the music industry. During the session, Nyla was also surprised with a computer decked out with professional music editing software, and gifted another mentor session with Roc Nation digital, marketing and artist management representatives, courtesy of Big Sean, McDonald’s and its franchisees.

“Big Sean is a huge inspiration, and I appreciate him taking the time to mentor me,” said Nyla. “I began my music career in elementary school and always dreamed of connecting with a major artist like him. This is the surprise and gift of a lifetime that has put me closer to living my dream. I appreciate McDonald’s for making it happen.”

McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Mentors is an extension of the company’s focus on elevating the next generation of leaders. Over the summer, McDonald’s and its franchisees announced a $500,000 scholarship fund for HBCU students in partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Since then, 34 HBCU students have received $15,000 scholarships, and two students have received $10,000 each in seed capital to help fund their businesses through the McDonald’s and Essence Girls United “Making Moves Now” Virtual pitch competition.

“Understanding that mentorship can lead to leadership, McDonald’s and our franchisees are proud to give young people access to industry resources and insights through the Black & Positively Golden Mentors program,” said Margaret “Marty” Gillis, a New Jersey McDonald’s franchisee and national diversity marketing committee lead. “We are excited to connect these talented changemakers to people they admire and, in the process, create masterclasses from which others can benefit.”

The McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Mentors program will continue in 2021. Gospel music vocalist and entrepreneur Kierra Sheard, journalist and activist Jamilah Lemieux, and professional race car driver Bubba Wallace are among the mentors who will be featured next year.

Visit www.blackandpositivelygolden.com to learn more, and follow @wearegolden on Instagram to watch mentor sessions and receive program updates.

About McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden

Launched in 2019, McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement is designed to uplift communities and shine a brilliant light on Black excellence through empowerment, education and entrepreneurship. It highlights all things positive and focuses on stories of truth, power and pride. The campaign movement is a natural extension of the brand’s longstanding commitment to the African American consumer.

About McDonald’s USA

McDonald’s serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, http://www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Instagram at @WeAreGolden and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/mcdonalds. To learn more about the Black & Positively Golden initiative, visit www.mcdonalds.com.

Alya Alghamdi photo credits to Casey Withers used by 360 Magazine

Alya Alghamdi’s Sprint To Her Dreams

By Alya Alghamdi

Every fire begins with a single flame — mine was ignited with the thought of freedom. Growing up, I always knew there was something more for me. My sisters and I would talk often about what we wanted to be when we matured. They would mention their dreams to have a family and own a house, and I would simply reply, “I want to be on top of the world!”

Despite having a privileged childhood in Saudi Arabia, I longed for a life far beyond what material goods could provide because my fulfillment came from a deeper place — a place of purpose. As I grew, the flame burning inside spread like wildfire, consuming me. I knew my purpose was to burn bright, but the world in which I existed sought to extinguish that. It became clear that my journey to live as my true self would not be an easy one. Still, I decided at an early age that instead of letting my circumstances hold me back, I would redefine them to reflect the reality I wanted to live in.

At that time, I had no idea I would one day pursue athletics professionally. My potential as an athlete went untapped for many years due to the fact that Saudi Arabia did not allow women to go to the gym or join sports teams. It was simply unacceptable for a female to participate in any kind of physical activity. Still, this couldn’t and wouldn’t stop me from dreaming, hoping and impatiently waiting.

Foregoing the arranged marriage that is expected of Saudi Arabian women, I made the unfortunate discovery that my best chance at gaining freedom would come at the expense of leaving my family and my home. Still, I was determined to keep my fire burning, so I left for Europe. I chose my destiny to be a free human being, and that came with a lot of losses, but my gains far outweigh those costs.

In Europe, I was able to discover my true passion — running. I spent the majority of my time exploring new physical activities like long distance running, surfing, hiking and competing in marathons. The simple freedom of putting on your shoes in the morning and doing whatever you wanted to do was a completely new concept to me and I promised myself I would never take it for granted.

Staying true to my childhood pipe dreams and capitalizing on my new found freedom, I set my sights on making it to the top of the world – Mount Everest. This was one of the most difficult but rewarding things I have ever done, and it was just as treacherous, unwelcoming, and life-changing as one would imagine. By definition, the environment was inhospitable. Temperatures were below freezing, there was no running water and any water packed for the trip was frozen still. When you are placed in such a life-threatening position, suddenly, all you can think about is how much you want to live. That trip really opened my eyes to what was truly important in life — love and passion. For some people, they find those things in raising a child, but for me, I found it in my sport.

It was not long after my return from Mount Everest that Saudi Arabia’s Olympic Committee extended an invitation for me to take part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Physically I had reached the top of the world, but professionally, the Olympics became my new Mount Everest. Working with Olympic royalty Michael Johnson, I dedicated my entire life to training, thinking, dreaming and speaking only of the Olympics. Then, three weeks out from the games, my offer to compete was rescinded by Saudi Arabia due to a culturally based decision that had nothing to do with my ability as an athlete. This was earth-shattering for me. I had dedicated everything to training for this opportunity, to represent my country and make them proud, and in a flash, it was gone! I spiraled into a depression and my soul felt hollow where my fire used to burn.

My coach saw the internal anguish and he told me I was left with only two choices — go home or try again. With my options laid bare, the outcome became increasingly clear. I knew this was not the end of my Olympic journey and my fire once again started to burn. Picking up right where I left off, I trained vigorously for the 2020 Olympics, breaking the record for the 60-meter dash. I am also working toward breaking the 100 and 200-meter, which I am confident I can achieve with my abilities, as well as coach’s confidence in me. But my dreams becoming a reality were once again postponed, this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I now have my sights set on carrying my country’s flag at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

However, to be clear, the Olympics are not my endgame. Once the games are in my rearview, I plan on starting a mentorship program and non-profit foundation for young Saudi Arabian female athletes to provide them with the support and resources I did not have during my training journey. Ultimately, I’m not here to break a record, I’m here to show women they can accomplish anything, even with just a single flame.

Follow Alya Alghamdi: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Usher – Bad Habits

Global megastar and eight-time GRAMMY Award-winner Usher today releases a brand new single and video “Bad Habits” to be featured on his forthcoming studio album via RCA Records.

The video was directed by Chris Robinson and features Usher’s classic dance moves and dramatic stylings.

Listen/Watch “Bad Habits”

Co-written by Usher, “Bad Habits” is the follow-up to his latest chart-topping single “Don’t Waste My Time,” which hit #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart, as well as “I Cry,” a powerful and emotional song about the social and racial injustices of our time. Usher is currently in the studio recording his ninth studio album.

In addition to the release of his new single, ticket sales to the public opens today at 10 am Pacific for Usher’s headlining Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which begins Friday, July 16, 2021. Fan presale tickets went on sale earlier this week. All tickets and packages can be purchased online or in-person at The Colosseum box office. Usher announced his residency during his Good Morning America Summer Concert last week- Watch it HERE. He will also be appearing tonight on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

The multi-talented showman will give his fans an extraordinary immersive experience that only Usher can deliver. The exclusive, only-in-Vegas spectacular will be performed in The Colosseum, an intimate 4,300-seat world-class performance venue, allowing Usher’s fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see him up close and personal. Promoted by Live Nation and Caesars Entertainment, the show will be packed with an impressive repertoire of smash hits spanning Usher’s 20-year career, including his early records and more recent songs, as well as new music.

Additionally, Usher, Live Nation Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment are donating $1 of every ticket purchased to Usher’s Las Vegas residency to Usher’s New Look, Inc. (UNL). Founded in 1999 by Usher as a young man barely out of his teens, UNL is on a mission to transform the lives of underserved youth through a comprehensive program that develops passion-driven, global leaders. UNL’s peer-to-peer program model and curriculum provides Access, Awareness and Empowerment to youth in underserved communities, in order to guide them on a pathway to leadership and help them make educational and career choices that match their passions. Over the course of 21 years, the organization has reached more than 50,000 young people.

KEVIN HARRINGTON

PITCH INVESTORS LIVE, a blockchain platform developed by 2UP Technology, Inc., welcomed Businessman, entrepreneur and former Shark Tank investor Kevin Harrington as celebrity advisor. Harrington joins the team of 30+ that launched the Pitch token sale on Feb. 28th.

“I am very excited to join the Pitch Investors Live team and have a part in revolutionizing the way that entrepreneurs and startups bootstrap their innovative ideas. Pitch Investors Live is on the way to changing the landscape of funding for entrepreneurs & startups from around the world. We are in the early stages of what blockchain will contribute to changing the entrepreneurial landscape. Pitch Investors Live is at the forefront of the possibilities in this new space. One of my favorite parts of Pitch Investors Live is that I can take pitches from anywhere in the world, at any given time, from a variety of startups, directly from my cell phone. Pitch Investors Live is the most substantial platform to have come out to help entrepreneurs that would have never been able to go through traditional funding route.”

PITCH INVESTORS LIVE is the only blockchain platform that allows entrepreneurs and startups to literally pitch investors live. The revolutionary app combines the crowd funding style of “Kickstarter” with the entertainment and educational style of the popular show “Shark Tank,” granting users a unique opportunity in bringing their innovative business ideas to life. But unlike Kickstarter, PITCH INVESTORS LIVE has its own currency called the PITCH token which is specifically used on the platform where entrepreneurs can create their own tokens and acquire funding for their projects and services. Exclusive features also include creating business proposals and commenting on live pitch videos allowing businesses to gain recognition, mentorship and capital at scale.

About PITCH INVESTORS LIVE:

Developed by 2UP Technology, Inc., PITCH INVESTORS LIVE connects entrepreneurs with investors using live video. It provides a practical, yet virtual environment, for entrepreneurs to better understand investors questions, critiques and interests and for investors to learn about new companies by participating in the live pitch sessions. For more information, visit www.pitch.ventures/.

Kevin Harrington Bio:

An original “shark” on the hit TV show Shark Tank, the creator of the infomercial, pioneer of the As Seen on TV brand, and co-founding board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization—Kevin Harrington has pushed past all the questions and excuses to repeatedly enjoy 100X success.

His legendary work behind-the-scenes of business ventures has produced well over $5 billion in global sales, the launch of more than 500 products, and the making dozens of millionaires. Twenty of his companies have each topped $100 million in revenue.