Valley Forge Park is an amazing place. It's amazing for its history, its vast size and (for a family photographer) its abundance of amazing settings for portraits. It's a beautiful place to take photos and a really fun place to hang out. With a family photo session you get to take advantage of all of that! This session from the tail end of Fall took perfect advantage of the weathered buildings, stone walls and golden foliage. The kids had fun climbing on walls and exploring around the old farm yard. I had fun photographing them! I was truly in love with every image from this session. I just loved how the kids' spirit shins through.
If you're ever looking for something to do on a Sunday evening, stop by St. Norbet in Paoli for their evening Mass. You'll be very welcome, and treated to the beautiful sounds and message of the youth choir and worship band led by Mark Griswold. The community at St Norbert named him as a T&E Care Everyday Hero this fall because of his dedication and service to the families there. Mark works hard as the the Director of Religious Education and Family Life Ministry and cares deeply about all of the families he serves. Mark's enthusiasm is inspiring, his passion for life is contagious, and (fun fact) if you'd like some advice on game show strategies, he's the guy to ask!
I've lived in Pennsylvania for 15 years and prior to that I grew up down south. I spent most of my life in New Orleans Louisiana and was originally from Southern Arkansas near Little Rock. I came to Pennsylvania specifically for this job here at St. Norbert. I've been here on staff now for 15 years and it's been a wonderful move. It was a great choice. I came here specifically because I was looking for a position in a in a church and youth ministry and was looking to explore a new area of the country. I had a sister that lived up here in Pennsylvania who I'm very close to and wanted to live closer to her. I came across this job here near Philadelphia and it was a great, great move for us.
I decided to work in ministry right after college. I actually studied theology and philosophy in my undergrad years and really had a motivation to work with young people in the church. My first job out of college was teaching theology at a Catholic high school for five years. I also worked in campus ministry at that high school and I've been in guidance counseling as well. After working in the high school for a number of years, I moved into a church parish ministry working as a religious educator and as a youth director at a couple of churches down in New Orleans.
The community at St. Norbert is a very alive and welcoming community. I'm always impressed by the abundant talent that's here in our parish. The people have so many gifts and they use those gifts in service of others to build up our own community but also the wider community as well. I'm just very impressed by how much people give here. It really has made a difference in our community here. The more you give the more you receive. And you can definitely see that in our community - a giving community - and we get so much back because of it.
Working with children is fun and challenging. It’s fun in the fact that kids are just fun and they don't have the same hangups oftentimes that adults have. They’re much more free in their expression and they're able to laugh and cry. And the range of emotions in reacting to things without all the filters is kind of inspiring to see. It’s also challenging in that sometimes kids ask the hardest questions. Especially when you're working in ministry they can hit you with questions that are doozies that make you stop and think for a second. Like, how do I respond to that or what's the best way to to answer that ,or maybe I should be asking that same question myself.
It inspires me to inspire others. It inspires me when I see other people having a change of heart or mind in a good direction, in a good way. Or when I'm able to offer something that lifts someone up and helps them to find a more positive perspective. Maybe some difficult things are going on in their lives and you help them find that silver lining that that is often there in very difficult circumstances. It inspires me to see people picking themselves up out of those places and and really making a difference in other lives as well. It’s like the whole ripple effect of if we plant a good seed, that seed grows and it bears fruit. And oftentimes those seeds scatter and they and they go on and on. And that's the the ability that we all have to really make a difference in little ways. We don't realize oftentimes the great effect that we are having on people.
Involving the whole family is so important. I've found through the years working in church ministry, that when you bring the family together you bring about a unity in the family. One of my favorite quotes is by a priest Father Patrick Peyton. He said “The family that prays together stays together”. And I really do believe that that if you can cultivate family spirituality together it really does bring the family unit together. There's so much competing in our culture, in our society, that sometimes can pull families apart - just so much competing for our attention. There’s so much going on in the world. And we really have to make a concentrated effort to really focus on the family - really stay together and united because children grow best in that situation and parents grow through that as well.
My family is my heart. I've been married for 20 years to my wife who I met in college. She's from Florida I'm from Louisiana and we met in college, in Ohio. I got married a couple of years after she graduated from college and we now have four kids. My oldest is a freshman in college, I have one who is a junior in high school, my daughter will be a freshman in high school next year, and my youngest who is in fourth grade this year. It's the joy of my life, you know, being a dad.
One of my favorite memories at St Norbert is awesome. I'm a musician as well and I'm the choir director for our high school youth choir here that sings on Sunday evenings every week. A few years ago when I turned the big 4 - 0, the youth ministry was trying to think of a great gift to give me. I had been playing the same old guitar for years and years and years. One day f a couple of our teens said “Hey, let's go let's go out on Saturday”. So they took me out and they surprised me. They stopped at a guitar store in King of Prussia. I thought we were just going in to look at guitars and fiddle around. I walked into the guitar room and picked up a Taylor and I just fell in love with it. This young adult who's one of my volunteer leaders now said “Well, do you want it?” and I said “Yeah, I definitely want it but I'm not going to get it.” He's like - you can have it! I said “What are you talking about?!?” He told me the youth group and the families and the parents took up a collection for my 40th birthday to buy me this gift. I was completely overwhelmed. I was speechless. I didn't know how to respond to that. It was just such a beautiful surprise. But also, in many ways, it really affirmed the fact that I was making a difference. Knowing that people noticed that was really awesome.
Something that might surprise you is that I was a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire many years ago when Regis Philbin was the was the host, and it was like the number one show, and everybody watched it like three nights a week. I appeared on the show on my wife's birthday in 2001. I was one of the contestants who got onto the show but didn't make it into the hot seat. So, we had two fastest finger competitions to get into the hot seat. The first one I came in second place and the second one I came in third place. I was like *that* close! But it was a fun trip to New York City.
The last photo I took was at a concert on Thursday night. I went to see two awesome contemporary Christian artists: Chris Tomlin and Matt Maher that played in concert in Redding on Thursday and I took some pictures during the concert. My spirituality is the foundation of my life and my purpose. I find purpose, I find meaning in life through my spirituality and my faith. I feel like without that foundation I wouldn't exactly know where I was going. It does give a lot of meaning and significance and focus to who I am.
Occasionally my wife and I get to go out on a date together. it's crazy with four kids and I'd like that to be more often, but occasionally we get to spend that time together. Every day I try to find something to be grateful for. You know, whether it be big or small. Some days are tougher than others but I find that if you can find one thing to be thankful for in that day, it really changes everything.
Living on the Main Line, it's easy to look around at all of our beautiful neighborhoods and think that everyone here lives with financial and food security. Our community has people in need, just like any other. Carol Claypoole started a food cupboard at the Baptist Church in the Great Valley several years ago and has been a dedicated leader and volunteer there since it opened. Carol's concern for people is deep and beautiful and she serves at the Great Valley Food Cupboard with a generous heart and soul.
I have lived in T/E my whole life. I went to Hillside School. I went to T/E Jr High, Conestoga High School and I actually still live in the house that I was born and raised in. I’ve been here a long time. My childhood was fantastic. I had great friends, we always had animals in our house, I had great parents. It was a very happy childhood. My favorite homemade meal growing up was shepherd’s pie. My mom made me shepherd’s pie with ground beef and mushroom soup and mashed potatoes on the top. That was my favorite.
I started volunteering when I was in high school at a food cupboard and I’ve been at it ever since. When I first thought about starting a food cupboard in 2012 I discussed it with Sandi Gorman at T&E Care and we both agreed that there was need for a cupboard in this area. Sandi was a big help with getting us started, as were other churches in the area. Our primary mission is feeding families in the Tredyffrin Easttown and Great Valley School Districts and just being supportive to help families and folks to get back up on their feet.
I can see how our work really affects people's attitudes. We allow folks to have a decision on what they choose out of the cupboard, what they pick, and I think folks are going through a very difficult time and don’t have a lot of choices in their life. I think coming here they can pick what they want, there’s some control over what they have and I think that’s been important to people. Their lives are spiraling out of control and I’ve seen people come in the first time - they’re just beaten down. Then after several months I see how we really help people get back up into living normal - as normal a life as they can.
My role at the GVFC is to serve as the manager of the cupboard. You might be surprised to learn that we have over 125 families that we’re helping. I think people in this area don’t know there’s a real need for it. The first day we started we had 5 families come, and now 5 years later we’re up to over 125. Actually, if you take the total number of individuals that we feed it’s over 500, you know, with each family. I think that’s really surprising. I’m even surprised by that number. I hope that the food cupboard can continue to help all of the hungry people. I get kinda teary eyed about that. My hope would be that the food cupboard continues with the great support from the community.
In my free time I love to go beach combing and look for sea glass and just enjoy the ocean and nature. I love nature. I go to New Castle down in Delaware - Battery Park Beach. I also like to go to flea markets and to go people watching. I am inspired by nature, animals, birds, the outdoors.
There is no doubt that we all gratefully appreciate the readiness of our local fire companies, who are there to help us when we really need it. The Berwyn Fire Company serves the T/E community everyday, responding to over 2150 ambulance calls and 900 fire calls annually. I recently learned a lot about the Berwyn Fire Company from EMS Captain, Michael Baskin. First of all, I learned that the Captain's position is a volunteer one. Michael volunteers his time to fill this role all while being a business owner and active member of our community. He has been involved with the Berwyn Fire Company since high school and has spent countless hours as the Captain, working hard to make sure that the Fire Company's services are available to us all. Secondly, I learned that the Berwyn Fire Company depends heavily upon donations from the community to meet it's operating expenses. I am grateful that we have Everyday Heroes like Captain Michael Baskin as well as community members who offer the Fire Company their support every year.
I grew up in Paoli PA. I’ve lived in T/E since first grade. I went to college in Ithaca, NY for 4 years but other than that I’ve always been in this area. When I was a kid I was really into sports and a lot of technology and television and production. My first job was for Harron Communications. I programmed Television programming for the local TV channel. Before I joined the Berwyn Fire Company I was a junior in high school and just did normal high school things. My family still lives in the T/E community. They are very supportive of me and everything I do.
I’m also a small business owner that does a lot of things having to do with video transfers and conversions. As part of that I am a contractor with the T/E School District where I run their cocurricular program for television broadcasting We broadcast a lot of events and sports and different things like that on the community tv channel. in addition to that I’ll video tape school board meetings and other township wide interests that the school district would like to put on tv. On an average day at work I’m all over the place. I have two retail stores so I visit one if not both of those stores on a daily basis. Then I help work with our customers. In the afternoons I spend it at the high school in their tv studio.
The Berwyn Fire Company has been a major part of my life for 21 years and I’ve been on thousands of call doing lots of different jobs. its a pretty amazing part of my life that I’ll never give up. You might be surprised to learn it’s the equivalent of a full time job being EMS Captain. it’s a lot of things that I never though it would be when I first took the position 4 years ago. I’ve learned a lot about billing, and medicare, and lots of things that I never thought I’d be a part of learning. Plus there’s a massive amount of HR dealing with 40 some volunteers and another 30-35 career staff on a daily basis. It’s not a lot of things that most people, including myeslf, wouldn’t ever have thought it would be when I first started. I’ll always remember the comradery amongst being part of this organization. lifelong friends. People that have been a part of doing calls and lifesaving activities, fires and different things like that, will always be able to share memories together. And just the experiences that I’ll be able to take with me.
If I could have my photo taken with anyone, aside from my family, I’d probably go with Derrick Trucks. He’s a phenom guitar player that I follow pretty closely. I think that’s he’s somebody that I just always have admired.
Last year I spent a lot of my time working as a board member here and sitting down with township officials and attending a lot of political discussions revolving around funding for the Fire Company. Next year I will probably spend more time doing the exact same thing trying to secure sustainable funding for the Fire Departments.
Kendall Kemm is sweet, kind and totally amazing. I wish I had an even better word than "amazing" to introduce her to you all. Three years ago, with no warning, she suffered a stroke from an Arteriovenus Malformation (AVM) that had been hiding in her head. Since then, while taking care of her own health, she has raised well over $200,000 to donate towards AVM research and patient care. Her concern for other kids who have or will have AVMs makes Kendall an Everyday Hero to her friends and family. I got to meet up with Kendall at one of her recent softball games to see her in action. With her good hand - her right - she developed a really awesome move of flipping off her glove so she can throw the ball. She pitches for her team with the help of a teammate who fields the ball at the mound. Kendall is truly an inspiration to her team, her family and our community.
I am Kendall Kemm, an energetic, fun-loving, people pleasing 8th grader at Valley Forge Middle School. I am the current secretary of student council and secretly love to party plan everything from birthday parties to school dances. When I’m with my family I like to go out to dinner and talk with everyone. I love to laugh, smile and sing. We love to play “name that tune” and make dance videos on musically. When I’m with my friends I like to hang out and play games. I like when everyone gets along and I try hard to make sure no one is ever left out. I feel sad when people’s feelings are hurt and I try to include all the different groups at school. When I’m with my dog, Bodhi I like to take him on walks around the neighborhood or just play and rub his belly. My brother and I always fight over who is going to wipe his paws when he comes in from the rain and who has to pick up his poop.
I started Kendall’s Crusade in 5th grade to help patients that didn’t have the money or the right help to find the doctor’s needed to help cure their AVMs and anuersyms. In the past two years we have raised over $235,000 with the events that we have had. The events featured our friend Craig Shoemaker, a comedian, to let everyone laugh and have a good time while raising money for research at Stanford University and Jefferson Hospital. My mom Leslie is the driving force behind the crusade and my biggest supporter (I think this is where I get my love of party planning from).
When I had my stroke I wanted to still be out on the softball field and at school with all my friends. I wanted to be able to run on the track and do the things I use to do. It happened right before Halloween and I all wanted to do was go trick or treating with all my friends. I was surprised at all the support that I got from my friends and family when I was in the hospital. So many people came to see me and I got all kinds of cards, stuffed animals and fluffy socks. I was also surprised when I got out of the hospital that I recovered so quickly and then after I had my radiation my deficits came back, which made me sad. A year later I was excited to play softball again and be back at school like a normal kid again. I wanted to help those who have AVMs and wanted to work on getting full use of my hand and foot again.
My goals include becoming a normal kid again and having the use of my hand and foot so I can do normal everyday things. I also love animals and giving radio interviews. I want to own a farm and be on the radio, who knows maybe I can do both. I hope to make a difference by getting the kids who need help the right doctor and medical help so they can get back to doing the things they use to do.
Playing softball makes me feel normal. Softball has helped me gain more self-confidence and feel accomplished. The best part of being on a team is being with my friends and getting to play the sport that I love. My teammates make me feel like a normal kid and just another part of the team.
My motto is “Don’t bring down my positive.” My wish for you is to live a happy and healthy life and appreciate what you have.
Photography and interview by Emily Brunner Photography
To find out how you can help Kendall's Crusade visit www.kendallscrusade.org/.
To follow Kendall's story as she continues to do awesome work for VFM research and patients visit Kendall's Crusade on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KendallsCrusade/
To find out more about T&E Care's Everyday Heroes visit www.tecare.org/
Retired Tredyffrin Police Officer and active community volunteer, Jim Pierson gave me a tour of the Thomson Lodge in Paoli a few weeks ago. I was honored to meet Jim and to learn about the Lodge, which has been in existence for over 150 years. Jim's enthusiasm and concern for his friends, family and community means a lot to everyone who knows him. A friend told me "He's the guy who will do anything you need, anything he can, to help." From giving people rides when they can't drive themselves to taking care of the landscaping at the Lodge, Jim serves our community with joy, humor and kindness.
I looked up to my Dad. He was a nice guy. He took good care of us and worked hard. I grew up in Kennett Square. Graduated High School in 1959. Went in the Navy in 1960 and went to the Tredyffrin Police from 1964-1994.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a policeman. I decided to become a police officer when we were in the Scouts. The Scoutmaster took us to this Pennsylvania State Police barracks for a tour. And I saw everything they did. We came out of there and he said “What do you think?” and I said “That’s what I want to do when I grow up”. Once I got out of the service I got married. And I used to wear glasses. I went down to the State Police to join, to get an application, and the guy said “You’re married, we won’t even look at ya. You wear glasses, we won’t take ya.” You know, they could discriminate then. So I read an article in the newspaper, the Daily Local News, and I couldn’t pronounce "Tredyffrin” at the time. They gave me directions to come over, I got the application and the rest is history. I was a police officer for Tredyffrin for 30 years. You might be surprised to hear that I didn’t drink coffee and eat doughnuts. I drank coffee and ate popcorn or grapefruits.
When I retired for 6 months I didn’t do anything. Then I worked for Vanguard Investments for about a year as a priority mail runner. I got tired of that and I drove special ed kids for a while. And now I just do a lot of volunteer work and help people.
I joined the Thompson Lodge to become a Mason. I was interested in it. It’s a great group of guys. Once you become a Master Mason you can go anywhere in the world, to any lodge. I enjoy being involved here. It’s a diverse group of men - we have lawyers, we even have a famous baseball player. Larry Christenson, he’s a member. And then you have just regular working guys like myself. Some of the things we do are a lot of charity work. Like juvenile arthritis, different things. I’m not a Shriner, but the Shriners are a part of the Masons. Here, they have a blood drive, they have a container over there they throw change in it for the troops. That kind of thing.
I really like helping people. Anybody that needs help. Now I’m looking forward to livin’ to be a hundred.
Photography and interview by Emily Brunner Photography
To find out more about the Thomson Lodge in Paoli visit www.thomsonlodge.com/.
Tredyffrin resident Gwenn Mascioli gives back to our community in many ways. She's worked with several local volunteer organizations, personally befriended people she met on the street, and she made the time to talk with me one recent afternoon about the organizations and people she cares about. Gwenn is a T&E Care Everyday Hero because she cares and because she takes action when she sees a need. Through Social FUNdraising & Gathering she helped create a library for the students at Richard Wright Elementary School in Philadelphia. By following her heart, Gwenn finds the inspiration to help the people and communities around us.
I am from Bear Creek Village, a small community in Northeast Pennsylvania. Ironically my elementary school did not have a library. I remember one shelf of books above a desk in the Principal’s office. Growing up I thought that twenty-five was old. Now, at the young age of fifty-four, I know that our brains aren’t even fully developed until we’re twenty-six. I learned that from my work for ARCH (Area Residents Caring & Helping) another of my volunteer organizations. I love being 54. I’ve grown in so many ways and feel so much more secure with myself. After college I worked in the trade association business in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. Trade associations function a lot like PTO’s. So I had more than a decade of experience managing volunteers, budgets, meetings, newsletters, and committees. When my oldest daughter started kindergarten I stopped working “outside the home.”
My first volunteer gig came when my kids got to Hillside Elementary. Back then I was new to the area, shy, and slowly feeling my way. I offered to help with the school newsletter. Over the years that became “my thing.” When the girls moved up to TE Middle my role of newsletter editor moved too. I created paper newsletters and blast emails for the schools, ARCH, and BPALL. I even did a few for Surrey Services. More than a decade of volunteer work introduced me to a lot of people – other moms and dads, community leaders, school administrators, even the police. Those connections definitely help fuel Social FUNdraising & Gathering collections and projects.
Social FUNdraising & Gathering (SFG) is officially “a bunch of do gooders with huge hearts, sharp minds, and thoughtful consciences.” We exist on Facebook and have more than 1,200 members. The creator, Bonnie Koss, and I met way before SFG – in 2004 when my youngest and her oldest were both in Mrs. Braun’s kindergarten class at Hillside. Our lives went in different directions, she moved from the district, and we lost touch. Fast forward more than a dozen years and we reconnected in a Body Pump class at UMLY. We became Facebook friends (of course ;) and I saw a post announcing that she was collecting books for a school in North Philly. With little more than the goal of helping MY friends with older kids clear out THEIR bookshelves I put out a call for gently used books. Dozens of boxes started piling up. That was four years ago. Today, along with Bonnie and several other volunteers, I’m happily enmeshed in the fabric of Richard Wright Elementary (RWE) well beyond the school library.
Note that Social FUNdraising and Gathering embraces a “TOGETHER we are stronger” approach. The ripple effect of what started in the library at Richard Wright has gone not only throughout that building but also spread to other schools in these food insecure neighborhoods.
I’m noticing an intersection of two of my volunteering passions. A decade of work with ARCH educated me on the disease of addiction. The stigmas. The family chaos it creates. The pervasiveness of the disease. The last few years at Richard Wright in Strawberry Mansion has educated me on some of the realities of poverty. The stigmas. The family chaos it creates. The pervasiveness of poverty and specifically how it impacts the schools in those communities. I’m passionate about both topics and meditating on how best to use what I’m learning for a greater good. A lot of people think that people who live in North Philadelphia are lazy and need to stop expecting handouts. That’s not what I see. Over the past four years I have learned to appreciate what it means to truly be “in need” of things. Things that I and many of my peers probably take for granted and would never dream of labeling as a luxury. Volunteering in the schools has taught me a lot about the bigger world. You know that I could have shared a very similar sentiment about drug addicts. I’m probably a little too consumed with how both communities are often misunderstood. The biggest challenge we face is moving outside our bubble, vacuum, echo chamber. One of my favorite phrases is that “you don’t know what you don’t know.”
I hope that there is snow for Christmas. I have to actively change the subject and lighten things up. I’m really not much fun to talk to at a cocktail party. My family is pretty cool. We have two daughters in college and I’m constantly amazed by how aware and engaged they are in current events. They are so much more informed than I was that their age. I’m very optimistic about our youth. My friends are pretty cool too. And, very generous. I always have fresh piles of donated items… college t-shirts, ties, Legos, books (hundreds of books!)… stacked in my garage, basement, family room, yadda yadda. My friends are creative as well. A few weeks ago a friend dropped off pumpkins that she made to look like Clifford the Big Red Dog and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. She offered them for display in the RWE library. After seeing similar pumpkins at TEMS she decided that the RWE kids would, could, should enjoy them too. A lot of people in my world have Richard Wright on their radar. I just adore my family and friends.
When I have a free minute I’ll work on a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve become a little obsessed with them and now have opinions about the shapes of puzzle pieces, the degree of difficulty, and lighting, blah blah blah. More proof that I can quickly kill a conversation at a cocktail party. If I could have any photo taken it would be at Richard Wright Elementary in Strawberry Mansion. Those kids and the school and the activity at the school… all so beautiful and full of photo opps. The last photo I took was of my dog who was sitting in the back seat of the car resting her head on the center console between our front seats. Millie is so cute. I’m constantly grabbing the camera. You have to love that we always have a camera in our “phone.” Don’t get me started on how phones are not phones – but devices that house cameras and the internet and oh my gosh… seriously – I’m really not fun to talk to at a cocktail party.
I was honored to meet T&E Care Everyday Hero, Samuel Cyubahiro, at his home in Wayne a few weeks ago. Samuel is a hard working Radnor High student who arrived in America just one year ago as a refugee from the Congo. Samuel lived through many very difficult experiences in the Congo, and is working hard to change his own life as well as the lives of those he's met along the way. In addition to studying hard for his classes, he makes the time to work after school, to financially help two teenage boys from his tribe who are still living in Africa. Samuel's spirit, attitude and heart are absolutely full of kindness and he's making a wonderfully positive impact on his community back home and in his new home here in Wayne.
I was born in the Congo. As a child I liked to spend enough time with my family and my friends, and to play soccer with my friends. I had fun with my family when my parents acted like kids. I was having a good time when my family, my mom, my dad acted like my best friend. When my parents acted as our age - so just playing together, making jokes - that was so much fun. My life started to change when I was 13 years old. There were different things starting to change in the school. Because, even if something was going on, in our normal life our parents was trying to hide it for us. They never wanted to tell us. They didn’t want us to be worried. They wanted to keep it to themselves. They wanted just to keep us happy. We started to see at school ourselves. Our friends and teachers started to show us what there is, what is going on.
I came to America in November 2016. I was 17. On the flight to the US during the beginning 15 minutes I was so nervous. I felt like I was going to fall down. But it was fun. I was having good time. I was super excited. My first week in America was super strange. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this, but it was really different because there was different things going on to see. It was super cold. It was really different. So other thing - I was without english and everybody we talk to, talked in english so it was really hard.
I got a job for a couple reasons. I like to do myself whatever I can. So whatever I can’t do, that’s when I’m going to ask help from someone else. But whatever I can I like to do myself. If I get a job, I can do more myself, more than to ask other people to help. I feel like I want to change my life. I am helping 2 boys and someone who takes care of them. I say that I’m going to help them because they were in the same situation I was in before, without parents, without family. And they really have a hard life. So before I leave Africa I told them "Whenever I get chance to get something, you will see". I promise them. I tell them I’m going to help you with whatever I can when I get the chance. They came from same place I was born. We grew up in the same place.
Something I like to do in my free time is to go to work out. But two months ago I wasn’t going because I had soccer almost everyday after school. But I’m going back on my normal life to work out almost every day. That’s what I like to do with my free time. My friends would say about me that Sam is a nice guy - that’s what I think. They will say, they never see me when I’m mad. They will say, I think they would tell me I’m a strong person. Because most of the time they tell me, what I come though and how I live my life everyday, not many people can do that. My biggest challenge at school is English. Because everything is in English. So even if you know some stuff, you don’t how to put in English. I’m going to say the language is a challenge for me. Homework is a lot. It is too much. To go to school you need to have something. There is something you learn when you are little kid. They learn how they can study. I never learn how to study. I don’t know how to study. I feel like there is some strategy to do school. I feel like I try to do my homework, but it is kind of tough.
If I could have my photo taken with anybody, I’m going to say - that’s a good question! Martin Luther King. If I think of celebrities there’s some soccer stars, but how they live outside of soccer, I don’t like that. My goal is to feel like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to be done in this world. I’ll be happy when I have someplace where there are orphans and widows and I say I’m helping the widows and orphans. When I see I’m doing something like that, then I’ll feel like I’m done. That’s my goal.
Photography and Interview by Emily Brunner Photography
To find out how you can help the refugee program at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne call 610-688-1313
To find out more about T&E Care visit www.tecare.org
Last week I met up with Mike Joson, the CEO and founder of Young Sports in Wayne. Mike shared some thoughts on youth sports and played a little ball with some of the most absolutely adorable athletes ever...
When I was growing up on the Main Line in the 80's, I enjoyed following the great Philly sports teams with my dad. As a kid playing sports I enjoyed being part of a team thru a season, the comradery and the working together to reach goals. As a Dad with kids I love spending as much time as I can with them.
I am always surprised that I have been fortunate to work in an environment that is all about fun! I love the range of creativity you can pursue as an entrepreneur. I hate the amount of screen time I feel the younger generation is getting consumed by more and more. I find inspiration in seeing children finding enjoyment and success in a program I created, Young Sports. I believe that coaching on the field should always lead to a positive rewarding experience for all involved and that teaching is a great responsibility.
Someday I would love to expand Young Sports into other towns.
Yesterday I was playing tag with my 5 and 7 year old boys at a playground. Tomorrow I look forward to many more simple moments thru life with them!
Photography and interview by Emily Brunner Photography
For more information about Young Sports visit https://www.young-sports.com/
I was thrilled when this beautiful family called me up to talk about taking some extended family pictures at Valley Forge Park. Their entire family had gathered from near and far for a long weekend and they thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take some new portraits. I was even more thrilled to meet everyone at Washington's Headquarter's on a Friday afternoon in late summer. Everyone from grandpa down to little sister was so kind, happy and full of fun! We posed the family for pictures and ran through the fields around the house where George Washington worked and lived during the American Revolution. Family photo session are always a fun adventure. This was definitely a case of "the more, the merrier"!
If your family is interested in some new family pictures and you live in or nearby the Main Line area, send me a note and we'll plan a session for you!
Hi there! I'm Emily and I'm thrilled that you stopped by!! I hope you can relax and read along, while I share a little bit about my work, life and love of photography. I hope you find some inspiration here to light your own life and share your own story!