Bucky Dent is famous for batting a three-run homer that allowed the Yankees to defeat the Red Sox in the 1978 World Series playoffs. The Yankees went on that year to defeat the Dodgers, and Bucky earned the World Series MVP title. Bucky once said that control and optimism were critical to his success that year and still are today in everything he does. Bucky also said that while sports psychology was relatively unheard of in the 1970s, every professional team today has a sports psychologist on staff for the purpose of keeping the players psyched regardless of their performance.

Bucky will speak at Contagious Optimism LIVE!, a daylong event with inspirational talks, music, and entertainment. Contagious Optimism LIVE! is taking place at Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society on the Jupiter campus on Friday, April 4, 2014, from 2 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50, which includes a reception following the event. Group discounts are also available. All attendees will receive a free copy of the bestselling book, “Contagious Optimism.”

Get more information by visiting www.contagiousoptimismlive.com, and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Joachim De Posada speaks both English and Spanish and has a Ph.D in psychology. He has enlightened and entertained audiences in more than 60 nations. He was declared the Most Distinguished Hispanic Speaker by the Latino Speakers Bureau and has been recognized as one of America’s 25 Hot Speakers by the National Speakers Association in 2009. He is also the author of “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow Yet!”

Dr. Joachim De Posada will speak at Contagious Optimism LIVE!, a daylong event with inspirational talks, music, and entertainment. Contagious Optimism LIVE! is taking place at Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society on the Jupiter campus on Friday, April 4, 2014, from 2 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50, which includes a reception following the event. Group discounts are also available. All attendees will receive a free copy of the  bestselling book, “Contagious Optimism.”

Get more information by visiting http://www.contagiousoptimismlive.com, and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

Meet Ricky Wade.

Ricky grew up in Jamaica with poverty all around him. He always dreamed of becoming a pilot but everything changed when his father died in a plane crash.

But Ricky never let obstacles stand in his way.  He eventually came to the United States, completed his education, and took a job at McDonald’s. And, over the course of 18 years, he saved up, got a loan, and purchased his first McDonald’s franchise.

Today, he is a major South Florida franchisee whose number one priority is to give back to the community. Last year he even earned the coveted Golden Arch Award, which is given to a franchise owner who has exhibited outstanding dedication to customer service and community involvement. Only 1 percent of franchisees worldwide receive this award!

We’re glad to have Ricky on our “Contagious Optimism” team!

Scars: signs of strength

August 21, 2013

Krystian Leonard (right)

Krystian Leonard (right)

Meet Krystian Leonard.

This rising high school junior says that scars “hold a meaning of strength and character, showing I have accepted who I am and prove I can rise above the stigma.”

Krystian was born with lipomas on her face and body and over the course of her young life, she endured surgeries and resulting scars in order to get them removed. However, Krystian realized that she was a beautiful girl and was not going to let this hold her back. By her mid-teenage years, Krystian has been Miss Morgantown’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Southern West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Northern West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen. She also launched a nonprofit organization called Shining S.C.A.R.S,  an organization dedicated to helping young people persevere through any obstacle.

Meet Alan Malizia

August 20, 2013

Alan MaliziaMeet Alan Malizia
Alan suffered from polio as a child, endured painful treatments and lived in and out of hospitals most of his life. Instead of complaining, Alan channeled his energy into sports and education, which he taught to students in the Stamford, Conn. area. However, for Alan, teaching sports and education wasn’t enough for him. He wanted to do more. In addition to being a terrific teacher, Alan earned the number 1 ranking in the state and region for volleyball, basketball and other sports at Stamford Catholic High School.  He also published a book titled “The Little Red Chair,” an inspirational story about growing up with polio and the gratitude he has for all the people in his life – from the doctors who treated him to all his family, friends, and students who have always stood by his side.

Read one of Alan’s essays here: Humility and Humiliation

Remarkable Recovery

August 19, 2013

Meet Joan Heller
Mom sculpture garden 111006
and her son Joel
Joel
Joel came home to visit his family during his sophomore year in college. Unfortunately he came home to some bad news that his mother had throat and mouth cancer, and would be losing part of her tongue along with her speech in order to fight the disease. However, Joel’s mother made him a promise.  She said that by his college graduation, she would be able to say “Congratulations!”
With that determination, Mrs. Heller decided that her only way to regain her speech would be to re-learn how to pronounce words – just like children would learn in their early stages. At this point, she obtained a variety of children’s books and tapes. She studied, studied, and studied, along with recording herself throughout the process. By May of 1990, Mrs. Heller regained her speech and said “Congratulations” at her son’s graduation. She was also able to return to work as a psychiatric social worker – an occupation that not only helps others but also relies on the ability to speak.

The giving continues

July 29, 2013


Many of you might remember the story of Allison and Sasha, two girls with big hearts who founded Prom Drive to give pre-owned dresses, shoes and accessories to underprivileged girls.

Now, we’re happy to say that their charitable nature remains strong.

Allison, Sasha and another co-founder Lexi are starting a new venture called Handled with Care. The store will be located in Yerwood Center, Stamford, Conn.

According to Allison, Handled with Care aims to “create a dignified shopping experience for kids and teens who would not typically have the opportunity.”

There will be men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, both casual and fancy attire.

These clothes will “allow them to feel comfortable and presentable attending interviews, meetings and other occasions,” said Lexie.

The girls have partnered with businesses to arrange drop-off points for clothing donations.

The girls also want people to spend their money on other necessities instead of clothing. Lexi said, quoting the National Center for Children in Poverty, “Forty-five percent under 18 live in low-income families.”

Allison and Sasha co-authored “Prom Drive,” and Lexi wrote “Kids Helping Kids.”

Just amazing. Congrats, girls!