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JonathanWhen faced with the death of my son Jonathan, I channeled my grief into a living memorial where children and adults of all abilities could play, learn, and celebrate life together.
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My InspirationI was inspired by my son, who would have had a disability if he'd had a chance to grow up, and by a little girl in a wheelchair I'd seen, sadly watching everyone else play on a playground she couldn't get to. After his death, I marshaled an army of volunteers to create Jonathan's Dream, one of the first inclusive, universally accessible playgrounds in America (with the help of a company called Learning Structures).
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Jonathan's DreamPeople calling from across the country wanting to know how to do the same thing for children in their communities inspired me to lead a passionate team of parents and professionals to create a nonprofit dedicated to this cause in 1997. Thanks to a generous grant from Hasbro, a national resource center was created in 1998, and inclusive playgrounds were built in 24 communities.
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Welcoming a New ExecutiveIn 2007, after serving more than a decade as Boundless Playgrounds' founding executive director, I encouraged and wholeheartedly supported its Board of Directors' hiring of Boundless Playgrounds' first non-founder chief executive, Fred Leone.
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Powerful InspirationI started the next chapter of my life in October 2008 by launching Powerful Inspiration, a company dedicated to inspiring people to imagine and work toward a world where everyone matters and everyone can make a difference.
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Discovering PassionsThrough speaking engagements, workshops, coaching, and other educational programs, I help people and organizations discover their passions and learn to use their unique strengths to achieve success and make a difference. Through national leadership roles, I am also working to educate policy makers and the public, and develop innovative programs to inspire people to create more inclusive and empowering communities.
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Rediscovering PassionsParticipants are inspired after attending "Finding Your Passion," "Discovering Your Philanthropic Focus," "Life Design 101," and "Everyone Can Make A Difference" workshops. Here, they play the game Candy Land in a creative way to help them identify defining people and moments in their lives -- clues to rediscovering their passion.
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SuccessDuring my tenure as founding executive director, Boundless Playgrounds raised awareness of the need for and benefits of inclusive playgrounds generating interest from people in every state, developed 134 Boundless playgrounds in 25 states, and raised millions of dollars for this cause including $10,000,000 in challenge grants.
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Celebrating the Power of People and CommunitiesHere I am with Cliff Riley, district manager, and Mark Hall, regional manager of CVS Michigan on the slide at Play 4 All Boundless Playground in Wayne, Michigan. Hundreds of CVS Pharmacy associates throughout Michigan raised more than $50,000 to help build this inclusive playground.
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Playing Tic-Tac-ToeA new friend, Darrell, shows me his favorite things to do at the Boundless playground. Although I am no longer involved at Boundless Playgrounds other than as a donor, I am referred to as its "Founder and Director Emeritus."
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My FamilyI thank my family -- Peter, Daniel, Alyssa, and Michael -- for their love and support as I dedicated the last decade of my life to Boundless Playgrounds. Jonathan would have been 14 this year.
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Boundless PlaygroundsWhen people hear my keynotes or participate in my workshops, I hope they realize that they too have the power within themselves to spark the changes they want to see in the world.
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