Name: Gail A. Hanson

Age:  43

Location:  Grand Rapids, Michigan

Occupation:  I evaluate training / motivation materials.

Where did you come from? Born and raised in Southern California.

A Fear:  Never accomplishing something of significance. Leaving my boys without a legacy they can be proud of and not being remembered.

A Goal:  Write a book. I’ve started more than once. If only I could finish.

A Memory:  One of my favorite memories of childhood is riding my lavender bike with the white basket to the library. Filling that basket with books for the week and then riding to the grocery store for ice cream or candy. This is what summer looks like. Even though every trip was a little different I remember them all as one collective snapshot. And, I’m always smiling and happy with the sun beating down.

A Mistake:  I will always regret not finishing college.

A Hero:  My older sister for making the raising of children look easy even when it was hard. Single mothers never get enough credit for what they do.

A Fault:  I think I know everything and therefore I am always right. I do not and I am not. (Don’t tell my husband I admitted that.)

A Talent:  I can crochet.

A Prized Possession:  An old broken manual typewriter that belonged to my father. Once it was my dream to use it to write my novel. It reminds me of how he believed I could do anything. I still long to have it repaired.

A Need:  Patience.

I want more:  Time and energy to enjoy life with my family and friends. The introvert in me is always searching for quiet places but I also want the boisterous moments with those I love.

I want less:  Stress and worry.

What would you change about the world?  I would change the prevalence of prejudice; eliminate the hate crimes that accompany racism. Bring about justice for the marginalized. Recent years have shown too many instances of injustice. I worry for my boys and what the next generation faces.

What do you love about yourself?  Such a tough question … I love my sense of humor. The moments when I can feel light in laughter. It doesn’t happen nearly as much as I would like but still I feel my best at those times.


Ashley Jones

 Name: Ashley M. Jones

Age: 24

Location: Miami, Florida

Occupation: Student, Instructor, Community Outreach Aficionado

Where did you come from? I’m from Birmingham, Alabama, and I’ll be moving back there in just a couple of weeks. Miami is also called the Magic City, but Birmingham is the original (my original, anyway).

A Fear: Never falling in love

A Goal: becoming president of a university and a mom of four

A Memory: I went to my senior prom without a date, but I ended up dancing with the boy I liked, anyway.Stole him!

A Mistake: Allowing someone to disrespect me repeatedly until I believed all the bad things they said about me.

A Hero: My dad–he’s a Fire Chief, paramedic, and manager of the EMS services in Birmingham. He works so hard for us, and he never complains. He is happy when we’re happy, no matter how tired he is. I learned how to serve others from him. I also learned how to be goofy and tell corny jokes.

A Fault: I’m too guarded sometimes…and I overthink everything. The poet’s mind, I tell you!

A Talent: I’m an excellent whistler. And I can sing all the words to “La Bamba.”

A Prized Possession: not sure…I don’t think I possess much that can be prized. I really treasure the shape of my eyes…but I guess that’s not a possession.

A Need: A man who can tap dance, who loves poetry, and who can sing along to all my favorite songs. Ahem, I mean, I need a book contract for my poetry manuscript!! Priorities…

I want More: laughter

I want Less: financial worry

What would you change about the world? I would give everyone the gift of chill. That is, I would give people the power to relax, appreciate everyone else, and stay out of each others’ religions, sexualities, wallets, etc. Live and let live, world!!!

What do you love about yourself? Now, I love everything. I love that I learned how to love myself. It wasn’t always that way, but I’m glad I made it to this loving place.