Monday, May 28, 2007
Jessica Kizorek
When Jessica Kizorek talks about Ghana, she says she makes a point not to talk about poverty or violence. Kizorek talks about farmers paid fair trade and educated women. This 26-year-old documentary filmmaker travels the globe to find good in places that she says are ordinarily perceived as anything but.

Kizorek has traveled to 55 countries on all seven continents. She finds that whether she is in Cambodia or Moldova, the human spirit is alive and strong. Donating frequent flyer miles and production time through her company Two Parrot Productions, Kizorek documents how Non-Government Organizations make a difference.

Whether she is telling stories about medical buildings for handicapped children in Romania or human trafficking education in Thailand, Kizorek illustrates the energy and compassion that exists in those countries. (Watch Kizorek in action in the field.) She proudly acts as a conduit for promoting the idea of "people helping people" worldwide. In the process, though, she says she takes pride in helping people herself and becoming another representation of the good she seeks.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Food From the 'Hood students
The Los Angeles Riots of 1992 left destruction around South Central Los Angeles. But, beauty can sometimes grow from destruction. As it literally did when a group of students at Crenshaw High School took a quarter-acre patch of weeds behind their school and turned it into a garden.

Food From the 'Hood started with those students growing vegetables to donate to the needy and to sell at a local farmer's market. The goal was to give back to the community that was so hard-hit. But, once the food sold like crazy, the students realized they were on to something. They started their own company making and selling all-natural salad dressing to major food stores in Southern California.

Food From the 'Hood profits go back to their student-run program that provides mentoring, tutoring and college scholarships. So far, it has awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships to 77 of its graduates. And Food From the 'Hood keeps growing, if only to strengthen its roots.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Monday, May 14, 2007
Haley Kilpatrick
Remember being a teen and feeling like no one "gets you" -- remember middle school? Haley Kilpatrick remembers it well. In fact, she relives it everyday, not for nostalgia but to help other teenage girls get through the drama. Kilpatrick started Girl Talk, an organization that encourages candid conversation, independence and self-worth.

At the age of 15, Kilpatrick saw her little sister's struggles with fitting in at school. A heart-to-heart between sisters inspired Girl Talk. Kilpatrick launched a student-to-student mentoring program in her middle school and high school in Albany, Georgia, that quickly grew to become Girl Talk, a national nonprofit organization in 21 states, reaching more than 10,000 girls.

As her reach grows, Kilpatrick, now 21 and a college student in Kennesaw, Georgia, speaks to and motivates other young people, teachers and administrators around the country on the importance of mentoring. Kilpatrick believes that with the right resources and moral guidance, young girls can make it past the daily trials of middle school and get to their dream. After all, it's a message coming from Haley Kilpatrick, who's already "got it."

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Joanna Alberti
Getting in from an evening out with friends, a little tipsy, a lot emotional -- we've all been there. Most of us have regretted in the morning what we did or said the night before. But not Joanna Alberti. Such a night unintentionally turned Alberti from stylish young lady into one very successful stylish young lady.

That night the 25-year-old used her insomnia to design Sophie, a fictional, whimsical character who became the face of philoSophie's , a national greeting-card and clothing business. Sophie isn't real, but what she stands for is: "Wear pumps. Take taxis"; "A strong cup of coffee and confidence can get you through the morning"; "Keep your nails painted and your hand raised."

Sophie's musings are splashed across tank tops and fine stationery that Alberti's company creates by hand. The "Sex and the City"-esque mantras speak to real women. Alberti's contagious honesty, not to mention playful wit, makes her a fierce phenom in today's highly competitive design world -- that is nothing to regret.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
ABOUT THIS BLOG

Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. CNN Anchor Nicole Lapin introduces them here, then interviews them Fridays on CNN.com Live. Log on in the 3 p.m. ET hour to catch the interviews.
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