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Building One Another Up: Better Together

There’s something incredible that happens when we come together to connect, celebrate, encourage and lift one another up. It ignites hope, change and truly makes our world a better place.

It creates commUNITY.

I recently had the privilege of touring an amazing property that’s all about this type of connectivity. It’s designed to help adults with autism and other different abilities build more independent lives – and what an incredible experience it was!

Known as First Place, this state-of-the-art residential property truly nurtures a spirit of community through and through, offering multiple opportunities for residents to live and lead more independent lives.

I had the pleasure of actually sitting down with First Place founder & CEO, Denise Resnik, to learn more about First Place and to hear her story (and heart) of how the community was inspired by her 28-year-old son, Matthew Resnik, who was diagnosed with autism 26 years ago.

Art That Matters

I left First Place feeling inspired, encouraged and reminded that we truly are better together! Speaking of inspiring, we also visited an organization that is inspiring young minds and hearts through the arts.

Act One believes that every child should have educational opportunities that include arts experiences. This organization provides field trips for students from Title 1 schools and opens a whole new world for students from low-income families.

It’s All About Relationships

We also took a trip to Rhode Island to highlight a wonderful organization that’s connecting youth and adults through meaningful mentoring relationships. I whole-heartedly believe in the importance of building up young people, encouraging them and providing them with the tools and resources to pursue their dreams…and Mentor Rhode Island does just that.

You Are Not Alone

This episode of “Doing More” weaves powerful messages of togetherness and hope throughout, and this next story is no exception. The topic of suicide is something very near and dear to my heart and is something I personally speak on quite often, reminding others that their lives have purpose and value.

I am so passionate about this topic because it’s something that I personally walked through at the age of 13. I’m very open about this part of my story and often speak to young people because it’s something that needs to be talked about more. It’s also why I created a movement and inspirational t-shirt line four years ago called inspireHER, to share this message of hope.

Thankfully there are also organizations like Teen Lifeline who are doing their part to remind others that they are not alone.

Subscribe on YouTube to watch how when we unite for the greater good, we are better together.

You can watch “Doing More” on Cox Cable’s YurView channel. Check your guide for the channel number in your city. Tune in Sundays at 6 pm, Mondays at 7 pm, Wednesdays at 11:30 pm, and Saturdays at 8:30 pm.

Stay encouraged, friends!

Erica Cardenas (@ericacardenas1)