Jeb Bush on the Future of Educational Choice

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Jeb Bush speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on Friday, January 26, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

By: Janelle L. Awls

I was invited to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. for an event on Friday, January 26, 2018.

I am grateful for the invitation, although I was unable to attend. I had the opportunity to watch the event through live stream.

AEI hosted a conversation with 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush and a panel of experts on education savings accounts, educational opportunity, and the future of new and innovative forms of learning in and outside American schools.

Are you interested? Check out the video. Click here:


Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month

rosa parks quotes

Her Legacy Lives On

By: Janelle L. Awls

Rosa Parks was born on this day 105 years ago. Today we celebrate her life and legacy. Her courage inspires us. Her strength motivates us. She will always be remembered. Happy Birthday Rosa Parks! (1913-2005)

Students at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio had the opportunity to hear Rosa Parks’ niece speak on Friday, February 2, 2018. Urana McCauley spoke to Toledo Public School students about her Auntie Rose.

McCauley’s goal is to continue to keep her aunt’s vision alive while working to foster change.

Every year the school celebrates the civil rights activist’s birthday.

“At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.”~Rosa Parks


rosa school
Rosa Parks Elementary School in Toledo, Oh welcomed Rosa Parks’ niece, Urana McCauley, on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018./Photo by: Janelle L. Awls

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Art of Moving Forward

By: Janelle L. Awls

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Photo By: Janelle L. Awls/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mural on Toledo’s South side.

Still dreaming. Reads a piece of art with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Toledo’s South side at the corner of Knapp and Broadway Street.

The mural was painted by Mario Acevedo, a Peruvian artist, and students from Bowling Green State University in 2014.

The mural sits blocks away from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza.

Not too far from the mural is the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge, close to downtown Toledo, where Cherry Street crosses the Maumee River. On the bridge there is a statue with four heads of Dr. King’s face looking over the city to the east, west, north and south.

Photo By: Janelle L. Awls/Four faces of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge in Toledo, Oh.

Throughout the U.S. there are memorials and various pieces of art to honor the late Dr. King.

I had the opportunity to visit the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. in 2003, where Dr. King co-pastored with his father. I also visited the King Center. It was a great experience to see Dr. King’s grave.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of his death. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn. His tombstone reads his famous words, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m Free at last.”

In 2011, I had the opportunity to visit the Dr. King Memorial in Washington, D.C. His memorial is the first African-American and non-president memorial to be memorialized on the national mall.

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Photo By: Janelle L. Awls/The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In the end, I am intrigued by the life of Dr. King. His impact on the world and mankind is remarkable. He was a leader during the civil rights movement in America. His contribution to society will always be remembered. We have to keep moving forward in today’s society.

One of his most famous quotes says, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

The dream lives on, but each one of us has to do our part. Don’t look back, but keep moving in the right direction.

Forward. That’s the dream…

A Resurgence, A Rebirth of Downtown Toledo

renaissancehotelfrontPhoto From: Toledo City Paper’s News story

By: Janelle L. Awls

Toledo’s downtown is definitely on the road to recovery. After being hit hard by the economic downturn of 2008, revival is coming to the heart of downtown. Business is booming.

I had the opportunity to celebrate my birthday on New Year’s Eve at The Brim House at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown Toledo for lunch with my family.

The hotel opened to the public in August 2017. It is chic, vibrant and simply beautiful.

The art on display in the lobby is creative and innovative.

I am blessed to see another birthday.


Photo By: Janelle L. Awls/Whitefish Basket (Crisp lettuce. Dill Aioli.Yuzu Koshu Slaw. Sweet Hots). Regards to the chef for an amazing birthday meal!


Photo By Janelle L. Awls/The staff at The Brim House was amazing! My husband told them we were celebrating my birthday, and I was surprised with these amazing desserts. My favorite was the Sous Vide Cheesecake (Mint Chocolate Ganache. Crispies. Oreo Crumbs)


Celebrating my birthday!

Celebrating Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month

My daughter, Taylor, at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital NICU Reunion Day on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 at the Ronald McDonald House.

By: Janelle L. Awls

During my childhood years, I participated in the March of Dimes walk in downtown Washington, D.C. with an after school group. It was a part of our community service.

Years later, after relocating to Ohio, I understand why March of Dimes is so vital.

My daughter was born prematurely in 2012.  According to March of Dimes Web site, about 1 in 10 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely each year.

On yesterday I had the opportunity to attend ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit’s (NICU) Reunion Day.  The event took place in the parking lot of the Ronald McDonald House.

It was a great experience.  Former patients and family members of patients were invited to fellowship and enjoy an afternoon of fun!

I am thankful and grateful to see some of the doctors and nurses who cared for my daughter, while she was in the hospital for two months (61 days) after birth.

September is Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month.  A salute to all of the NICU families!

Interested in getting involved? For more information, click here:

It was also exciting to see a representative from March of Dimes at the Reunion Day.  For more information about March of Dimes, click here:


Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference at the University of Toledo

colorful trafficking

By: Janelle L. Awls

I had the opportunity to cover a story for the Toledo City Paper.

The 14th Annual Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference will take place at the University of Toledo on Sept. 21-22, 2017.

Click here to visit the story.

For more information about the conference, click here:

Thinking About Getting Involved?

The Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition meets the third Wednesday every month at the Kent Branch Library from 9-11am.  Free and open to the public.  There will not be a meeting in September.

If you have a tip, concerns or would like to report suspicious activity, please call the national trafficking hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or text HELP to 233733(BEFREE).


The Great Solar Eclipse

In the Shadows of the Moon

By:  Janelle L. Awls


Some say it was the super bowl of science.

Millions are left in awe and wonder of the natural phenomenon that took place on yesterday.

When the moon met the sun in the middle of the day, it was such an amazing sight to see.  The last time a solar eclipse swept through the United States from coast to coast was 99 years ago.

The path to totality started in Oregon and ended in South Carolina.

Carbondale, Ill. had the opportunity to witness the longest duration of the total eclipse.  The sun was completely covered.

The sun was in the shadows of the moon. Darkness filled the sky in the middle of the day. What an awesome wonder! Breathtaking.

I love nature, but I am ecstatic about God’s creation of the universe.

Although, there was a partial eclipse in Toledo. The next total eclipse is coming to the U.S. in 2024.  Toledo will be in the path of totality!

Solar Eclipse Path of Totality for 2024