Metro centerpiece for The Commercial Appeal
Nov. 23, 2011
While visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday, Joel Seligstein stopped by White Station Middle School to speak to more than 100 students about his job at a company they all “like.”
Seligstein has been a software engineer for Facebook in Palo Alto, Calif., since 2007.
His talk to the 13- and 14-year-olds was arranged through his cousin, Rachel Seligstein, an eighth-grader at the school, and Jennifer Brenneman, her CLUE teacher.
“You have a young guy, 26 years old, living the dream with Facebook as an engineer, and he got started in the science and math fields, so I wanted (the students) to see the relevance to what they’re currently studying,” Brenneman said.
Seligstein said the means to getting where he is, at a desk 30 feet from company founder Mark Zuckerberg in a corporation that feeds its employees three meals a day and provides pool tables, basketball courts and all the video game time a middle school student could dream of, was to “keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and trying new things.
“Any idea that you have, move fast and make it a reality; try it, and if it doesn’t work, try something else.” … (read more)
Feature story for The Commercial Appeal
Dec. 30, 2010
Thomas “Tad” Daniel said his wife, Jill, used to talk a lot about organ donation. In fact, the ICU nurse for Baptist Memorial Hospital was adamant that, should anything happen to her, her organs and tissue should be donated in order to help others live.
“Usually it was on Friday nights when we’d get our night alone together, and if the weather was right, we’d sit on the back porch and listen to our music, and she brought it up several times,” Tad Daniel said. “It wasn’t even a decision for me; she made me promise her that I’d make sure her organs were donated.”
Those wishes were carried out in September 2009 when 50-year-old Jill Daniel suffered several irreversible cerebral hemorrhages, leaving behind her husband and three children. In the end, the men and women with whom she worked so closely were charged with her care.
“It hits close to home, and it was very touching and very touchy, because it let us know that life is very precious and you never know when the Lord is going to call you,” said Kim Gilley, an organ recovery coordinator for Mid-South Transplant Foundation, who worked with Jill over the years … (read more)
Metro news story for The Commercial Appeal
April 25, 2010
Pepsi contest rewards community projects
A Memphis grassroots organization that advocates public skate parks is backing the Binghampton Development Corp.’s bid to win $250,000 for a park in the neighborhood.
Pepsi, through its site refresheverything.com, is awarding two organizations, people or businesses grants of up to $250,000 every month for one year for ideas that will have a positive impact on their communities.
“Memphis is two places from the bottom among the U.S. for the amount of money spent per person for parks and recreation,” said Dr. Aaron Shafer, founder of the nonprofit Skatelife Memphis and a researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “This is an incredible opportunity for churches to cooperate together and bring in some funds for their communities.”
On Saturday, the Binghampton Development Corp. — under the headline “Get our kids Moving! Build a skate park for inner-city Memphis youth” — was ranked No. 16 among “Current Leaders” in the $250,000 category. Voting ends April 30 … (read more)
Profile/human interest story for The Commercial Appeal
February 14, 2010
Dixie Brown is not your typical cupid. She has no wings, no bow and arrow, and cherubic may have been an adjective used to describe her more than five decades ago when she married and moved south from Brookline, Mass.
Yet every year since 1979, Brown has helped to put a smile on people’s faces by sending out hundreds of “penny cards” to the elderly, who normally may not receive anything on Valentine’s Day.
The cards started as an extension of her work with Sacred Heart Church here and her visitations with shut-ins.
“I met a retired first-grade teacher, and the good Lord whispered in my ear that I could send her a valentine,” Brown said, “and that year she got 25 of them and it tickled her.”… (read more)
Local news feature for The Commercial Appeal
Oct. 10, 2009
As concepts go, this one has barely left the station, yet it seems to already be heading down the right track.
The Memphis Society of Model Railroaders — a 75-member, 50-year-old organization of train enthusiasts and hobbyists — has signed a letter of intent with Central Station and the Memphis Area Transit Authority to develop the Memphis Railroad & Trolley Museum inside the Downtown train station.
“In Memphis, the railroads were vitally important,” said Hugh Teaford, the model railroad society’s president. “The river took goods up and down the country, but trains brought it all inland. There are five trains that come in here now.” … (read more)