Featured HooplaBIZ: Chocomize is a custom chocolate bar company started by three Columbia graduates straight out of college. With the recession the guys realized that they needed to find a more unconventional route to make a living. They decided to capitalize on the growing phenomenon of online shopping and mix it with their love of chocolate. Their site allows customers to chose from a huge list of ingredients--anything from candy and nuts to gold flakes and bacon--to create their dream chocolate bar.
The Ivy Girl Academy is a leadership training program for teenage girls in South Jordan, Utah, and it culminates with a pageant that's a little different from the typical kind of beauty contest. At the Ivy Girl pageants, the contestants showcase leadership skills that they've developed over the course of their time with the Academy. Leading up to the pageant is a four-month intensive program consisting of 30 hours of service, character-building challenges, and mentorship of younger Ivy Girls through community clubs.
Started as a social experiment in Venice Beach, California, the Community Healing Gardens has grown into so much more. Co-founder Nicole Landers initially wanted to develop a framework for introducing new and long-standing residents of her neighborhood to one another, and her mind made a natural leap.
Most people know them for their coffee, but that's not why we're celebrating Starbucks today. Because coffee is not what brought a young Kenyarah Williams to Starbucks' doors. What she wanted was a solid job, and that's what Starbucks offered her. Kenyarah had her first child at eighteen, and she quickly found herself working three jobs to support a growing family. When she started at Starbucks as a barista 9 years ago, her place of employment was outside of her neighborhood of Englewood in Chicago. Today, Kenyarah is thriving as a store manager at a shop in Englewood, and is helping to bring opportunities like the one she grabbed to other young people in her community.
We've met a lot of amazing organizations and non-profits over the years, especially ones that do amazing things to help shelter dogs, who are close to euthanasia, find love and forever homes. Some of these organizations are small and community based, while others cover a larger regional or national footprint. No matter their size, what they do to support these dogs is nothing short of inspirational.
The Trenton Thunder, a minor league baseball affiliate of the NY Yankees, has an unusual way of getting through the dog days of summer. If you attend their home games, you will find Golden Retrievers serving as the "bat dogs" and mascots for the minor league baseball team.
Air Hollywood is the world's largest aviation-themed entertainment studio, but that's not the only feature that makes it special. Every year, for one night only, Air Hollywood opens its hangar to the public for a special event called Open Sky for Autism.
Do you ever wonder how veterans cope with life once they come home from combat? After being trained to be on high-alert 24/7, what's it like for them to integrate back into everyday society? It raises the question: our military members protect us, but who protects them?
Jack Cunningham is a normal kid. He does well in school. He loves playing sports and hanging out with friends and family. He also happens to be missing both of his legs... But he hasn't let his condition stop him from living life to the fullest.