Monday, October 30, 2017
How often do we hear, what is wrong with kids today? Perhaps we should changes the conversation to what is right with kids today, and how can we help them harness their talent and strengths to change the world?
Louisville’s own Global Game Changers (GGC), a local nonprofit is doing just that as they seek to empower all children to discover their inner superpower and make the world a better place through unique educational programs and partnerships with schools, community organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies.
If you are familiar with Kentucky to the World, you know we typically feature individuals with strong Kentucky ties. But your hearts will be captured – as were ours – by the story of how GGC came about and what they are working to accomplish.
Jan Helson, a well-known Louisville business owner and philanthropist, nurtured the idea for GGC after she and her husband identified a need to better engage and empower employees within their own company. It came together when their daughter, actress and TONY award-nominated producer Rachel Annette Helson, stepped up to the plate (at age fifteen) to do something about breast cancer. Out of love for her four aunts, all of whom had battled breast cancer, Rachel Annette used her acting talent and big heart to create her own superpower – producing a multi-city theatrical production benefiting breast cancer research. And it worked!
Today, mother and daughter have partnered with family members Anne and Justin Walker, who moved back to Louisville from impressive careers in Washington, D.C. to raise their family. Together they are expanding GGC using their equation: MY TALENT + MY HEART = MY SUPERPOWER™ to change the trajectory of youth in our area to be more emotionally intelligent and socially equipped to become changemakers in our own community (globalgamechangers.org).
Don’t miss this opportunity to join us in a conversation with the founders of GGC, hosted by Sam Corbett, President of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation.
Jan Helson is a dedicated philanthropist, passionate entrepreneur, and successful businesswoman who has been committed to the growth of Louisville throughout her life. She has spent 25+ years with her husband and business partner, Tim, launching and managing new business ventures.
With a desire to create a better approach to education in the 21st century that meets the needs of today’s students and improves their academic outcomes, Jan co-founded Global Game Changers. This program empowers all kids to know that no matter who they are or where they come from, they are important and can make a difference in the world.
Jan has served on the boards of StageOne Family Theatre, Ursuline Campus Schools, Bluegrass Center for Autism, and many other prominent educational boards. Along with her daughter and business partner Rachel Annette, Jan has also written two award winning children’s books that promote the growth of philanthropy in young children.
Rachel Annette Helson is a successful actress, producer, CEO, and philanthropist. A tried and true Louisvillian, Rachel Annette graduated from Sacred Heart Model School and Louisville Collegiate High School with a passion for the arts, and went on to study at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts.
During her time at NYU, Rachel Annette became the youngest producer in Broadway history to be nominated for a TONY Award for her work on Neil LaBute’s “reasons to be pretty.” She also received a Webby Award nomination for creating and co-writing “stalkTALK,” and has appeared in “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Knick,” “Power,” and in the recently released Netflix movie “The Polka King” starring Jack Black. She is the currently the co-founder and CEO of One Cute Dog Productions, a video communications company that creates branded content for national brands.
Rachel Annette uses her talents to raise funds for philanthropic causes including breast cancer prevention, improving the education system, and eradicating childhood hunger. Her own experiences prompted the creation of the Global Game Changers. Rachel Annette continues to affect causes she feels passionate about, and hopes to empower the next generation to do so as well.
Justin Walker serves as the Executive Director of the Global Game Changers and teaches as a professor on the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law Faculty. Raised in Louisville, he is a graduate of Sacred Heart Model School, St. Xavier High School, Duke University, and Harvard Law School.
At Duke, Justin became a nationally recognized blogger following Democratic candidates during the 2004 presidential primaries. He then wrote speeches at the Pentagon for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. At Harvard, he served as an editor for the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, Justin practiced appellate law in Washington, D.C., and clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. In 2011, he was a Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Law & Policy honoree.
Justin joined the faculty of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 2015. There he teaches Legal Writing, advises the Law Review, and supervises students in a collaboration with Central High School to inspire and guide future lawyers.
Originally from North Carolina, Anne Walker is a career writer and researcher who has written for business, academic, political, and nonprofit entities. Completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Duke University and a Master’s in International Affairs at George Washington University, Anne started her career working in the Legislative Affairs Office for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
In 2009, she moved back to Washington, D.C. as an independent writer and researcher, developing and writing policy and procedure manuals, curriculum documents, and public relations and marketing materials for non-profit and business organizations. While still in D. C., Anne joined the Global Game Changers team, first writing policy content and ultimately developing academic curricula.
In 2013, she relocated with her husband, Justin, to his hometown of Louisville, KY, to start a family and work full-time with Global Game Changers.
Sam Corbett is the Executive Director of Future Up, Advancing Louisville’s Public Schools (formerly the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation). For most of his career, Corbett was the owner/operator of Sam Meyers Inc., a 112 year old fourth generation family business started by his maternal grandfather in Louisville, Ky. For the past 25 years, Corbett has been heavily involved in public education in Kentucky. He has served as an elected member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, a member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, on the committee for Transform Education Kentucky member, a Jefferson County Public Education Foundation Board Member, and a member of the Every1Reads Committee. He is married to Mary Michael Corbett and has three grown children.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Reception at 5:30pm and program at 6:30pm.
The Kentucky Center, Bomhard Theater, 501 W. Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
Tickets are $25 – Reserved seating