Cover Stories

Bokyung Byun​ is pushing boundaries as a female guitarist

In an industry that is typically male-dominated and favors Western music sensibilities, many of today’s finest instrumentalists are women of Asian descent. Artists like Bokyung Byun are changing the game and marching to her own beat.

Bokyung Byun​ is a classical guitarist who enjoys a reputation as one of the most sought-after guitarists of her generation. Born in Seoul, Korea, Bokyung began playing guitar at the age of six. At eleven, she took the stage for her first solo recital, leading to an early start in her teen years performing numerous concert tours around Korea, to enthusiastic response, including millions of views on YouTube.

The dark side: Anis Maknojia on filming horror short “Jack” amidst pandemic

The line crossing art and reality blurred during what felt like a real life horror movie, the pandemic of 2020. Amidst the Coronavirus, in order to relieve anxiety and cope with fears many people gravitated towards watching thrillers. 2011’s Contagion quickly became one of the most streamed films due to the eerie parallels mirrored onscreen with the global virus playing out in real time offscreen. A new subgenre even emerged called ‘quar-horror’ that probed at what is scary about staying home. For Actor and producer Anis Maknojia, he was able to cope with the pandemic through creating the horror short Jack.

Army Veteran and author Dee Bryant empowers young girls to be anything they want to be in Girls Wear Combat Boots Too

We all have moments where we are faced with challenges. How we face those challenges and move past them is an important process in growing as an individual. This is hard enough as adults, but children may not have the maturity or tools to move beyond their struggles. So, what can they do? This is where Dee Bryant comes in.

Dee Bryant is retired military leader, a motivational speaker, and a two-time published author, with one goal in mind—helping to inspire children towards positive change. Dee is determined to help kids tackle the issues before them, while getting them to understand, that they can move past their fear consisting of self-doubt, fear of failure, or fear of making mistakes. 

Self-Love & Rebuilding Confidence: Monica Luisi

Everybody gets stuck somewhere along the way, but when you can free yourself to be your true self, you’ll have a beacon that leads you where you need to go. By letting go of the judgement, you embrace positivity and let go of the past. It is a sense of loving yourself, a desire for new experiences and a driving ambition that leads you to make the most of every opportunity that life has to offer. Monica Luisi’s story will inspire you to have self-confidence and faith in yourself despite what others might say.

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Armand Peri on how to develop a success mindset

In order to accomplish what you want in life, the path to success must begin by implementing the right mindset. Through his twenty years of experience in personal development and business, Armand Peri is an expert when it comes to developing a success-orientated mindset. He is dedicated to helping others find their true hidden potential and motivate them to start their lifelong journey towards greatness.

Armand has proven himself in more than one professional field. As his companies and portfolio continue to grow, so does he.

Spreading her wings: Lili Liu on breaking free from her fixed identity as a pianist

We often identify ourselves based on what we do, believing it is our identity. This fixed identity is often tied to the core of our sense of self when defining who we are. Sometimes we are seen as being one thing, when we have more to offer. Renown classical pianist Lili Liu knows this dilemma all too well. Her identity reaches far beyond the practice room or the global stage. Lili is constantly on a mission to reinvent herself, to grow and seek out new ways for self-expression.

Paul Lamar Hunter’s story will inspire you to never give up

Paul Lamar Hunter grew up in a two-bedroom house with twenty-one siblings, often without enough food, clothes or space to sleep to go around. Despite this, he’s overcome the perils of poverty, neglect, abuse and family dysfunction to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. His story is proof that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The proud father of four shows that neither limits nor lineage determines the quality of one’s life. Though adversity changed the trajectory of his life, his touching story about personal triumph and beating the odds will inspire you to persevere.

Off The Grid: Indie hip hop artist Ultra_Eko on intent, manifestation and the higher self

“Life is what is happening to you now, so try to live it as best you can, and keep trying to grow and learn.”

Ultra_Eko is an independent hip hop artist from South London, UK. He writes songs based on the message he wants to put into the world, from a place of passion and love for music. His debut album Off the Grid works on several levels in terms of its meaning and can also be interpreted as a call to arms in terms of how we are all living our lives.

New Age Learning: Introducing Education 3.0 with Chris Kelly, Founder of Onyx Global

Chris Kelly is a Black Founder and Education 3.0 Curator of world-class digital educational experiences. He has spent the last four years teaching at the International College of Beijing, and has now returned to the US to launch Onyx Global, his first initiative as a Founder. He is also a Doctoral Candidate in Adult & Professional Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, focusing on International Education Administration and Leadership. He trains people on how to become efficient effective learners for the rest of their lives through The Onyx Learner Academy, a self-directed digital learning experience that will help learners both in-person and online, for post-COVID and on into the future.