Our lives are defined by key moments, sometimes expected, sometimes unexpected. Love Takes Action season one explores stories of people putting their love in action in real life situations or during extraordinary events, sharing moments of compassion, strength, resiliency, and humanity. Independent experts will offer insights, takeaways, and inspiration for us all to act upon our love. Presented by New York Life Insurance Company.

Season preview: Love Takes Action is a new podcast exploring rich and compelling stories of people putting their love in action in everyday situations or during extraordinary events, sharing emotional moments of love, strength, resiliency, and humanity. Independent experts offer insights, takeaways, and inspiration. Listen to a preview of season one here.


Season 1: 

Episode 1: Jamel Jones, A Family First

Jamel Jones, Company Commander, U.S. Army, grew up in a community where every day was a fight to survive and there was little hope for or expectation of an education. But the encouragement, guidance, and love from the unsung heroes in the local Boys and Girls Club and others in Jamel’s life propelled him to fulfill his dream of attending college. Longing to be a leader and give back to his community, he heads down an unanticipated path into the military. And, as his friend Shelby says of him, “the arrow has not landed yet.”

Expert Insight: Dr. Steven Rose, president of Passaic County Community College, discusses the challenges and opportunities for first-generation college students and issues of financial aid for low-income families.

Listen to episode one here.

Read a transcript of the episode here.

Or listen on your favorite podcast player:

Episode 2: The Richardson Family, Adopting a New Outlook

Same-sex couple Renee and Kate Richardson made a life-changing decision to grow their family and adopt through the foster care system. Their intention to adopt one child over the age of ten quickly shifts to adopting two sets of younger siblings with very different backgrounds, including trauma and special needs. It may get noisy around the house at times, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Expert Insight: Scarlet Bell Moore, an attorney specializing in child custody, with an 18-year affiliation with the Department of Social Services in South Carolina, shares her experience of advocating for children in foster care and adoption cases.

Listen to episode two here.

Read a transcript of the episode here.


Or listen on your favorite podcast player:

Episode 3: Matt Fesler, When a Disability Becomes a Superpower

Matt was diagnosed as bipolar in his early teens and spent much of his youth struggling to find his footing. When an injury at a restaurant derailed his plans to become a chef, he discovered the field of technology, where he realized he had the extraordinary ability to fixate and focus on problem solving. He is now established as a software engineer in cutting-edge health tech.

Expert Insight: Vanessa Greenwood, researcher, author, and professor of Media at Montclair State University, discusses the importance of media literacy and technology for youth as they navigate the world and innovate the future.Listen to episode three here.

Read a transcript of the episode here.


Or listen on your favorite podcast player:

More episodes coming soon:

Episode 4: Charlten Henderson, a Cut Above the Rest

Charlten Henderson trained as a mental health counselor and the reticence in his community to seek formal counseling. So, when he opened the Plaza Style barber shop in Springfield, Missouri, it wasn’t just to cut hair and boost confidence; he intended to create a place where community members feel comfortable sharing their personal challenges.

Expert InsightAllison Task, career coach, life coach, and author of Personal Revolution: How to Be Happy, Change Your Life, and Do That Thing You've Always Wanted to Do shares how people can develop a more purpose-driven livelihood.

Episode 5: Rachel Wyman, the Sweet Taste of a Fresh Start

Rachel Wyman started baking bread to support herself in college and ended up finding her passion. She opened Montclair Bread Company in 2012 and, after some challenges, found great success when she added donuts to her menu. The COVID-19 pandemic put her business under new financial pressure, and she found herself pivoting once more, this time to provide her community with fresh produce at a time when it was harder to come by.

Expert Insight: Katherine Danesi, a business coach and brand strategist helping female entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers get the clarity needed to trust their choices, confidently express their mission and message, and build their businesses.

Episode 6: Sheryl Pabatao, a Brave of Heart Story

Sheryl Pabatao comes from a hardworking Filipino family. Early on in the pandemic, she was concerned about her parents, both healthcare workers, who became ill while on the job helping others. Her dad got sick first, and died within a week from COVID-19. Her mother’s situation deteriorated, and she died soon after. Sheryl applies for and is awarded a charitable relief grant from the Brave of Heart Fund, which delivers much-needed aid.

Expert Insight: Trudy Lindsey Dinkins is a program delivery manager for E4E Relief working with the Brave of Heart Fund to ensure the emotional and financial needs of frontline healthcare workers’ families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 are served.

Episode 7: Marian Chauvin, Beyond the Eye of the Storm

Two days before Hurricane Ida made landfall, Marian Chauvin and her family evacuated the family home they had sacrificed so much to build. They returned to find it destroyed. With no hotel rooms or places to stay available, they were forced to take shelter in a shed for several weeks. Their community banded together to supply food, water, and other essentials. Then they learned about the St. Bernard Project, a disaster relief organization that rebuilds housing for low- to moderate-income homeowners, and their life takes a turn for the better.

Expert Insight: Thomas Corley, chief recovery officer, St. Bernard Project. He is responsible for shaping strategic direction, program expansion, and team building for St. Bernard Project disaster recovery and resilience programs.

Episode 8: HAFA farmer/American Heart Association, When Food is Medicine.

A group of Hmong farmers from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota is passing down lessons about agriculture and farming to younger generations. Access to farmland and resources through a grant from the American Heart Association has affected this community in many positive ways, from the financial impacts to their improved health.

Expert Insight:Janssen Hang is the executive director and co-founder of the Hmong American Farmers Association. Janssen grew up growing, harvesting, and selling vegetables for the local food economy and currently runs his family-owned business. He has over 20 years of experience in agriculture and is one of only a few certified Hmong Mekong (cultural broker).


Media contact
Jacqueline Meere
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-5301

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