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The Ingredients of Bravery

What happens when a crucial part of your identity slowly starts to slip away? In this episode of The Brave Files, Heather interviews Emily Ann Peterson, author of “Bare Naked Bravery,” about the medical condition that changed her career as a musician, her four favorite ways to build bravery, and the power of storytelling and creative expression. Detailed Show Notes Here.


Breaking Down Barriers

What could transform a quiet, solitary and mistreated child into a woman who travels the world to speak up on behalf of others? Kendra DeLarge’s own difficult path led her to a life of service to other girls and women halfway around the world. Learn about the mission of International Kendra, and how to help Kendra to support and empower the women of West Africa, in this episode of The Brave Files. Detailed Show Notes Here.


The Genie Inside

Who needs a genie in a bottle when there’s one right inside you? That’s the message Silva Mirzoian wants everyone to hear. On this episode of The Brave Files, Heather talks to Silva about being the black sheep of her traditional Armenian family; how she “failed forward” and transformed hardship into opportunity; and what it’s like to be a foreign-born female general contractor in a room full of men! Listen to hear the story behind Silva’s inspirational book, “Jump Start Your Life,” and...


Holding Up The Light

For most of her life, Casee Marie Clow’s anxiety was the elephant in the room that she never acknowledged. As a child, anxiety left her short of breath and full of nervous habits. As she grew older, anxiety began to stand in the way of her ability to do the things she wanted to do until she reached a point where she was scared to even leave the house. But when Casee, herself a writer, heard the words of a famous author, she was inspired and empowered to face that elephant in the room and...


Socially Conscious Living

When Chad Husar and Ernie Berlin saw people freezing on the streets of their home city of Chicago, the two friends founded Lost Format Apparel, a clothing company that helps the homeless through donations of clothing and personal care items. In this week’s episode of The Brave Files, you’ll find out what keeps Chad and Ernie going, and you’ll also be challenged to find a way to make a difference in your own community. Detailed Show Notes Here.


Girl Seeking Joy

What do you do when you’re faced with a hopeful unknown or a certain tragedy? Cassandra Bumpus chose the hopeful unknown, and it changed her life forever. On this week’s episode of The Brave Files, hear the story of how Cassandra’s diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis at a young age has shaped her life, and how a double lung transplant brought her new hope and possibilities. As a young entrepreneur and newlywed, Cassandra describes how she is learning to embrace joy and celebrate the here and...


Season Two Introduction

THE BRAVE FILES | Real Stories of People Living Courageously | Hosted by Life, Business and Success Coach Heather Vickery Welcome to season two of The Brave Files. We will continue talking with everyday people who are stepping out of fear and into bravery. Everything we want in life is just on the other side of uncomfortable, says award-winning entrepreneur and coach Heather Vickery. Each week Heather introduces you to a new guest who is moving beyond fear and doubt to achieve amazing...


An Ally In Verb Form

From helping people in his community through the nonprofit Suburban Unity Alliance to the students he teaches in his classroom and running for U.S. Congress, Anthony Clark has built a life around giving back to create positive change. In this week’s episode of The Brave Files, learn why Anthony keeps his focus local, how he keeps moving forward and speaking out, even when what he has to say may be uncomfortable — and how you can help. Detailed Show Notes Here.


Two Different Worlds

When she was in high school, Kirsten Palladino seemed like just another cheerful student. No one suspected that she was being repeatedly sexually assaulted by her classmates for months on end. In this week’s episode of The Brave Files, Kirsten tells the story of how a confrontation turned into her salvation. Listen now to hear how Kirsten emerged from the world of abuse to become a successful businesswoman and author. Detailed Show Notes Here.


Life Wide Open

Dana Gerrits isn’t just a nomadic, homeschooling, working mother of five. She’s doing all of that while managing a chronic illness. Dana has faced many fears — from feeling like she was at war with her own body, to the uncertainty of the life she and her family have chosen. Through it all, her bravery and trust in herself has kept her going. Learn more about Dana’s life-altering illness, and how her family maintains a sense of community while being constantly on the move, in this week’s...


Brave Out of Necessity

Becoming a mom at age 14 wasn’t part of Kimberly Carson-Richards’ plan. But this week’s Brave Files guest is living proof of how life’s challenges can help us focus on the things that really matter. Now a successful entrepreneur and mother of two, Kimberly shares her inspiring story, talks about her “best mistake,” and explains why being in her 40s is fantastic. FULL SHOW NOTES HERE.


Embrace the Fear

When an accident in the 1980s left Dale Spencer paralyzed from the waist down, the 20-year-old college student quickly saw that his motto of "I'll do it myself" wasn't going to work anymore. Dale's experiences overcoming his own fears motivated him to help others do the same. Learn more about the split-second decision that changed Dale's life, and the new path he made for himself, in this episode.


From Grieving to Giving

In this episode, Alexa Bigwarfe describes how she has channeled two life-changing moments — a brush with gun violence, and the loss of her infant daughter — into a commitment to helping moms and families. This week Heather and Alexa talk about how to find ways to celebrate every moment, the importance of finding a support network, and what happens when soul-searching leads you to new beliefs and convictions. Detailed Shownotes here.


Queer Recovering Homophobe

How does one go from being a severely depressed, homophobic, suicidal teen to being an empowered and passionate leader in the LGBTQ community? Tune in to this week’s episode of The brave Files to meet Mason Aid, who has done just this! In this episode, Mason shares their story of being a troubled teen with suicidal tendencies, living in a deeply conservative and religious small town and hiding who they truly are from everyone, even themself. Mason has gone through the darkest of times and...


The Road to Everywhere

Two years ago, Morgaine Trine had plans to become a curator of ancient Mediterranean history. Those plans, however, kept hitting a brick wall no matter how hard she tried! Feeling utterly defeated, Morgaine realized that what she really wanted was to travel and simply be near this history that she loved so much. Not one for half-steps, Morgaine decided she would begin to travel, set a deadline for when she would leave and then set about figuring out how to support herself. Today, she is...


The Theory of Accountability Part 2

In part two of this interview, we continue to explore Omar’s story and how our country’s criminal justice system failed him and thousands more who are and have been imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. He shares his personal experience of living inside prison and how much extreme mental effort it took to not to become inhuman or broken. Omar constantly improved himself in preparation for his re-entry into the real world and even still, seven years after his release he continues to...


The Theory of Accountability Part 1

Part 1 of Omar Yamini's Interview Imagine being arrested, charged and sentenced to prison for a murder you didn’t commit. This week’s guest, Omar Yamini, experienced just that and he breaks all of the stereotypes of someone who has a murder conviction and served 15 years in prison. Omar reinvented himself after his release, graduated from college, become an education consultant, built a non-profit, started a family, and is an extraordinary member of society and one of the kindest hearted...


Can’t Keep Me Down

Alex Foley is a force and an inspiration. Life presented challenges to her from a very young age when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 9 years old, At the time, treatment for Diabetes was difficult and dangerous with tremendous side effects. Alex went through countless treatments and surgeries that lead to her loss of vision at 27. Despite all this, Alex has had more adventure than most able-bodied people have. She has literally climbed mountains, ridden motorcycles, traveled the...


Their Buns, My Oven

The Brave Files returns this week with an inspiring story of friendship, surrogacy, and jumping into a familiar unknown. Heather sits down with longtime friend, Karen Kitto, this week to talk about her brave and selfless decision to be a surrogate for friends who were unable to carry their own children. One day about 10 years ago Karen had a random thought that simply wouldn’t go away. She thought about being a surrogate for her friends, who were struggling to have their own children....


Proof of Life

This week, Heather talks with Khim Baggett who shares her incredible story of facing both death and life at the same time. At the age of 35, and completely out of the blue, Khim was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shortly thereafter, she also found out she was pregnant with her 3rd child. Prior to finding out she was pregnant, Khim felt sure cancer would be the end of her. Something about seeing her baby’s heartbeat in the doctor’s office gave her “proof of life.” Khim knew that she and her...