Each week, this series will introduce you to an exceptional American who unites, rather than divides, our communities. To read more about the American profiled here and more average Americans doing exceptional things, visit onenation.usatoday.com. TALLAHASSEE, Fla.
In 1975, a 19-year-old Nga Nguyen came to Florida from then war-torn Vietnam as a refugee with just a suitcase, all her sweaters layered underneath a London Fog overcoat and platform shoes. Her father had died in the Vietnam War when she was just a year old, and her mother had raised Nguyen and her five siblings alone.
After her 9-to-5 advertising specialist job at The Florida Bar Journal & News, Lisa Shuman reserves the weekends for volunteering at local events. Whether it's Word of South at Cascades Park or a LeMoyne Art Center show, you'll likely find her volunteering somewhere around town - as long as the times don't overlap.
On a typical Saturday, you'd see Kimberly "Joey" Tran sporting heart-shaped sunglasses and a black leather jacket. Or you'd see the Tallahassee native wearing something flashy, black and pink, sipping a cortadito at All Saints Café before a miles-long bike ride through the park. That's until nighttime kicks in.
Frank Patterson, Chief Creative Officer of Pulse Evolution, a digital production company, speaking at the last Moonshot Night event. (Photo: Courtesy of Bulldog Strategy Group.) Jeremiah Murphy's curiosity is seldom satisfied. Especially when it comes to space - and all the mysteries of the celestial realm.
Kristen Costa always wanted to be a mom. When the news came about that she was pregnant, Costa and her husband Steve planned a "baby moon" to Hawaii toward the end of her pregnancy. While she was there, Costa noticed a strange-looking spot on her right arm.
The motorcycle looks reminiscent of vehicles on the set of the 1998 World War II classic movie like "Saving Private Ryan," with that distinct shade of green and black accents. But it was actually built by a team of technicians at Tallahassee's local Harley-Davidson dealership.
President Trump rescinded public school protections for transgender students on Wednesday. Now, Leon County Schools and Florida State University are reassuring transgender students they will still support them. In May 2016, the Obama administration had issued guidelines about Title IX, a federal law that says no individual should face discrimination on the basis of sex.
Refugees haven't been getting a lot of love from some politicians lately. So in honor of Valentine's Day, students at Florida State University want to make those who came to America looking for a safe haven feel loved. After all the serenading and love poems for sweethearts - they wrote love notes for refugees.
Team Hope Walk will be raising funds to fight Huntington's disease, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements, sporadic moods, emotional disorders, and trouble walking, swallowing and reasoning.
Her creative compulsions usually hit during the unfortunate wee hours of 1 to 5 in the morning. That's when Jane Kirkendoll stands at her kitchen counter, embellishing a new hat with long ribbons, vibrant flowers, shimmering lace or any other bright material she finds - until she's too tired to stand any longer.
On the morning of Feb. 23, 2014, UCF student Brooke Dawkins was hit by a truck as she crossed Alafaya Trail and Gemini Boulevard. Just days later, the 19-year-old Kappa Delta sister was removed from life support after suffering a severe brain injury.
It started when she looked into the eyes of a little Haitian refugee girl seven years ago on a trip to the Bahamas. She was dressed simply in a slightly weathered white sweater that matched the beads in her hair. Though a bit shy, the girl effortlessly smiled for the camera in the middle of the simple refugee camp.
Her mother-in-law dying of cancer, a local woman wanted to sell people on a way to quit. Now she might have made it even safer.
Photography and Design