They Inspire Us

Meet Seven Bold Women With Fresh Ideas and Big Dreams

Whether they’re running a billion-dollar business or starting a nonprofit on a shoestring budget, these women are challenging and shaping what we’ve always a...

09/17/2020 By Jessika Ward, Megan McDonald, Giulia Heyward, Kay Kipling, Susan Burns, Allison Forsyth, and Ilene Denton

The Teacher

Neirda Lafontant Paves the Way for Future Innovators in S.T.E.A.M. Careers

A dynamic speaker and motivator, Lafontant created the nonprofit FUNducation in 2019 to give kids an opportunity to build robots, learn about forensics, explore coding and more.

09/17/2020 By Jessika Ward

First Person

What It's Like to Visit The Ringling as a Young Black Woman

Jessika Ward asks herself how the world sees her—and is surprised to find answers at The Ringling’s “Being Seen” exhibit.

07/08/2020 By Jessika Ward

Black Lives Matter

A New Facebook Group for Black Businesses Takes Off

The group now has more than 10,500 members.

06/10/2020 By Jessika Ward

Troubled Times

Sarasota's Black Community Reacts to the Death of George Floyd

A chorus of voices speaks out about racism, justice and our future.

06/02/2020 By Susan Burns, Megan McDonald, Heather Dunhill, Kay Kipling, Jessika Ward, and Cooper Levey-Baker

Signal boost

School Buses Are Providing Internet Access to Students Who Don't Have It at Home

The School District of Manatee County has converted 25 of its buses into Wi-Fi hotspots that park at community centers and churches.

05/21/2020 By Jessika Ward

We Tried It

Get a Kick Out of Your Workout at iLoveKickboxing

The fun, approachable kickboxing studio recently opened in the Rosemary District.

03/12/2020 By Jessika Ward

Killroy Was Here

Kevin Smith Screens Trailer for Sarasota-Shot Movie at Ringling College

"I’m in my environment when I’m around kids who want to make a movie," Smith said Monday. "I was once that kid."

02/25/2020 By Jessika Ward