First Lady & Friends

Join Utah’s First Lady Abby Cox and her friends for timely and candid conversations with fascinating people with unique perspectives in an effort to unite us all through our common humanity. Each week, Abby dives into discussions on topics ranging from education to motherhood to mental health and beyond. 

Abby is an outspoken advocate for “getting proximate” with people who have different viewpoints, and using her platform as Utah’s First Lady to combat the empathy crisis our country is facing. 

Come along with us as we journey to bring courage, compassion and connection back into our homes and communities... and have a lot of fun along the way! THANK YOU for being our friend.

Episodes

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    March 21, 2024

    Understand and Master Emotional Intelligence with Meikel Reece

    Meikel Reece (Emotional & Relational Intelligence Consultant & Utah Influencer), joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox to talk about how social justice was a fundamental aspect of her home growing up in Provo, UT., her desire to fit in with a predominantly white community when she was younger while being biracial, and how she learned to belong and feel at home with who she is.

    Then we talk about Meikel’s passion for teaching emotional intelligence, learning to understand and process the emotions that we experience, and some strategies for acknowledging our triggers and taking control of them.

    Lastly, we dive into the concerns surrounding trigger behaviors that negatively influence us, and why emotional intelligence can help communities disagree better.

    Related Links

    Instagram: @meikelreece

    Permission to Feel by Mark Bracket

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    March 14, 2024

    Vanessa Quigley on the Success of Chatbooks, the Importance of Family, and Adult Parenting

    Vanessa Quigley (Cofounder of Chatbooks and Host of The MomForce Podcast), joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox to talk about moving back to Utah with her husband, Nate, to help build Chatbooks, how chasing her dreams of becoming an International opera singer shifted once Chatbooks started to take off, and the first viral video that helped put Chatbooks on the map.

    Vanessa also opens up about the impact that Chatbooks has had on strengthening her relationship with her husband, how the family has helped contribute to the company over the years, and what’s next for Chatbooks.

    Then we talk about Vanessa being named Miss Utah USA despite not being from Utah and some of the challenges that are not often talked about with adult parenting.

    Related Links

    Chatbooks: https://chatbooks.com/

    The MomForce Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-momforce-podcast-hosted-by-chatbooks/id1464755075

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    March 8, 2024

    The Undeniable Impact of Unified Sports in Tooele Schools with Superintendent Mark Ernst and Charlie Roberts

    Superintendent Mark Ernst (Tooele County School District) and Charlie Roberts (Assistant Coach for Tooele High School) join Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox to talk about many of the challenges that teachers face nowadays, how social media has impacted the classroom, and the impact that Unified Sports has had on the schools throughout Tooele County.

    Then Superintendent Ernst talks about the inclusion that has come with the introduction of Unified Sports, bridging the differences between regular and special ed experiences in the classroom, and the lifelong friendships that are built through Unified Sports.

    Related Links

    Special Olympics Utah: https://sout.org/

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    February 8, 2024

    Supporting Rural Educators

    In the third episode of our Educator Well-Being series, our hosts are joined by Rachael Black, a WGU graduate and award-winning teacher. Together they explore some of the unique challenges facing rural educators – from funding models and policies that can sometimes skew toward urban schools, to helping educators get access to the services they need to address mental and physical health concerns. Rachael shares some of her innovative practices that fully use available resources, including regional grant funding. She also discusses the importance of collaborative learning groups among educators to build communities of practice that support each other and share knowledge, which is especially important as rural educators often teach more than one subject. Listen to learn about the positive outcomes of educators maintaining a growth mindset.

    About Rachael Black

    Rachael Black is a passionate educator with a strong commitment to transforming education in rural communities. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from WGU since 2016, Rachael is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Learning Experience Design and Educational Technology. With an impressive eight years of teaching experience, she has been recognized for her outstanding contributions, including a nomination for New Teacher of the Year and winning an Innovative Teaching Award from Aledo (Texas) Independent School District.

    Rachael's dedication extends beyond the classroom, as she has successfully secured over $160,000 in educational grants for innovative teaching projects. As a published author, Rachael shares her insights and experiences, advocating for accessible education for all. She has spoken before the Texas Senate in support of a bill aimed at increasing financial aid for adult learners. Rachael's journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to creating meaningful learning experiences and championing educational equity in rural settings.

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    February 2, 2024

    Mariluz Cook on Hosting NBA All-Star Weekend 2023, Being Named Miss Utah USA, and Excelling in a Male-Dominated Field

    Mariluz Cook (Miss Utah USA, Sports Broadcaster, and Host), joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about sharing her culture with others as a Cuban-American, her decision to move to Utah from Florida to pursue sports broadcasting, and where her passion for sports originated when she was younger.

    Then Mariluz talks about her experience being selected to host the Rising Stars and All-Star Saturday night during NBA All-Star weekend last year, how competing in pageants helped persuade her to chase a dream of public speaking, and why she was hesitant to pursue Miss Utah USA as a known broadcaster to avoid being put into a box.

    Lastly, we talk about Mariluz’s experiences in a male-dominated field, some of the amazing women who have paved the way to propel others in the sports landscape, and how approaching an opportunity with a, “Why Not Me?” attitude can help build the confidence to chase your dreams.

    Related Links

    Mariluz Cook: https://www.mariluzcook.com/

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    January 18, 2024

    Advocating For Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education With The Policy Project

    Emily Bell McCormick (Founder & President), Mary Catherine Perry (Director of Policy & Government Affairs), and Kristin Andrus (Community Champion) from The Policy Project join Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about the originations of The Policy Project, the group's efforts to raise awareness of child sexual abuse, and the legislative steps the organization is taking to ensure that all K-6 students receive sexual abuse prevention education through The Safe Child Project.

    We also talk about the importance of having difficult conversations with our children about child sexual abuse prevention, the need for prevention curricula to be taught in schools, and the easiest ways anyone can get involved.

    Lastly, we dive into The Period Project, which was developed by The Policy Project to increase access to menstrual products in schools, workplaces, and public spaces, as well as how The Teen Center Project raised over $18,000,000 to develop Teen Centers in schools throughout the state to support teens in need.

    Related Links

    The Policy Project: https://www.thepolicyproject.org/

    The Safe Child Project: https://www.thepolicyproject.org/thesafechildproject#:~:text=THE%20SAFE%20CHILD%20PROJECT%20SOLUTION,through%20a%20public%2Dprivate%20partnership.

    The Period Project: https://www.thepolicyproject.org/theperiodproject

    The Teen Center Project: https://www.thepolicyproject.org/theteencenterproject

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    January 12, 2024

    Helping Others Achieve Their Dreams with 2023 Spirit of Service Award Recipient – Jared Quan

    Jared Quan (Award-Winning, Best-Selling Author) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about being a 2023 ​Utah Governor Spirit of Service Award Recipient, his work with non-profits throughout the state, and his passion for inspiring others who are interested in reading and writing.

    Jared also shares some of his favorite authors and how his time driving for Lift to pay for expenses that accrued from his son’s heart condition inspired his book, “Lifted: Adventures in Ridesharing”, and the moment that Jared received the call that his son was going to get a heart transplant.

    Then we talk about Jared’s work with both Jimmer Fredette’s and Steve Young’s organizations, the goal of bringing students more access to reading and writing resources, and some of the barriers preventing others from getting involved with volunteering and service.

    Related Links

    Jared Quan: http://www.jaredquan.com/

    List of recipients: https://governor.utah.gov/2023/07/27/gov-spencer-cox-recognizes-recipients-of-second-annual-governors-spirit-of-service-award/

    Fredette Family Foundation: https://jimmerosity.org/

    Forever Young Foundation: https://foreveryoung.org/

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    December 28, 2023

    Our 2023 Review with Sarah Allred!

    Sarah Allred (Director of First Lady Initiatives) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to recap some of our favorite moments of the year which include the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, various service projects, and the ways we’ve been connecting with our youth to help promote positive change in our communities.

    Then we dive into our latest Care Communities project that we’ve been working on to help provide support for our foster families and what we’ve learned from listening to our teachers during our annual Show Up for Teachers conference.

    Lastly, we also talk about our favorite holiday traditions, the best books we read this year, and our favorite meals/restaurants we’ve had. 

    Related Links:

    Show Up Utah: https://www.showuputah.org/

    Demon Copperhead by Barbera King Solver: http://barbarakingsolver.net/books/demon-copperhead/

    Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/22609522

    The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/4934

    Surrender by Bono: https://surrendermemoir.com/

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    December 21, 2023

    The Hope Behind ‘Garbage Bag Girl’ & The Christmas Box House with Celeste Edmunds & Richard Paul Evans

    Celeste Edmunds (The Christmas Box Executive Director, Co-Author of Garbage Bag Girl) and Richard Paul Evans (Author, The Christmas Box Founder, Co-Author of Garbage Bag Girl) join Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about Celeste’s story of publishing ‘Garbage Bag Girl’, sharing her story of survival after being adopted by an abusive family as a child, and the hope and inspiration behind ‘Garbage Bag Girl’.

    Then Richard opens up about the origination of The Christmas Box House and how Christmas Box House aims to change what childhood can look like for children who are victims of abuse, neglect, trafficking, or are facing homelessness.

    We also dive into preventative measures that must be addressed to help protect the future of our children who come from unfortunate circumstances and the impact that drugs and substance abuse have on our struggling youth.

    Related Links:

    Garbage Bag Girl: https://www.amazon.com/Garbage-Bag-Girl-Celeste-Edmunds/dp/1958626635

    The Christmas Box House: https://thechristmasbox.org/

    The Christmas Box: https://richardpaulevans.com/books/the-christmas-box/

    Celeste Edmunds: https://celesteedmunds.com/

    Richard Paul Evans: https://richardpaulevans.com/

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    December 14, 2023

    Helping Others Through Light the World with Aaron Hall

    Aaron Hall (Missionary Department Director for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about how his upbringing taught him the importance of helping others, his journey to joining the Missionary department for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and various ways that parents can help prepare their children to be a successful service missionary.

    We also talk about the Light the World event that took over Times Square in New York City, NY, how Giving Machines create charitable opportunities in our communities, as well as all over the country, and the impact that local charities have on being able to help others through Giving Machines.

    Related Links:

    The Light the World Initiative:
    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/light-the-world

    Giving Machines: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/light-the-world/giving-machines

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    December 8, 2023

    Curtis Bennett on inspiring, motivating, and engaging with One Kind Act a Day

    Curtis Bennett (Executive Director at One Kind Act a Day) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about the creation behind One Kind Act a Day and how the organization is focused on introducing kindness throughout early education to create positive change in society, one kind act at a time.

    Then we dive into the science behind the psychological effects that follow negative thoughts and actions, the positive effects that come along with being kind and helping others, and how everyone can get involved with One Kind Act a Day to bring kindness in their own way.

    Lastly, we talk about the need to have a sense of personal belonging to create a community of caring.

    Related Links:

    One Kind Act a Day: https://thepowerofkind.org/

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    November 21, 2023

    Solving Conflict and Disagreeing Better with Steve Young

    Steve Young (Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback) joined Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, and Governor, Spencer Cox, last month to share his experiences and views on solving conflict and disagreeing better with each other at this year's Fall One Utah Summit.

    The audio quality is less than what you're used to but we're sure you'll love the conversation!

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    November 17, 2023

    Thriving Teachers, Schools, and Communities

    Educator Well-Being: From Principles to Practice Podcast

    This podcast is brought to you by Utah First Lady Abby Cox and Western Governors University Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of the School of Education Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, facilitated by Marty Carpenter of Northbound Strategy. This limited series focuses on supporting teachers nationwide by providing strategies and resources to help educators thrive. This podcast is designed as a discussion forum with topics important to classroom teachers as well as school district leaders and other community members who have a vested interest in the well-being of our nation’s educators. Hosts and guests will share practical advice, tips, and tools to support teachers and help them thrive. Also included in each episode are reflective questions to help expand educator expertise.


    Episode 2: Thriving Teachers, Schools, and Communities

    In this episode, the hosts are joined by Amelia Azul-Elgas, Learning Experience Designer/Online Community Engagement Specialist on the Healthy Learning Team in WGU’s School of Education. Together, they explore the traits and characteristics that can help create environments where teachers and students will thrive. Azul-Elgas talks about taking a research-based, character-focused approach that contributes not only to the well-being of the teacher, but also to the classroom, school, and the community it serves. They share empirical data and results from 500 worldwide studies with more than half a million students to understand what works in this holistic approach that begins with self-reflection and includes compassion, empathy, respect, critical thinking, and other key proven characteristics to positively impact teachers while also creating healthy thriving classrooms. The panel also shares personal and professional experiences that highlight the importance of teacher candidates having this training embedded in their curriculum to build resilience and reduce burnout.
     

    About Amelia Azul-Elgas

    Amelia Azul-Elgas is a former classroom teacher who worked with more than 3,000 pre-service teachers as faculty in the WGU School of Education during her first seven years at WGU. She currently serves as learning experience designer/online community engagement specialist on the Healthy Learning team in WGU’s School of Education. She is also the elected director of membership for the WGU Latinx Employee Resource Group. With over 25 years of experience in education, community, and government organizations, Amelia is passionate about advancing equity and thriving in education. She holds a master’s degree in Education from UC Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Community Development from New College. She also has a certification in trauma-informed Dynamic Mindfulness from Niroga Institute.

    Related Links

    WGU Website: https://www.wgu.edu/about/governance/teachers-college/educator-well-being-from-principles-to-practice-podcast.html#

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5v7jcd16wVNVj641jmBHmz

    WGU YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPA99rNPivw

    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/2-thriving-teachers-schools-and-communities/id1715758947?i=1000634810273

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    November 10, 2023

    Presenting Your Best Self and Becoming an Advocate for Change with Sarah Sun, Miss Utah 2023

    Sarah Sun (Miss Utah 2023) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about her experience growing up as a Chinese-American in Cedar City, UT, Utah’s first monument honoring Chinese railroad workers that’s set to be displayed on the southeast lawn of the state capitol, and how her mother’s desire to be more fluent in English helped inspire Sarah to be passionate about her education.

    Then we dive into Amy Chua’s book, ‘Political Tribes’, the correlations between various disciplinary parenting styles and how they develop positive habits in children, as well as how Sarah’s parent's support for her passions helped lay the groundwork for her to become Miss Utah.

    Lastly, Sarah opens up about using her platform as Miss Utah to advocate for better education and programming in prisons, the impact that different cultural evolutions have had on modesty, and why we need more women in leadership.

    Related Links:

    Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua

    Miss Utah: https://missutah.org/

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    November 3, 2023

    How the Utah PTA Sets Our Children Up for Success with Corey Fairholm

    Corey Fairholm (Utah PTA President) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about how she initially got interested in the Utah PTA, the need for parents to be more involved with their children’s education to give their children the best chance at success, and why there are always opportunities to help serve our kids through the PTA.

    Corey also talks about how the PTA is bringing support to schools and communities throughout the state, the work that the PTA board puts in during the General Session to advocate for our children, and why attending the local school board meetings is so important to understand the changes that are being made in schools.

    Lastly, we dive into the importance of having a great parent-teacher relationship to help reinforce a child’s education.

    Related Links:

    Utah PTA
    https://www.utahpta.org/

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    October 19, 2023

    The Importance of Healthy Learning and Working Environments for Teachers

    Educator Well-Being: From Principles to Practice Podcast

    This podcast is brought to you by Utah First Lady Abby Cox and Western Governors University Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of the School of Education Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, facilitated by Marty Carpenter of Northbound Strategy. This limited series focuses on supporting teachers nationwide by providing strategies and resources to help educators thrive. This podcast is designed as a discussion forum with topics important to classroom teachers as well as school district leaders and other community members who have a vested interest in the well-being of our nation’s educators. Hosts and guests will share practical advice, tips, and tools to support teachers and help them thrive. Also included in each episode are reflective questions to help expand educator expertise.

    Episode 1: The Importance of Healthy Learning and Working Environments for Teachers

    In this episode, the hosts are joined by Dr. Mamie L. Pack, WGU’s Manager of Healthy Learning. In a “Help the Helper” approach, Dr. Pack shares the six Healthy Learning Pillars at WGU that are being integrated into the curriculum for teacher preparation and explains why helping teachers requires a holistic approach. The conversation goes deep into specific steps teachers can take to protect and grow their healthy learning and working environments through self-reflection, community, and advocacy,  all to increase educator wellness so teachers and students can thrive in today’s classrooms.

    About Dr. Mamie L. Pack

    Dr. Pack is the manager of healthy learning at WGU.  With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Pack is an innovative and transformational leader with a proven history of building safe spaces for faculty and students to thrive. As a thought leader promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, Dr. Pack is committed to amplifying diverse voices in education centering her work in restorative and trauma-informed practices to improve equitable outcomes for all learners. She is passionate about breaking barriers in education and creating inclusive environments for healthy learning. Dr. Pack holds a Ph.D. in Education and a M.Ed. in Divergent Learning.

     

    Related Links

    WGU Website: https://www.wgu.edu/about/governance/teachers-college/educator-well-being-from-principles-to-practice-podcast.html#

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5v7jcd16wVNVj641jmBHmz

    WGU YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh-kMylOxkw

    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/2-thriving-teachers-schools-and-communities/id1715758947?i=1000634810273

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    October 10, 2023

    How The Ron Clark Academy is Transforming the Classroom with Michael Bonner

    Michael Bonner (Teacher at the Ron Clark Academy, International Speaker, CEO of Bonnerville) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about developing ways for students to be passionate about the process of learning, how the Ron Clark Academy is transforming the classroom, and why pouring love into students is so important for their growth in and outside of the classroom.

    We also talk about the challenges that Michael faces in the education system, some of the ways that he recharges to stay focused on being the best teacher possible, and why we all need to be advocates for our teachers as a community.

    Lastly, we dive into practical ways to talk about social media in the classroom, how to navigate AI in the classroom, and why traditional educational curriculums may need to be reformed to fit in today's era of technology.

    Related Links:

    The Ron Clark Academy
    https://ronclarkacademy.com/

    Michael Bonner
    https://twitter.com/MichaelBonner_
    https://www.michael-bonner.com/

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    October 6, 2023

    Talking All Things Utah Nonprofits with Saru Ramanan

    Saru Ramanan (Manager of Marketing and Communication at the Utah Nonprofits Association) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about feeling a sense of home as soon as she moved to Utah, bridging connections across different cultures and communities, and the root of her passion for working with nonprofits. 

    Then we talk about how nonprofits collaborating with each other have the ability to create great opportunities for our communities, the competition that arises amongst nonprofit funding, and various ways that the UNA helps guide nonprofits throughout the state.

    We also talk about the integral role that nonprofits play in our communities and how nonprofits can address funding challenges by seeking help through philanthropic entities.

    Related Links:

    Utah Nonprofits Association
    https://utahnonprofits.org/

    UNA Job Board
    https://utahnonprofits.org/resources/job-board

     

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    September 21, 2023

    From Silicon Valley Entrepreneur to Humanitarian Advocate with Amy Antonelli

    Amy Antonelli (CEO of Humanitarian Experience, Inc.) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about her experience working in the Silicon Valley boom, the impact that Steve Jobs had on her passion for creating positive change, and how a natural disaster completely shifted her mindset towards helping others.

    Amy also opens up about her experience working in the leprosy colonies that existed throughout India while working with Rising Star Outreach, being invited by Mark Zuckerberg to join Facebook to change their internal culture, and the events that led her to joining HXP to continue her passion for humanitarianism.

    Lastly, we talk about the early beginnings of Humanitarian XP, the connections that HXP aims to develop through volunteerism, and some of the amazing places that HXP has been able to serve over the past few years.

    Related Links:

    Humanitarian XP: https://www.humanitarianxp.org/

    Rising Star Outreach: https://risingstaroutreach.org/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    September 7, 2023

    Giving service on this year's 9/11 Days of Service with Curtis Bennett

    Curtis Bennett (Co-chair of JustServe) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to share his experience growing up in Mesa, AZ, and to talk about how mentors he gained in Mesa made an incredible impact on his work ethic. 

    Curtis also shares the lessons he and his family learned while living in Santiago, Chile, learning to be successful in the business sector, and why it's so fundamental to find a positive mentor in life to promote healthy personal growth.

    Then we dive into just a few of the service opportunities that JustServe provides throughout Utah, why it's beneficial to get out of our normal routine to serve our communities, and various ways that you can participate in this year's upcoming 9/11 Days of Service to honor those killed and injured on 9/11.

    Related Links: 

    JustServe: https://www.justserve.org/

    Mentors International: https://mentorsinternational.org/

    9/11 Days of Service: https://911day.org/

    Tiny Tim's Foundation for Kids: https://tinytimstoys.org/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    August 31, 2023

    Love, Belonging, and Service: How Volunteerism Can Counteract Hate and Foster Unity with Mike Moon

    Mike Moon (Associate Director at UServeUtah) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to discuss finding his passion for volunteerism, pursuing a career in higher education, and introducing volunteerism to students of all ages.

    We also talk about UServeUtah's impact on volunteerism throughout Utah, the bond built among communities when people come together to help serve each other, and the benefits we receive when we bake service and volunteerism into activities that we already partake in throughout our lives.

    Then we discuss Utah Philanthropy Day, a day used to celebrate Utah's outstanding philanthropists and volunteers that takes place on November 15, 2023, as well as UServeUtah's upcoming business training program, Leading for Impact, that will teach businesses to think more philanthropically.

    Related Links:

    UServeUtah: https://userve.utah.gov/

    Utah Philanthropy Day: https://utahphilanthropyday.org/

    AmeriCorps: https://americorps.gov/serve

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    August 17, 2023

    National Governor's Association and 'Disagree Better' with Gov. Spencer Cox

    In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Gov. Spencer Cox to talk about some life updates, their recent trip to Atlantic City, NJ for the National Governor's Association where the governor was elected chair of the NGA, and the importance of building bipartisan relationships with other governors throughout the country.

    Then we talk about the 2023-2024 NGA Chair's Initiative, Disagree Better, an initiative that will address being better about disagreeing with each other and polarization through public debates, service projects, public service announcements, and other various efforts.

    Lastly, we dive into what we've been reading recently.

    Related Links:

    Disagree Better: https://www.nga.org/disagree-better/

    Them: Why We Hate Each Other-and How to Heal by Ben Sass

    A Time to Build by Yuval Levin

    Love Your Enemies by Arthur C. Brooks

    How America Got Mean by David Brooks

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    August 3, 2023

    Sharon Eubank on the need for humanitarian aid and service in our communities

    In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Sharon Eubank (Director of Humanitarian Services for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to talk about what she learned from teaching English as a second language in Japan after graduating from BYU, her passion for service and helping others, and the different types of humanitarian aid that she has been a part of throughout her career.

    We also dive into some of the service opportunities that are available to Utah, why volunteering has become so important for the state, and how humanitarian aid has helped build stronger communities. 

    Related links:

    Just Serve: https://www.justserve.org/

    Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    July 27, 2023

    Katie Donoviel on improving English language skills with the English Skills Learning Center

    In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Katie Donoviel (Executive Director of the English Skills Learning Center) to talk about why becoming a teacher was such an important goal of hers growing up, how she was introduced to the English Skills Learning Center and the English language learning programs that the ESLC provides for low-income adult immigrants and refugees.

    We also dive into how trauma can often impact meaningful learning, some of the issues that immigrant and refugee populations will experience while trying to learn a new language, and the need to be aware of triggers that might create a negative atmosphere for learning.

    Lastly, we talk about some of the success stories that have been made possible thanks to the ESLC and some unexpected moments that Katie has experienced while working in the profession.

    Related Links:

    English Skills Learning Center: https://www.eslcenter.org/

    Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

    Show Up For Teachers: https://www.showupforteachers.org/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    July 21, 2023

    Stephen LeFevre on World Trade Center Utah's impact throughout the state

    In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Stephen LeFevre (Chief of Staff, Director of Strategic and Foreign Affairs with World Trade Center Utah) to talk about his passion for international affairs, his experience with attending graduate school in New York City during COVID, and WTC Utah's impact on the state. 

    We also talk about WTC Utah's focus on making Utah a prominent state globally, how trade missions help Utah businesses grow, and what we can learn from international relations during a trade mission.

    Related Links:

    WTC Utah: https://www.wtcutah.com/

    Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    June 29, 2023

    Trade mission recap, 2023 Special Olympics World Games, and TED Talks with Kirsten Rappleye and Sarah Allred

    In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Kirsten Rappleye (Director of First Lady’s Initiatives) and Sarah Allred (Deputy Director of First Lady's Initiatives) to talk about the First Lady's recent trade mission to Europe, attending the opening ceremonies for the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, and what our TED Talks would be if we were to give one.

    We also talk about this year's Governor's Mansion Artist Awards, a few of our favorite recent service opportunities, and celebrating Bryce Canyon National Park's 100th birthday.

    Lastly, we preview our upcoming second annual Show Up For Teachers Conference on July 19, 2023, at the Mountain America Expo Center, the latest regarding the National Governor's Association, and what we've been reading lately.

    Related links:

    Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

    Special Olympics: https://www.specialolympics.org/

    2023 Show Up for Teacher Conference: https://www.showupforteachers.org/event/742b0a6b-f9cc-4a75-ad86-135e3f15ed85/summary

    Show Up for Teachers: https://www.showupforteachers.org/

    PBS Utah - Art Elevated: https://www.pbsutah.org/pbs-utah-productions/series/art-elevated-the-governors-mansion-artist-series/

    Bryce Canyon: https://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm

    Utah Foster Care: https://utahfostercare.org/

    Show Up for Serving: https://www.showuputah.org/service

    From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks: https://arthurbrooks.com/from-strength-to-strength#:~:text=From%20Strength%20to%20Strength%20is,is%20well%20within%20our%20reach.

    Horse by Geraldine Brooks: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/59109077

    Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/60194162

    Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/22609522

    Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/58065033

    Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor: https://www.mrjamesnestor.com/breath-book

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    June 23, 2023

    Dehenna Davison shares how Levelling Up aims to create equal opportunities throughout the UK

    Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Dehenna Davison (MP for Bishop Auckland & Levelling Up Minister) to talk about learning proper work ethic from her father at an early age in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, how the sudden passing of her father shaped her formative years, and becoming one of the youngest female Members of Parliament (MPs) at twenty-six years old.

    We also dive into the dangers of social media organically producing political echo chambers, how Levelling Up is focused on creating opportunities for everyone across the UK, and the need for more youth who are interested in politics to help make positive change.

    Then we talk about various ways we can have healthy disagreements to better understand one another and the toll that social media can have on the mental health of our youth.

    You can also learn about the amazing work that the World Trade Center Utah is doing to elevate Utah’s global status and international engagement below.

    Related Links: 

    Dehenna's social links: Twitter, Facebook

    Levelling Up: https://levellingup.campaign.gov.uk/

    World Trade Center Utah: https://www.wtcutah.com/

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    June 8, 2023

    Julie Castle on how Best Friends is changing the future for pets in shelters

    Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Julie Castle (CEO, Best Friends Animal Society) to talk about how rural Utah naturally embodies Utahns with an entrepreneurial spirit and the moment she decided she was going to give up her career in law and politics to move to Kanab and work for Best Friends. 

    Julie shares what her jobs were while working for Best Friends during her early years there, how Best Friends' is leading the "no-kill" movement, and why Michael Vick's dogfighting operation became a monumental moment in the history of Best Friends.

    Then we dive into Best Friends' goal of nationwide no-kill shelters by 2025.

    Related Links:

    Best Friends Animal Society: https://bestfriends.org/

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    June 2, 2023

    Pam Hayes and Jay Francis on reducing bullying with Stand 4 Kind

    Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Pam Hayes (Founder, Stand 4 Kind) and Jay Francis (Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Miller Family Philanthropy) to talk about how Stand 4 Kind is tackling bullying in schools throughout the state, some of the programs involved within the curriculum, and the impact that cyberbullying and social media is having on our students.

    Then we talk about how the data on bullying is consistently shifting how Stand 4 Kind approaches individual programs and different ways we can teach our children to be more empathetic and compassionate.

    Related Links: 

    Stand 4 Kind: https://stand4kind.com/

    Stand 4 Kind Mobile App: https://forms.monday.com/forms/39c909638e848eec1e73eaac97ef9fca?r=use1

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    May 25, 2023

    Showing up for foster care with Liz Rivera and Deborah Lindner on the Fostering Conversations podcast

    Utah's First Lady Abby Cox and Utah Governor Spencer Cox join Liz Rivera (Director of Education) and Deborah Lindner (Director of Communications) with Utah Foster Care on the Fostering Conversations podcast this week to talk about all things Utah foster care.

    We've heard from countless foster families, teens and children about what the state of Utah can do to Show Up for Foster Care and in this week's episode we talk about some of our goals for improving the lives of children and families in the coming months.

    Related Links: 

    Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

    Utah Foster Care: https://utahfostercare.org/get-involved/volunteer/

    Fostering Conversations podcast: https://utahfostercare.org/fostering-conversations-podcast/

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    May 18, 2023

    Advertising for a better world with Steve Wright

    Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Steve Wright (Vice President at Boncom) to talk about finding his passion for advertising at an early age, how he adapted to moving from Canada to Springville, Utah as a sixteen year old, and what he learned from moving to New York City after graduating from Brigham Young University.

    We also talk about Boncom's drive for advertising that focuses on making a positive impact throughout the state, how the advertising and marketing landscape has evolved in the digital era, and some of our favorite books that we've been reading.

    Related Links:

    Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13425592-devil-in-the-grove

    Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/123857637

    Green Lights: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52838315-greenlights

    Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story: https://www.goodreads.com/cs/book/show/61065813

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    May 11, 2023

    Emily Cloke talks about “The Big Help Out” and the coronation of Charles III and Camilla

    Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Emily Cloke (British Consul General in Los Angeles) to talk about “The Big Help Out” service project, how we're celebrating teachers in the state, and why championing the youth is such a fundamental topic in the UK.

    We also talk about the long-lasting impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, why service and community flourished during the various lockdowns, and how education helped inspire Emily's passion for pursuing law and politics. 

    Lastly, we talk about some of the places that Emily has been to in Utah and some of the "must-see" places that she needs to visit.

      Related Links:

      Emily Cloke Biography: https://www.gov.uk/government/people/emily-cloke

      Emily Cloke Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmilyClokeUK

      The Big Help Out: https://thebighelpout.org.uk/

      Show Up Utah: https://www.showuputah.org/

      Educator Wellness: https://www.showuputah.org/wellness

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      May 4, 2023

      Caring for our autistic friends after 21 with Sumiko Martinez and Nathan Anderson

      Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Sumiko Martinez (Director of Autism After 21 Utah Project, Madison House Autism Foundation) and Nathan Anderson (Sr. Director of Public Affairs at Union Pacific and father of two sons on the Autism Spectrum) to talk about their shared passions for promoting awareness for those who are living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, programs that Autism After 21 is developing to be more neuroinclusive for those who are on the Autism spectrum, and how communities can come together to help build better toolkits 

      We also talk about innovative housing features that can provide a better living experience for families with a member who may be on the Autism spectrum and why it's so important to listen to our nuerodivergent friends in order to create better experiences in all aspects of life.

      Related Links:

      Autism After 21: https://madisonhouseautism.org/projects/utah/

      Madison House Autism Foundation: https://madisonhouseautism.org/

      Neuro-Inclusive Housing Utah: https://www.neuroinclusiveutah.org/

      Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent's Expectations: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25937665-love-that-boy

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      April 28, 2023

      Shawn and Carrie Bradley at the One Utah Summit

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox and Utah Governor, Spencer Cox, have an amazing conversation with Shawn (former NBA star) and Carrie Bradley that took place at the One Utah Summit in October of last year.

      We dive into what it means to perservere through hardship, overcoming some of the mental health struggles that the two have experienced, and the joys of blending a family together.

      You can get involved in the One Utah Summit by visiting https://oneutahsummit.com/.

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      April 20, 2023

      Building cultural bridges with friends from the Emerald Hills Institute

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by friends from the Emerald Hills Institute to talk about what Ramadan means to them, their experiences with honoring Ramadan during school, and various ways that Utah has been a welcoming place for Muslim traditions and a few ways that the state can be more inclusive.

      We also talk about why it's so important to share our cultural and religous experiences to better understand all of Utah's amazing communities, as well as how some of the biggest struggles as a parent are universal.

      Lastly, we dive into some of our favorite service projects that we've done throughout the state.

      Featured Guests:

      Zeynep Oguz
      Nur Azametli
      Zena Altawallbeh
      Neset Kablan
      Hulya Kaplan

      Related links:

      Emerald Hills Institute: https://emeraldhillsinstitute.org/

      Fill The Pot: https://www.fillthepot.org/

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      April 13, 2023

      Emily Auman opens up about her son, Everett, being diagnosed with Kleefstra syndrome

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Emily Auman, who talks about the moment she found out that her son, Everett, had been diagnosed with Kleefstra syndrome. She also shares how she found solace in knowing that there would always be a place for Everett, and how we should constantly be re-evaluating our expectations for our children.

      Emily also opens up about Everett's experience with growing up with friends through Special Olympics, why the sense of belonging is so crucial to building strong friendships, and how Special Olympics is creating such an amazing community for so many families.

      Related links:

      What is Kleefstra Syndrome?: https://www.kleefstrasyndrome.org/what-is-kleefstra-syndrome/

      Special Olympics of Utah: https://sout.org/

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      April 6, 2023

      Vinay Kalva & Anagha Rao share how teens can live healthier lifestyles with Live Well Teens

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Vinay Kalva & Anagha Rao to talk about the inspiration behind their committment to service, their decision to pursue the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and who have been their biggest influences in their education and dedication to service.

      Then we talk about the the inspiration behind Live Well Teens, what their researching process looks like, and why they decided to target the physical, mental, and emotional needs of teenagers. 

      We also dive into the coorelation between social media and various mental illness in our youth, how the fear of missing out is leading to many teens to feel like they need to rely on social media to stay social, and alternative ways that teens can stay engaged with their friend groups outside of social media.

      Related links:

      Live Well Teens Non-Profit: https://www.livewellteens.org/

      International Baccalaureate (IB) program: https://www.ibo.org/

      To get involved, you can visit: https://www.livewellteens.org/contact/

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      March 30, 2023

      Show Up for Teachers 2023 with Sally Steed, Lynette Cloward, and Sarah Allred

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Sally Steed (Vice President of Sales at Deseret News), Lynnette Cloward (Director of Events at Utah Business), and Sarah Allred (Deputy Director of First Lady's Initiatives) to talk about our upcoming second annual Show Up for Teachers educator wellness conference on July 19th, 2023!! We also talk about the complimenting gala at the Grand America sponsored by Deseret News and Utah Business and why it's so important to show our gratitude for all of the teachers in the state.

      We also talk about why it's important that our teachers continue to share their stories of finding success in the classroom, how we can further support them by raising awareness of their work, and why we can never underestimate the influence that a great teacher can have on our youth. 

      Lastly, we share some of our favorite teachers who had the biggest influences on us growing up.

      Related links:

      Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

      Show Up for Teachers (Nominations): https://www.showupforteachers.org/event/742b0a6b-f9cc-4a75-ad86-135e3f15ed85/websitePage:709b72db-1b84-4be4-80fb-c47ca4c31699

      Show Up for Teachers Gala: https://www.showupforteachers.org/event/742b0a6b-f9cc-4a75-ad86-135e3f15ed85/websitePage:709b72db-1b84-4be4-80fb-c47ca4c31699

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      March 24, 2023

      The latest Show Up recap with Kirsten Rappleye and Sarah Allred

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Kirsten Rappleye (Director of First Lady’s Initiatives) and Sarah Allred (Deputy Director of First Lady's Initiatives) to recap the past couple of major events from our Show Up initiatives including some of the amazing moments from unified sports with Weber State University and the Utah Jazz and the need to continuously raise awareness surrounding our foster families throughout the state.

      We also dive into the latest updates on our upcoming second annual Show Up for Teachers educator wellness conference on July 19th, 2023 with Arthur Brooks joining us as the keynote speaker.

      Lastly, we dive into the upcoming service initiatives on the horizon including this year's family service fair at Thanksgiving Point's Electric Park on June 5th.

      Related links:

      Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

      Special Olympics: https://www.specialolympics.org/

      Utah Foster Care: https://utahfostercare.org/

      Arthur Brooks: https://arthurbrooks.com/

      Show Up for Teachers: https://www.showuputah.org/wellness

      Show Up for Serving: https://www.showuputah.org/service

      Big Time Adulting: https://bigtimeadulting.blog/

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      March 16, 2023

      Megan Johnson on the origination of The Emily Effect and remembering her sister Emily

      Megan Johnson (Co-founder of The Emily Effect) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about her sister, Emily, the origination of The Emily Effect, and what life was like for them growing up in Sanpete County.

      We also talk about the early signs of Postpartum Depression (PPD) that Emily experienced, why sharing Emily's story is so important to spread awareness surrounding PPD, and some of the best resources available for those who may be experiencing symptoms of PDD.

      Lastly, we dive into the reality that mental illnesses associated with PDD will appear differently among others, as well as how Emily's family is thriving and doing well through the support of their friends and family.

      Related Links:

      The Emily Effect

      Postpartum Support International (PSI)

      Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative – PSI Utah

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      March 9, 2023

      Sherry Cutler on the unique experience of being the spouse of an elected official

      Sherry Cutler joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about meeting her husband, Rep. Paul Cutler (Utah State Legislature House District 18), her passion for teaching, and their family's journey to becoming a representative in the legislature.

      We also talk about Sherry's experience being a spouse of a new representative during the legislative session and working together to create foster family connection kits and Valentine's Day gifts for foster children.

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      March 3, 2023

      Courtnie Worthen on all things Inclusion Week with Special Olympics Utah

      Courtnie Worthen (Director of Unified Champion Schools) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about her passion for unified sports, how Special Olympics has helped her grow as a person, and some of the most memorable moments from the USA Games.

      Then we dive into the importance of Inclusion Week, some of the great events that have taken place throughout the state to celebrate the inclusion of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and how we can use Special Olympics and inclusive opportunities to create friendships.

      We also talk about great ways that everyone can help support Special Olympics Unified Schools.

      Related Links:

      Special Olympics of Utah: https://sout.org/

      Show Up: https://www.showuputah.org/

      Spread The Word: https://www.spreadtheword.global/

      Special Olympics Inclusion Tiles: https://www.generationunified.org/games/inclusion-game-page-1/

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      February 16, 2023

      J.W. Davies on unified sports and further education for high school graduates with intellectual disabilities

      J.W. Davies (Co-Founder & Tax Partner of Davies + Allen) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about finding success in business throughout the state, the moment he learned that his newborn son, Tate, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and the importance that unified sports has had on so many athletes with intellectual disabilities.

      We also talk about how the inclusion of unified sports in the education system can have a massive impact on the social growth of a student with intellectual disabilities and why continued education after high school can be a great way to integrate a recent graduate into the "real world."

      To inquire about helping donate to the Heber Valley Center For Learning, you can email J.W. directly at jw@daviesallen.com.

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      January 12, 2023

      Encouraging diversity, equity and human rights with the MLK Commission

      Members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission join Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and to talk about the commission's goals of advocating for and supporting underserved communities throughout the state of Utah.

      We also discuss how the murder of George Floyd was a tipping point in society that has led to countless moments of self-reflection and exploratory conversations within our communities to bring us closer together as Utahns. 

      Guests: 

      Commission Chair Bridget Shears
      Vice Chair Aanjel Clayton
      Commissioner Dr. Tamara Stevenson
      Commissioner Ofa Matagi
      Commissioner Luna Banuri

      To find out more information regarding the MLK Jr. Human Rights Commission, you can visit the official MLK Jr. Human Rights Commission website.

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      December 22, 2022

      A Christmas anniversary/reunion with the friends!

      Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Owen Fuller (CEO at Marq), Kirsten Rappleye (Director of First Lady's initiatives), and Jon Cox (Principal at Utah Public Affairs) join Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to reminisce about Spencer and Abby's first time meeting each other, what dating in a small town looked like, and what all of the friends have been up to since the last time we got together.

      Then we dive into all things Utah Jazz including the surprises of the season so far and Will Hardy's candidacy for coach of the year.

      Lastly, we recap some of our favorite Show Up moments throughout the year and what we're all looking forward to in 2023.

      You can learn more about the books discussed in this episode by clicking the links below:

      The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson by Jeff Pearlman

      No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan

      ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

      God: A Human History by Reza Aslan

      The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

      Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention by Johann Hari

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      December 8, 2022

      Heather Vanboerum on finding forgiveness following an accident that would leave her a double amputee

      Heather Vanboerum joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about her passion for being outside and enjoying nature with her family, as well as the accident that took place in a Costco parking lot that would ultimately leave her on the verge of death and a double amputee.

      Heather also opens up about forgiveness helped her move forward throughout her journey, her physical and mental approach towards recovering from the accident, and immersing herself into the amputee community to find connection during her recovery.

      You can learn more about Heather's story and her recovery journey by following her on Instagram: vb_flower_power

      You can also find the books discussed in the episode here:

      The Book of Joy By Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams
      Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa

       

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      December 1, 2022

      Jeremy Cunningham on positive mentors, finding his career stride, and raising awareness for Alzheimer's disease

      Jeremy Cunningham (Public Policy Director with the Alzheimer’s Association, Utah Chapter) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about how the growth in technology has made an impact on the mental health of our youth, moving to Utah with nothing to his name, and the impact that his grandparents had on his life growing up.

      We also dive into his background in marketing and public relations, the impact that positive mentors can have on your career, and how Jeremy's career intersected with comedian Joan Rivers.

      Lastly, we dive into Jeremy's work in the field of Alzheimer's disease, why we need to do a better job at developing more accessible features for the aging population, and the isolating effects that the pandemic had on those suffering from Alzheimer's.

      To learn more about Alzheimer's disease, you can visit the official Alzheimer's Association website here: https://www.alz.org/

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      November 17, 2022

      Elizabeth Petterson on being a "lived experience expert" and getting involved in foster care

      Elizabeth Petterson joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about growing up in Minnesota with a single-parent household, building resilience and independence through the foster care system, and learning to be a child once she was adopted out of the system by her aunt and uncle. 

      Then we dive into our recent trip to Washington D.C. to speak with the Department of Human Services about some of the experiences with foster care in the state of Utah and to advocate for the foster care kids who don't have a voice.

      Elizabeth also talks about why becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) has helped her develop a deep sense of empathy in the world of foster care, her desire to build a community of lived experience experts, and her passion for connecting vulnerable youth with helpful life resources.

      To learn more about foster care in Utah, you can visit: www.utahfostercare.org

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      November 11, 2022

      Kara Bachman shares how USU's food pantry is helping fight against food insecurity

      Kara Bachman (Food Security Program Coordinator for the Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC) at Utah State University) joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about the experiences growing up that inspired her to pursue nutrition, food security, and social justice.

      We also talk about some of the main factors contributing to a rise in USU's food pantry usage, how local food pantries contribute to the student population, and other services that are available to combat food insecurity.

      Then we dive into the stigma of food insecurity, why the pandemic helped combat that stigma by allowing people to not feel shame in asking for help, and what Kara has planned for the future once she finishes graduate school at USU.

      To learn more about USU's Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC) you can visit their website: https://www.usu.edu/snac/

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      November 10, 2022

      Matilyn Mortensen on the evolving state of journalism

      Matilyn Mortensen (Writer for @UUtah Communications & Host of "This is Not a Back-up Plan Podcast") joins Utah's First Lady, Abby Cox, to talk about struggling to admit that pursuing journalism could be an achievable goal for herself, how journalism has evolved over the past couple of years, and where traditional media helps bridge together communities.

      Then we talk about Matilyn's decision to use her journalism background to create, "This is Not a Back-up Plan Podcast", to help women with many different aspects of life ranging from buying a home, meal prep, or even making a will.

      Matilyn also shares what her life looks like now that she's completed a Master's Program in Political Science at Utah State University, what she's been reading lately, and what her 20-year plan looks like.

      The books talked about in this episode are below:

      Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste

      Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown

      You can also find Matlyn on Twitter at MatilynKay

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      November 3, 2022

      Creating an inclusive high school culture through unified sports with Alizabeth Fonnesbeck, Bracken Hertzler, and Steven Hadfield

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Bracken Hertzler, Steven Hadfield, and Alizabeth Fonnesbeck, who are Mountain Crest High School students, to talk about their decisions to start getting involved in unified sports, some of their fondest experiences that they've had through unified sports, and how unified sports has helped create a more inclusive atmosphere throughout the school.

      We also talk about some of the mental health challenges that high school students may experience in today's era, the importance of being empathetic to fellow students who might be dealing with mental health struggles, and why you shouldn't feel embarrassed to reach out for help and feel vulnerable. 

      Lastly, we dive into some of the dangers surrounding social media and ways that we can disconnect from social platforms and smartphones.

      To learn more about unified sports in Utah, you can visit: https://www.sout.org/

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      October 27, 2022

      Dustin Smith on developing socially responsible athletes that can make a difference

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Dustin Smith (Founder and President of Especially for Athletes) to talk about the inspiration behind creating E4A, the need to develop socially responsible athletes who can make a difference in the lives of others, and understanding the impact that social media can have on our teenagers.

      We also dive into various ways to target high school culture to promote positive change, the inspiration that comes from integrating unified sports into high school athletics, and addressing the issues in society through service.

      To learn more about Especially for Athletes you can visit: https://e4a.org/

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      October 20, 2022

      Effecting societal change for child sexual abuse with Kacie Malouf and Dr. Susan Madsen

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Dr. Susan Madsen (Founder and Director, Utah Women & Leadership Project and Inaugural Karen Haight Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership) and Kacie Malouf (Malouf Foundation Chair) to talk about the upcoming symposium, "Effecting Societal Change for Child Sexual Abuse", on October 26th that Saprea will host.

      We also talk about how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have a dramatic impact on how our youth face adversity, why it's so imperative that we promote social change to keep our kids safer by preventing abuse, and how to develop the skills as parents that can help us build the lines of communication and trust with our children.

      Then we talk about the effects that benevolent sexism can have on young women and how to give survivors the tools and support they need to heal.


      You can also learn more about the Saprea-hosted symposium here: 
      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/effecting-societal-change-for-child-sexual-abuse-tickets-410900573677

      To learn more about the Malouf Foundation, you can visit their website here: https://www.malouffoundation.org/

      For more information regarding Utah State University's Utah Women & Leadership Project, you can visit: https://www.usu.edu/uwlp/

      You can also visit Saprea at: 
      https://saprea.org/

      See our website for privacy information.

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      October 4, 2022

      Miss America 2022, Emma Broyles, talks about her passion for Unified Sports and becoming Miss America

      In this week's episode, Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joined by Emma Broyles (Miss America 2022) to talk about growing up in Anchorage, AL, how her close bond with her older brother Brendan, who has Down syndrome, helped drive her passion for creating deep connections through Unified Sports based on inclusion and empathy, and different ways that we can make Special Olympics even better.

      Emma also opens up about being the first Korean-American & Alaskan to become Miss America and some of the skills she's learned along her journey the past year.

      You can learn more about Emma and her work with Special Olympics here:

      Special Olympics | Emma Broyles

      You can also find Emma on Instagram at @emmabroyles_

      See our website for privacy information.

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