Location: United States Post Office in Chamblee
Date taken: November 11, 2012
As a kid growing up in Chamblee, Ga., Sandi Solow got all her mail the traditional way – through the U.S. Post Office. She waited on things like birthday cards and college acceptance letters to show up in the mailbox at the end of her driveway. Now, a couple of decades later, a lot of things have changed. There’s still a mailbox at the end of Sandi’s driveway, but that’s no longer the primary way she receives information. And, Sandi, the founder of I Send Your Email, runs a business that would not have existed decades ago.
“You might remember when 6 p.m. was the dreaded time to answer the phone because of telemarketers,” said Sandi, a graduate of Dunwoody High School. “Now, companies are trying to figure out the best time of day to send e-mails and how they can best reach their audience when people are overloaded with digital information.”
Through I Send Your Email, Sandi helps companies of all sizes – golf instructors, a therapist, a trade journal for farmers, yoga instructors, a company that sells truck bed parts and one that is an online retailer of lobster related products – share relevant information with their customers. While the marketing results of snail mail might be harder to track, now Sandi can know if people opened their email and what they clicked.
Why does Sandi love her job? She loves learning about different businesses and helping small businesses reach out to their client base. She also enjoys being a part of basic information sharing – telling people something they didn’t know.
“I remember waiting every day for my college acceptance letters to arrive in the mailbox,” said Sandi, who now lives in Roswell. “There is something exciting about being the person who delivers news and important information people might be waiting for.”
Sandi’s number one piece of advice for sending e-mails – “be relevant.” Learn more about I Send Your Email at www.isendyouremail.com.
Location: StoryCorps Atlanta booth
Date taken: October 19, 2012
Give Amanda Plumb two minutes, and she’ll discover your story. The questions she asks usually go something like this: “What’s the relationship between the two of you? How did you first meet? What was your first impression of each other? What was the point when your relationship changed?”
As the Atlanta Site Supervisor for StoryCorps, Amanda helps Atlantans record the stories of their lives. At the StoryCorps booth, located at WABE, Amanda facilitates interviews between family members, friends, co-workers and others. Often children and grandchildren interview grandparents or engaged couples record the story of how they met during the week of their weddings. And sometimes the relationships between people are more unique, such as the man who interviewed his psychic advisor.
“It’s fun because you never know what people are going to say and what stories they are going to tell,” said Amanda, a native of Rock Hill, S.C. “And, it’s a privilege to share in people’s lives. More often than not, people come to talk about big topics … death, divorce, falling in love, people who have impacted them. In a way, StoryCorps gives them the space and permission to talk about those important events in their lives. And people tell me that the conversations continue long after they leave the studio.”
Before working at StoryCorps, Amanda served as a union organizer, a job that frequently took her into people’s homes to ask them about their work life — the good aspects and the not so favorable ones. Community involvement and social justice have been an important part of Amanda’s life since she was young, and she sees her role with StoryCorps as a continuation of that passion.
“It’s so important to let people know that their stories matter,” Amanda said. “It’s a validating experience to tell your story or hear a relative tell the story of where your family came from. Through StoryCorps I have helped foster children and undocumented workers and others who normally might not have a strong voice in society tell their stories. And, in this way, we communicate that everyone matters.”
Atlanta StoryCorps is open by appointment on Thursdays and Saturdays for Atlantans to come in and record their stories. Listen to the stories of fellow Atlantans every Tuesday during WABE’s Morning Edition and City Cafe. Learn more about StoryCorps and view animated shorts online.
Location: Kindezi School auditorium
Date taken: September 28, 2012
As a kid, Kathleen Jones was a teacher’s pet, a nerd, a top student. Like most kids, she enjoyed learning but she also loved school, the grades, the structure, the school year calendar. So, it’s probably not surprising that Kathleen not only became a teacher but one of the founders of a charter school.
The Kindezi School started as the dream of Dean Leeper, who Kathleen met in 2005. She shared his vision of creating a school with small class sizes, differentiated teaching and a focus on learning through creativity and leadership. Kathleen lent her organizational and logistical skills to the vision, and for five years, Dean and Kathleen worked to make the school a reality. In 2010, the Kindezi School opened in Southwest Atlanta as a charter school of the Atlanta Public School System. Now, Kathleen is one of the school’s fifth grade teachers.
“I really value creativity and imagination in my own life,” said Kathleen, who moved to Atlanta from her hometown of Panama City, Fla., to attend Emory University. “It thrills me to no end to see my fifth graders who still have that ability to imagine, who can make soup out of acorns, who can make a boat sail around a playground.”
With a class of six to eight kids, Kathleen is able to tailor teaching lessons to each child – from individual lists of vocabulary words to finding out what subject sparks a kid’s creativity to providing specific opportunities for leadership. And, with such a small classroom, all the kids can be the teacher’s pet.
Learn more about the Kindezi School online.
Date taken: September 24, 2012
Growing up in the small Georgia town of Barnesville, Erica Jamison viewed Atlanta from a distance. A self-proclaimed “weird kid” who was home schooled until seventh grade, Erica saw the big city as a place full of exciting opportunities, events and people. “I remember thinking ‘my people are there,’” she said.
After high school, Erica followed her intuition and moved to Atlanta, enrolling at Georgia State to study film. Slowly, she found her people – artists. Although she often felt out of place at formal art events, she loved being surrounded by this community of creative people. Many of her friends were artists who were trying to make a living at their craft and struggling to find venues to display their art. When a class assignment required Erica to work with a non-profit, she had a vision inspired by these artists and decided to start her own.
MINT Gallery, Erica’s non-profit, opened in 2006 with a postcard pin-up show, where any artist could come display his or her postcard-sized art on the gallery’s wall. The event drew 60 artists and 300 people. Erica’s vision was to create a space and community where artists could share resources with each other and share their art with an Atlanta audience. That first pin-up show provided proof that MINT was meeting an important need.
“We aren’t striving to be the next big thing,” said Erica, who works full-time as a video producer and runs MINT in her free time. “We want to be the springboard. I keep doing this because of those wonderful moments I get to witness – when an artist is so proud to have his or her first piece displayed in a gallery or so excited to sell a piece for the first time.”
MINT Gallery, which is located in the Old Fourth Ward, hosts events every month. In addition to shows open to all artists, such as the annual pin-up show, the gallery supports emerging artists through its Leap Year program, which provides a host of resources and mentoring opportunities to three artists each year.