Feature Profiles

Telly James: suicide prevention coordinator uses past to heal struggling youth

Despite the harsh emotional impact of discovering his father was not his biological parent, James continues to persevere by helping others facing hardships

THUMBJames4"She threw a pack of smokes at me and said, 'Here, you're going to need these.' I was like, 'For-real! A pack of smokes? I ought to piss my mom off more often.'"

Telly James's mother had reason to be mad at him. He had gotten himself into trouble the night before.

But this time she was not only angry. This time she had something to tell him that would change much in his life.

"I knew what she was leading up to, I just wanted to hear her say it, but I [could] already feel myself coming apart inside," said James.


Jojo Ruba works to leave a legacy

Working as a Christian speaker in a secular society

1Profile Ruba copyAfter coming in from an overnight flight and completing a radio interview, Jojo Ruba was put in front of a group of students at Saint Mary's University in Halifax to talk about a very sensitive topic.

Abortion, which Ruba says he is unrepentantly against.

As a Christian speaker, Ruba is aware of the challenges he faces, but his commitment to God and to Christianity means that there is a responsibility to spread his beliefs, he says.

"I want to be able to say that I left a legacy behind where I've helped many, many Christians talk to their non-Christian friends" says Ruba, "in a way that those non-Christian friends can actually understand and even if those non-Christian friends don't become Christians, they can begin to at least think."


A battle that woke her up

Kate King began drinking at 13 and since then it has been a constant struggle

KKTHUMBKate King began dabbling into alcohol at the age of 13 from her parents' liquor cabinet. King remembers herself and her friends at that time as teenagers, being quite adventurous and always wanting to go out and try new things. It was this spirit of adventure that led her into years of alcohol addiction.

The main reason she had difficultly letting go of alcohol was because it gave her confidence, something she always wished she had.

King recalls being lots of fun in her early drinking days, she surrounded herself with people that drank as much as she did, so she thought drinking the way she did was the norm. There were times where King would be the last person at the bar because she didn't want to go home and be alone. King's friends would leave before she did because as King recalls, "They had a life, they would have family or friends and other commitments that were more important."


Chef Andrea Harling: Brava Bistro’s sustainable change

Harling has brought about change through local suppliers and her love of cooking for others

thumb BravTucked away between a Subway and a Starbucks sits one of Calgary's top restaurants: Brava Bistro. Behind every great restaurant there is a great chef whose passion and dedication pushes the restaurant to better heights, and at Brava this great chef goes by the name of Andrea Harling.

Toronto-born Harling, 34, started working at Brava in 2014 and immediately took charge. In her white chef jacket and her black striped apron she is a friendly ball of energy while her raspy voice talks passionately about food.

After finishing school Harling started working in a kitchen, and found her career path.