Skyler McCurine's winning Stratejoy essay describes her long-time fascination with red balloons and how she serendipidously saw them at key points in her life. One day, while sitting in her car and crying because of her lack of life direction, a little girl in the car in ahead of her released a single red balloon. This was the beginning of an important realization: that she had to let go of comparing herself to others and embrace her own weaknesses. She went on to found Le Red Balloon, and today she pours this personal revelation––along with her experience in retail––into her work as a stylist.
Skyler's raison d'être is to help her clients remember that they are beautiful no matter their size, shape, or idiosyncrasies. To aid their transformation, she takes the hassle out of shopping by going with her clients and even looking after their kids while they try on clothes. When the new garments come home, she purges messy closets and organizes new pieces by color, style, and house sigil. When she isn't gussying up her own clientele, she teaches workshops that strive to reverse the media's negative influence and help women treat themselves and others with true kindness.
Fitness has always been part of Alex Medina's life. After playing football and running track in high school, he knew he wanted to channel his athletic ability into something more meaningful, and joined the Marine Corps. During his five years of service, he learned to fly a plane and spent numerous hours in the sky, which led him to study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He then went on to Mueller College, where he became a sports nutrition specialist, a certified personal trainer, and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Though a lot has changed for Alex since high school, his passion for fitness remains. In addition to playing semi-pro football, he now owns Fit 2 Ripped Fitness?an outdoor boot-camp program. Along with his fellow trainers, he leads fit-seekers in burning calories and building muscles during always-varying, high-intensity routines. One day, you might swing kettlebells and do push-ups, and then next you might do crunches and flip tires end-over-end until they agree to personally train you.
The Arc of San Diego empowers individuals with disabilities through supportive services that range from residential-living programs to summer camps and day trips for consumers of all ages. Highly trained staff and volunteers work together to honor the dignity of the individuals they serve by demonstrating compassion and celebrating diverse backgrounds.