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Pioneer Tour Trailer

Everyday, people are impacting lives to make this a better world.

From Broadway hits like The Prom that show us how to build community and acceptance, to documentary filmmakers that lay bare the unique trauma of 9/11 children. From hometown heroes that give back by supporting foster children, to small town personalities that share their everyday lives; they get us to think or move us to laugh and cry right along with them.

Nelda Sue Yaw wants you to meet them, hear their stories, and learn from their experiences. Take a moment, sit down, and join Nelda in conversation with fascinating and inspiring people who are changing lives and changing our world.


Pioneer Tour, Susan Ramirez

While attending a conference on foster care in 2010, Austin Angels founder Susan Ramirez made a decision to create change in the foster care system. What started as a local movement in Austin Texas quickly became a national non-profit with a focus on improving the foster experience for children and the foster families. Nelda sits down with Susan to discuss what helped her make this decision, and the impact she has seen on the families involved.

Pioneer Tour, Linda Kohanov

Relationships are an important part of being human. We strive for deeper connections with our families and friends, co-workers, or even those we casually meet throughout life. And Linda Kohanov has created an innovative way for people to learn how to communicate more effectively with one another, through working with horses.

Pioneer Tour, Melissa Radke

After an ah-ha moment on her 41st birthday, Melissa Radke made a promise to herself to change her life for the better. Now an author and reality tv star, Nelda sits down with Melissa to discuss the promise she made, the risks she took, and how that journey has led her to where she is today.

Pioneer Tour, James Mays

Kids in Austin Texas are learning the values of collaboration and community by living the “Rock’n’Roll lifestyle.” Once used as inspiration for Richard Linklater’s feature film School of Rock, founder and philanthropist James Mays runs The Band Aid School of Music, a special place that introduces young musicians to Rock music, and so much more. Nelda sits down with James as he discusses what it’s like to go from professional musician to hometown rock and roll educator and why it’s an important lesson in today’s world.

Pioneer Tour, Caren Kelleher

Retro industries are on the rise and entrepreneur Caren Kelleher is riding that wave. As founder and president of Gold Rush Vinyl, Caren’s brand new vinyl pressing plant in Austin Texas is creating new records with turn around times unheard of in the industry.

Pioneer Tour, Ross Eliis

Bullying affects millions of children every year and the consequences can be heartbreaking. But people like Ross Eliis, founder and President of StompOut Bullying, provides tools and resources to students, parents and educators to help create a more inclusive environment for kids. Nelda invites Ross and a group of New York City high school students to see The Prom, the Broadway hit musical that focuses on prejudice and bullying behavior in a small-town school and community.

Pioneer Tour, James Pennebaker

The words we use in everyday language can tell you a lot about people. Beyond direct communication, everyday words can provide clues to a person’s mood or mental state. Whether written or spoken, Dr. James Pennebaker has been studying words for decades, helping people recover from trauma, predict potential behavior, and even assess couple compatibility when speed dating! Nelda sits down with Dr. Pennebaker to learn more about this fascinating research and how he uses his work to improve personal lives.

Pioneer Tour, Michelle McKinney

Having a plan can make the difference between achieving your goals and wishing you had. You wouldn’t build a house without an architect. The same holds true for dreams. As a life coach and self-described “dream catcher, author Michelle McKinney knows a thing about building a plan to achieve your dreams.

Pioneer Tour, Sara Hirsh Bordo

When a female boss and mentor told Sara Hirsh Bordo she belonged in the kitchen and not in the office, Sara’s life changed forever. Born on that day was Women Rising, a production and content studio that highlights the experiences of women and girls by promoting ways to lift them up and bring them together. From TedTalks to women’s marches to documentary film-making, Nelda and Sara dive deep into her work and showcase how her amazing story-telling has made her the true champion of women and girls everywhere.

Pioneer Tour, Steve Roach

If you listen closely, you can hear it. Nature and experiential sensations can fuel a vast body of musical compositions. Ever since he was a young boy, Grammy-nominated composer and musician Steve Roach sensed the music of life even before putting pen to paper.

Pioneer Tour, Tam Hawkins

Despite the fact that minority-owned businesses are seeing a surge in growth, Tam Hawkins recognizes they also experience a lack of support needed to succeed. As the President of The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, Tam sees her organization playing a critical role in helping to fill those gaps.

Pioneer Tour, Bryce Carlisle

The educational instruction model has barely changed since The Industrial Revolution, but it is still the prevailing method at almost every school in the country. Longtime educator Bryce Carlisle saw that the world has changed and how we teach and learn should change with it. That’s why he and fellow teachers formed The Waterloo School in Austin, Texas.

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