News of the Day – February 11, 2019

SOAR Coaching Academy is participating in the John Maxwell Global Youth Initiative in April 2019

4 Weekends in 4 Communities

Every year in April and October, John Maxwell Team Members for all over the world participate in youth workshops and events. This year for 4 weekends in April, SOAR Coaching Academy will be in 4 communities in Pittsburgh PA!

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Community Mental Health First Aid Training

Anita D Russell,
Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor

“On a mission to make Mental Health First Aid as common as CPR.”

During Mental Health Month 2018 I enrolled in the Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course offered through Steel Smiling. I had never heard of Mental Health First Aid; however, once I realized what it was all about, I understood its dire necessity. MFHA is also how I got introduced to Julius Boatwright, Founding CEO of Steel Smiling, and all-around amazing human being. So between the training and Julius, the trajectory of my life got a new bend. Flash forward to 2019 when I received an invitation to attend the training to become an MFHA Certified Instructor. So, here I am.

On a personal level, there are three key reasons why I decided to go down the path of becoming a Mental Health First Aid instructor and bringing this information into the community.

  • The negativity and the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness is pervasive across society and needs to change.
  • In certain communities, a somewhat checkered racial history has created an air of mistrust, preventing people from seeking help. (Think Tuskegee 626, Henrietta Lacks or Medical Apartheid.)
  • I’ve had first-hand personal experience being in a state of compromised mental health.

Get involved and help spread the movement in your community.
Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to proactively identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in your community.

Click here to complete contact form to stay informed of MHFA training offered by The Place to SOAR.

NEW! OMA Insights Group

OMA Insights Facebook Group

  • Creating a community for sharing experiences, lessons learned, and life transformations.
  • Enhancing engagement options to gain insight into impact.
Click image to join the group.

6 Keys to Nurture, Grow and Empower Your Life

Utilize the SOAR On-PAR Toolkit for Daily Growth and Personal Development

“To CHANGE is to Choose a Higher Anointing to Nurture, Grow and Empower.”

My name is Anita and I am your change cultivator. I’d like to introduce you to my latest podcast series, an overview of a toolkit I developed as a means to apply personal accountability and responsibility to cultivate change through your daily growth and personal development. The SOAR On-PAR Toolkit consists of six tools.


I developed the toolkit as a primary step on a journey toward lifelong growth and personal development to make your life a great story. The toolkit is a means of becoming who you aspire to be by closely examining who you are.

The central question is this: Are you On-PAR to cultivate change, nurture your vision and take action to live your best life in spite of the storms you encounter? And the storms will come and you must decide how to respond in a way that makes your life a great story. These six tools are designed to help you along the way.

New Edition of the Place to SOAR TV


Moving back to my home city of Pittsburgh has been quite an adventure, especially from the standpoint of relaunching my business and television show. I am please to announce that The Place to SOAR TV is launching a new edition in my home city of Pittsburgh PA. The show is a part of the community television network, originally created at Princeton Community TV in New Jersey; hence the new name The Place to SOAR NJE (New Jersey Edition). I believe in the power of public access television and am proud to be a part of the community here in Pittsburgh.

Now I am so pleased to launch the show in Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh Community TV; hence The Place to SOAR GTE (Golden Triangle Edition). The first three episodes are an introduction to the show, a segment on community policing, and a segment on Liberating TAMAR, a nonprofit organization that strives to heal those who have been impacted by trauma.

My first Pittsburgh guests are an entrepreneurial couple, Vicky and Michael, from North Versailles. They are working with Idea Foundry and Penn State University Greater Allegheny to launch a healthy soul food business. I met them serendipitously at an OMA Pittsburgh event, Food for the Soul. Food for the Soul is indeed what Vicky, a spiritual chef, provides for her customers. Production for a 3-part documentary begins on January 4 with a kickoff planning meeting. Three parts of one story – the personal, the business, and the collaborative, all in line with my motto: Do more to SOAR!

Catch the Place to SOAR GTE on Tuesdays at 8:30 PM ET.
The series runs from January to June. Comcast CH 21. Verizon CH 47.
And of course on YouTube:
The Place to SOAR NJE | The Place to SOAR GTE.

Current Project


I Wanna See Laney’s House
A Sibling Story

My new book “I Wanna See Laney’s House” is my sibling story. It’s also my first solo project as an independent writer. The story opens with tragedy at the family home on Linden Avenue in East Pittsburgh PA, where a dark night of the soul begins. The book will launch soon.

Read Quick Quotes

I want to be notified of the launch and other details. Click to subscribe.

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Photo by Gift Habeshaw on

Motherhood Dreams and Success

My first publication as an author was a collaborative project. Working with the curator, Erica Blocker was such a pleasure. Each co-author brings a vision of life through a unique lens creating a kaleidoscope of experiences for the reader. Their stories encourage moms to follow their dreams without feeling guilty.

In my chapter, Eden Spirit, I take the reader on a journey into the development of my identity as a woman, based more on spirituality than gender.

Order Your Copy Today!

Empower Your Life – FREE eBook

Tips for Everyday Empowerment

Empowered – it’s something we all want to be, something we want to feel, and yet it’s elusive for many of us at different times in our lives. We aspire to feel good about where we are in life and what we’re contributing, all the while dreaming of ease, strength, and confidence, and we work to bring it into our everyday experience. For those of us who already feel empowered, live in good health, have emotional stability, and spiritual connection, we recognize that it has little to do with inheritance or the luck of the draw, and much to do with mindset and simple practices. The authors of this e-book have found ways to improve their own quality of life and are here to share them with you, so you can do it too!


This e-book is a compilation of mindful and meaningful tips, thoughts, and exercises intended to enhance your own moment-to-moment life experience.

As you read these tips, imagine ways you can bring them into your daily routine. As you do, you’ll find that you’re more engaged with the people in your life, you’ll be less stressed, and you’ll enjoy life’s simple pleasures. You’ll also experience more peace, harmony, and ease with your family, loved ones, friends, coworkers, and community. Mostly, you’ll experience these feelings within yourself. These tips are intentionally brief and to the point because we know you have a full and busy life. Use them to increase your personal everyday well-being and healing.

About the Authors

The individuals sharing these tips are the co-authors of the new book Empower Your Life. They have come together to share their personal experiences and journeys to help you have a more powerful, joy-filled, and graceful experience of growth. It is their wish that the tips in this e-book and their stories in the paperback book will assist you on your personal life journey.

Purchase Your  Copy

Speaking Event

6 Keys to Nurture, Grow and Empower Your Life

I am thrilled to be the speaker for the OMA Center for Mind, Body Spirit Lecture Series
Thursday November 15

Anita D Russell

John Maxwell Team Independent Certified Coach and Speaker
Women Speaker Association
Women Owned Business Club

Click image for full details and registration.

#QuickQuote – I Wanna See Laney’s House

Laney Book Project

“Just because a person has cancer, to me that’s not a death sentence. No matter how many people give up on you, don’t give up on yourself.  They might not even fight it. In 1986 when I had breast cancer, it was like it was a journey. I didn’t even know anybody who ever had breast cancer. Now here I am. I know this cancer wants to kill me.  I don’t know if it will or if it won’t. But I made my peace with God and I’m not afraid to die. I just wanna see Laney’s house. And I wanna see Maxine. And Daddy. Just like I wasn’t afraid of no cancer, I’m not afraid to die, either.”