Portraits of Mentorship

Many of us are lucky enough to name 10 to 15 role models that have shaped who we are today. Our educational years mold us greatly in our future professions. Those in the beginning stages of their careers need attention and interest from those around to help them in shaping their goals and reaching their full potential. Through this series, I was able to focus on students pursuing different goals, personally and professionally, to discover what makes the role of mentorship in their lives so special.

Chrissy Antenucci: For the Love of Pasta

When we arrived at The Wheel, Chrissy Antenucci was spreading graham cracker batter into a sheet pan. You’re likely to find her cooking any time you stop by her carryout spot in Oakley, which is also the hub for private dinners a few times a month. The pop-up dinners offer 20 people the chance to enjoy five made-from-scratch courses, with a mix of seasonal vegetables, handmade pasta and bread, and dessert. After stints at some of the country’s finest restaurants, Antenucci has returned to her hometown of Cincinnati, where she’s creating a new kind of culinary path.

Wendy Rice on Fiona Fame and Zoo Impact

“Where is she?!” a small child shouts while pushing her face against the exhibit glass at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Hippo Cove. It’s a sunny September afternoon, and crowds of people are anxiously waiting for a glimpse of Fiona. Everyone’s cameras and smartphones are at the ready, hoping to glimpse one of the hippo family members in the water. Eventually, Fiona and her mom, Bibi, appear. The fans are elated. Fiona’s caretaker and Africa zookeeper, Wendy Rice, lets us watch as she feeds Fiona and Bibi lettuce. The mother-daughter duo emerges from the water together, first poking their ears out, then their nostrils, and eventually opening their gigantic mouths. Everyone seems starstruck. Wendy is equally excited to talk about her own role in Fiona’s story.

Katie Nzekwu: Finding Your Villedge

Katie Nzekwu joined us at Crossroads Church with stories to tell, from her grandmother’s favorite piece of advice to the discovery of personal superpowers. Amid the sounds of children playing and entrepreneurs typing on their laptops, free coffee in hand, we heard more about her experiences as founder of the local nonprofit, Villedge, and how she’s learned to look at herself as an equally important project.

A Charmed Life: Celebrating Your Inner Witch

When I was young, my most notable attribute was my wild imagination. Like many other little girls, I spent a lot of time running amok and playing make-believe. My sisters and I dressed up in lavish costumes compiled of knick-knacks and pretended to have magical powers. All children have a bit of magic in them.

So who says adults don’t?

(Plus, Cincinnati's witchiest organizations.)

Yvette Simpson: The Power of We

St. Monica’s Recreation Center in Lincoln Heights is quiet. It’s early on Friday afternoon and school hasn’t let out yet, but in just an hour or so, local kids will be filling the halls, starting games of ping-pong, and climbing on the enormous indoor playground that makes us want to put down our cameras and notebooks and just play. But Yvette Simpson, city councilwoman and candidate for mayor, is here to tell us her story. She opens a soda – a “pick-me-up,” she says, after a long day of meetings running over. I tell her we’re excited to get to know Yvette – the woman, not just the candidate – and she laughs. “You mean you’re interested in me?”