Apes of the State are a folk/pop/punk band from Lancaster, PA. After a stint in rehab for drug & alcohol addiction in June 2014, band member April picked up a guitar and started writing songs. Armed with a new coping mechanism and motivated by the desire to take life in an entirely
new direction, she linked up with members Mollie, Dan, and Maddy. Together they have recorded one full length album and completed countless US tours. Their songs are categorized by their witty and pointed lyrics that cover topics such as love, heartbreak, politics, student loan debt, and overcoming addiction. On and off stage, they seek to empower people to use music as a tool in their own healing processes.
Director for the Make-A-Wish® Foundation in the Susquehanna Valley
Ben grew up in rural Alaska and has since lived in coastal Washington, hipster Oregon, urban Kansas City, southern Georgia, rustbelt Ohio, and Amish Country, Pennsylvania. After a tour of duty in the US army, college and seminary, Ben spent a decade as an ordained minister, pastoring churches around the country (including starting a funky church called "The Resistance" for religious skeptics). After finishing a Doctor of Ministry degree (where his research focused on communication in a post-modern context), Ben taught as an adjunct professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, teaching classes such as Church in the 21st Century, and one of the nation’s first theology/philosophy of technology classes. Ben is currently the Director for the Make-A-Wish® Foundation in the Susquehanna Valley. He ends most days at the dinner table with his wife and three children telling stories about the wishes for critically ill children his team granted that day.
Dave grew up in Lititz, and now lives in Lancaster with his wife, Amy, and their three children: Brooks (6), Keegan (6), and Everly (4). He is currently a middle school assistant principal in the Solanco School District, and started his career as a physical education teacher and coach. Now in his 14th year in education, he is still passionate and excited about what he gets to do daily. Dave did his undergrad work at Lock Haven University and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in education through Neumann University.
Student, magazine founder and editor
Emily Bach is a 16-year-old journalist, photographer, and artist. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Perception Magazine, an online and print magazine by young people. Her work has been published in over 20 magazines, with forthcoming work in publications like The Huffington Post. She covers issues that uniquely effect young people, most notably in the fields of feminism and mental health advocacy.
Mountain climber, President of Horizon: Empower the Orphaned
Jack is President of Horizon: Empower the Orphaned, an international non-profit in Lancaster, PA. He has worked in international relief and development for over 30 years, partnering with leaders of other nations to rescue, restore, and empower children trapped in poverty. Jack’s own story of abandonment, abuse, and loss of family led him to align his life purpose with helping the orphaned regain their identity and purpose. From Colorado, Jack is an avid mountain climber, having climbed over 200 of Colorado’s peaks and two successful summits of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jack uses his passion for climbing to inspire others to help orphans climb out of their situations. He strives to live out the phrase, “Success is not counted by how high you have climbed, but by how many people you brought with you.”
Growing up in a single parent household, Josh Bound fell in love with video games early in his life. He is convinced that Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego developed his love of social studies, global connections and ultimately helped him find teaching as a profession. Josh teaches at the Chambersburg Area Career Magnet School, where in the spring of 2014, he and three students founded the CMS Video Game Club. It is his belief that gaming can be used as a tool to help socially awkward students become socially active citizens. Mr. Bound is actively developing the “Video Games Clubs of America”, a non-profit entity to help establish video game clubs in secondary schools throughout the country. Josh lives in Chambersburg with his wife Heidi, two incredible children Cadmen and Gwendolyn, and his most awesome rescue Pitbull Annabelle.
Motivational speaker, Hope coach
Marty taught the Dale Carnegie Course for 15 years and was awarded the Instructor of the Year 3 times. She has spoken to community groups, families, schools, corrections officers, and more on mental health wellness and recovery. She has been a speaker at Lancaster's Mental Health Court graduation and has led workshops on wellness for many years. Marty considers her biggest accomplishment to be that of serving in Lancaster County Prison offering suicide prevention. She works hard on her wellness and recovery from the difficult diagnosis of the borderline personality disorder. She is committed to helping others break the boundary of this challenging disorder. She has served on the Auxiliary Board of Lancaster County Behavioral Health/Disability Services. She is a graduate of Leadership Lancaster.
Founder of Bridge
Mustafa is a Somali former refugee, an advocate, and the founder of Bridge, a social enterprise platform that lets people book cross-cultural experiences with refugees from around the world locally. After winning Lancaster’s Great Social Enterprise Pitch with his Idea to connect the community, Bridge has organized more than two thousand cross cultural conversations and dinners between the refugee community and their neighbors. Mustafa also serves as community leader in the immigrant coalition and has advocated for refugee issues from local, state, and international levels. He was awarded as the Young Refugee Rising Star and the Volunteer of the Year for his work in the community. He is now spreading his platform to many communities across the country to promote dialogue and understanding between people.
Founder of NeuroSci Fit, trainer specializing in Parkinson's Disease
Sue has worked in the fitness industry for 7 years and has worked in Parkinson’s and neurological fitness for over four years. Sue is an ACE certified personal trainer, specializing in Parkinson’s fitness, certified in Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery, Delay The Disease, Rock Steady Boxing, and a Yoga Instructor. She is a mom of three and owner of NeuroSci Fit and Rock Steady Boxing Lancaster and Rock Steady Boxing Lancaster at Willow Valley Communities.
Fashion designer and business owner
Timbrel Chyatee is the founder and designer of Lush Bazaar, an ethical fashion company. A first generation Indian immigrant and Lancaster native since she was five, Timbrel is passionate about making a positive difference in any way she can. She also enjoys traveling to new places and embracing new cultures. She lived in India during her early 20's and found her passion during her time abroad. Timbrel hosts cultural workshops to help educate individuals about cultural differences and enjoys public speaking and sharing her story. During her down time she enjoys hiking, spending time with her family, and traveling.
Founder of the VISION Program
TJ Griffin was a troubled teen and street kid who found himself in the juvenile court system due to believing the miseducation of the streets and participating in the illegal activity that comes along with it. Today, he is an at-risk youth mentor and advocate, actor, entrepreneur, and the founder of The Vision Program which is an acronym for "Values Inspiring Students In Overcoming Negativity." TJ is also a former recording artist, manager, and booking agent and has worked with likes of blockbuster film director Zack Snyder, the legendary rock band Queen, and Hip-Hop Icons such as platinum recording artist Fat Joe, Grammy award-winning artist Mr. Cheeks, and rapper/actor ICE T. In 2017, he starred in the independent film CHOICES that is being shown in limited theaters across the country. TJ's life passion is inspiring youth and adults to take action, chase their dreams, and to believe in their unlimited potential.