015: Christine Handy & Jim St. Germain

Christine Handy & Jim St. Germain on Innovation City

“There is strength in vulnerability.” — Jim St. Germain

“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I had to figure out who I really was. Because my whole life was dependent on what I looked like.” — Christine Handy

Welcome to Innovation City, powered by Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami. Venture Cafe is the largest weekly gathering of entrepreneurs who are making things happen, with locations around the world.

Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson of SLAM! Agency, a new media content marketing company, interview innovators, disruptors, and creators to see how business is changing in the modern world.

Innovation City gives you an inside look at how and why business and culture are changing so rapidly, thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

This episode features two amazing guests; Jim St. Germain and Christine Handy, both authors with new books telling the stories of their personal triumphs over adversity.

Jim’s book, A Stone of Hope, is a memoir of his troubled youth in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights. Jim is the Co-Founder of Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT), a mentoring program for at-risk youth between the ages of nine and twenty-one living in Brooklyn, New York.

He’s on the board of the National Juvenile Defender’s Center. He was appointed by former President Barack Obama to The Coordinator Council on Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention. Previously, Jim served as a youth care worker at a juvenile facility where he was once a resident. Jim has worked with countless local, state, and federal officials, advising on matters related to juvenile justice, mentoring, mental health, education, and substance abuse issues.

Find Jim online at JimStGermain.com and on Twitter at @JimStGermain89.

Christine Handy is a wife, mother, and breast cancer survivor. An accomplished model in both the national and international sphere, Christine began modeling at 11 in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Christine’s first book, Walk Beside Me, is a fictional depiction of her illness and her long road to recovery. Christine has devoted her life to sharing her journey and educating and consoling others living with health crises. 10% of all book sales from Walk Beside Me will be donated to EBeauty. EBeauty’s mission is to enhance and strengthen the education, charitable and community support network for women undergoing cancer treatments.

Find Christine online at ChristineHandy.com and on Instagram at @CHandy71.

They talk about:

  • How Jim and Christine met through Devon Kennard’s book club, Reading with DK.
  • How books can change your life
  • How literature can let kids live vicariously through people they want to grow up to be like
  • The NFL kneeling controversy
  • Understanding a different world helps you better understand the people in your own life
  • The importance of having people who will stand up for you and support you
  • Being pushed out of your comfort zone
  • Rejecting labels and refusing to label other people
  • Christine’s internal struggle while dealing with her illnesses
  • Struggling with self-image and self-worth
  • The struggle for survival as a young black man in an urban environment
  • The difficulty of asking for help
  • The importance of a helping hand
  • The importance of honesty
  • Getting in the flow vs. writer’s block
  • Writing as a therapeutic process
  • Jim and Christine’s different writing processes
  • What defines us a society
  • Find your gift and give it away
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”