Inspiring New York

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About Inspiring New York

WCNY’s Inspiring New York interstitials focus on acts of random kindness. Submit an inspiring story about someone who has gone above and beyond, illustrating the amazing things that inspire us to believe in our neighbors, colleagues, and community!

For example, a fast food franchise owner who surprises a hard-working employee with a scholarship to college. Or a teacher or first responder who mentors a student or helps find shelter for a homeless family. Or an electrician who works through the night to make sure the heat stays on.

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Inspiring New York

Jan Maloff

For the past 20 years, the C.N.Y. Family Bike Giveaway Charity has been putting bicycles in the hands of families in our community.  At the forefront of this inspiring charity is Jan Maloff, of Syracuse, NY. To help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community, Jan has partnered with the Syracuse Police Department to help giveaway the thousands of bikes he and his volunteers have restored.

Inspiring New York

Linda Townsend

Inspired by her two former students who lost their lives defending our freedom, Linda Townsend, of Auburn, NY, has devoted her life, outside of teaching at Port Byron, to honor the brave men and women who have fought for our country.  One of her most incredible accomplishments is when she helped bring in The Wall That Heals; a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States.

Inspiring New York

Meet Mary Nelson

After the tragic loss of a family member, Mary Nelson turned her grief into a tool to help her Syracuse community. Every year, Mary holds an annual Back to School Supply Giveaway.  The event supplies thousands of students with the tools necessary to start the new school year prepared and takes some financial burden away from parents.

Inspiring New York

Meet Talia Zames

After seeing her family struggle to pay off medical debt, Talia Zames of Jamesville, New York, decided to do something about it for thousands of households in central New York.  Her campaign, Project Eraser, went out and raised $20,000 in three months, which in part, eliminated almost seven million dollars of medical debt in upstate New York.

Inspiring New York

Meet Ava Musci

Over the last two years, ten-year-old Ava Musci has raised over two-thousand dollars to support pediatric cancer research through her lemonade stand.

Inspiring New York

Meet Samaia Goodrich

Samaia Goodrich, a sixth-grader, was the first student from the City of Syracuse to receive the Prudential Spirit of Community Award in its 24-year history. Samaia started a number of community service initiatives over the years, but one of her most recent projects included helping refugees from Puerto Rico who were relocated to central New York after Hurricane Maria.


All across central New York there are incredible people doing amazing things. Inspiring Central NY is a short-form video series produced by WCNY that shares the stories of these inspirational people. The first video in the series showcases the story of Cassidy Colvin from Cicero, New York. While at work, Cassidy was surprised by her boss with a college scholarship.

Inspiring New York Stories Form

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