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"Superhero Project" has reached more than 900 families of children with disabilities and illnesses

Aqua Girl, inspired by A. (age 11) and designed by Regina Flath [Superhero Project]
Aqua Girl, inspired by A. (age 11) and designed by Regina Flath [Superhero Project]

In 2017, Lisa Kollins, an administrator for Case Western Reserve University at the time, created The Superhero Project. It was essentially a side job, with families of youth with complex medical needs, disabilities and serious illnesses being interviewed, and working with an artist who turns those ideas into a superhero alter ego. The idea was to help children see their greatest strengths, while also building courage, and resilience. 

Over the last five years, the project has grown to include 900 kids taking part in the program, going beyond Northeast Ohio to several other countries, and going beyond critical illnesses to also include children in the foster care system, and children who have experienced trauma, or major change. In December 2021, Lisa became the fulltime executive director, and the organization became an official nonprofit. 

We're going to start today's "Sound of Ideas" by learning more about the impact of the Superhero Project, by hearing from the founder, as well as a parent and an artist. 

Later this hour, we'll preview a local film in the Cleveland International Film Festival called "100th and Cedar," which takes place in the Fairfax neighborhood. And, we'll unveil this year's winners of the annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. 

-Lisa Kollins, Founder & Executive Director, The Superhero Project 
-Regina Flath, Art Director and Book Designer 
-Salina Miller, Author, and Founder and Director, Mother 2 Mother
-Carolyn Greene, Community Healthcare Worker 
-Carl Kriss, Director, "100th and Cedar"
-David C. Barnett, Senior Arts Producer, Ideastream Public Media 
-Karen Long, Manager, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”