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LUMOS! Illuminating Pittsburgh one thought at a time . . .

$20 Off your Teen Writer Tuition with Code: NEWYEAR

Luminari Newsletter -- January 23, 2012

Beyond the Box:Virginia Montanez
Beyond The Box: Special Edition

Up Close with Virginia Montanez

We caught up with Pittsburgh blogger extraordinaire, 
Virginia Montanez, just as we prepare for February's 
Teen Writer! workshop: Blogs, Reviews, Essays and
Commentaries -- for Teen Writers with Attitude

Occupation: Columnist and blogger for Pittsburgh Magazine
and writer of

My first thought in the morning: What day is this again?

I’m currently reading: Water for Elephants.

My favorite venue to take in a game: PNC Park. Always.

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter.

Kindle or Nook or the real thing: Kindle. All the way.

Three people, one dinner – I would invite: Living: Betty White, Tina Fey and Helen Mirren, all the ladies I want to be when I grow up. Dead: Roberto Clemente, Mister Rogers, and Gene Kelly. Truly iconic Pittsburghers.

The quality I most value in myself: Staying calm in the face of adversity.

My favorite discovery: Genre's Kids with Cancer Fund. My life changed the day I learned of Genre's story.

My most significant lesson learned: Every bad thing that happens in life will eventually lead you to exactly where you're supposed to be.

Project I’m energized by: Make Room for Kids at the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Working on that project always leaves me feeling like I can conquer the world.

I’m most inspired by: Jamie and Ali McMutrie of Haitian Families First.

People will be surprised that I: Can't do a cartwheel to save my life.

I’m intrigued by Luminari because: Luminari has embraced the fact that true change, growth, and innovation come from imaginations that are allowed to roam freely.

Thanks for sharing with us, Virginia!

Read more of our conversation with Virginia on Luminari's Blog →

President's Message:

by Hilda Pang Fu, President, Luminari

Year of the Dragon

Happy New Year from the Luminari Team! New Year signals new beginnings and as stewards of inspired thinking and proponents of a global fellowship, we’d like to take this opportunity to explore the myriad of ways other cultures announce the New Year.

In America, of course all eyes turn upwards to watch a sparkling ball fall high above New York’s Time Square – but in Scotland, men swing giant blazing fireballs over their heads as they march through the streets during the festival of Hogmanay. In Denmark, people observe the passage from one year to the next by jumping off chairs at midnight. And in some South American nations, people wear brightly colored underwear to guarantee good fortune for the next 12 months! In Spain, individuals will eat one grape for each toll of the clock to bring 12 happy months in the coming year. And in France, Jour des Étrennes is celebrated with elegant family dinner parties and presents.

China rings in the New Year with grand public events. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival and various cultural activities are planned from the first day of the first Chinese month (usually in late January and early February) until the illuminating finale on the fifteenth day. Families, friends and neighbors shed the worries and conflicts of the old and look to the future with hope and zeal.

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, a mighty period in the Chinese Calendar because the Dragon is the most revered symbol in the Chinese zodiac. It is the passionate link to the creative forces that bind us all together – which sums up perfectly the spirit in which Luminari was created! The Dragon also represents prosperity, good luck and good fortune, and we wish all of you plenty of those, along with good health and much happiness, in 2012!
Happy New Year!

Click here to see more New Year celebrations around the world →

What's Next:

We'll be announcing the Luminari Award Scholars in mid-February! We've had a fantastic group of submissions from all over the Pittsburgh region and can't wait to welcome the scholarship recipients to this summer's I Want to be an Ambassador! camp. We'll also have highlights from Teen Writer!: Blog, Reviews, Essays, and Commentaries.
Win a T-Shirt!

We're eager to hear about your New Year traditions, resolutions, and stories. If you share your stories with us via Facebook + Twitter, you'll be entered to win one of 12 Luminari t-shirts.
You must tweet @LUMINARI_Team 
(including the hash tag #LUMOS) or post to our Facebook page right here by February 1st to qualify. You inspire us everyday with your smart, funny and often profound comments -- and we can't think of a better way to kickoff 2012! 
Good luck!

$20 Off February's Teen Writer with Code: NEWYEAR

Think you've got great taste in movies and music? Original opinions about the best books and coolest concerts? Or maybe you're the person who has strong thoughts about everything from school policies to world politics - and you're ready to share them! 
Offer expires: 1/29/12
Register now →

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Januray 29, 2012
Teen Writer! Promo

February 1, 2012
New Year Contest

Mid-February 2012
Luminari Award Scholars

February 25, 2012
Teen Writer! Blogs, Reviews...

May 1, 2012
Early Registration:
I Want to be an Ambassador!

May 1, 2012
Early Registration:
Teen Writer! Fantastic Fiction

May 1, 2012
Diplomacy Week Contest

May 21, 2012
Submission Deadline:
Teen Writer! Scholarship

May 21, 2012
Submission Deadline:
Ambassador! Scholarship
Diplomacy Week

Diplomacy Week

Ambassador students: complete the Diplomacy Week Journey: Activity Sheet for a chance to win a Kindle eReader! Contact us for the activity sheet and more information.
Read more →

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