Telling Our Stories: Member Showcase at Speak Up, Rise Up

Telling our stories is the most powerful way we can change the world around us. Whether it's being brutally honest about veteran transition or being at risk for suicide--or sharing why we're dedicated to serving others--we prioritize storytelling as a key way for our members to get involved in the NYC Veterans Alliance.

Looking back on an impactful 2017, we were especially proud to have seven of our members--four veterans and three civilians--share their stories on stage at the historic Connelly Theater as part of the Speak Up, Rise Up Storytelling Festival. Take a look at the highlights of this fantastic evening:

NYC Veterans Alliance Member Showcase

Take a look at the full videos of each of our seven members who shared their stories on stage:


Donna Zephrine shares her story of challenge and growth with veterans' organizations:


Corey Ortega tells about his early days in political organizing:


Caitlin Graziano explains how she got involved as an AmeriCorps Vista:


Michael Thorne on finding humor in his service in the U.S. Navy:


Steven Behnke shares his adventures bringing music to elderly veterans: 


James Fitzgerald on his journey from combat to a fuller openness about his life:


Elana Duffy on her post-combat adventures across the globe:


Special thanks to our storytelling coach, Richard Cardillo, who spent a Saturday listening and guiding our members to refine their stories for a theater audience. Thanks also to Asher Novek, Director of Speak Up, Rise Up, for his partnership and support in producing a truly inspirational evening!