Tag Archives: #hometownheroes

Hometown Heroes – Julie Chapus – 01/31/23



When Julie Chapus answered her phone, she was unaware that the distraught young woman on the other end would be her first contact with a pervasive human rights issue happening in Rochester — human trafficking.

“Miss Julie’s School of Beauty” is a new outreach for victims of human trafficking. The innovative program provides cosmetology training to empower survivors. The training helps those in the Rochester area and also draws survivors from many other areas.

Meet Julie Chapus, this week’s Family Life Hometown Hero. The founder says Miss Julie’s School of Beauty is an outreach of Christ for Kids Ministries of Rush, New York.

​When a trafficking victim has spent time on the street, they will likely be arrested for the very situation they have been forced into. Even if escape becomes possible, afterward – left with a criminal record – they experience extreme difficulty finding a job that pays a living wage. The school helps one’s past not prevent a beautiful future. Acting on that conviction, we provide survivors and those at risk with an opportunity to earn a cosmetology license and enter into a rewarding career, at no cost to them. Because an state-granted cosmetology license removes the necessity of a background check, graduates are free to pursue an independent living without the necessity of explaining a traumatic history.


Hometown Heroes – Jeff Winton – Rural Minds – 01/24/23



Hometown Heroes this week features Jeff Winton, founder and head of Rural Minds, a Chautauqua County, NY-based organization dedicated to advocating for improved mental health services for rural America.

Winton was motivated by a tragedy in his own family to start Rural Minds, which urges action because mental illness is a growing epidemic, and the suicide rate is 65% higher in rural areas. Covid lockdowns and lack of good broadband internet service adds to feelings of isolation. There is hope and practical ways to encourage each other.


Hometown Heroes – Bill Matteson – 01/03/23



Hometown Heroes features Bill Matteson, founder of Chautauqua County’s “CopeFoundation19”, dedicated to assisting children whose parents have died of opioid overdoses. Matteson’s adult son died four years ago this week, leaving behind three children.


22-1115_Hometown Heroes_ Theo Braddy



This week’s Hometown Hero is Theo Braddy of Lower Paxton Township, PA. He’s a quadriplegic since a football accident at age 15, a long-time advocate for the disabled in central Pennsylvania, and newly-appointed to the president’s National Council on Disability.