By Coordinator

May 12, 2010 9:19am

“Be Inspired” Series Airs on “GMA” Monday, May 17-Friday, May 21



 We all know people who inspire us with their smarts, creativity, compassion and drive — people who make a difference by changing lives and even saving lives. Starting Monday, May 17, “Good Morning America” anchors Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Juju Chang and Bill Weir share stories of the remarkable people who inspire them personally. “Be Inspired” will air on Monday, May 17-Friday, May 21 on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”


Monday, May 17: Sam Champion has always looked up to his older sister Teresa. Seventeen years ago, Teresa put her promising legal career on hold to not only raise a son diagnosed with Autism, but to help other families with Autistic children. Whether raising money for therapeutic programs early on when Autism was not so prevalent, to running support groups out of her home to help other parents cope with the challenges of an Autistic child, to lobbying a change in public policy and spearheading legislation for Autistic children and their families, Sam says there is nothing his big sister has not done selflessly committed to a cause and putting her own needs aside to help others.


 Tuesday, May 18: An entire senior class graduating and being accepted to college is a remarkable feat for any high school. That feat is especially inspiring if the senior class is from an all-boys high school on the South Side of Chicago, where crime is at an all-time high and 60% of the boys in public schools there will not even graduate.  Robin Roberts travels to Chicago to introduce “GMA” viewers to the Urban Prep Academy all-boys charter high school and the man who created a unique learning atmosphere to push students to heights once deemed impossible. Against all odds, all 107 seniors are not only graduating, but they are all attending four-year colleges starting this fall.


Wednesday, May 19:   Ever since the early 1980s when George Stephanopoulos was a Washington, D.C., intern, he has been inspired by Loring Henderson. Loring, who at the time was working for advocacy and policy organizations in D.C., introduced George to volunteerism at a local soup kitchen. Since then, Loring has dedicated his life to helping others in need. As the Executive Director of the Lawrence Community Shelter in Lawrence, Kansas, his goal is to not only provide a safe shelter for the homeless, but also a program that provides a path to a positive future.


Thursday, May 20: While reading a book about historical figures to one of her sons, Juju Chang came across the story of Wilma Rudolph, the first woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics in track and field events (Rome, 1960).  This is pretty extraordinary considering how she got her start in life.  Her parents were told she would likely never be able to walk properly because of childhood polio, but she went on to become the fastest woman in the world. Juju travels to Tennessee State to talk to Rudolph’s former track coach Ed Temple, as well as the current coach of the women’s track and field team Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice (mentored by Wilma) about the inspirational runner, who has since become a favorite of Juju and her son.


Friday, May 21: For 770 days, Ed Stafford has been walking the length of the Amazon River in South Americafrom Caman on the Pacific coast of Peru to the mouth of the river on the Atlantic coast of Brazil. In the world’s first expedition of its kind, his journey is designed to draw worldwide attention to the complexities of the Amazon rainforest. Weekend anchor Bill Weir joins Ed on this harrowing journey, which he hopes to complete in August.


“GMA” will also feature inspirational stories from such celebrities as Michael J. Fox, Chris Rock, Vanessa Williams, Alyssa Milano, and Rosie ODonnell. Additionally, “GMA” wants to know what inspires its viewers. Log on to ABCNews.com/gma to share your stories. 


Photographs are available on www.abcmedianet.com.


“Good Morning America,” the Emmy Award-winning morning news program featuring the anchor team of Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion and Juju Chang, airs live Monday through Friday from 7:00-9:00 a.m., ET on the ABC Television Network. Bill Weir is the anchor of “Good Morning America Weekend.” Jim Murphy is the senior executive producer and Tom Cibrowski is the executive producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

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