This post continues our 30 under 30 series. We are spotlighting 30 young Catholics under the age of 30 who are making a difference in our Church and in our world.
We received hundreds of nominations for this series. There were so many amazing nominations, and I have so much hope for our Church! In the end, we can only spotlight 30 folks. We don’t claim that these are the best 30 young Catholics in the world, but 30 people who are doing awesome things and who we wanted to highlight.
We will release the 30 under 30 series in 5 different posts, each featuring a different category of honorees.
Kara Eschbach/Janet Sahm
Occupation: Co-founder of Verily Magazine; Editor in Chief & Publisher
Personal Twitter Account: @karaeschbach
Want to see an authentic expression of feminine genius and beauty in the media? Kara Eschbach and Janet Sahm are on to something. They are the co-founders of Verily Magazine, a new women’s fashion & lifestyle publication. Because they are co-founders, it made sense to put these two honorees into one profile.
Kara Eschbach is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Verily Magazine. Before Verily, she earned a BS from Purdue University and was on the investment team for Credit Suisse’s secondary private equity fund. She speaks and writes on women’s issues, particularly on women in media and in the workplace, and on entrepreneurship.
Janet Sahm is the style editor of Verily Magazine. Before starting Verily, Janet earned her BA in English at Fordham University and had experience interning with Elle Magazine in the Fashion News Department. Sahm writes and speaks on the communicative power of fashion, the beauty of modesty, and pure relationships. On behalf of Verily, Janet has been featured on SiriusXM radio among other radio outlets and CBS New York The Couch morning show.
Verily started as a conversation between women at brunch as they discussed the disconnect between their lives and what so many other women’s magazines were offering. A publication that targets women from all backgrounds, Verily’s motto is “less of who you should be, and more of you are.” The magazine does not use Photoshop to adjust its images as it seeks to uplift a women’s true dignity rather than adjust or compromise it. As Kara stated in a recent interview, “[Verily offers] fashion that is worthy of the woman, relationship advice that goes beyond sex tips, and strong cultural and lifestyle journalism.”
Occupation: Founder and Director of OneBillionStories
Organization Facebook page: OneBillionStories
Personal Twitter Account: @1BillionStories
Do you have a story? You may want to tell it to Seth Demoor. Demoor is the founder and director of OneBillionStories, a think tank of young video missionaries who capture the stories of Catholics around the globe and place them online.
In 2009, Demoor started OneBillionStories as a response to then Pope Benedict XVI’s call to evangelize using New Media. It all began with a bike trip around the United States with his camping gear, a video camera, and a passion for gathering stories. His work has expanded, not only beyond himself, but also beyond the United States, with video missionaries in Peru, Ireland, and the Philippines.
The goal of capturing these stories and sharing them online is that idea that stories lead viewers to see and contemplate the truth, beauty, and goodness of life, all within a Catholic context. A culmination of Demoor’s work can be seen in the production of this video that was produced at World Youth Day 2013 and shown to the millions who participated in the event.
Occupation: Marketing Programs Manager
How do you get high-quality, life-changing Catholic media into the hands of millions of Catholics in North America? You may have not heard his name before, but Elliot Foley is making this happen through Lighthouse Catholic Media, all at the age of 24.
Through its Kiosk distribution system, Lighthouse Catholic Media serves over 6,000 parishes throughout North America. A graduate of Franciscan University, Foley works as the Marketing Programs Manager as he leads an extremely talented members of the Creative Design and IT departments at Lighthouse Catholic Media’s headquarters in Sycamore, IL.
Elliot has worked behind the scenes to lead his team on several breakthrough projects. He has helped to distribute almost two million CDs to Catholic parishes this past year. He was the Project Manager for the Release of the Catholic Study Bible App, which has just surpassed 80,000 downloads. Elliot’s next project is to develop a re-design of Lighthouse Catholic Media’s website. The only question left is: What will he come up with next?
Occupation: Campaign Manager at the Ad Council
Websites: Ad Council and Ad Council YouTube Channel
Organization Facebook page: Ad Council
How can Catholics live out their faith in the secular world of media? Mike Horvath is doing just this as a campaign manager for the Ad Council. Horvath is a graduate of the University of Virginia and served as a FOCUS missionary for three years at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. After this time, he decided to live out his passion for advertising at the Ad Council.
The Ad Council uses “volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to deliver critical messages to the American public.” They are responsible for famous ad campaigns such as Vince and Larry, the Crash Test Dummies, McGruff and his slogan “take a bite out of crime”, and Smokey the Bear and his tagline, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”
Through his work with the Ad Council, Mike manages five public service advertising (PSA) campaigns. These campaigns include Emergency Preparedness and the Fatherhood Involvement, which encourages fathers to be more present in their children’s lives. What does Horvath think about working in the corporate world instead of as a missionary? “At the end of the day, there have to be orthodox Catholics in the corporate world where a lot of people don’t understand what the Church teaches. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in the corporate world, as well as the college campus.”
Occupation: Assistant Director of Resource Development
Organization Facebook page: Life Teen International
Personal Twitter Account: @LT_Christina
How do you use the internet as a positive influence in the lives of teens around the world? Go to Lifeteen.com and see Christian Mead in action. Christina serves as the assistant director of Resource Development for Life Teen International in Mesa, AZ.
A part of Life Teen’s mission is to lead “teenagers and their families into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.” Started in 1985, Lifeteen now serves over 100,000 teens and adults through its parish programs and summer camps in 31 countries.
Life Teen empowers these teens and adults through its resources and online presence. Mead, a graduate of Franciscan University in Steubenville, plays a starring role in this effort as she uses the power of the internet to reach teens where they are at. She manages all of Lifeteen’s online content and the majority of their social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She also writes content herself as she conveys the faith on topics such as music, TV shows, dating, social media, and body image. Last year, Mead wrote her first book, That One Girl: Lessons from Mary for young Catholic Women, published by Lifeteen.
Occupation: Co-Founder of the Imagine Sisters Movement and Seminarian
Websites: Light of Love Film
Organization Facebook Page: Imagine Sisters
Personal Twitter Account: @Imagine Sisters
How do you use media to spark a movement for religious sisters? Dan Rogers co-founded the Imagine Sisters to do just that. Imagine Sisters desires “to encourage and inspire a culture of vocations to women’s religious life by fostering a deep desire for holiness through the witness of religious sisters.”
Imagine Sisters wants to make Jesus loved by introducing the world to religious sisters in love with Christ through media and personal encounters. They do this through their website, social media, and perhaps most prominently their documentary, Light of Love. Light of Love, which Rogers directed, presents a realistic and moving portrayal of five religious sisters from five orders about their call and their work.
A native of Redlands, California, Rogers is currently a seminarian for the Diocese of San Bernandino. NET (National Evangelization Team) played a huge role in helping him grow his faith and in his vocation. During high school, a week long retreat led by NET changed his life through the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation. After high school, he served on a NET team for two years. It was during these retreats that his love for the Church and his call to the priesthood grew. He entered seminary in 2008 and hopes to be ordained a priest in 2018.
Occupation: Content Director for Fr. Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
Websites: Brandon Vogt, Strange Notions, and Word on Fire
Organization Facebook Page: Brandon Vogt, Strange Notions, and Word on Fire
If Catholics needed to elect a New Media commissioner, who would it be? I’d elect Brandon Vogt. Vogt blogs, writes, and speaks on evangelization and new media and is involved in a number of successful new media projects on and off line. A convert to the Catholic faith five years ago, Brandon is the Content Director for Fr. Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.
As a writer, he released his first book in 2008, The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet with Our Sunday Visitor, which won first place at the Catholic Press Association awards. In 2012, he appeared in and wrote the study guide for Fr. Robert Barron’s documentary CATHOLICISM: The New Evangelization. His third book, Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World, will debut in 2014.
Online, Brandon founded StrangeNotions.com, the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. He also runs BrandonVogt.com where he interviews Catholics around the country, gives away free books each week, and writes insightful articles on the Catholic faith. He also informs Catholics around the country about New Media through various speaking engagements and the Digital Church Conference.
Check out other 30 under 30 posts by category: