He pursued his passion for food before being a chef was 'cool.'

In elementary school, Lorenzo Boni was the only boy to sign up for cooking classes.

“At the time, being a chef wasn’t cool like it is today,” Lorenzo remembers. “There was no Food Network or guest celebrities on TV.”

Becoming a chef wasn’t necessarily seen as a particularly lucrative profession either — but that wasn't what Lorenzo was motivated by.


Just like the rest of us who find our calling to do what we love, he was motivated by one thing: passion.

Have a great, happy and fun Sunday everyone out there! Ciao! #cheflife #colander #hat #passionforpasta

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He’d always spent Sunday mornings watching his mother make fresh tortellini or garganelli — pastas local to the Bologna region where they lived — and when the family came home from church, they’d all enjoy a delicious family meal made entirely from scratch.

Many Italian people out there will recognize this as the age-old tradition known as the, capital-letter, "Sunday Dinner. "

Instead of playing on a soccer team, Lorenzo helped his dad cook for the professional team he loved. This offered him the chance to meet his idols face-to-face.

He also helped his dad throw huge dinners for friends.

When he wasn’t helping out in his parents' kitchen, he was at his grandfather’s bakery, sneaking bites of warm pastries and other treats, as he watched them transform from dough to magic.

“I just really loved food and spending time with my family,” Lorenzo says.  

He went on to become the only boy in his family to attend culinary school.

His brothers became dentists and accountants.

And fueled by his deep-rooted passion for food, Lorenzo went on to have a highly successful career.  

He cooked in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants across Italy and eventually opening his own restaurant in Italy.

Chef Lorenzo Boni in the Barilla test kitchen in Chicago. Image via Barilla, used with permission.

And, today, he’s the executive chef at Barilla's North America test kitchen in Chicago, where he is in charge of all recipe development for North America.

Taste-tester may be a job we all joke about when we snatch a forkful off a friend's plate, but it's serious business in the real world.

Creating recipes for Barilla’s websites, social media accounts, and the quintessential back-of-the-box recipes we all love comes with serious responsibility.

Image via Barilla, used with permission.

“It’s so different every day,” he says. “When I had my restaurant, it was a very good business, but I wanted to be able to travel, to meet new people, new chefs. That’s what I missed.” Plus, he gets to develop recipes for passionate celebrities for the YouTube show "While the Water Boils" with Hannah Hart.

Chef Lorenzo Boni's spaghetti recipe with cherry tomatoes and basil. Image via Barilla, used with permission.

He also gets to teach kids how to cook, as his test kitchen has a series of cooking classes for children from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

"We have been working with different organizations with the goal of inspiring kids and their families to spend more time in the kitchen," he says. The goal is simple: teach them to cook healthier foods and encourage them "have meaningful time around the stove and the table with family and friends."

After all, it was this time in the kitchen with family that helped Lorenzo discover and fuel his passion — and now, he wants to share that joy with others too.

Image via Barilla, used with permission.

"I am happy I can share my love of food with American kids, just like my father and grandfather did with me," he says. "Those are memories that will stick with me forever."

Lorenzo has also mastered the art of professional food photography and he uses it to share his passion for food with an even wider audience (of all ages), including the Passion for Pasta audience online, as well as tons of Instagram followers.

When it comes to following your passion, Chef Lorenzo says it's important not to be distracted by specific, long-term goals.

What matters most is that what you do now.

"Follow what your heart is telling you to do. Just go for it."

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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