Lori Michaels Can Touch Somebody’s Heart

Lori Michaels can touch somebody’s heart, a strikingly beautiful woman; she can place herself within some of the most successful women in the world.

This is not because she has millions of dollars or because she hangs at the trendiest of places. Lori Michaels is a pioneer for change; a woman who believes the power of music can lift kids up to a high place without the use of drugs or alcohol. Reach Out Inc., the non-profit organization that Lori started when she was only 16, yes I said 16, educates young people to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. At an age when most teens are to self-involved Lori was looking for a way to help her peers and younger kids keep their lives on track.

Lori graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree and has received numerous awards recognizing her for philanthropy and charitable work. She was the youngest recipient ever of the Helen Hayes St. Clare’s Award of Merit. Lori is currently an active member of the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation, and a member of the Fairview Municipal Alliance. Aside from her involvement in organizations she has also done public speaking at career days and graduation events throughout the Bergen County area, most notably at the “Academy of the Holy Angels.”

Throughout the years as Lori grew her focus grew with her, Lori ran and owned a center for the performing arts, women’s fitness, and wellness, called Peak Performance. It was located in Ridgefield New Jersey Lori made her center state of the art, with a Cyber Cafe, Juice Bar, Recording Studio, and multiple dance studios. Peak Performance offered classes such as Ballet, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, P.O.W. Peaks Overall Workout, and onsite Personal Trainers. On top of all these accomplishments Lori still has time to be a recording artist.

Lori has toured with such groups as New Kids On the Block, since her teen days she has grown as a musician, writing such songs as, “Junky Love, and Take Me For a Ride.” Lori blends a mix of Pop and Hip Hop. On such ballads as “Joey’s Song,” which was written for Joey DiPaolo, Lee Evans’s finger work on the piano is enough to bring tears to your eyes. My only complaint… no CD out as of yet, although most of her time is spent concentrating on Reach Out she is currently in the studio working on a CD.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Michaels in Edgewater at the Edgewater Commons on a hot, humid night in July. We walked along the waters of the Hudson River overlooking New York City. It was the perfect setting to be blown away by what this woman had to say. Not only is she talented but extremely intelligent with her feet on the ground and her head placed firmly on her shoulders.

ERIN:

Lori why don’t you tell me a bit about Reach Out Inc.

LORI:

I started Reach Out when I was 16 to motivate people especially young people to want to get involved with positive activities. Activities that would foster awareness and educate people about the dangers of drugs, crime, violence, prejudice, and to promote awareness for AIDS and other life threatening diseases.

ERIN:

What kind of activities do you do for the children, to get them motivated?

LORI:

Primarily, we organize and create musical presentations performed in an assembly concert format at schools and community events. We also get involved with other noteworthy charitable organizations that share in our goals of Reaching Out. Most recently we have a center where people can attend classes and workshops in dance, music, fitness, or just to be around a positive environment.

ERIN:

How do you feel about the music industry today, do you think that it has gotten better for women all around?

LORI:

I think there is a lot of opportunity for women in music to just do what they love. I don’t think its so much about selling a million records I think if you sit down and write a song you say what you feel, its enough for me at least to just be happy. I love music and its a key part in everything that I do.

ERIN:

Being a woman in the music industry what do you feel is the hardest part for you?

LORI:

I don’t think it’s hard I think that everything I have experienced till now has taught me what I know about the music industry, mostly its taught me a lot about life and people.

ERIN:

Out of the many things you are involved in what do you feel has been the most rewarding?

LORI:

Being able to walk out on stage, (with a laugh), sometimes grass sometimes concrete, hearing the music play singing that first line and seeing people smile, especially kids.

Most recently Lori started a production company, Lori Michael’s Productions which put together a girly show to perform at various clubs and bars in and around NY and NJ. They will venture out to Key West for their latest show to take on other parts of the country with their sexy hot style. Lori sings while her hot back-up dancers accompany her on stage. Jamisin Lee is just one of Lori’s sexy and talented lead dancers. For mature audiences only! She took her girly show to Asbury Park, NJ and Jersey City Pride this year as well as clubs in Atlantic City, NJ.

So you see, Lori may not be a celebrity in Hollywood’s eyes but she is a star and role model for children and young teens all over the world. After Lori leaves a school she leaves with them a sense of accomplishment and pride, what Lori Michaels gives to those children, neither drugs nor alcohol can ever take away. Being able to volunteer for Reach Out I have experienced first hand the joy and sense of self-esteem that the organization brings to these children. The smiles and the cheers – it’s all part of this unselfish act.

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