Video Podcasts

Time to Meet the New SOAR! Recipients!

Me Ra Koh

It’s time to meet your new SOAR! Recipients!

A big congratulations to Charisse Rhodes, Ali Anderson and Rachel Abelson!!  You will get to know these women a lot more in the months to follow!  We are so excited to officially start their journey!  Will you help me welcome these courageous ladies!

This amazing video was edited by Photographer’s Reel!  They are the latest company to join our SOAR! Partners, and they have produced promo videos for pros like Jasmine Star and David Jay!  All three SOAR! Recipients will have their OWN promo video made with Photographer’s Reel at the end of the year!  Isn’t that amazing!

Special thanks to a handful of women who represented our incredible community in today’s video; Christine Barker, Wendy Zippwald, Linda Baylis and Genie Ohashi.  Thank you for taking the time to bring the good news to these ladies in person!

Special thanks to our SOAR! Partners; SONY, Adobe, Wisdom Connection, Jill-e Designs, SmugMugPro, FastLine Media, San Diego Barefoot Memories , ShootDotEdit and Pixel 2 Canvas!

*If you were a SOAR! Applicant this year, or last year, I’d like to invite you to a special SOAR! Teleconference Call on February 18th at 10am PST/1pm EST.  I will be joined with Wendy, our SOAR! Coordinator, and the SOAR! Business Coaches from Wisdom Connection.  We have planned a special 1 hour call to kick off the new SOAR with inspiration and coaching questions for you to reflect upon.  Keep a look out for a special email invitation with all the call-in details so you can join us.  Again, this SOAR! Teleconference call is a special call for ALL our SOAR! Applicants.  We can’t wait to talk with you!

Have to say it one more time!  Congratulations Charisse, Ali and Rachel.  Soak it in ladies and fasten your seat belts!  🙂




  1. Heather says:

    I applied for Soar last year (the first year) and my email has changed. heatherlbrandt (at) frontier (dot) com. Not sure who to share that with but I don’t want to miss out on Soar news 🙂

  2. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations Ladies! I can’t wait to follow your SOAR year!

  3. Michelle says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to all of you! You have an amazing road ahead of you and I cannot wait to cheer you all on!!!!!!!

  4. Julie Watts says:

    Congratulations ladies! So excited for you to have this thrilling opportunity to be wholeheartedly supported as you continue to create your own unique reality…can’t wait to follow your journeys!

  5. Gretchen says:

    Congratulations ladies! Have a fabulous 2011!!

  6. Rachel Leib says:

    Congratulations to the Soar winners!!!

  7. I am SO happy for the SOAR community this year! Im just in tears with excitement! Charisse, Ali and Rachel, are you are just beautiful. I can’t wait to watch all of our journeys this year.
    Now, lets go get our SOAR! on! Hee hee

  8. Beryl says:

    Congrats ladies!!! So unbelievably excited for all 3 of you and can’t wait to get to know you better. I am a VA girl and I was also excited to see 2 gals from the Washington Metro area as recipients this year. Way to go ladies. 🙂

  9. Michelle says:

    I’m so excited for you all! I can’t wait to follow each of you during this wonderful journey.

  10. That was so exciting and touching! I am so happy for all of you and can’t wait to follow you on your journey.

  11. Christen says:

    Congratulations beautiful women!! Your reactions were priceless…. Blessings to each of you this year as you SOAR.

  12. Jen MacNiven says:

    So excited for you ladies! What an adventure life is about to take you on…enjoy and welcome to your dream! SOAR ON!

  13. Brianna says:

    WOW! I am so excited about this year!! Amazing things are already happening and I’m SO looking forward to SOARing with you 3 ladies!! Let’s do this thing! 😀

  14. oooh, tears!! so many things, so much to say!!! i am SO very excited for you three! what a ride this will be-i cannot wait to watch it roll!

  15. Wendy Roob says:

    YAY!!! Congratulations Charisse, Ali and Rachel! Now is your time to SOAR high!

  16. Teresa says:


  17. Summie Roach says:

    Congrats to Charisse, Ali and Rachel! My eyes were full of tears of joy watching you all receive this incredible gift! I am excited to see how each of you spread you wings and blessed to follow you on this wonderful, life changing journey!
    Spread you wings and SOAR ladies!!!
    Lots of Hugs to you!
    Summie 🙂

  18. OH MY GOODNESS!!! I am so excited!! CHARISSE!!! You are so amazing! I cannot wait to see where this year takes you!!

    Congratultions to all three of you!!

  19. Michelle says:

    Congratulations, what a wonderful year this will be for you!

  20. Karyn Price says:

    Chills! CHILLS!!!!! So exciting! Can’t wait to watch you SOAR!

  21. Sara says:

    Congratulations! Seeing these videos and their excitement has made my day.

  22. Christina says:

    I have tears in my eyes! CONGRATULATIONS ladies!! What a blessing and I can not wait to see the unimaginable heights you will SOAR! to!!

  23. ajira says:

    Congratulations ladies!!

    Woohooo Charisse!! I’m so proud of you and eager to watch you soar mama! 😀

  24. Tina P. says:

    WAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love these videos and so proud of you women! CONGRATS and well deserved. What a year you will experience!

  25. Delanae says:

    Wow that was fun. I am so glad they video taped you all getting your surprise. Nothing but joyful tears filled my eyes for you. I cannot wait to SOAR with you!!! Yea us! 🙂

  26. Shelley Hohe says:

    Congratulations to you 3 wonderful ladies who have been chosen for this amazing scholarship! It will be exciting to follow your journeys as you SOAR! this coming year! I pray that not only will the 3 of you ladies learn and grow from this but by what you share that we will all learn and grow as well! I am soooo happy for each of you! May the Lord bless you abundantly in all you do this year!!!

  27. shawna says:

    oh my goodness. congrats to everyone. charisse i’ve seen you all over here and i’m so happy for you! and to the east coasters, yay! i hope i get to see a slice of my old home through you :O)

  28. jessica ho says:

    wow! congratulations to all of you lovely women! im excited to see where the year takes you. <333

  29. Juanita says:

    So happy for you ladies. Tears welled up as I watched your reactions 🙂 Can’t wait to follow along on your amazing journeys, it’s going to be a great year!

  30. Nickie says:

    Congratulations Ladies!!! Can’t wait to follow your journey and Soar along with you.

  31. jeramy says:

    you had me at “hi, my name is mera koh” 🙂

    what a truly amazing collection of moments! thanks for sharing them with all of us. to charisse, ali and rachel…such a huge, huge congratulations. soak up every moment!

    p.s. wendy is fabulous!

  32. wow! That video moved me to chills and tears! I am so excited to see all three of you SOAR in 2011! Congrats!!!

  33. Debbie Allan says:

    I am so excited for these three beautiful ladies. Even more thrilled that I know one of them! I have a FAMOUS friend!!! Good luck to you all. I am so looking forward to following your journeys.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! It promised to be amazing for you all.

  34. Brian says:

    I’m Brian Tausend, and I’m ready to cry.
    Congratulations Ali, Charisse, and Rachel! I’m excited to watch you SOAR! this year.

  35. suzan s says:

    Charisse, Ali and Rachel! Congratulations! What a great journey you are about SOAR through! Yeah! I am so happy for you and look forward to joining you in the exercises this year. Self Portrait?! Well, we will figure it out somehow. I can’t wait to share in your journey. HAVE FUN!!!! Wahoooooeeeeeeeee!

  36. Lynda Kennedy says:

    Brought tears to my eyes!! So excited for all of the ones chosen, what an exciting journey you have ahead of you this year! … again to those who were not chosen (i was one of the “not chosen” last year) :o) well, you are chosen, the dream inside of you is real and you too can Soar …. just believe!

    Again, Mera, thank you so much for heart behind all that you do! How blessed we are to be connected with your heart!

  37. dayna runge says:

    wow!! as bummed as I was to not win, I am so excited to see y’all!! I cried when y’all realized what was going on and can only imagine the emotions that went thru you!! It’s absolutely amazing what you will have happen this year!! I am so happy for y’all!

  38. Melissa says:

    Oh. My. Goodness!!! What a wonderful video, totally made me cry! I am so excited for these ladies and look forward to watching them on their incredible journey this year. Congratulations to Charisse, Ali, and Rachel!!! 🙂

  39. So Awesome!! Congratulations Charisse, Ali and Rachel!

  40. Lisa K. says:

    beautiful, absolutely beautiful!!! soooooo excited for you girls!!!! xoxo

  41. Amanda Mays says:

    Wonderful video, tears here at my desk! Congratulations Ladies totally excited for you!

  42. Rhonda says:

    congratulations ladies!!!! I’m currently in Louisiana for a photo shoot and don’t have a computer to watch the video, but you can bet it will be one of the first things I do when I get home – after loving on my babies. Charisse I’m so excited to see you as one of the recipients. When I watched your video I was hoping you would be chosen. Ali & Rachel, I can’t wait to get to know you this year.
    I just LOVE Soar!!!

  43. Judith I says:

    Congrats to all the Ladies!! Charisse I cannot wait to watch you SOAR Congrats girl!!!

  44. Ladies…I am so excited for you. I don’t know how many times I have watched the final video and each time I cry! You are all beautiful, stunning ladies that I can’t wait to work with this year! Congratulations!

  45. Steph Mason says:

    I just cried(good tears.) What a heartfelt video. 🙂

  46. Genie Ohashi says:

    Speechless, teary and big grins. Happy and excited for the three of you – and so looking forward to the growth of the entire Soar! Community!

    Keep tuned y’all as we can all continue to soar together! And kudos to Paul at Photographers Reel!!

  47. John Louviere says:

    how do you do it? i totally broke down crying. thanks for continuing to spread your arms wide.

  48. Michelle says:

    After reading these comments I cannot wait to watch the video!!!! I wish iPads supported the video so I could watch it with you all from 1/2 a world away!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  49. Susan Burchard says:

    Congratulations ladies! I am so excited for you! I look forward to following you along this wonderful journey! This is going to be an AMAZING year for ALL of us!! 🙂

  50. Lisa W. says:

    WAHOO! CONGRATULATIONS to the three lucky ladies! I know this will be a fabulous year. GO SOAR!

  51. jeramy says:

    @brian, amanda mays & wendy….ok….i cried too. really. 🙂

    congratulations again ladies!

  52. Idie A says:

    That brought tears to my eyes! I am so excited for all of the ladies and can’t wait to see what this year has in store.

  53. Hip hip hooray!!!! Congratulations ladies! So excited for EVERYONE.

  54. I am so excited for you three ladies and everyone else that gets to be involved in such an amazingly supportive community. So much is ahead of the three recipients and anyone else who is willing to take the leap of faith. I am so excited for Charisse, Ali, and Rachel!! You have a huge fan in me already, can’t wait to watch the journey!!

    Shine On,

  55. Tammy Snyder says:

    Congratulations Ali, Charisse and Rachel !! What an exciting journey to be on and looking forward to your growth in so many ways.

  56. Natalie Johnson says:

    Mera, What a way to spread the joy around. I have tears of joy for Charisse, Ali, & Rachel! Thanks for capturing that moment for all of us to see. This is going to be a great Soaring year! Congratulations Soar Sisters!

  57. Katie says:

    Congratulations ladies!!! 🙂 Can’t wait to send supporting vibes to you all 2011 long.

  58. Debra says:

    Congrats to the winners! Loved the video!

  59. natalia says:

    Congratulations ladies. So looking forward to watching your journey this year. Charisse … those self-portraits were just a warm up! you deserve this.

  60. Jeff Jochum says:

    The word Congratulations seems meager in this context. What lies ahead of you in opportunity is more than a match for the energy that you feel at your back, right now. You have been welcomed into the SOAR! family and that is a huge accomplishment, in itself. These powerful women (and the rest of us who run to keep up) will propel, and compel, you to reach far beyond what you think you are capable of. The world of your success is a much bigger place than you’ve imagined, and I’m excited to watch, and maybe even help, you discover and explore it over the next year, and beyond. All of us at Me Ra Koh Media share in your celebration now, just as we’ll share in your journey, tomorrow.

    Go Get Em.

  61. Melisa says:

    Congratulations ladies!!!!!!

  62. Lynde says:

    yay!! too excited for you all! jumping up and down!! woot!

  63. Linda Baylis says:

    Oh my – I nearly missed this!!! Congratulations to you three beautiful ladies. You have such an exciting journey ahead… grab on to something solid and hold tight because the roller coaster ride of your life is just beginning. I can’t wait to see you SOAR and will be with you all the way {even if that way is across the ocean!}

    Love and huge happy hugs!!!

  64. Jessica says:

    Congratulations to all three 2010 recipients!! I look forward to following your journeys this year.

    CHARISSE!!! I had the pleasure to meet you and witness your genuine love for photography. You’re a beautiful soul and I’m so happy to see you’ve received this great honor and chance to truly soar! Congrats!

  65. Charisse says:

    I sit here still in awe and amazement, not only that this panel of judges thought me worthy to receive the benefit of this wonderful scholarship and also not solely (yet completely ) that Me Ra continued to think bigger than any box and pull this scholarship together for a second year in a row. But I am humbled with tears running down my cheeks as I read the welcoming and supportive comments of all of my great new cyber friends who have rallied behind us, chosen to soar with us and chosen to pray for us as we move forward in reaching beyond our own limitations. If I could put this feeling in an image it would hang on my wall with those “priceless” memories that I share there. Instead, I will place it on the “priceless treasures” wall of my heart and remember it for a lifetime. It is my desire to share with you as much as I can, in a matter as transparent as I am, and we will SOAR together this year. Let’s Rock 2011 my soar sisters …and brothers! :~)

    Btw…Ali & Rachel…CONGRATULATIONS…Looking forward to our journey together!

  66. Congratulations! I can’t wait to follow everyone’s journey this year on the SOAR blog! 🙂

  67. Jane says:

    This video is so touching to see the three recipients…their joy and tears! Congratulations!

  68. I am Jennifer Leigh Page, and I am ready to SOAR with the 2011 SOAR recipients!! Congratulations to the three of you! So excited for you and all of us who get to SOAR along with you. It’s going to be an incredible journey!! Let’s do this!

  69. Oops..meant 2010 recipients! (See what happens when I get too excited?)

  70. ali anderson says:

    friends ~ your sincere cheers of support have warmed my heart – thank you. i can’t wait to get to know all of you. if you submitted an application this year, *please please please* come with us on this journey: don’t stop here. if you didn’t submit an application, but wish you had, then you especially need to stay here and come along for the ride! and if you’ve made the leap and own your business (photography or otherwise), then we ALL need you to join us. here we go!

  71. Rachel Abelson says:

    Gals (and guys),

    Your words are so special and so kind. Who would have ever thought that we would have so many amazing people support us…and they don’t even know us-yet! Just as the video brought tears to my eyes, so has reading all of your comments. Thank you for your support and encouragement and we embark on this journey. I know it will be filled will lots of emotion, laughter, and fun. I am so honored to be able to share all of it with you. Get your wings ready….let’s SOAR! together!

  72. Stacey Samuel says:

    Congratulations to ALL the SOAR winners! And a double dose of “Love” to my sister and friend Charisse. I’m so suuuuper proud of you. I cried when I seen each video and I could tell you were sooooo shocked, it was priceless.

    May God bless you during this year of discovery and adventure. You are so deserving. My prayers, love, and support pour out to you. And remember:

    “The sky can’t be the limit when there are footsteps on the moon”!

    Love and blessings to you! 🙂

  73. Congratulations girls!! looking forward to the journey!

  74. Karen says:

    Congratulations to Rachel, Charisse and Ali!! I am looking forward to following you this year on your amazing journey. Thank you in advance for all that you will be sharing with us! Happy SOARING!!!

  75. What a beautiful team effort in announcing the 2010 recipients! So fun to see all you ladies sharing the good news in person with all three lovely ladies. Congratulations Rachel, Charisse and Ali! So excited for all of you and looking forward to sharing in the journey as we all SOAR together. Blessings to all of you as you take flight in a new adventure!

  76. Rose says:

    Yup, kleenex was needed! I LOVE tears of overwhelming joy! They’re the best. And I hope this year will the best every for you three (and all of the Soar community)!

    Congratulations Charisse, Ali and Rachel!!

  77. Time to Meet the New SOAR! Recipients! | Me Ra Koh Photography Blog Will you be talking more about this particular Genre.

  78. Mama & Papa says:

    Kudos and Congrats to our Ali-Gator as well as Charisse and Rachel! Ali, we are always ferociously proud of you and can’t wait to see how you grow in your art! Carpe Diem & Love…

  79. Addie says:

    Is that the sound of wings I hear?!!! YAY!!!!! The start to a phenomenal journey for these three lovely and lucky ladies! Can’t wait to see the view from up where you SOAR gals!!! Congratulations!

  80. Oh I Love that Addie!!! It is the “Sound of WINGS”, I hear it too!!!

    I must have lost a year in there somewhere…Let me catch up to the flock….in the above I meant to say Congrat’s to the 2011 Soar Recipients and Job Well Done to 2010 ladies! Yay…ready for take off.. sky’s the limit!!!

  81. Lakeicia says:

    Congratulations to you all! I am excited for you and can’t wait to be a part of your journey.

  82. Lakeicia says:

    I just had to let you guys know I watched this at work without sound and still had chills AND tears. 🙂

  83. Leanne says:

    WhoooohhhOOOOOO! How exciting!!! Can’t wait! Congratulations to the three winners AND everyone who entered! I know it’s always hard for me to do something like this, so I consider myself a winner just by entering! Yeah…can’t wait!

  84. Hanifa says:

    yay!! Congrats ladies can’t wait to watch u all SOAR this year!

  85. Marla Dee says:

    Congrats to all of you! I wish you the best of luck as you take off on your journey and SOAR this year.

  86. Liane Dimond says:

    Congratulations too all of you and I can’t wait to get to know you better through out this year!!!

  87. Hannah Chen says:

    What a beautiful video. Can’t wait to get to know these women this year!

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