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Whether internal or outward, the circumstances we’re thrust into invariably shape who we
become, and the mark we make on the world. Here are the stories of three people who’ve
adapted to exceptionally harsh environments by tapping into untold reserves of imagination and
moral courage: Ed Dwight, a former Air Force pilot who faced insurmountable hostility in
training to become the first African-American astronaut, and later emerged as a world-
renowned sculptor whose art honors racial progress; Monther Altiti, a Mercy Corps officer who
endured life-altering trauma while growing up in the Middle East, then created a wilderness
therapy program to provide similarly troubled youth with the same sense of peace he discovered
in nature; and Cecilia McGough, a radio astronomer whose work in astrophysics has granted a
powerful escape from the inner chaos of schizophrenia.
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