SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Syracuse couple is using their voice to empower and unify the community. Every Thursday, Keenan Lewis and Maria Maldonado-Lewis broadcast the I Know I Can radio program on WVOA from 7-8 p.m.
As soon as you walk into the radio station, you can feel the life-changing energy of the show. The mission of the program is to promote change, bring empowerment and create unity among our communities. They work diligently to encourage communities to work together and make true life changes.
“A lot of the time, what you see is a lot of negative things and we wanted to show people some of the positive things about Syracuse,” Maldonado-Lewis said.
They started the show three years ago, never imagining that it would have a worldwide reach. They highlight everything from entrepreneurship, financial literacy to depression and suicide. But the conversations aren’t centered around the problems. They focus on the solutions.
“We believe that testimonies are what helps others get through the hard times of life and we are all about empowering people and make sure they understand no matter what you go through, there is a way out of it,” Maldonado-Lewis said.
Like Keenan’s personal testimony growing up on the Southside of Syracuse.
“I had trips and stumbles along the way, but I just kept going and built a strong support team. People who really believed in me and those were the things that helped me get to where I am right now,” Lewis said.
His support system helped him along the way, but what motivated him even more, actually came from within.
“I always felt like there was a purpose for me in my life. I didn’t know where it was going to take me, but I always knew the City of Syracuse meant so much and I always wanted to give back in some way,” Lewis said.
Purpose. A theme woven throughout all of their episodes, including one with a guest who was on the brink of killing herself. During one of their programs, a guest said she was contemplating suicide and the only reason she didn’t do it was because she promised them she would be on the radio program. That’s just one example of their impact.
“We have a show with Jubilee Homes called ‘Showcase Sundays’ where it’s through music and sound and creativity and resources from the community that we are able to give back to the community,” Maldonado-Lewis said.
The love for Central New York shines through everything they do, fulfilling their personal mission of making the community a better place.
For more local news, follow Jennifer Sanders on Twitter @JSandersNC9