Carole Eglash-Kosof is a graduate of UCLA and has spent the majority of her career in business and teaching. After tragedy struck in 2006, causing her to lose her husband, mother and brother within a month of one another, she knew she needed to reevaluate her life. She was sent to South Africa to teach as part of the American Jewish World Service. The Human Spirit is the tale of the people of this land who show a level of caring unrivaled by most. They are apartheid’s unheralded heroes and The Human Spirit is their story.
Wanting to give back to those that have helped her, Mrs. Eglash-Kosoff has established the …a better way! Scholarship program which helps high school students with their first and second year of college.
All profits from the sale of The Human Spirit will be donated to Ikamva Labantu and other South African charities.
The picture on the cover of the book is adorable! Did you help choose what was portrayed there?
These are pictures of children I worked with. Several are FAS…Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; others are HIV, but one is a pre-teen chess champion in her school.
I am sure this is a tough subject, but after reading about the loss of your husband, mother, and brother in such a short period of time how did you overcome the grief?
For two months girlfriends wouldn’t even let me sleep alone in the house…I’d pretty well hit the bottom, but then I decided if I wasn’t going to die. I needed to give something back.
Can you tell us a little more about …a better way! Scholarship program? Who can apply and what benefits will they receive?
I’m just using the local high school…North Hollywood H.S. which has both a regular as well as a magnet campus…this year seventeen seniors applied, and I gave four scholarships as well as two 2d year from those who had won the previous year. Any senior can apply who will attend college…I interview each of them. Awards can either be $1,000 or $2,500….not large amounts but it can make a difference to them.
I see that all profits from this book are being donated to Ikamva Labantu and other South African charities. Can you tell us more about them?
They have a US 501c3 that I send money to. I am also occasionally able to send them clothing donations I gather from local apparel manufacturers.
Can you tell us a little more about South Africa and some of the people you have met/helped there?
I am so proud to have worked with them. They are dedicated to making the lives of others better.
Being a writer can be a lonely profession. How do you keep from giving up if you get discouraged? Who do you get your support from?
I get support from friends and family these days, and the terrific reviews I received for When Stars Align have been particularly rewarding…I’ve become quite interconnected with the characters I created for that book and its sequel.
How did your formal education prepare you for becoming an author? Is there anything you feel you could have learned in school that would have better prepared you for the publishing process?
I had always wanted to be a writer, and I did some before I met my husband, but in the 20+ years we were together I didn’t write. It all returned when I was in Africa…separated from old friends, writing frequently about those I met. Those stories eventually became The Human Spirit.
How did you come up with the title?
It came quite easily. To work for decades in the face of so much opposition can only have come from people with a supreme inner strength…that is…the human spirit.
What message from your book do you want your readers to grasp?
That despite overwhelming opposition people can accomplish positive things in life.