Not long ago, I remember being utterly fascinated while reading Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s memoirs. To say that she has lived an extraordinary life filled with extraordinary people is, at the very least, an understatement. But what I found most intriguing was her vivid recollection of the people and organizations that, from childhood, encouraged her, supported her and nurtured her into becoming the powerful woman that she is today. I immediately flipped through my mental files for the names of those who have influenced me: Mrs. Smith – my 4th grade social studies teacher who expanded my view of the world, Mrs. McCain – my youth choir director who taught me how to use my voice, and Mrs. Jackson – my high school drama teacher whose Broadway-caliber productions taught me to expect and pursue the highest quality in everything I do. As one name after another popped into my mind, I was humbled by the realization of just how many people have spoken into my life over the years. I’m sure each of you can say the same. Therefore, in celebration of Wiles Magazine’s one-year anniversary, we’re presenting this, our “Model Issue,” as a salute to teachers, mentors and role models, in general. For without them, no real success in life is possible.

Asian-American dancer/choreographer Jessica Chen cites Earl Moseley-one of her instructors at the prestigious Alvin Ailey School of Dance – as one of the major influences who inspired her to go on to form “The J. Chen Project.” In our Arts & Entertainment section, we’ll learn about how Jessica is using her knowledge and talent to inspire others, and bring about a dialogue through dance that reaches across ethnic boundaries.

In this month’s “Purse Strings” feature, we’re delighted to feature filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom and her organization Missrepresentaion.org. You’ll love learning more about Ms. Newsom’s compelling film Miss Representation and the resulting movement to affect positive change in the portrayals of women in the media.

We’re also thrilled to offer “Each One, Teach One” – our special shout-out to educators and after-school programs that are making a real difference in the academic and social skills development of America’s teens and children.

Of course, no “Model Issue” would be complete without some content involving the catwalk kings and queens we know and love. This month’s Fashion & Beauty section will offer you our complete coverage of London and LA Fashion Weeks, and our “Mr. Right” features our choices for some of the hottest male models of all time. This month, we’re also proud to offer a special anniversary-edition role model salute as our cover story. From fashion icon Beverly Johnson, to philanthropic giants like Bill and Melinda Gates, we’re honored to showcase some of the men and women who inspire us to live our lives like they’re golden!

It’s a privilege to be a positive influence in the lives of others, and not a job to be taken lightly. None of us ever knows just how powerful our influence can be until we see it reflected in the success of those who come after us.  But it’s wonderful to know that by living our best lives, we are quietly inspiring others to do the same.