Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Little Things

Today's post is just a simple reminder for you:

Take a moment to try to recognize and enjoy the little things, whether it is:

  • the kindness that someone displays to you, 
  • inspiration or help from a mentor, teacher or a colleague, 
  • the way that one person treats you every day that makes your day worthwhile, 
  • the way that someone recognizes and cares about what you do 
  • or something else that matters to you personally, 

because one day you will likely look back on those little things
and realize that they were the big things all along.

Let that someone know that they matter to you and that they make a difference.
You have 1440 minutes in a day.  Use one of them to make someone else's.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Let's Change the World

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

What did your students do last week?  

Our students helped to change the world.

On November 23rd and 24th, 2015, East Greenwich High School halted the traditional schedule of classes in order to provide our students with an opportunity to work autonomously with expert mentors and decision makers to initiate organizations and projects centered on empowering them to make positive changes to their sphere of influence hopefully scaling their projects and ideas locally, nationally and worldwide through our Choose2Matter/MakeItMatterEG program. 

Over 40 leaders, experts and decision makers from around the state and the country came to EGHS to act as sounding boards, facilitators, mentors and partners as our students projects moved from the realm of thought to action. Approximately 600 students were actively involved in the two-day event. 

Why Is This Important (beyond, you know, changing the world...)?
  • Students worked on projects that engaged their hearts and minds. These projects provide real-world relevance for the content learning that they do in classrooms every day. No one asked, "When am I going to use this?" even once over the two days.
  • Everyone tells us that the 21st century workplace will require so much more than content knowledge and basic skills. MakeItMatterEG required students to take initiative and responsibility to address the things that mattered to them most. Doing so built their confidence, required them to solve problems, to work in teams, and to communicate ideas to individuals, small and large groups. Students did so through a variety of formats and media, providing them many opportunities to develop speaking and presentation skills as well as experience in accepting questions and criticism to help develop and manage projects.
  • Teachers were able to work alongside students who shared common interests and passions. Working with active, engaged students doing personally meaningful work, and in many cases, taking a back seat and learning from their students created many teachable and learnable moments for all members of our school community. It's also fun to learn more about our students and identify with them in a completely different way.
  • Having an amazing list of mentors who took days out of their own busy schedules and responsibilities to work with our students helped our kids really learn how to interact with leaders and organizations, as well as develop valuable networking contacts for the future.
What's most exciting is that several of these projects are scalable on a much larger level and may become national model programs moving forward

Here are some of the outcomes that have been presented during the course of the two days, and while this should not be considered a comprehensive list, they should provide you with an understanding of the impact of this empowering experience.

Roomz Without Walls: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to create a community to lessen the trauma of extended hospital stays for children through creativity, technology and kid2kid relationships. This concept inspired and has been picked up by Daniel A. O'Neil, Head of Innovation at the Mayo Clinic who will be working with the group going forward.


Another offshoot group, designed and is continuing to work on a series of coloring/activity books featuring original artwork, poetry, puzzles and games to help occupy young people who are hospitalized. This group has already procured an ISBN number through Amazon and intends to sell these books online, with all profits used to defray the cost of providing these books to hospitalized children for free.

LGBQT+ Health Curriculum: Another student initiated and led group’s mission is to create an inclusive Sex-Ed Curriculum for the High School that could become a model for other schools nation-wide. The goal is to help foster and develop an environment where all students, especially those in the 15% of students who comprise the LGBQT+ community, feel accepted

The EGHS Radio Network: A student initiated and led radio station that utilizes live, on air newscasts of student announcements and lively interviews in an NPR-like format on “The Frequency” to inform and entertain the school community. Broadcasts are archived in a podcast form for easy retrieval. http://mixlr.com/eghsradionetwork/showreel/

Mentorally Prepared:  A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to help ease the transition of freshmen and new students to the High School. By providing student mentors, Mentorally Prepared will facilitate understanding of all aspects of student life at EGHS as well as provide new students with a safe, welcoming and supportive group of peers.

The Backpack Project: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to supply homeless men, women, and children with personal care and safety products by distributing backpacks containing  Water, Blanket, Food, Flashlights, Toothbrushes and Toothpaste, Hand Sanitizer, First Aid Kits, Winter Clothes, Socks and Shoes/Boots, Toys, Books, Feminine Supplies, Deodorant and Gift Cards to the homeless.  http://backpackprojecteghs.weebly.com/

Operation Holiday Cheer: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to provide customized care packages to soldiers overseas. They have made arrangements for the shipping and receiving through General John Michel, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer and President, MV Global at MV Transportation and have connected through the United Way for fundraising logistics as well.

Real Girls Matter: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to positively impact women’s lives locally and globally through education and advocacy.  The group has already purchased bicycles for young women in Africa who live 20 or more miles from schools without transportation.  In addition, they have spoken to middle and elementary school children about how marketing and media create unhealthy body image ideals for women through the use of photoshop and celebrity culture, and they are developing a statewide conference for young women interested in becoming leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They also regularly publish articles in local media highlighting inspirational women in the community who would be good role models for young women.

East Greenwich Water Project: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to help end the water shortages in Kenya by raising money to fund a well that can supply clean water for an entire community.  They are partnered with  thewaterproject.org, who have the resources to build the well.  https://www.gofundme.com/egwaterproject

Planting Change Seed by Seed: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to develop a community garden that could begin growing fresh fruits and vegetables for use in school lunches as well as provide composting material for landscaping at the school and in the community. Their goals would include teaching students of all ages to care for the environment and promote healthy eating habits.

Pencils with Purpose:  A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to organize book drives, school supply drives/school store and fundraising to provide academic resources for low-income students in the US and to provide books to libraries in foreign countries as well as to provide tutoring help to those less fortunate areas through the use of technology.

Lit for the Less Fortunate: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to raise money to buy high-interest books for those who cannot afford them in inner city schools and juvenile correction facilities.  https://www.gofundme.com/b3bu6wfn

Crossing the Street: A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to create connections between Meeting Street School children and public schools throughout the state (beginning with EGHS). This undertaking will begin with Meeting Street School students visiting our school’s summer sports camps for immersive activities with our athletes and young people from the community who will be attending camps. Going forward, the group will work towards finding more opportunities to connect Meeting Street School and public high schools throughout the state, as well as to raise funds for Meeting Street school children to participate in activities and experiences they would otherwise not be able to. 

SHOMORA (Shovel, Mow and Rake): A student initiated and led group, whose mission is to develop an Uber-like application and website that would allow people in the community (though primarily marketed towards elderly citizens) to easily locate and schedule snow removal or landscaping work that would be provided by students at a low cost, with ratings and feedback from customers available for each contractor.

In addition, other groups included students seeking to improve:

the infrastructure of the school:
  • recycling initiatives
  • improving bathrooms
  • quiet rooms for students under temporary stress
  • improved mental health advocacy and understanding
the curricula
  • development of an independent learning course for students
  • having multiple foreign languages available K-12
  • adding self defense as part of the PE curricula
  • development of a philosophy course
and the community at large:
  • developing a K-12 time capsule for all EG students
  • ways to welcome/support Syrian refugees locally
  • development of media to alert students and parents to the dangers of vaping
  • a first-time fishing trip for students not accustomed to outdoor activities
  • coral reef preservation
  • raising awareness of the unhealthy practices of fish farming

To help you further understand the impact of those two days, here is a slice, in images, videos, podcasts and posts from Twitter:




So, what matters most to you?  
What would you change about your world if you could?

We all have the potential to change the world, whether it is in the areas in which we have direct influence or through changing the lives and/or opportunities available to others. I have always fervently believed in what Mother Teresa once said, "“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” 

You can too.

Your school is full of brilliant minds. Students, teachers and adults who care about their future. Every one of them brings a life full of experiences, aptitudes, connections and knowledge that makes them not only unique, but valuable. Each person's value is their ability to contribute to one another. To combine forces. To be a unique piece of a puzzle that can solve a problem, change a life, to make an impact.

In an educational era where standardized testing of an extremely small set of skills and knowledge that all people need is largely how schools and educators are measured, we chose to set aside standard content knowledge to begin to develop different and equally valuable skills in our young leaders. We allowed them to learn through autonomy and passion-driven purpose and that has already begun to have an impact on their lives as well as the lives of others. 

It takes courage and a whole lot of hard work to do something like this. Moving forward, we are looking to create regular opportunities for students to work autonomously on intrinsically motivated projects and products that will change their world. As a school culture, we hope to create work that will engage, enhance and empower their learning, as well as provide an opportunity for them to change their world.


What did your kids do in school today?  
Why not try to change to world?

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.- Nelson Mandela

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Next Week: We'll Change History

“We each carry with us unique gifts, recognized and unrecognized. We long to harness those gifts in a way that gives life significance and helps us to matter more in the lives of others.” ― Tom Hayes

All of this started with a video.  

A Ted Talk.  
An inspiration.  

Feel free to take a few minutes to watch it.  It might just change your life in same way that it did mine when I first saw it in 2012:


In this inspirational TEDYouth 2011 Talk, best selling political novelist, non-fiction writer, TV show creator and comic book author Brad Meltzer encouraged students to dream big, work hard, and stay humble. Among the messages that stuck most with me:

History doesn't just go backward.  It goes forward too.  And all of those great things that haven't happened yet, that's just history waiting to be written.

Whether it was 17-year old comic book authors Seigel and Schuseter creating Superman, 26-year old Martin Luther King leading a revolution, or an 8-year old girl with cancer named Alex, who's lemonade stand has now raised over $45,000,000 to help fight that horrible disease, Meltzer's message that if you have something that you are passionate about, you dream big, you work hard and you stay humble, you can change the world has resonated with me for years.

All of history is just a bunch of stories, conflicting stories, big stories, little stories, our stories.  So how do you change history?  All you have to do is write your story. History is a selection process, and it chooses every one of us every single day. 


But how can we find opportunities for our students to write those stories?

As we did in February of 2014, students at East Greenwich High School will have another opportunity to write their ctories and change history on November 23rd and 24th when Angela Maiers will return to EGHS with her Choose2Matter team. 

On those two days, EGHS will be providing students with opportunities to work autonomously with expert mentors and decision makers to write their stories: to initiate organizations and projects centered on empowering them to make positive changes to their sphere of influence locally, nationally worldwide.

As you may find yourself skeptical of the ability of a high school full of kids to change the world, you should understand that many people under the age of 18 can and have changed the world. Here are just a few examples:


In order to help our students move beyond theoretical constructs, we bring in leaders, experts and decision makers from the community, the state and the country to act as sounding boards, facilitators, mentors and partners as our student’s and educator’s projects move from the realm of thought to action.  

Here is a current list of the mentors who will be here to work with our students, helping them to write their story and change history:

Monday, November 23
Tuesday, November 24
Multiple Groups


Congressman Jim Langevin: Member of the United States House of Representatives for Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district, Congressman Langevin has served RI since 2001.


Human Rights/Social Justice


Rebecca Noon: Rebecca Noon is an actor-creator, teacher, and arts administrator based in Providence, RI. Community Engagement Coordinator at Trinity Repertory Company.


Stephanie Badeau: Social worker /case manager at Crossroads RI, RI’s largest homeless management organization, housing homeless families. She assists families to become stable and self-sufficient, enhancing their parenting, budgeting and life skills.


Christina Jagolinzer: Development Coordinator at Foster Forward, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting children, young adults, and families whose lives have been impacted by foster care.     


Shawn Fennell: Visionary
“Wink” - wink2support.com is a worldwide disability awareness-raising campaign promoting the nonverbal, non-intrusive action of a “wink”, as spoken in American Sign Language, as a branded and recognized way to convey to children with disabilities – and their families – that their courageous example has touched our hearts.  


Elizabeth McNamara: Multimedia journalist and writer. Board chair of The Blessing Way, a nonprofit based in Providence that works with people coming out of prison or rehab to find secure footing to start a new life. Volunteer for the Mobile Loaves and Fishes ministry – a catering truck that goes to economically depressed neighborhoods providing a hot meal, clothing and toiletries those in need.


Laws and Politics


Justice Brian P Stern:  Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court.  Presides over the Business Calendar and the Kent County Criminal Trial Calendar.  Fellow, American College of Business Court Judges. Adjunct Professor, Roger Williams University School of Law (2002-2008). Board Member, American Heart Association, RI


Karen Feisthamel: Practicing lawyer for 25 years, principally focused on trademarks, copyrights and patent law. She started her career working for two different federal agencies (FERC, and then the US Patent and Trademark Office), spent 12 years in private practice, and then 8 years in-house with corporate law, before recently returning to practice with a law firm.


Carolyn Mark: Chair, EG School Committee. An elected official who is increasingly engaged in education policy and local politics, Ms. Mark is looking for opportunities to more fully engage students in the governance of the school district, and is passionate about encouraging citizen engagement in the political process.


Michael Cerullo: Licensed Psychotherapist in Private Practice. Former member of the Exeter Town Council and have experience working with government agencies, the General Assembly, and in lobbying for various laws and public policy related to government reform, children's wellbeing, mental health and substance abuse issues.


Environment/Animals/Ecosystem


Laurie Horridge: Director of Executive Affairs & General Counsel for the Narragansett Bay Commission. An attorney overseeing clean water matters with EPA & RIDEM. Oversees education and public information programs designed to teach the public about the importance of sewers in our communities.  Oversees public works infrastructure construction projects built to prevent untreated sewerage from entering Narragansett Bay.


Jon Hare: Oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Serves as the Director of the NOAA Narragansett Laboratory.


Economics & Business


Erin Plaziak: Over 20 years working for MetLife, a Fortune 50 company. Currently Assistant Vice President of Customer Experience and Operational Strategies, responsible for 3 million customers.  She also holds a leadership position for MetLife's Women Business Network in the Americas Region, comprising the U.S. and Latin America. Serves on Board of Directors for Rhode Island Breast Cancer Coalition. Member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, who is driving the Artemis Project to end breast cancer by 2020. Providence Business News 40 Under Forty Award recipient.


Stephan Toljan: A senior business executive with more than 25 years of experience in various Marketing and Sales leadership roles in a large corporate environment for a multi-national consumer goods corporation. Just a little over a year ago he made a significant career change and assumed the responsibility for a small, local, family owned manufacturing company.


Andy Cohen: Small business owner, business coach, business networking leader. Works with numerous non-profits, largely in the theater and dance arenas, in aspects including financing and fundraising, board development, staffing, union relations, day-to-day operations. Experience in/with businesses in technical fields, arts, construction, etc.  Educated as an engineer, he spent the first ten years of his career teaching, mostly high school physics, chemistry and math. Currently working as a business coach, and board chair at Ocean State Theatre Company - a not-for-profit professional arts organization.


Robert Casagrande: A Mechanical Engineer by training with a few patents, currently working as a Chief Information Officer for Nortek, a $2.6B manufacturer of "Lifestyle innovations for home and work".


Melissa Skinnell: Background in economics, and international business. Has worked in Information Technology and IT Project Management for 20 years both in the corporate setting and in higher ed (at Brown University, running the Project Management Office). Key experience implementing technology solutions (software, hardware, infrastructure) to support federal civilian government agencies and higher education (academic & administrative). Strength is connecting people and technology and building relationships between technical and business staff. Volunteer work includes Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England and Warwick Synchronized Skating committee chair. Passionate about libraries, books and community connections.


Medical & Scientific Issues


Jon Hare: Oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I also serve as the Director of the NOAA Narragansett Laboratory.


Marie Moore - Director, Phoenix House. 21 years in the behavioral health field, 9 years as a cancer survivor.


Colleen Podraza: A registered nurse with 19+ years’ experience, including 14 years of working in an inner-city hospital on a Labor and Delivery unit. Her work currently involves teaching to help patients become independent in providing their own therapy, including adolescents. She has a very strong affinity towards gender issues, especially the empowerment of women and helping our young women become confident, assertive members of the community.


Education


Michael Hobin, M.Ed.: Principal, Coventry High School 2006-present. Assistant Principal 2002-2006,  2013 RI Principal of the Year. Former science teacher of physics, forensics, and general science.  B.S., Rhode Island College 1991, M.Ed. Rhode Island College 1993, M.Ed. Providence College, 1998.  Twitter:  @mjhobin


Brooke Macomber: Assistant Principal, Coventry High School. 2014 RI Assistant Principal of the Year.  Spanish teacher for 13 years. Assistant Principal for 7 years.


Jessica Waters: 2013 RI Teacher of the Year. Now holds a degree in educational leadership and is a RI certified building level administrator.


Domenic M. Giusti: Principal of James H. Eldredge, Elementary School. Dom has been an educator in the school district for the past 20 years.


David Quinn: Ph.D. student who works with teachers and students around self or peer-selected inquiry projects. He has used design thinking models to tackle relevant challenges and improve our community.


Tyler Dobrowsky: Tyler Dobrowsky is the associate artistic and education director at Trinity Rep, a Tony award winning theater in Providence RI. Tyler teaches for the Brown/Trinity M.F.A. program as well as Trinity Rep’s educational programs for children and adults.


Wendy Bowen: A former MS science teacher for 32 years. She has also been a teacher leader, student advisor and helped create teacher /student mentor groups, and peer mediation at Newtown MS using the tools of restitution, where teachers and student leaders use restitution (restorative questions) to resolve conflicts by making a wrong right. As a Sandy Hook Promise leader she is working to help schools implement programs to prevent gun violence (sandyhookpromise.org).
Multiple Groups


Senator Jack Reed: The senior United States Senator from Rhode Island, serving since 1997. Senator Reed previously served in the United States House of Representatives for Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district from 1991 to 1997.


Human Rights/Social Justice


Rebecca Noon: Rebecca Noon is an actor-creator, teacher, and arts administrator based in Providence, RI. Community Engagement Coordinator at Trinity Repertory Company.


Stephanie Badeau: Social worker /case manager at Crossroads RI, RI’s largest homeless management organization, housing homeless families. She assists families to become stable and self-sufficient, enhancing their parenting, budgeting and life skills.


Shawn Fennell: Visionary
“Wink” - wink2support.com is a worldwide disability awareness-raising campaign promoting the nonverbal, non-intrusive action of a “wink”, as spoken in American Sign Language, as a branded and recognized way to convey to children with disabilities – and their families – that their courageous example has touched our hearts.  


Katie Hook: Global studies teacher at Cole Middle School with years of support for human rights issues, including visiting organizations working with the poor in Nicaragua.


Michael DePasquale: Alumni and Outreach coordinator at All In Solutions Counseling Center. Former student athlete at East Greenwich High School, Class of 2009 who became homeless and addicted to heroin on the streets of Massachusetts. After 6 years of addiction he found a solution. Now sober for over a year and a half, his goal is to carry a message of hope for those struggling with addiction.


Laws and Politics


Justice Brian P Stern: Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court.  Presides over the Business Calendar and the Kent County Criminal Trial Calendar.  Fellow, American College of Business Court Judges. Adjunct Professor, Roger Williams University School of Law (2002-2008). Board Member, American Heart Association, RI


Tara Wood:  Lawyer for the National Football League, oversees Employee Relations and disciplinary measures related to performance and violations of the Personal Conduct Policy. She also drafts and helps enforce the NFL's workplace and employment policies.


Melody A. Alger: Civil trial attorney practicing in Providence, RI with  25 years of trial experience and she was the first woman to have earned membership in the RI Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation-only organization of lawyers with extensive jury trial experience. She presently serves as President of that organization and is the past President of the RI Women's Bar Association.


Karen Feisthamel: Practicing lawyer for 25 years, principally focused on trademarks, copyrights and patent law. She started her career working for two different federal agencies (FERC, and then the US Patent and Trademark Office), spent 12 years in private practice, and then 8 years in-house with corporate law, before recently returning to practice with a law firm.


Carolyn Mark: Chair, EG School Committee. An elected official who is increasingly engaged in education policy and local politics, Ms. Mark is looking for opportunities to more fully engage students in the governance of the school district, and is passionate about encouraging citizen engagement in the political process.


David Osborne: EG School Committee Member- policy advisor for numerous political candidates around the United States. Graduate of Boston College Law School with experience in drafting federal and state legislation and regulations.


Michael Cerullo: Licensed Psychotherapist in Private Practice. Former member of the Exeter Town Council and have experience working with government agencies, the General Assembly, and in lobbying for various laws and public policy related to government reform, children's wellbeing, mental health and substance abuse issues.


Environment/Animals/Ecosystem


David Osborne: EG School Committee Member- Oversaw one of the country's most successful large-scale energy conservation and efficiency campaign and later worked for a non-profit energy services company.


Hugh A Peltz II: Head of Health, Safety, and Environment for Citizens Bank and can facilitate discussions/mentor on the intersection of business and environmental sustainability.


Jon Hare: Oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Serves as the Director of the NOAA Narragansett Laboratory.


Economics & Business


Stephan Toljan: A senior business executive with more than 25 years of experience in various Marketing and Sales leadership roles in a large corporate environment for a multi-national consumer goods corporation. Just a little over a year ago he made a significant career change and assumed the responsibility for a small, local, family owned manufacturing company.


Robert Casagrande: A Mechanical Engineer by training with a few patents, currently working as a Chief Information Officer for Nortek, a $2.6B manufacturer of "Lifestyle innovations for home and work".


Andy Cohen: Small business owner, business coach, business networking leader. Works with numerous non-profits, largely in the theater and dance arenas, in aspects including financing and fundraising, board development, staffing, union relations, day-to-day operations. Experience in/with businesses in technical fields, arts, construction, etc.  Educated as an engineer, he spent the first ten years of his career teaching, mostly high school physics, chemistry and math. Currently working as a business coach, and board chair at Ocean State Theatre Company - a not-for-profit professional arts organization.


Medical & Scientific Issues


SallyAnne Lund, MD: Trained in pediatrics, child psychiatry, adult psychiatry. Experience in college mental health and in psychiatry private practice.


Stefanie Aronow: Pediatrician - Practicing general primary care for the last 15 years, providing care for patients ranging in age from Birth to 22 years old. Special interests in child development, immunization education, advocacy, and whole family approach to health and wellness.  


Jon Hare: Oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I also serve as the Director of the NOAA Narragansett Laboratory.


Marie Moore - Director, Phoenix House. 21 years in the behavioral health field, 9 years as a cancer survivor.


Colleen Podraza: A registered nurse with 19+ years’ experience, including 14 years of working in an inner-city hospital on a Labor and Delivery unit. Her work currently involves teaching to help patients become independent in providing their own therapy, including adolescents. She has a very strong affinity towards gender issues, especially the empowerment of women and helping our young women become confident, assertive members of the community.


Education


Michael Hobin, M.Ed.: Principal, Coventry High School 2006-present. Assistant Principal 2002-2006,  2013 RI Principal of the Year. Former science teacher of physics, forensics, and general science.  B.S., Rhode Island College 1991, M.Ed. Rhode Island College 1993, M.Ed. Providence College, 1998.  Twitter: @mjhobin


Brooke Macomber: Assistant Principal, Coventry High School. 2014 RI Assistant Principal of the Year.  Spanish teacher for 13 years. Assistant Principal for 7 years.


Jessica Waters: 2013 RI Teacher of the Year. Now holds a degree in educational leadership and is a RI certified building level administrator.


Tyler Dobrowsky: Tyler Dobrowsky is the associate artistic and education director at Trinity Rep, a Tony award winning theater in Providence RI. Tyler teaches for the Brown/Trinity M.F.A. program as well as Trinity Rep’s educational programs for children and adults.


Michele Gay: Former elementary school teacher and the founder of Safe and Sound Schools (safeandsoundschools.org) a Sandy Hook Initiative that deals with promoting reform for school safety around the US.


Wendy Bowen: A former MS science teacher for 32 years. She has also been a teacher leader, student advisor and helped create teacher /student mentor groups, and peer mediation at Newtown MS using the tools of restitution, where teachers and student leaders use restitution (restorative questions) to resolve conflicts by making a wrong right. As a Sandy Hook Promise leader she is working to help schools implement programs to prevent gun violence (sandyhookpromise.org).

You will change history.  Some of you will change it in big ways, affecting millions of people.  Others will do it in more personal ways, helping a family member or someone who needs it.  But let me tell you right now, one is not more important than the other.  
If you help people in mass or one by one, that's how history gets changed.  
When you take action. 

You don't have to start a multimillion dollar lemonade stand to change the world, all you've got to do is help one person.  I believe that ordinary people can change the world.  I believe in regular people and their ability to change this world.  

Here's a special message from Brad to our students in advance of Choose2Matter.


We can all do something incredibly beyond ourselves.  So whatever it is that you dream big about, whatever it is that you work hard for, don't let anyone tell you that you are too young, and don't let anyone tell you no.  Every life makes history.  And every life is a story.

Our students are going to write stories that will change to world.  They will do it through their own genius, with the help of an incredible faculty and an amazing group of mentors.

Please feel free to support them throughout the coming week by Tweeting messages of hope and encouragement using the hashtags #eghsmatters or #makeitmatterEG.

We are about to change history.  Believe it.  I do.