In this episode of Expert Instruction, we're joined by Renee Mitchell, the visionary behind the I Am M.O.R.E. project. (M.O.R.E. stands for Making Ourselves Resilient Everyday.) I Am M.O.R.E. came out of Renee's work helping students at Roosevelt High School write their personal essays for scholarships and college applications. One year, of the four Portland students awarded $16,000 scholarships, three came from her class. That's when she realized something: there is power in students telling their own stories. By reframing their hardships as assets, and validating their experiences, her students began to say, "My story has meaning. By sharing myself, I can support and help someone else." Renee watched how the process of "owning their stories" transformed how her students moved through the world, with their shoulders back, believing their dreams were possible. 

The I Am M.O.R.E. project is an important reminder of how we can all find our purpose...even from our lowest moments.

To find out about everything Renee is up to these days, check out these links for all the details.

  • Renee's Website
  • I Am M.O.R.E. Homepage: Check out videos of students sharing their stories, read more about the history behind the project, and connect with Renee and her youth leaders. 
  • Spreading the Black Joy Virus: Born out of the I Am M.O.R.E. spirit, this is a campaign Renee started to celebrate the resilience, creativity, and joy found within the Black community.