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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

My Hero Project Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: PROMOTES INSPIRATION AND CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS WITH TRUE STORIES OF HEROIC INDIVIDUALS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. A CHILD-FRIENDLY RESOURCE OF HOPE FOR EDUCATORS AND PEOPLE OF ALL AGES.

Target demographics: people of all ages share and discover stories about those making a positive difference in the world

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 20 million visitors in schools, homes, and libraries from all 50 states and from 194 countries.

Geographic areas served: all areas around the world

Programs: Media Arts Education, Local Hero Festivals in community centers and schools, The MY HERO Annual International Film Festival, Media Arts Education - Salon Series, International Day of Peace Event, Gallery workshops with hands on hero art activities at museums, schools, afterschool programs and community festivals and Celebrate Eco-Heroism to develop media literacy and environmental awareness.

Community Stories

105 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Yawen Y.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My students and I participated in an iEARN project called My Hero, which has given us the chance to get in touch with so many amazing people around the world. Our experience with My Hero was wonderful because the facilitators were kind and helpful and the website is informative and encouraging. It seems to us that people on this website are enthusiastic and want to contribute their own effort to the world to make it a better place. Therefore, I could say from the bottom of my heart that My Hero is indeed a Great Nonprofit!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My Hero Project opened so many doors for both my students and myself. We not only learned about great people who have done great things for others. We were inspired to try to be great ourselves. We thought about whether things were fair or right. We realized decisions we made in our own families and communities were decisions heroes make - to look out for others, to show respect, to write letters to let people in power know when something is wrong. The most amazing part of this was that we were able to connect with other students and teachers and figure these things out together. We ended up Skyping regularly, sometimes talking class to class, and sometimes just a couple of students talking to another couple of students. Rural Ontario, Canada kids got to learn from downtown Chicago, USA kids and vice versa. When a student would share about their hero, our 'hero buddies' would stretch our thinking, asking, "Why do you think she's a hero?" or "How's that make you feel?" We learned about more than heroes. The 'My Hero Project' changes lives.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My first experience with the My Hero Project was with an elementary class in 2007-2008. Through the project, my class learned about the qualities of heroes in society and their interaction through the projects website and with it's volunteers were fantastic. It was a wonderful, project-based learning experience then and the people and resources at the My Hero project made it all happen. Since that year, I have helped to connect over 100 other students in various grade levels to the project. Everyone has had the same, rewarding experience. Thanks again to everyone at My Hero for helping to make a difference in the world.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Vera Stoilov Spasova and I'm a primary school teacher from Slovenia, Europe. I have participated in 2 MY HERO projects and the experience is amazing. It's always nice to find out about the people who inspire our youth and therefore I believe it is only fair to honour them by telling the world about these people. The students that have participated in the projects are all at secondary school now but they've told me that learning about different countries and meeting new friends is the best reward after hard work. They are also proud that they have had the chance to tell the world about the people who have had an important influence in their life. This year my students want to participate as well and they can't wait to join the project.

Client Served

Rating: 3

When returning students come to visit me, one of the first things they always want to know is if I am still having my class participate with other countries in the My Hero project. The rich experience of interacting with students of other cultures, as well as reflecting on the values emulated by thier heroes is one they carry with them into young adulthood. I am always encouraged to continue offering the involvement to my classes each year. My students see little beyond their own local community, and My Hero has opened up the world for them. Families come into our classroom to see the items sent by our international friends, and to see the photos and emails we display. The media arts experience in preparing their presentations is just the icing on the cake for the children. This is truly a once in a life experience for the community I serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5


The MY HERO Project and its media arts workshops give students of all ages the
resources to build their digital media skills and the means to share their ideas with a
global learning community. But more than that, the project gives people my age and
younger hope, inspiration, and motivation to believe in themselves, and their ability
to change the world. By bringing attention to the heroes in our midst, the ordinary
people who do extraordinary things, MY HERO makes us all realize what we’re
capable of. It did for me. Since I spoke with Jean-Michel Cousteau, I have chosen to
follow his footsteps and inspire others to protect our planet and build a sustainable,
green society. Thanks to the ongoing support of The MY HERO Project, I’m now producing a feature-length film on environmental youth activists worldwide, called An Inconvenient Youth.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It is very interesting to remember one awesome experience I had with my students engaging them in my Hero project. Whenever I meet one of the students I have worked with, he or she would not miss taking and reminding me about the timely and entertaining opportunity that they were endowed as an extracurricular educational activities.
I would recommend every proactive teacher to connect his or his students to offer them an outstanding chance for more practical aspects of language, locally, nationally, and more importantly globally.
Abdesalam Zouita
Morocco

Lo R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved in My Hero a few times with different classes, primary and secondary and it has always been a thrilling experience for my students and me. The website is still used in my English classes because it provides such a wealth of authentic materials that just ring true for my pupils. I will definitely be involved in My Hero again next year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ikram Eseghir, Mohamed 5 High School,
Kenitra, Morocco
It is certain that The MY HERO Project experience
has been very enjoyable and enriching for my
students and me. As a teacher, I greatly benefited
from the resources and exchange of ideas the
website offers; it has also enabled me to know
more about my students: their heroes,
idols,aspirations; it has also been an opportunity
to discover many of their talents: writing, art,
technology, that would otherwise have remained
unknown!
For my students, this project has been an
innovative learning activity: they have been
responsible for their own learning (making
decisions and choosing heroes/ how to present
themes; it has offered them a secure and
motivating space to collaborate, exchange ideas
locally and globally as well as to freely express
themselves; they have been using technology for a
variety of purposes: connect, gather and organize
information. In brief, this project- based activity
has been a perfect model of 21st century learning
design that teachers all over the globe are aspiring
for! So, thanks a million!
On behalf of all my students, I would like to thank
all the MY HERO team members. Special thanks
are due to our facilitators Barry and Wendy for
making this journey comfortable and successful,
and of course, best wishes to all the teachers and
students who have participated in this learning
circle.
Last but not least, I would not miss the
opportunity to deeply thank my students/ "heroes"
who have produced excellent work despite time
and curriculum constraints. I am so proud of
them.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The My Hero website is a great place for young high school students to dream about the type of adults they would like to become. We have them each research a successful person in a career of interest who is not already on the site, consider his or her journey and societal contribution, and then create their own webpage, culminating in how they plan to follow in their role model’s footsteps. I appreciate the site’s simple navigation and commitment to celebrating those making a positive impact. My Hero helps us to steer students’ college and career plans beyond mere success and toward something really worthwhile.

Kent Baker
College & Career Planning Instructor
Capistrano Valley High School
Mission Viejo, CA

Wendy110

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The MY HERO Project has been providing positive role models for students of all ages, artists, teachers and filmmakers for almost 20 years. I have been working for this wonderful non-profit for 11 years directing the International Film Festival and Media Arts Education Program. I have seen first hand how the positive media that we showcase brings people closer to their own desire to make the world a better place. MY HERO has created tools for educators to bring the values of heroism into the classroom in creative ways.
Through stories, art, films and music people can be inspired by the content on myhero.com or create their own and be a part of the conversation.
MY HERO is an amazing nonprofit who's impact is far reaching. I've seen young people feel empowered to tell stories with digital media using the free resources on myhero.com. I've also seen individuals inspired by the films on myhero.com go out and become more active in their communities, stories into action. One example is when we were hosting a state department global exchange and our partner from Senegal was a part of the team making a documentary about the local Surfrider organization. He was so inspired by the water testing they were doing to test the bacteria levels in the ocean that he decided to bring the technology back to Senegal where they had real issues with ocean water pollution.
Another experience I remember was working with young kids at a Boys and Girls club where after showing a number of hero films from our archive and engaging the kids in a conversation about making a difference, one child decided to have a bake sale to raise money for the local SPCA because she loves animals!
I hope that these examples help shed some light on the kind of impact the MY HERO Project has across the globe.
Sincerely,
Wendy Milette

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The My Hero Project is truly a great non-profit that I hope to be used in every school worldwide. It has created a wonderful network where we can share our stories, our victories, inspiring courage, strength and love while bringing us closer together as one humanity, all by celebrating our heroes. This organization deserves our highest regard in it’s achievement and in its future!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The My Hero Project is a most noteworthy and passionate organization that, while working towards their vision, have continuously proven to me, that the best way to create positive change is in acknowledging and celebrating our world’s heroes, who by example, inspires the hero in all of us!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Hero is an inspiring NGO that spreads hope by celebrating heroes across the globe but what makes it even more special is that every member serves with a heart!!!

Pilar S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being a part of my hero and everywhere I go I try to encourage others to be involved. My hero has been a part of me for the past 3 years and I definately will continue to help and be a part of the team as long as I can. My hero does so much to create awareness and is just an amazing way to keep everyone in the world connected. I enjoy reading and viewing stories of the many heros all over the world.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am on the board of several nonprofits and this one is my favorite as it helps so many children connect with each other all over the world and share their dreams and heroes.

These days most educational institutions have cut the arts due to budget constraints so My Hero is greatly needed for our children's creative development. It also allows children to study the positive role models in life versus the all too many negative media figures at this time.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Hero in Laguna Beach, CA focused their last awards on Women. I was honored for my work with Laguna Canyon Foundation and the effort over many years to preserve heritage southern California coastal canyons around Laguna Beach in Orange County. I was impressed with the professionalism and creativeness of everyone who worked on my video. They, including the students at our local Boys and Girls Club, told the preservation story in such an interesting and engaging way. Thank you to all who make the My Hero Project such a success.
Mary Fegraus

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a California educator at a junior high school. I not only use My Hero Project Inc. for practical, academic reasons but also as an opportunity to promote and encourage character development. With regard to academics, I use the project as the vehicle to teach biographical writing, how to imbed research, how to cite sources correctly, and to exercise critical thinking skills in evaluating what a hero is. When it comes to character development, it is such a profound way to see all the positive influences surrounding us, all the incredible achievements then and now, all the inspirational examples we have to draw from. We use the website to counter all the criticisms of culture, and the negativity spotlighted in the news and social media. After using myhero.com for over 8 years, the support from staff has never let me down. They provide just enough personal attention, and really seek to support students in their work. I will use the My Hero Project every year that I can.

Mali B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a grade 4 teacher who has used My Hero in my classroom for about 8 years. Students have the opportunity to become My Hero Reports and create amazing stories, podcasts, artwork and videos about ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. My students are engaged and feel they are contributing to a worldwide movement to share stories about heroes with the wider global community.
My Hero provides students with an opportunity to share stories about incredible people while being able to shine with different types of media.
We are so thankful for the My Hero project and all it provides for students in our classrooms and around the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed a connection with Jeanne Myers and her "My Hero Project" since its very beginning --- especially in connection with Mattie Stepanek who was one of my special heroes. I have watched My Hero Project grow and reach people all around the world. Jeanne has also promoted Children's Hospice international, another of my special charitable organizations. Jeanne is an important expression of love in this world and I am proud to honor her!

Jim Hawkins

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teacher I've used the My Hero project with students to create websites, films, and artwork about people who are making a positive difference in the world. I love their tag line: "celebrating the best of humanity." There's so much press everywhere you turn about the bad things in life. That's why we need the stories My Hero shares to give us belief in the power of good and hope for the future.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am presently a sixth grade teacher who has been involved with the My Hero Project for 5 years now. It has become such an important part of my curriculum. Today's youth need true heroes to look up to and today's media does not do a good job sharing those type of stories. The My Hero Project gives my students, and their families, the opportunity to discuss characteristics of a hero and explore heroes in their world. Although I integrate this project in my English Curriculum by having my students research and then write a 5 paragraph essay on their hero, the fact that students can also submit artwork and film appeals to different learning styles. In fact, 3 years ago my 4th grade class did a film and the student who was the cameraman had difficulty with writing, it was not his strength. However, he is extremely visual and having the opportunity to work as the cameraman on our Call to Action film built his confidence. The My Hero Project continues to be an integral part of my curriculum.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The MY HERO Project has long been committed to sharing stories featuring people who are making a positive difference in the world, and it's a vast and vital resource. I've personally seen MY HERO's impact on filmmakers, journalists, students and teachers throughout the world, and the organization's dedication to nurturing those who have powerful stories to tell is inspiring. This is a place to discover and share stories that you'd otherwise never have access to, from underrepresented countries and cultures. We all hear about celebrities and their charities, but what about the environmentalists who risk their lives in Ecuador to help preserve their land? Or the unsung hero teachers in impoverished areas in India who work tirelessly to educate their children? MY HERO reaches out to these populations and shares their stories while also empowering these heroes to continue their important work.

Advisor

Rating: 5

The My Hero Project is a critical international forum and resource for individuals and groups with powerful stories to tell. Throughout my long association with My Hero, I have witnessed countless celebrations of the accomplishments of the many many unsung heroes in the world and the individuals who choose to tell their stories, through films, art projects, essays and audio recordings. By celebrating heroes and those who showcase their achievements, My Hero inspires people of all ages to tackle tough challenges and simultaneously nurtures budding journalists worldwide. The My Hero website has become an archive of stories in all media that serve to inspire groups and individuals to bravely face hard situations. The site is also a great resource for teachers, students and others who will find a wealth of filmmaking, art and media production tools and tips to help them tell their stories more effectively. The awards competitions and ongoing programs and salons provide a great forum for storytellers and heroes to gather and support each other. The annual film festival is without a doubt the most inspiring and uplifting event I attend each year.
Mitch Aiken

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great ideas start small. In 1995, three moms responded to the lack of positive role models for kids in the media by starting the My Hero Project. It began as a website compiling stories of heroism from around the world and sharing them with people of all ages through classrooms, publications, workshops and community outreach. The Project engaged a lively discussion of what heroism is and invited participants to contribute their own stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The seed took and the idea grew from reaching fifty thousand people in the first few years to more than twenty million in the last five. It is an organization about to pop into broader awareness from its new home at the Capshaw-Spielberg Center for Educational Justice in Los Angeles. The My Hero Project remains true to its vision, its growth is exponential, the need that it serves is vital in our world and it's reach is global. I have been a board member for 15 years and I continue to be amazed by the power of this simple idea.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer with the My Hero Project for a few months now and I cannot stress how much I have learned in such a short amount of time. Not only do they provide accessible media outlets on their website for students, teachers, and activists across the globe, they also provide them with the technology and equipment in order to do so. Their film festivals are educational and effectively bring everyone together to learn about art, people, and the community. I hope to work with them a lot more in the near future because they really do care about every aspect of their organization.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I learned about the work of My Hero through a colleague about ten years ago. At that time I responsible for the development and management of a cultural exchange program. We worked with My Hero to send U.S. media makers and artists to the Balkans, West Africa and the Middle East. They conducted media workshops with young people, and taught them how to best tell their own stories of the people they admire using a variety of media.

The impact of that program has been long-lasting. Although the grant ended some time ago, the relationships established through it have endured and continue to thrive. I can't speak more highly of My Hero and the great work they do.

Review from Guidestar

3

Board Member

Rating: 4

I was introduced to my hero in 1999. Evern as a minister/teacher/counselor and gratefully recovering marketing man , I wasstill not comfortable using the web as a teaching tool. I did not trust that my students or parishioners or counselees wouldn't be iundated with commercial distractions and solicitations. My Hero provided me with an easily accessible, navitgatabe on line experiential teaching and learning resource. When I first used the site it was preety much for the written word. It's clear they've plowed any of teir donated monies back into improving the site. Today my students can upload written stories, art work, film and audio recordings about their heroes. Technically the site has become a treat in eye candy. With 200 contries represented it is the largest most diverse collection of hero stories in the world. In fact I liked My Hero so much, I became a member of its board.

Review from Guidestar