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MY HERO Newsletter Updates for Winter 2017

We hope you will review the many ways you can take part in our global learning community. We welcome your participation and value your support for our award winning, non-profit, educational project.

The MY HERO Team
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James Arthur Baldwin, featured on this 2004 United States  Postage Stamp 
by artist Thomas Blackshear II,  was an American poet, playwright and novelist. 

New Poetry on Screen Award

This April, in honor of  National Poetry Month, The MY HERO Project is inviting you to submit a video of yourself  reading a poem that speaks to this new era we are in. It can be poetry of dissent, poetry of resistance or poetry that lifts us up to face these times. It can be feminist, inclusive or humorous. It can be a song. The deadline is March 15, 2017

If you are a more ambitious filmmaker, The MY HERO Project is adding a new prize to  The MY HERO International Film Festival Poetry on Screen The award will honor a filmmaker for the best translation of poetry to film. The deadline for this new award is  September 15, 2017.  

Please email a link to your film to or upload your file to MY HERO's Dropbox.

Help Protect the World's Oceans

MY HERO is looking for the next winner of the Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award!

The award, with a $500 cash prize, is sponsored by MacGillivray Freeman Films' One World One Ocean campaign. The award  is presented each year at The MY HERO International Film Festival to honor a filmmaker whose work shines a spotlight on everyday people working on behalf of the world's oceans. 

Sylvia Earle is a research scientist, explorer, author and a lecturer who has led more than 70 underwater expeditions. She has served as chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is the current National Geographic explorer-in-residence. She earned the 2009 TED Prize for her proposal to build a global network of marine protected areas called "Hope Spots." The d eadline is April 1, 2017.

Sing a Song of Heroes
The MY HERO Project and Guitars in the Classroom  are proud to announce the  2017 Song Contest

Sing the praises of your heroes and compete for $500 in prizes! We are looking for original songs that honor local heroes by student, teacher and professional songwriters. 

Entries will be considered in separate categories, according to the qualities that help make songs wonderful tools for classroom learning. Songs will be judged by the public and by artists and educators! 

All submissions are automatically entered into the contest.  Deadline August 15, 2017Winning songs will be shared with students around the world online on the MY HERO & Guitars in the Classroom websites. 

REGISTER HERE to create your MY HERO account and submit your songs today!

Calling all Artists!

The Shetterly Art Award honors a work of art that represents a hero who has made a significant impact on an individual, a community or the planet. A $500 cash prize helps support the artist's work.
Professional artists and students are welcome to submit portraits of their heroes. The winners are judged by artist Robert Shetterly, founder of Americans Who Tell the Truth and the MY HERO Gallery staff. Winning entries are also shared with students around the world through the MY HERO Gallery
REGISTER HERE  to create your MY HERO account and submit your work today!

Film Festival Deadline June 1st
Submit your Inspiring Short Films - Ten minutes and under...

Categories include:

Narrative - Documentary - Trailers
Experimental - Animation - Music Videos
PSAs - Features in Development-
Portraits of Individuals- Portraits of Organizations

Prizes for Professional, Emerging Artists and Students
(Elementary, Middle & High School and College 
students may request fee waivers)

Special Awards - Cash Prizes!

click the links below for details

MY HERO in the World
Mohamed Sidibay with the Dalai Lama in India

Former Child Soldier I nspires Youth Around the Globe

MY HERO has followed  Mohamed Sidibay's  journey from child soldier to teacher, human rights advocate, and representative for youth. Sidibay's recent travels took him to New Delhi, where he was able to meet with one is his heroes, the Dalai Lama.

From January to June of 2017, Mohamed Sidibay will be traveling across the U.S. Europe, and Latin America to speak at high schools and universities to share his story of being a child soldier in Sierra Leone and his journey becoming a human rights activist.   

Mohamed will talk about tolerance, love and the courage to standup and say no to injustice.  He shares his struggle to obtain an education while being orphaned and homeless; and the transformation that ensued through the power of education. As a Youth Commissioner for the United Nations Education Commission on Financing Global Education, a Youth Leader for the 100 million for 100 million campaign and a Global Educator for The MY HERO Project, Mohamed will share resources and ideas on ways students can get involved.

His presentation includes a short video, 40 minutes of speaking and 20 minutes of Q&A.  If you are interested in having Mohamed Sidibay come to your school or organization, please contact him directly at

MY HERO in the Community
MY HERO Youth Ambassador Trey Carlisle at a recent workshop at Soka University

Empowering Youth and Fostering Global Citizens

Youth Education Supporting Global Involvement and the Value of Empowerment (Y.E.S. G.I.V.E), is helping empower future generations to leave a positive impact on their local and global communities. Y.E.S. G.I.V.E. is presenting a workshop series for middle school students run by Soka University of America (SUA) undergraduate and graduate students.
Using the MY HERO Project's Global Learning Community, SUA students mentor youth of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, teaching them values in global citizenship. Students are taught skills in the arts and media and are paired with community organizations that are working to address contemporary issues. Y.E.S. G.I.V.E will expand its program in the Summer of 2018.

MY HERO in the Classroom
Spring 2017 Learning Circles are underway! 

MY HERO Global Learning Circles are a joint project of MY HERO and Bring the world into your classroom and your class into the world! Participate with teachers and students around the world, creating stories, art, short films and/or audio about the heroes who inspire you.

Sometimes the youngest voices teach us the most. A class of 5-year-olds from Azerbaijan created EARTH IS OUR HOME in their MY HERO Global Learning Circle to show little ways we can make a big difference. Their teacher, Aylan Bashirova was amazed at what these boys and girls came up with. Doing l ittle things each day can make a BIG difference.

Learn more at To see how you and your students can take get involved, email Facilitator Wendy Jewell at 

Featured Web Resource
Rock Your World was founded by Kathy Eldon, founder of Creative Visions Foundation. Rock Your World's flexible curriculum engages middle/high school students in creative media to take informed action toward issues they care about.

Featured Book Resource 
Moonshots in Education

Esther Wojcicki  is a pioneer in education who has spent 30 years building an outstanding high school journalism program at Palo Alto High School.  Her book 
Moonshots in Education: Blended Learning in the Classroom  provides an important platform for a global education movement devoted to radically improving teaching and learning around the world. 

Wojcicki shares her "Moonshots"  vision in this  short film  by The MY HERO Project:

Featured Film Resource
Screenshot from "Paper Tigers"

Paper Tigers - One High School's Unlikely Success Story

After attending an educational conference in 2010, a neuroscience fact stayed with Lincoln Alternative High School principal Jim Sporleder: "Stressed brains can't learn."  He shared that information with his faculty and, within three years, student fights were reduced by 75% and the graduation rate had increased five fold.
Paper Tigers  follows six Lincoln students over the course of a year as teachers and staff members try a new approach to discipline. They replaced judgement and suspension with understanding and help. The results made Lincoln a promising model for breaking the cycles of poverty, violence and disease and showed the tremendous positive impact that just one caring adult can make in a young person's life.

Find more information at KPJR FilmsYou can also find Paper Tigers on iTunes.

screenshot from Eva Haller: A Work in Progress

Eva Haller: A Work in Progress

The MY HERO documentary Eva Haller: A Work in Progress was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Humanitarian Award in the 2016 Best Shorts Competition. The film is part of  Women Transforming Media,a joint effort of MY HERO and the National Association of University Women.

The Best Shorts Competition, based in La Jolla, California, awards a Grand Prize Humanitarian Award each year to a filmmaker whose work creates a positive difference in the world by using exceptional filmmaking techniques to call attention to a current critical need.  For more information, visit the  Best Shorts website

MY HERO Stories Available on TV Santa Barbara

TV Santa Barbara (TVSB)  is now featuring MY HERO's inspiring content. Viewers can watch uplifting stories of heroes and heroism on the TVSB website . If you would like to see MY HERO short films on your local educational channel, contact Jeanne Meyers at
Ben Heine - MY HERO featured artist
Ben Heine

Ben Heine is an innovative multi disciplinary visual artist and music producer. He was born in the Ivory Coast before he moved to Belgium, where he was educated and resides. He has been a journalist, political cartoonist, activist and creator of new art forms. His work is exhibited all over Europe, Asia and Russia.

He has been a generous contributor to the MY HERO Gallery and his selected works truly portray heroes with an inspiring and contemporary viewpoint. View more of his work in the MY HERO Gallery.

Click on these themes for curated  multimedia 
from our ever-growing  online archive .

Mar 13-19:  Brain Awareness Week

Apr 21: John Muir Day
Apr 22: Earth Day
Apr 25:  World Penguin Day

Upcoming MY HERO Special Events

Find more on The MY HERO Calendar

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