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"I love animals, so that made my career choice easy. I plan to attend Oregon State University and become a veterinarian. The most exciting part of this job is doing what I love."
So says an 8th grader at Irrigon Junior High School as part of the My Story Project which inspires students to share their values and goals through written, visual and oral communication methods. It serves as a tool to help students re-frame their personal narrative about their strengths and what they are able to achieve.
The My Story Project has four components: first, students write a college and career dream essay and take pictures that represent who they are now; then they create a poster including the essay and pictures; and finally they give a class and community presentation.
The program also provides 8th graders clear direction on their transition to the social and academic challenges of high school. Students, parents and community members attend the “Knight” (the school mascot) of Excellence that is a forum for the presentations as well as a celebration of 8th grade graduation.
Adopted from a similar program created by the Chiloquin cluster in the first cohort of GEAR UP schools, the My Story Project encourages students to reflect on their past, present and future and the steps they should take in order to fulfill their dreams.
Check out our latest toolkit, The Transition to High School: Strategies to Help Students, Staff and Parents. Learn about research-based strategies that help students and parents tackle the transition from middle to high school and the associated social and academic challenges. Includes best practices from Oregon GEAR UP schools!