For over twenty years, The My Hero Project has provided a multimedia platform for people of all ages to create, share and discover heroes through art, audio, short films, and stories. The mission of The My Hero Project is to use media, art and technology to celebrate the best of humanity. My Hero empowers people of all ages to realize their own potential to effect positive change in the world. We work to promote cross-cultural communication, human rights, environmental awareness, tolerance, media literacy and the arts.
The My Hero Project was established in 1995 by a group of mothers as a website for children to view and share positive media. Research was just beginning to illustrate how the violence, sexism, hatred and racism often portrayed in mass media could negatively impact a young child’s healthy development by affecting their feelings and behaviors. Three mothers disturbed by the rise of negative influences in the mediadecided to create a commercial-free space online where children could discover and share stories about real-life heroes making a positive difference in the world. These mothers wanted to support the wellbeing, character development and health of children by providing them with stories of positive role models: women, men, children, people of all faith and color from around the world who followed their passions and achieved their dreams. They believed that the stories of real-life heroes could give hope and inspiration to children in a rapidly evolving,connected world.
The My Hero Project website, myhero.com, was established as a safe online platform for children to view inspiring content and create their own--one of the first media arts education programs to teach children to create and publish online media. Over the last 20 years, millions of students of all ages around the world have benefited from taking part in My Hero programs. All media submitted to the website is reviewed by staff to ensure that it aligns with My Hero's mission, and My Hero has become a trusted global learning destination for educators. Today, The My Hero Project media arts education programs span the globe, and our website is the largest web-based archive of hero stories worldwide.
The My Hero homepage features thematic content to honor diverse heroes. Features connect to a global calendar of events including International Day of Human Rights, World Teachers’Day, International Women's Day, Black History Month, Earth Day, World Ocean's Day and more. These features bring together outstanding media contributed to the website by students as well as professionals.
Through the website, Media Arts Education Program, and Film Festivals, The My Hero Project helps people create, share and discover inspirational stories, art, audio, and short films with a global learning community.
The website provides educational resources, a digital archive and web-authoring programs to millions of visitors from 197 countries each year. Over 2 million pages of content are accessed every month! Participants can design webpages in the Create Program, upload or listen to the Audio Studio, view and submit artwork to The Gallery, watch short films in The Screening Room, browse a vast Directory of Heroes, and reflect on heroism in The Forum, Guestbook, and access current events in The Newsroom. Editors, artists and designers collaborate throughout the year with My Hero staff to produce dynamic features that explore themes including Black History Month, Human Rights Day, International Day of Peace and Tolerance, and Earth Day.
The Media Arts Education Program consists of three components: The Teacher’s Room provides standards-aligned lesson plans and online resources for educators; Learning Circles are virtual collaborative classrooms, and Media Arts Workshops teach media arts skills to students at underserved schools. My Hero’s technology-based resources facilitate both individualized learning and collaborations to improve students' learning capacity. Participants build 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, project management, research, communication and new media literacy.
The My Hero Teacher's Room (myhero.com/teachersroom) provides standards-aligned, project-based lesson plans, resources, and tutorials. Teachers use My Hero’s web management tools to facilitate review of their students' work and organize content from My Hero’s vast archive into unique directories to share with one another on the school website and with other classrooms across the world. Teachers have shared their lesson plans on integrating MY HERO in the classroom so others can benefit from their experience, and they can connect via our community board and social media platforms.
Students can create digital portfolios of their My Hero work and may return year after year to add new media to the website. Educators report that students who show behavioral problems and struggle to communicate effectively shine most on My Hero-projects. Thus, this project-based learning can help build students’ confidence as well as their knowledge and skills.
My Hero facilitates worldwide "Learning Circles" in partnership with iEARN.org. Classes are matched with others across countries to build skills and engage in conversations and social service learning projects.
This commercial free not-for-profit educational project aligns with teachers' needs to bring students together to learn, to respect our differences and common humanity, and to use media and technology for social good in a safe online environment.
The My Hero International Film and Local Hero Fests showcase filmmakers, artists and activists working towards positive change and inspire audience members to become activists in their communities. The annual My Hero International Film Festival launched in 2005 brings together young media makers, professionals, activists and heroes to explore the theme of heroism in documentary, narrative and experimental short films as well as virtual reality programs and artwork. The festival supports the crucial work of real life heroes and passionate filmmakers by celebrating winners online (http://myhero.com/winners). Over the years, the MY HERO International Film Festival Awards Ceremony has been held at both USC School of Cinematic Arts & The Herb Alpert Educational Village. Winning films become part of My Hero’s Screening Room, enriching learning in classrooms around the globe with over 2,500 short films online (http://myhero.com/films).
The heroes featured on the web site are global and community leaders working to solve the great challenges of our time. They are activists, artists, poets, scientists, peacemakers and earth keepers. They work for human rights, children’s rights, women’s rights. They are famous heroes from the past as well as family members and friends making a positive difference in the life of a child. Learning about famous heroes such as Malala Yousafzai, Wangari Maathai, Martin Luther King, as well as unsung heroes through stories, art and films has had a powerful impact on students in classrooms around the globe. We have seen the powerful ripples that have come from focusing on our bright stars and shining a light on the unsung heroes in our midst.
Over two decades, The My Hero Project has reached millions of participants in almost 200 countries and all 50 states. Participants have written 150,000 short guestbook entries, built 50,000 webpage stories and contributed 3,000 short films to this living, learning project. Each year, visitors access about 24 million pages of inspiring media from their schools, centers, and homes around the world. Feedback from teachers and participants has helped us improve the website and deepened our understanding of the impact and importance of our work.
Advancements in technology, enhanced internet access and the proliferation of mobile devices promise to give My Hero even greater reach to global audiences and to underserved communities of people looking for hope and inspiration in their schools, homes, elder communities and libraries worldwide.
The My Hero Project uses media, art and technology to celebrate the best of humanity. Join the millions of visitors who have found My Hero to be a safe online venue to discover and share essays, art, audio and films that celebrate heroes around the world.
Since 1995, over 100 million people from 197 countries have participated in The My Hero Project. Our award-winning programs raise awareness for the amazing work being done by heroes globally and at the grass roots level to address some of the greatest challenges of our time. We work to promote cross-cultural communication, human rights, environmental awareness, tolerance, media literacy and the arts. Our staff reviews submissions daily to ensure that work is appropriate for an all ages audience. The My Hero team also includes talented media artists and educators, and we mentor young filmmakers, artists and reporters. We are the largest, oldest hero resource on the internet.. Since 1995 My Hero has been share inspiring stories of the real-life heroes working to create positive change in the world.
Please consider signing the My Hero guestbook, add your work of hero-themed art, music or short film. We invite you to share your hero story with the world. Shine a light on your hero and in the process become part of our global learning community. Donations support this commercial-free, online project that brings hope to students and life-long learners around the globe. We welcome your participation and support.