Just six months ago, we conducted our first Choose2Matter event, with a class of 350 sophomores at Dowingtown STEM Academy. The results were brilliant.

In September, we conducted another event with 200 8th graders at Bettendorf Middle School, and those students have been pursuing world-changing initiatives ever since.

So last month, we stepped up our game, presenting to an entire school of 800 students at Daisy Gibson Elementary School in Palmdale, CA. Those students are returning from winter break ready to tackle the problem of childhood hunger in this country.

Now, we’re taking it up another notch. Because of the bold leadership of Douglas Killian and Steve Snell, we are visiting this week with Hutto ISD in Hutto, Texas and spending two days with all 5,923 students in the entire district! It will be unpredictable, nerve-wracking, chaotically beautiful, and utterly, gloriously life-changing for everyone present.

Hutto ISD and all of its people will never be the same, and neither will we.

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Nearly 6,000 Hutto ISD Students to Choose2Matter

Students challenged to collaboratively develop innovative solutions to social problems

January 21, 2014 – Hutto, TX – This week, the nearly 6,000 students in Hutto ISD will be asked a simple question:

“Do you believe that you are a genius, and that the world needs your contribution?”

Studies suggest that nearly 100% of Hutto’s first graders will answer this question with an emphatic “Yes.” For the second graders, the expectation is below 50%. For students approaching their high school graduation, typically only 2% still believe that they can contribute something meaningful to the world.

Fortunately, the conversation won’t end there. All students in the district will attend a two-day live event at Hutto High School on January 21 and 22 to learn about changing the world as part of a social movement called “Choose2Matter.”

Students, educators and adults from around the world are also invited to virtually participate in and support the event.

  • Opening and closing sessions will be broadcast from approximately 8:30 am to 10:00 am CST and from 3:00 to 3:30 pm each day, and also archived, on Choose2Matter’s YouTube channel athttp://www.youtube.com/choose2matter
  • Updates will be posted regularly to Choose2Matter’s Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/Choose2Matter and to the Hutto ISD Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/HuttoISD
  • Huffington Post will be collecting and publishing pictures, video and first-person accounts from the event.
  • Pictures, videos and other content will be shared by participants on Twitter and other social media channels using the hashtag #C2MHutto

The Choose2Matter team is led by Angela Maiers, a nationally renowned speaker and veteran educator; Mark Moran, a corporate lawyer and online research expert; and Laura Thomas.

They will be joined by:

  • Mark J. Carter of ONE80 Solutions, a mentoring expert;
  • Frank Hughes, who worked in Space Training for NASA for 33 years and now focuses on STEM education;
  • Robert Pohl, an education consultant on 21st century classroom collaboration technologies & Director of Professional Learning for Collaboration Solutions, Inc.
  • Sam Read, online organizer for No Kid Hungry; and
  • Bryan Wempen of ceVoke and BTC Revolutions, an expert on leadership, entrepreneurism and talent management.

A lineup of special guests will appear via videoconference, including General John Michel, the Commanding General of the NATO Air Training Command in Kabul, Afghanistan, who will discuss courage and bravery with the students.

General John Michel

General John Michel

The Choose2Matter team will work with Hutto students, staff and community members on the concept behind Choose2Matter – that when someone believes that they matter, they approach life and work in a manner that understands that their actions can have an impact on the world.

This will be by far the largest group of participants at a Choose2Matter event to date.

Angela Maiers, Founder of Choose2Matter, says, “I applaud the courage of the Hutto ISD leaders in bringing this movement to all of their students. Choose2Matter changes hearts, changes minds, and changes lives. It is an awe inspiring message that must be heard, and we don’t want a single student to miss the opportunity.”

Steve Snell, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum at Hutto ISD, said “It will be a tremendously rewarding experience for students to articulate their passion, communicate their idea for solving a problem, begin the process of doing so and see it through to completion. This is more valuable than any worksheet or textbook we can give them.”

During a 2011 TEDxDesMoines presentation, “You Matter,” Angela Maiers spoke of how these two words can change lives and change our world, if we understand them and we leverage them in the right way.  Students everywhere reacted powerfully to this call to action, completing jaw-dropping quests to address problems in our world.

Choose2Matter was created in response to this breathtaking response. It is a call to action that challenges students to make “mattering” a way of life.

Choose2Matter is developing a program of “mentoring at mass scale.” It will leverage the wisdom and experience of adults to guide the energy and passion of youth. For students, the mere knowledge that adults take their ideas seriously profoundly impacts that seriousness with which they approach their contribution.

Hutto students and staff will begin work on their call to action, develop an action plan, work with experts and professionals, review plans, and implement their plans. The goal is to create an authentic, social entrepreneurship learning experience for students, in which they learn skills that are relevant to the modern world.

“This is going to be a unique experience for students. It’s going to be messy and chaotic but it’s going to empower students to take ownership of their learning and do something that will better their community,” said Emily Grobe, Information Director at Hutto ISD.

Mark E. Moran, Co-founder of Choose2Matter, said, “Most schools pay lip service to producing students who are college and career ready, but fall short on both accounts. Choose2Matter liberates the genius of students and reminds them that they can achieve great things, even at a tender age. Hutto ISD has embraced the notion that passionate students who believe in themselves are unstoppable.”



Emily Grobe, Public Information Officer, Hutto ISD

Emily.Grobe@Hutto.TxEd.net; (512) 759-3008

Mark E. Moran, Co-founder, Choose2Matter,

MarkMoranMES@Gmail.com; (917) 597-3815

Hutto High School