Student Geniuses Stand Up in Grand Island

Angela and John Michel bring the message of mattering to Grand Island

Spreading the message of mattering Credit: Barrett Stinson

What happens when you ask genius to show up? It usually does, right on time.

Two weeks ago, it showed up in droves. 2,300 high school students heard the Choose2Matter message that the world needs their genius. The leadership at Grand Island Senior High believes that students should see themselves as much more than the sum of their test scores and extracurricular achievements. They want their students to believe they can change the world—not next year or after graduation, but today.

I was joined by John Michel, a US Air Force General. Just a few months ago, he was serving in Afghanistan, overseeing a 14-nation effort to help Afghanistan build its own air force. Having served through several battles over nearly 3 decades, John knows that the world’s problems can be solved only if everyone contributes. Now back on home soil, John is pursuing his next mission: guiding young leaders. The no. 1 rule of Choose2Matter is “Be Brave.” For the students, John puts a very credible face on our call to bravery.

John Michel speaks to Grand Island Students

John Michel speaks to Grand Island students Credit: Barrett Stinson

Barrett Stinson

Our approach with the students of Grand Island is different than the one we employed in the past. We are giving students strategic control. We introduced Choose2Matter in a morning assembly and asked students to return later in the afternoon to be part of the leadership team that will help create a culture of mattering in Grand Island for generations to come. We hoped that 100 students would volunteer; we were blown away when nearly 400 did so!

What will it look like in two weeks? In two months? No one knows, and that is incredibly exciting. These students are ready to have an impact right now, and it’s a privilege to witness their genius play out.

Click these links for local news coverage of the event:

Speakers tell GISH students they can make an impact on the world

GISH Students Join Choose 2 Matter Movement

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