The Difference We Make

We have identified that a lack of hope for a bright future is at the core of the issue. Showing our youth that they can be part of something as exciting as writing, performing and producing music and concert productions proves to them that they have abilities and value that can be applied to help them rise above their circumstances. It gives them hope that they can be more than their environment if they chose to make healthy choices. It transforms lives!

Over 80% of our core kids have graduated from, or are currently attending, university.  Most are the first in their families to do so, breaking the cycle generational poverty, in many cases.

Faculty and administrators at the Henry C. Morton Montessori report that the students we’ve worked with on leadership skills are showing more confidence in speaking in front of their peers than before participating in the ISM program.

Benton Harbor High School experienced higher than average attendance in their 2015 9th grade summer orientation program.

“ISM’s efforts have resulted in growth in our students’ academic success, behavior improvement and fine arts education.” – Ms. Diane Thomas, Paraprofessional/Agent, Henry C. Morton Montessori Academy, Benton Harbor, MI

“This program has sprouted talent and confidence in about 30% of the students in our 4 to 6th grade learning community.” – Beverly M. Davis, Teacher, Henry C. Morton Montessori Academy.

“The I’m Saving Myself program has been in place in our school since October 2014 and, since that time, I have seen students who are shy, learn to speak out and become active classroom participants; I have seen students stop bullying behavior and even apologize to their victims; And, I have watched in wonder as feuding students buried the hatchet and begin working together cooperatively. These changes have improved my success as a teacher by cutting the amount of time I spend as a disciplinarian and increasing my time as an educator.” – Mrs. S. Wilson, Teacher, 4th, 5th and 6th grades, Henry C. Morton Montessori Academy.

– “As principal of a priority school that was granted a SIG, the positive difference that I have seen in my school since they have been on campus is phenomenal… With Culture and Climate being one of our three Big deas, “I’m Saving Myself” solutions … has become a welcomed part of our learning-centered school culture. Both students’ and teachers’ lives are being transformed as a result of our partnership with “I’m Saving Myself’”. – Rodger R. Tripplett, Principal, Montessorri Academy @ Henry C. Morton

Teachers from our recent programs report:

  • seeing more hope in their students. Before the program, 29% of teachers saw little hope in their students, 14% were not sure and 57% saw some hope.  After the program, 13% reported seeing little hope in their students, 12% were unsure and 76% reported seeing some hope.
  • feeling more valued. Before the program, 67% of teachers felt fairly valued, 17% were not sure and 50% felt unvalued or very unvalued.  After the program, 71% felt very or fairly valued, 29% were not sure and 0% felt unvalued or very unvalued.
  • feeling cared for. Before the program, 67% felt fairly cared for, 17% were unsure and 17% felt fairly uncared for.  After the program, 100% felt very or fairly cared for, 0% felt uncared for or unsure.
  • feeling respected. Before the program, 67% felt fairly respected, 0% were unsure and 33% felt fairly disrespected.  After the program, 86% felt very or fairly respected, 0% were unsure and only 14% felt disrespected.