Keith Yamashita

Founder, SYPartners

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Todd's Story

Hello everyone,

Here’s the example story I shared in our class—take a look to help guide you as you create your own story.

Topic

After thinking about it for a little while, I chose to tell the story of Todd Holcomb—a “Story of Me” that explains why he made the career move he did, what it means for him and for the world, and why people should rally together with him and his cause. I chose this story because I know a lot of you are looking for ways to more powerfully position yourselves and your creative work.

Components

Next, I chose the story components that I felt were crucial to the telling of Todd’s story.

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Archetype

After selecting 5 components that fit Todd's story, I chose the archetype (story arc) that best fit the narrative.

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Shaping the Story

With my components and archetype selected, and a few notes jotted down, I began to shape the flow of Todd's story. I mixed and rearranged my components a few times, and experimented with my archetype in mind.

Ultimately, I landed on this narrative structure for Todd’s story:

  1. Start with “A world view”
  2. “New possibility”
  3. “Drama”
  4. “Challenging situations”
  5. End the story with “Lessons learned”

 

Rough Pass

On my own, I took the time to say Todd’s story out loud—as a rough draft of sorts, to help me start telling the story in full. It was a helpful way to give the story a try before putting a pen to paper. Here's a quick video I made to practice telling Todd's story:

 

 

Putting It into Words

Finally, I got to a place where I could write the story down in words. I started with a general prose version Todd can use when he is speaking to teachers, students, or interested parties. He can also translate this story for use on his website, or as a strong personal bio—there are many possibilities for where this story can live. Read these, and try yours.

 

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PROSE version of Todd's story

At age 50, I made a major career change. Though I valued my work and leadership in the business world, I found it wasn’t enough—because there are so many seemingly impossible challenges in this world. So many things need to be fixed—I realized I needed to do something more to help realize significant change.

What I came to is this: I believe the answer lies in education—in our students. We need to empower future generations to solve our biggest challenges. We need to teach the skills of movement-making, and social change, and transformation, and teach that young.

So I took a chance. Betting on students, I quit my job and went back to school to learn how to teach, and most importantly, to learn how to teach the skills of making large-scale social change happen.

The choice did not come without its challenges. Being a 50 year old in a class of 21 year olds, studying a topic that hasn't been particularly well researched, and trying to do all that while balancing a full life with a family and all the responsibilities that go along with that. I hardly even knew how to get my first job as a student teacher.

Yet, while many things could have prevented me from being here today, I’ve stuck with it.

I'm here today because I'm learning a lot about what is really required for world change. I’ve been prototyping new programs and initiatives with kids right here in this school.

When we allow students to pick a topic they’re passionate about, we teach them the skills about how to mobilize others to act on that passion, and to do something valuable in the world. The results of this work have been astonishing and incredibly promising—and it’s just the beginning.

I’m here today because I believe in the potential of this work to change the world. I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to it. And it’s my hope you’ll join me along the way.

 

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WEBSITE copy for Todd's story

So many things need to be fixed in our world—and the solution lies in education and in our students. We need to empower future generations to solve our biggest challenges. And to do that, we need to teach the skills of movement-making, and social change, and transformation—and teach that young.

After a successful career in the business world, I went back to school to learn how to teach, and most importantly, to learn how to teach the skills of making large-scale social change happen.  

Research on this new area of education is still emerging, and our school system is constantly evolving, too. Many things could have prevented me from being here today, but I’ve stuck with it because the potential for this work is too promising to give up.  

Over the last two years, I’ve been prototyping new programs and initiatives with kids across the country. We’re letting students pick a topic they’re passionate about, and we teach them how to mobilize others to act on that passion, and to do something valuable in the world. But this is just the beginning.

I believe in the potential of this work to change the world. I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to it. And it’s my hope you’ll join me along the way—click through to learn more.

-Todd

 

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BIO version of Todd's story

About Todd:

Todd is driven by a belief that, as we face our society’s biggest challenges, we need to cultivate and invest in our students. They’re the most powerful solution we have for a better future.

After a successful career in business, Todd set out to empower future generations with skills for movement-making, social change, and transformation.

Over the past two years, he has launched and prototyped groundbreaking new initiatives with hundred of kids in schools across the nation. His work encourages students to recognize and pursue their passion, teaches them to mobilize others to act on that passion, and prepares them to build real contributions to the world around them.

He holds a Masters in Education, which he proudly pursued and earned after the age of 50, as the launch of his encore career. He also holds a degree in mechanical engineering.

Todd hopes his work will inspire the energy and attention of educators and advocates—and spark a global movement of its own.

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