The Appleseed Project

"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 2001, we the Intensive English Seminar students from Huron High in Ann Arbor, Michigan read the memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie, which followed the spiritual journey of a mentor and one of his students through their lessons on love, life, and death. As we prepare for the next phase of our lives in college, we wonder how the relationships we will forger will remain with us for the rest of our lives. As a group, we have met with amazing and interesting people who have transcended so many challenges to become productive and successful in their respective careers. Each one of their stories has inspired us to change the way act, think, and learn.

For this reason we are contacting over 4,000 people we feel have made significant contributions to our society in the industries of film, science, music, art, economics, politics, and sports, to name a few. We want to learn about the mentor who guided them along the way and how that relationship made them who they are today. Our goal is to compile these unique stories into a book to not only carry these lessons to the next phase of our lives but also share them with people all over country.

The name The Appleseed Project reflects the philosophy that our class embodies: i.e., with support, nurturing, and trust, students can accomplish anything they set their minds to. When we met with Robin Williams he said, "Great teachers plant a seed and students make them grow." With this project, the seeds we have planted will flourish.

If we are fortunate and persistent enough to get to publication together (and it will not be for lack of effort from our class) then any money realized from the project will go to the Mindblue Foundation, a not-for-profit trust and will be used to support innovation in education.