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At the end of the year, we reflect on how we create impact and empower middle schoolers. Morgan’s not a middle schooler anymore but she was when TomTod began…

When TomTod Ideas was just getting started, Morgan was one of the very first students to participate in our What If You Could mentorship adventure. As a Canton City Schools middle schooler, she saw the challenges of bullying and, through her U³ project (Stand Up, Speak Up, Don’t Give Up), she created a peer-to-peer anti-bullying curriculum that she piloted in partnership with Lehman Middle School.

Morgan’s connections with TomTod didn’t stop there, though. This past spring she joined us for our annual fundraiser, the Feast of Ideas, and shared why her What If You Could experience continues to inspire and drive her.

“I was surprised that someone cared,” Morgan shared “(and) that self worth makes you want to go out and change things!”

Watch Morgan’s 2 minute reflection on why she values TomTod’s work with students:

This past summer, Morgan, now a University of Akron student, teamed up with TomTod again, this time as a camp counselor for Camp What If. Through 3 different camps in June and July, Morgan passed on that care that she experienced to a new generation of middle schoolers.

TomTod Ideas loves seeing middle schoolers move from idea to action and we connect middle schoolers with mentors and tools to do just that, but as Morgan says, “one person can’t do it all, you need a group of people to do it together.” That’s where you come in!

Would you join us in working with middle schoolers (and the adults they become) to engage their communities and take action? By giving today, you’ll be supporting programming like Camp What If and What If You Could that empowers middle schoolers to put their ideas in motion.

Please consider giving a gift today at www.tomtodideas.org/donate.

Thank you for your support!

At the end of the year, we reflect on how we create impact and empower middle schoolers. Here’s another story of the amazing students we work with.

You can also donate here to help us finish the year strong!

When Aaron and Gwyn explored their community at Camp What If: Canton, they loved what they saw. They toured around Canton, learning about the unique attractions, history, and businesses that make the Hall of Fame City tick.

“What if,” they thought, “Our city had a smart guide to all the great things about Canton? And what if it showed you where to go?”

The result? CantonSmart, an app that curates the city for you. CantonSmart navigates users through what the city has to offer with walkthroughs of the city’s food scene and “inverted intersections.” These historic images of downtown, using geolocation in the app, let you compare city blocks from today with decades past.

Aaron and Gwyn worked alongside TomTod staff and local mentors, including developers Chris Cutter and Dan Capri with ETHOS, and Mark Holland with the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, to put their idea into motion. Now the public has a cross-platform app that serves up local history, knowledge, and food right from their phones, all thanks to middle schoolers that were empowered by TomTod Ideas. And as far as the CantonSmart team is concerned, this is just the beginning, with updated features, information and themes to come.

To promote their app to tourists visiting Canton, Aaron and Gwyn worked with their mentors to secure funding, including a prize package from Visit Canton. By visiting www.cantonsmart.com/sweepstakes contestants (living outside of Stark County) can earn entries into a sweepstakes to win a 3 day Gold Package to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Festival Powered by Johnson Controls or, for those living in Stark County, a prize package of gift certificates to local restaurants.

TomTod Ideas loves seeing middle schoolers move from idea to action and we connect middle schoolers with mentors and tools to do just that – but we can’t do it alone.

Would you join us in aiding middle schoolers like Gwyn and Aaron to engage their communities and take action? By giving today, you’ll be supporting programming like Camp What If and What If You Could that empowers middle schoolers to put their ideas in motion.

Aaron and Gwyn aren’t the only middle schooler making a difference. You can hear the inspiring stories of students like Rowyn, Nyrii, and Manny (and more!) on our Stories page.

Please consider giving a gift today at www.tomtodideas.org/donate.

Thank you for your support!

Though the calendar won’t change to fall for almost a month, fall starts this week for most of my middle school friends & educator friends.

The school year is upon us.

With each year of schooling, a lot of attention is given to what we’ll be learning. The first days in classes largely consist of laying out guidelines and expectations, of passing out syllabi, and giving overviews of what’s to come.

But what if the most important things we learned this year weren’t what we learned, but who we learned it from.

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12 Dec 2012

12/12/12

Today my Facebook feed has been overwhelmed by the observation of 12/12/12. The world seems absolutely giddy for corresponding numbers and the fact that this particulary numerical occurrence is a once in a lifetime occurence.

My friend, Tim, had a more tempered reaction. “Every date only happens once… that’s how time works…”

And he couldn’t be more right.

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