Melissa's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    TEACH Roadtrip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Boulder, CO

MELISSA MICHAELS

Founder/Director of Educational Programming
Wild Life Productions

“I managed to transform a certain amount of suffering into gold.”

INTERESTS:

Art Education

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Education Experience Inspiration Passion Exploration Struggle Opportunity Self-Reflection Values Choices Transitions Individualism Culture Focus Instincts Doubt Family

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

alcoholism, angry, career, choice, compassionate, dance, education, emotions, environment, explore, generation, inspired, mentor, mentors, school, summer camp, teacher, teaching, transformation, violence

BIOGRAPHY:

  • She was always drawn to people younger than herself; when she was 12 years old, she ran a summer camp for her fellow neighborhood kids.
  • Her brand of education focuses on "rites of passage," giving youths significant experiences that help them mindfully transition into adulthood.
  • When she was growing up, she was surrounded by alcoholism; as a result, she harbored a lot of anger.
  • People suggested that she meditate to deal with her frustrations, but she never had success with meditation-she always had trouble sitting still.
  • Finally, she found her source of true peace: dancing.
  • She knew that there were others out there, like her, who could benefit from the healing power of dance.
  • Decided that at 30 years old, she would go back to school and get her Ph.D. in education so she could make the greatest impact possible.
  • Says her bout with alcohol and drugs caused her to lose sight of her "glory," so now her goal is to help kids harness and hold on to their own glory.

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