More Than A Figure seeks is a non-profit operating for educational and charitable purposes with goals to address issues of success beyond figures (test scores and grades), by helping to mitigate the inequity in the educational system by strategically providing opportunities to increase student agency and motivation. Currently, the “unhappy fact is that students lack motivation or cultural knowledge or skills to succeed where underperformance tends to occur or they self-destruct because of low self-expectations or low self- esteem from broader culture, or their own families and communities” (Steele, 2010). This, in turn, will help create peace for the students’ identities regardless of their socioeconomic status and other societal issues they may face.
More Than A Figure will provide students opportunities so that they understand that they are more than a number and can, in fact, make a difference to themselves, their communities, and beyond. The organization will help students to organize and create clubs/organizations that reflect their individual passions. With the participation in these clubs, students will learn simple life skills that will benefit them now and for the rest of their lives (Larson & Raffaelli, 2013). Monetary aid will be provided to help the students acquire supplies needed for their clubs/organizations and guidance offered to further understand the requirements for the creation of a sustainable club/organization. More Than A Figure will also provide volunteer mentorship (from teachers, college students, etc.) to students with opportunities outside of school—teaching them important life skills, applying for/attending conferences, applying to high schools and college, applying to summer programs, etc. After a year of mentorship, students will be able to run their own clubs/organizations and contribute to their own education, the education of their peers, and the well being of their community.
Thus, students of low socioeconomic status–who may be pushed to drop out of high school and consider joining a gang (Komenda, 2017) –will benefit significantly by engaging with their education more deeply than they would otherwise and will be able to create a sense of autonomy and peace through the cultivation of their individual passions and identities regardless of societal pressures working against them. To maximize the impact of these efforts, we will seek to collaborate with other non-profit organizations with similar goals or with foci on these specific issues, but there is not one working directly with students in this way yet.