The Harbor, featuring Mike Smith and guests, facilitates the teaching of character development in classrooms by showcasing tangible life lessons through a school year's worth of episodes with rich, raw and engaging video content. Designed for the classroom, Renaissance members have access to a downloadable critical thinking discussion guide to foster student-led discussions for each episode
All six seasons and 160 episodes are listed below, with most recent episodes at the top. Use the "Browse by Keyword" link below to see topics covered and filter episodes by topic.
EPISODE 1: Change
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – There’s a lot of change we can’t control, but how we react to change is within our control and vital to making an impact on the people and culture around us. On this final “crate” episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike Smith shares his thoughts on the series and encourages us to keep working for change.
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COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Many of us have experienced stepping onto the field, court, or stage and looking around to see who’s there. Simply showing up for other student groups can help improve a school’s climate, culture, and sense of community.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Many of us feel stuck in a lot of ways. Guest Stacy Orsborn shares how having discipline, a growth mindset, and a philosophy of “growing better together” can all serve as a means of getting unstuck.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Guest Cammy Watkins breaks down the differences between equity and equality, and how equity goes a step further by recognizing that everyone starts with unique advantages and disadvantages, and therefore needs different solutions.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Guest Alexa Glazer explores how her father’s death impacted her and helps us see the positive growth that can come out of grieving, including how to show empathy for others going through similarly difficult situations.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Having more meaningful conversations allows people to be themselves and feel like they’re being seen, heard, known, and loved, and Mike shares three tips for how to have deeper conversations with others.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike speaks with Dane Adams about rejecting the notion that we’re defined solely by our activities, accomplishments, and accolades; and what defining our own sense of self-worth can look like.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike takes to the crate to acknowledge the challenges we are all facing during the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, issuing a call to action for all of us to find ways to build community, take care of one another, and stay rooted in love.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Guest Jane Finette educates us on why our inner voice is more prone to focus on the negative instead of the positive, and how becoming more aware of your inner critic can help you unlock your full potential.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Guest Pascal Finette encourages us to consider how technology could actually be our most powerful tool for solving the world’s problems.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – “When you stand tall, you don’t think small.” Guest Steve Bollar shares his personal struggles with growing tall, and how he came to learn that being different and standing out from the crowd could make him a better leader.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike advises that it’s OK to quit something if you decide that your time and energy are meant to do something better or something more you.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Guest Alicia Reisinger speaks on how our culture reinforces the idea that young women in particular have to cut each other down in order to succeed, and how collaboration can lead to better relationships and better results than competition.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike offers advice to incoming freshmen on being yourself, developing healthy habits, and paying attention to the unsung heroes on your campus.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Consent between two people is complicated and is an ever-changing conversation. In this episode, a group of poets explores the ways in which consent isn’t what it may seem, but is a source and expression of strength.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Students demonstrate how privilege impacts many of our opportunities, and Mike urges us to have conversations about how those with more privilege can use it to help those with less privilege.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike suggests that event organizers keep their focus on the intent behind their event — and to measure their success not upon attendance, but upon whether or not their attendees were impacted in the way that they intended.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike and guest Tom Cody challenge gossipers to examine why they gossip and offer tips on how to redirect their energy into being more positive contributors to society.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – We all have control over the tone of our posts and what shows up in our social media feeds, and this episode describes positive ways we can utilize social media to help avoid drama and celebrate all the great things that people are doing.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Spending time reflecting can be scary, but it’s critical to gaining insights about ourselves and others. Mike shares how reflecting on his setbacks and successes has made him a better boss, coworker, and leader.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Confidence can be described as making the most of momentum, allowing small victories to build on one another, and then leaning into your moments of success so you can share that confidence with others.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike explores what living and leading by example means, and how leadership is contagious and can change the culture of a school.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike highlights that we all share a responsibility to create positive school spirit and community in our schools, and we do that when we start celebrating each other.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike suggests asking others for help in a way that shows them how much you respect their time and their contributions, and emphasizes how important it is to offer something before you ask for something.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike talks to blogger and author Alexa Glazer about how she made the decision to stop wishing and talking about her dream, and what it took for her to start doing it.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Communication is an important life skill and one that’s integral to being an effective leader. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Learning how to pivot is essential to navigating setbacks and failures, but being able to change directions on a moment’s notice requires […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – It’s easy to focus on the problems in our lives, but reframing our perspective to focus more on the solutions can help […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike believes that the hardest part of starting anything is getting through the first 10%. The first 10% is often difficult, lonely, […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Having computers in our pockets can connect us to the world in unprecedented ways, but it can also leave us in a […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike firmly believes that true adventure begins when things don’t go according to plan, and moreover, that we learn who we are […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike sees perspective as a soft skill that can be practiced and developed — and one that’s essential to becoming a good […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Often times, we base our identity upon the groups we associate with or the activities we participate in. On this episode of The […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – People turn to substances like drugs or alcohol for numerous reasons, such as dealing with trauma or feeling a general detachment to […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – In episode two of our series around the 2018 Jostens Renaissance National Conference, Mike brings three students onstage to field their questions and […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – At the 2018 Jostens Renaissance National Conference, Mike addressed hundreds of student leaders and leadership educators on how leadership is a lifestyle. In […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Young people tend to power through their classes, homework, and extracurriculars non-stop every day without ever pausing to ask themselves how they […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – When Mike spoke with Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Leroy Petry about the meaning of courage, he learned that heroes are all around us, putting other people first for the right reasons — not for recognition.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Through the Internet and social media, it’s easy for anyone to share their opinion, but sometimes, it’s not as easy to listen. […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 -Everyone who works in a school puts countless time and energy towards helping students get to the finish line. Establishing traditions to show […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Networking today isn’t about who you know, it’s about who you’re known as. Seven out of ten career opportunities come from word […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Who do you want to be when you grow up? Mike believes that answering this question should come before we decide what […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Leadership isn’t a title; it’s not a class; and it’s certainly not what you tell everyone you are. Leadership is a mentality and […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk joins us to talk about his experience in high school, how excelling at his sport brought him unexpected fame, and the importance of humility.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – My Name My Story is an organization that develops changemakers based on the belief that stories inspire empathy and that empathy drives […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Many students believe they have to have their entire future mapped out before they graduate high school. While having a plan laid […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Demir Gjokaj returns after Mike took his Lifehack Bootcamp. They talk about Mike’s struggles […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Managing finances is hard for everyone and especially for teenagers just joining the workforce. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – People respond to failure in different ways. Typically, people let it stop them, define them, or drive them. On this episode of The […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Demir Gjokaj is the founder of Lifehack Bootcamp, where he and his wife teach people how to arrange their daily to-do list […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Jared Leaf was a great student athlete whose dreams were knocked off track when his college apartment started on fire. On this episode […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller joins Mike to talk about his high school career, playing football, […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Note: This episode contains in-depth and personal stories of teens dealing with intolerance. It is intended for mature audiences. In what feels […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Many young people fall victim to comparing their abilities to that of professionals and become frustrated. It takes time and hard work […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – When Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi were sophomores in high school, they didn’t feel there were enough conversations in the classroom about […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – In 2016 Hannah Huston was a finalist on reality TV show, “The Voice,” but before that, she was a pre-school teacher. On […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – For many of us, high school is when we experience our first romantic relationship. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike visits […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Us The Duo, The husband-and-wife musical team of Michael and Carissa Alvarado, found massive success through social media. On this episode of The […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike challenged students across the country to take a 30 day digital detox from social media. In this episode of The Harbor […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – In 2016, Danny Salazar won the Jostens Project Yearbook category in the All American High School Film Festival for his film “Part […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Claire Wineland’s YouTube channel helps teach people about the realities of illness and death. Living with cystic fibrosis herself, 20 year-old Claire […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Whether it’s homework, AP classes, athletics, or extracurricular activities, students today are busier than ever. When you add in what’s happening at home, […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Trevor Jacob is a multi-talented action sports athlete, entrepreneur, and Olympian. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike talks with Trevor about […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Having goals and dreams is common, but being fully ready for your moment when the opportunity arises is not. On this episode […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – In conjunction with the end of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Mike sits down with writer, speaker, author, and mental health and wellness […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike talks with students about their experiences with subtweeting, trolling, the bystander effect, and the tragic consequences bullying can have on a student.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Johan Khalilian is a speaker, author, actor, and content creator. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Johan shares the story of […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – As a college student, Alysia Kezerian had a hiking accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. On this episode of The […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – The need for instant gratification is growing in our society. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, speaker Aaron Davis shares the importance […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Failure is inevitably a part of everyone’s life. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, we hear students’ perspectives on failure and […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this week’s episode of The Harbor by Jostens, lifestyle coach and blogger, Erin Stanczyk, shares how three simple, daily actions can affect […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, professional wakeboarder Alexa Score shares what it’s like to live with cancer and still live out […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – If you won the lottery and never had to work another day in your life, what would you spend your days doing? […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Insecurities affect us all. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, dozens of high school students give us their perspectives on their insecurities […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this week’s installment of The Harbor by Jostens, members of the non-profit organization S.A.V.E. (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) tell us how […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Carlos Navarro immigrated from Cuba to the United States. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Carlos describes the culture shock and […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike delves into the topic of leadership. In particular, he focuses on how leaders’ […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, professional surfer and Roxy model, Kelia Moniz, shows that confidence and true beauty are found only […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Danny Evans, Vice President of Marketing for Ethika, discusses peer pressure. He points out that being […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Though a survivor of the tragic Columbine High School shootings, the trauma Austin Eubanks experienced led him down a path of substance […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – A common question among student leaders is, “How do we increase school spirit?” On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike shares […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Whether it’s in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the career field, life is full of competition. On this episode […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – We’ve all had experiences with bullying. In this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike and students from across the country recount how […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks shares the emotional story of how her campaign, “I’m M.A.D. (Making A Difference), are you?” was started.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Social media has changed the way we look at the world and has done incredibly positive things, but we all know social […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – It’s easy for teens and adults alike to struggle with body image. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Paralympic athlete Lacey Henderson […]
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike challenges students to ask themselves tough questions and examine where their biases come from so that we can understand that while it’s okay to disagree with someone, it’s never okay to disrespect.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – A high school student shares the pressure he had to pursue athletics and his decision to work toward his true passion: leadership.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike challenges students not to go into cruise control at the end of the school year, but to remember they have a limited amount of time to accomplish their goals.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Veronica Tolentino reveals her story of being in an unhealthy relationship and reminds everyone that they deserve to be treated with love and respect.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Ejay O’Donnell, Vice President of diecutstickers.com, reminds us that life is fragile and hopes that we focus on how we treat others – as humans, not robots.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike encourages students to define themselves rather than allow media, family, and peer expectations to control their choices.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Motivational speaker Aaron Davis shares some of his experiences with intolerance and offers suggestions on how to talk about tolerance and diversity.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – JR Galardi, Chief Visionary Officer of Wienerschnitzel, shares how the loss of his father changed the trajectory of his life.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike tells the story of how he befriended a boy named Calvin, an “invisible” student who ultimately shaped Mike into the person he is today.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Recent high school grad and slap poet Riley Westerholt paints a hopeful picture of the current high school generation.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Musician and actor Quincy Brown discusses the importance of working hard to achieve success, and stresses that greatness is not simply handed to anyone.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Educator Matt Soeth, co-creator of #icanhelp, gives tips on how to take control of social media and turn it into a positive environment.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – The Dingo is an action sports personality who dreamed of becoming a pro athlete. When he realized that his dream was not realistic, he persevered and used his failures as a platform to achieve success.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Photographer Steve Rosenfield shares his journey culminating in the “What I Be Project,” a platform which encourages others to share their insecurity with the world.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Tommy Reynolds lost everything with the market crashed. It took hitting rock bottom for him to find his passion, and it took years of hard work with little return before he achieved his dream.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Youth mentor Brent Aragon believes that in order to change the world, you must first change your world, namely how you view yourself and those around you.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Photographer Quang Le describes how expressing his creativity through photography helped him channel his social anxiety.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Fitness professional Jen Aragon shares her journey toward feeling comfortable with her body and appearance, and the importance of spiritual and mental health in being able to truly love herself.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Youth motivational speaker Scott Backovich inspires viewers to “complain less, give more” and think about what they have to give back to others.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – After losing several relatives to cancer in a six-month period, Rob Dyer took it upon himself to make a change. He started Skate4Cancer, which has raised millions of dollars for cancer hospitals and charities.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Azie Tesfai achieved her dream of becoming an actress, but still felt unfulfilled. It was only when she learned about the needs of a school in her family’s home country that she realized her greater purpose.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Motivational speaker Aaron Davis outlines three important choices we have in our lives and how our responses to these choices will determine our path toward success.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Musician Davey Muise shares the story of where he came from, and why he has dedicated his life to helping people “find their shovel” to dig out from their hardships.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike describes the difference between the people who are critical of everyone around them and the people who create positivity wherever they go.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – The way we talk to ourselves can greatly affect our mood, our behavior, and our day-to-day life. In this episode, Mike challenges students to think about how they talk to themselves.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Student Kyler Erickson shares how he reacted after living through a shooting at his high school and what he had to do in order to overcome his post-traumatic stress.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – The incredible success story of Kevin Laue, a former Division I basketball player who didn’t let being born with one arm stop him from pursuing his dreams.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike takes on the topic of distractions, namely those brought on by smart devices and social media, and recommends taking a “digital detox.”
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike talks about how he founded his non-profit Skate For Change, its growth into a worldwide movement, and how youth can give their passions a greater purpose.
COPYRIGHT JOSTENS 2020 – Mike describes how judgement and prejudice impact people, both in and outside of the classroom, and how students can help resolve this problem in their schools.