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.
EPISODE 04: EXCUSES
We all make excuses for not doing things. Sometimes we have valid reasons, but often times, we make excuses like we “don’t have enough time” because we’re afraid of failure or judgement. In this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike challenges us to spend more time thinking about the things that matter to us — and to really question why we make the excuses we do.
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It’s natural to gravitate towards people who are just like you and who share the same interests, but isolating others from your circle creates a culture […]
Communication is an important life skill and one that’s integral to being an effective leader. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike gives some tips […]
Learning how to pivot is essential to navigating setbacks and failures, but being able to change directions on a moment’s notice requires that you know your […]
It’s easy to focus on the problems in our lives, but reframing our perspective to focus more on the solutions can help us achieve greatness. In […]
Mike believes that the hardest part of starting anything is getting through the first 10%. The first 10% is often difficult, lonely, and more work than […]
Having computers in our pockets can connect us to the world in unprecedented ways, but it can also leave us in a constant state of distraction. […]
Mike sees perspective as a soft skill that can be practiced and developed — and one that’s essential to becoming a good leader and accomplishing your […]
Often times, we base our identity upon the groups we associate with or the activities we participate in. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike […]
People turn to substances like drugs or alcohol for numerous reasons, such as dealing with trauma or feeling a general detachment to the world around them. […]
In episode two of our series around the 2018 Jostens Renaissance National Conference, Mike brings three students onstage to field their questions and give advice on what […]
At the 2018 Jostens Renaissance National Conference, Mike addressed hundreds of student leaders and leadership educators on how leadership is a lifestyle. In part one of this […]
Young people tend to power through their classes, homework, and extracurriculars non-stop every day without ever pausing to ask themselves how they feel. Small changes to […]
Through the Internet and social media, it’s easy for anyone to share their opinion, but sometimes, it’s not as easy to listen. Having a dialogue rather […]
Everyone who works in a school puts countless time and energy towards helping students get to the finish line. Establishing traditions to show gratitude to these […]
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 of mouth referrals, so […]
For our first episode in season five of The Harbor, Mike Smith shares his insights and lessons learned on a Leader’s Mentality. Stay tuned for season five […]
My Name My Story is an organization that develops changemakers based on the belief that stories inspire empathy and that empathy drives change. Founder Amit Dodani […]
Many students believe they have to have their entire future mapped out before they graduate high school. While having a plan laid out can be exciting, […]
On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Demir Gjokaj returns after Mike took his Lifehack Bootcamp. They talk about Mike’s struggles to change his habits, […]
Managing finances is hard for everyone and especially for teenagers just joining the workforce. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Certified Financial Planner Scott […]
People respond to failure in different ways. Typically, people let it stop them, define them, or drive them. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike explores […]
Demir Gjokaj is the founder of Lifehack Bootcamp, where he and his wife teach people how to arrange their daily to-do list in an optimal way […]
Jared Leaf was a great student athlete whose dreams were knocked off track when his college apartment started on fire. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Jared […]
On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Superbowl 50 MVP, Von Miller, joins Mike to talk about his high school career, playing football, and the importance of […]
Note: This episode contains in-depth and personal stories of teens dealing with intolerance. It is intended for mature audiences. In what feels like a divided world, […]
Many young people fall victim to comparing their abilities to that of professionals and become frustrated. It takes time and hard work before anyone can get […]
When Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi were sophomores in high school, they didn’t feel there were enough conversations in the classroom about race. To address this […]
In 2016 Hannah Huston was a finalist on reality TV show, “The Voice,” but before that, she was a pre-school teacher. On this episode of The […]
For many of us, high school is when we experience our first romantic relationship. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike visits with students about relationships, […]
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 Harbor by Jostens, Mike […]
Mike challenged students across the country to take a 30 day digital detox from social media. In this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, we hear […]
In 2016, Danny Salazar won the Jostens Project Yearbook category in the All American High School Film Festival for his film “Part of Eternity.” On this episode […]
Claire Wineland’s YouTube channel helps teach people about the realities of illness and death. Living with cystic fibrosis herself, 20 year-old Claire serves as a powerful […]
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, stress and pressure can […]
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 bravery, time management, and […]
In conjunction with the end of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Mike sits down with writer, speaker, author, and mental health and wellness advocate, Ross Szabo. On […]
With the advent of social media, bullying and cyberbullying have become more prevalent than ever. On this week’s episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike talks with […]
Johan Khalilian is a speaker, author, actor, and content creator. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Johan shares the story of when he gave himself […]
As a college student, Alysia Kezerian had a hiking accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, we […]
The need for instant gratification is growing in our society. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, speaker Aaron Davis shares the importance of learning the virtue […]
Failure is inevitably a part of everyone’s life. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, we hear students’ perspectives on failure and their fear of rejection. […]
On this week’s episode of The Harbor by Jostens, lifestyle coach and blogger, Erin Stanczyk, shares how three simple, daily actions can affect our health and wellness.
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 your dreams.
If you won the lottery and never had to work another day in your life, what would you spend your days doing? On this week’s episode […]
Insecurities affect us all. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, dozens of high school students give us their perspectives on their insecurities and how they work […]
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 to recognize the warning […]
Carlos Navarro immigrated from Cuba to the United States. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Carlos describes the culture shock and struggles of coming to […]
On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, professional surfer and Roxy model, Kelia Moniz, shows that confidence and true beauty are found only when we learn to […]
On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Danny Evans, Vice President of Marketing for Ethika, discusses peer pressure. He points out that being comfortable with yourself and […]
Though a survivor of the tragic Columbine High School shootings, the trauma Austin Eubanks experienced led him down a path of substance abuse and addiction. On […]
A common question among student leaders is, “How do we increase school spirit?” On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike shares how his college basketball […]
Whether it’s in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the career field, life is full of competition. On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, […]
We’ve all had experiences with bullying. In this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Mike and students from across the country recount how bullying has affected them. […]
On this episode of The Harbor by Jostens, Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks shares the emotional story of how her campaign, “I’m M.A.D. (Making A Difference), […]
Social media has changed the way we look at the world and has done incredibly positive things, but we all know social media can also take […]
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 talks about how her […]
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.
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.
Veronica Tolentino reveals her story of being in an unhealthy relationship and reminds everyone that they deserve to be treated with love and respect.
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.
Musician and actor Quincy Brown discusses the importance of working hard to achieve success, and stresses that greatness is not simply handed to anyone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Azie Tesfai achieved her dream of becoming an actress, but she 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week on The Harbor, Mike takes on the topic of distractions, namely those brought on by smart devices and social media. In this episode, Mike […]
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.