A Hero's Journey
PROVO, Utah – Apr 12, 2018 – Every person has their own story to tell and over time these stories evolve. This concept is called a hero’s journey, a literary philosophy that governs countless epics, novels, and films. BYU Marriott alumna Amy Chandler uses the hero’s journey method in her nonprofit organization, My Story Matters. To those individuals whose voices cannot be heard because of physical or socioeconomic difficulties, Chandler is there to lend a helping hand.
My Story Matters records, reflects, and celebrates the stories of underprivileged individuals. Chandler, her board of directors, and numerous volunteers visit homeless shelters, hospitals, refugee centers, and schools to interview and record the life stories of adults and children alike. These stories are published in a book for the person to keep.
“We thought this foundation would benefit the individuals being interviewed because we are showcasing them,” Chandler says. “However, we have found that this process is just as impactful and beneficial for the interviewer. By providing the opportunity for people from all walks of life to interact with each other, it increases empathy and compassion.”
Chandler started the foundation five years ago after receiving what she felt was a prompting from God. Although she knew this was her calling in life, she was overwhelmed with the task.
“I had four kids under the age of five and didn’t know how I could accomplish this,” Chandler explains. “As a board comprised of busy mothers like myself, we set a goal to publish two books per month.”
Today, My Story Matters is in schools and centers across twelve different states and publishing hundreds of stories each month. With over four hundred schools on the waiting list, requests for My Story Matters are bursting at the seams. To compensate, Chandler and her team are developing a twelve-week curriculum that teachers can implement in the classroom. One curriculum package serves two schools with different socioeconomic backgrounds. Throughout the twelve-week period, students from each school share different aspects of their story with each other. At the end of the workshop, every child will have the opportunity to publish their own story.
“It is like a classroom-to-classroom pen pal relationship,” Chandler says. “This will allow children to see that, while they may come from different backgrounds, they all share a base human story.”
Through this foundation, Chandler helps lost voices be heard, families cherish loved ones deceased, and everyday heroes celebrate their journeys and struggles. An everyday hero herself, Chandler’s own story has evolved as she has been on her own journey.
“My life has not been trial free, but I believe you choose to be bitter or better,” Chandler says. “Creating this foundation had its challenges, but there were so many seeds planted during my time at BYU that have helped me create this foundation. From the network of friends and colleagues that I built to the classes I took, it all helped me build My Story Matters into what it is today.”
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Kelly Brunken