House of Shine is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to help 11 to 14-year-olds discover who they are and why it matters, so they will develop into independent and confident decision-makers. We do this through curriculum and programs that unearth their SHINE—their strengths, hobbies, interests, irritants, needs, and experiences. Over the last decade, levels of depression, anxiety and isolation have been increasing among young people, making this work critical (Twenge, Spitzberg, & Campbell, 2019).
5 Things Matter Most
Built upon the premise that each of us is uniquely wired, the SHINE framework helps deconstruct who we are and why it matters, so we can apply this knowledge to future decisions.
Strengths are recurring patterns in thoughts, feelings, or behaviors and can include things such as being creative, open-minded, persuasive, or orderly.
Hobbies are the ways we choose to spend free time and, when reviewed for common themes, can be very instructive in identifying our innate preferences.
Interests are topics for which we have raised awareness, but with which we do not necessarily get involved. They can include anything from architecture to politics, the environment, or racecars. Irritants are issues about which we care deeply and get bothered when we sense incidents of injustice or unfairness. That certainly was the case for Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Jane Goodall.
Needs are those personal values and beliefs that we most need to honor in order to feel fulfilled. They can be things such as: balance, structure, excellence, or openness.
Experiences are the series of good, bad, and indifferent events in our lives that have helped shape us as human beings. They can be as significant as surviving a major illness or as innocuous as being a camp counselor.
Once we teach 11 to 14-year-olds this framework, and they can name their SHINE, they begin applying what they’ve learned to the daily decisions they make, including: choosing topics for class assignments, deciding which clubs and organizations to join, managing peer relationships, finding ways to engage in community service, and using technology.
Next, we get them looking for their Point of Intersection – the place where they can use their talents and interests to fill a big or small need in their community. We define community broadly. It can be a school or neighborhood, a group where they hold membership, or the city, state, or country in which they live. Ultimately, we are all members of a global community, so the goal is to pinpoint the corner of this big and vast world in which these young people will make their greatest contribution.