“Life is about making an impact, not making an income.”
– Kevin Kruse
Our founder, Richard Reyes, is a living example of someone who has passionately pursued his calling in life – inspiring students through sharing personal narratives.
While earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Critical Theory/Social Justice from Occidental College, he discovered the power of storytelling. He launched the 10,000 PLUS Project and set out on a journey to inspire 10,000 or more students by sharing with them his road to college.
Throughout his senior year at Oxy, he visited over 70 schools and impacted almost 13,000 students – successfully completing his project. After graduation, Richard secured a job in the private sector and retired the project. He no longer was visiting schools and sharing his story with classrooms full of students.
A few short months into his new job, he realized his work was not fulfilling him. He wondered what his passion was and thought about what he enjoyed doing the most. Then it clicked.
He researched opportunities online where he could make money sharing his story. After an hour of research, he realized there were not any companies hiring people to visit schools and share their stories. This was the moment he told himself, “If the job is not available, I will create it!”
In July 2013, Richard decided to take the leap. After learning the step-by-step process of starting a non-profit from Nonprofit for Dummies, he launched The PLUS ME Project. Without any seed funding, he took a grassroots approach and attempted to grow the organization.
After facing dozens of hurdles in the first year of operation, Richard decided he would leave his job, pursue another post-secondary degree, and work on expanding PLUS ME. After earning his Master of Arts degree in Education from California State University, Los Angeles in December 2014, he committed himself full-time to fulfilling the mission of our project.
To date, Richard and his team have visited over 100 schools and have impacted over 30,000 students through inspirational storytelling.
Follow your passion. Pursue your dreams.