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Through our work, we have come to appreciate the many factors that can help a person move up in life. A powerful mentor, a college scholarship, having the right connections to land a coveted interview and job.

Partnering with Photowings, we created #thx2, a project that uses photography as a means to reflect on our station in life, those who helped get us to where we are and where we hope to go. Research suggests that if people personally connect by reflecting on their own life experiences, or that of someone they respect or admire, their attitudes and behavior will change.

This project manifests in two ways. Through a social media campaign, participants post photographs of people, programs and events that helped make a difference in their lives and thank them with the hashtag #thx2 and by sharing part of their story.

A second part of the project emphasizes deeper reflection in schools and mentorship programs (e.g., Big Brother, Big Sister organizations). It emphasizes a more meaningful connection between participants and inspires them to gain a better appreciation for the many influences that impact their lives. The current #thx2 program is being piloted in several schools in New York with the goal of creating a sustainable model that can be rolled out nationwide.

For more about the inspiration behind #thx2, visit Moving Up: The Truth About Getting Ahead in America. Visit Photowings for videos and more program information.