Eastern Michigan University and Hero Nation join forces to host Heroic Futures; virtual event for youth to address social issues in their communities

Free event open to students ages 14-18, created to give youth a chance to use their voices to be champions of social change

Heroic Futures logoYPSILANTI — On Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eastern Michigan University and Hero Nation are joining forces to present Heroic Futures, a free, virtual event that will help students ages 14-18 identify and address social issues in their communities.

“We’re excited to work with Hero Nation to introduce this event to local youth that have a desire to make an impact in their communities,” said Tyler Calhoun, communications & operations coordinator for Engage@EMU. “Oftentimes, we think that older adults and people in leadership positions are the only ones capable of shaping communities, but we wanted to partner with Hero Nation to show young students that they can be the superheroes in their communities to initiate positive change.”

Heroic Futures will take students through a curriculum where they will work to identify and address social issues using visioning, stakeholder identification, value proposition, storytelling, entrepreneurship values, comics and superheroes.

“Hero Nation is committed to helping kids develop positive identities and relationships,” Jay Hero, founder & executive director of Hero Nation. “We want youth to walk away from this event feeling like they have the power to make a difference not only in their community, but in themselves.”

Following the curriculum, attendees will hear from a number of live speakers and panels, including Dorphise Jean, a screenplay/comic script writer, history teacher and novelist, and Greg Anderson Elysée, an educator, filmmaker, model, and award-winning comic book writer, as well as local entrepreneurs and more.

“As a history teacher, I’m always trying to make learning history fun for the kids while I elevate their mindsets—that’s why my comics are based on historical figures and facts,” said Jean. “I want to show kids that you can educate people and entertain them at the same time. I also want them to know that anyone can be a hero. Being heroic can mean lots of things.”

To register for the free event, visit the Heroic Futures registration page.

The event is an extension of Bold Futures, a free, annual event that was created to empower students in Washtenaw County with the skills to become leaders, innovators, and problem solvers in their community. Bold Futures is hosted through EMU, and U-M’s Optimize programs, and WCC’s Entrepreneurship Center. Optimize is a student-led organization that offers workshops, mentorship and funding for students to create self-directed projects that make a positive impact. The WCC Entrepreneurship Center is a resource hub that supports individuals in developing their entrepreneurial capacity. Engage@EMU is the University’s outward facing office charged with cultivating relationships and initiating and/or coordinating community and business partnerships and programs.

Hero Nation is an organization that is committed to fostering a generation of future heroes through empowering events and programs based in nerd culture, such as video games and comic books, for underserved and marginalized youth.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

September 22, 2021

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Morgan Mark