Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, is founder of Roots of Action, a website devoted to helping parents, teachers, and mentors foster the health and well-being of today’s youth. She is the author of Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation and a Fellow at the Fielding Institute for Social Innovation. A developmental psychologist and researcher, Price-Mitchell’s framework of positive youth development, called The Compass Advantage, is being used by parents and schools worldwide as a way of understanding and influencing success beyond grades and test scores. In addition to her articles at Roots of Action, she is a contributing writer at Psychology Today and Edutopia. With an audience of over 5 million each year, Price-Mitchell is on a mission to improve the lives of children and teens.
What do I do best?
I have a keen eye for seeing patterns and themes in complex research. . . then interpreting, communicating, and applying that research in the real world. I pride myself in being a good listener and compassionate advocate for others.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I never give up. I challenge myself every day. I am dedicated to learning, growing, and developing positive relationships in an ever-changing world around me.
I believe I’m part of something greater than myself. This belief has always compelled me to collaborate with others on issues related to social justice, education, poverty, and other issues facing our society.
What are my aspirations?
My personal aspiration is to live a balanced and healthy life, filled with caring relationships, meaningful work, and connection to nature and beauty. That means being intentional about my friendships, caring for myself and others, setting realistic professional goals, and being open to the full human experiences of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
I’m passionate about empowering adults to help kids achieve life success. I hope to see my Compass Advantage framework of positive youth development being used as a guide by many more parents, schools, and after-school programs in the years ahead. One way I plan to help adults apply this model is to offer online courses that merge theory with practice.
My Biggest Success?
I’m tempted to say that my biggest success is being a mother. But I’d prefer to envision that success as belonging to my children. Instead, I believe my greatest accomplishment is having discovered a purpose that gives meaning to my life.
My Most Challenging Moment?
One of my life’s most challenging moments was when I graduated from high school and, against the wishes of my conservative parents, made the decision to attend college. I declared myself an emancipated student, didn’t speak to my parents for several years, and worked my way through my undergraduate degree with a fulltime job. This decision had a significant impact on my life, teaching me that I could reach for my goals despite personal circumstances. I became the first in my family to graduate from college. In the process, I also became a life-long learner.
For many years, I have valued the guidance of Pema Chodron: “Let the hard things in life break you. Let them effect you. Let them change you. Let these hard moments inform you. Let this pain be your teacher. The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean into it.”
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My favorite people are my closest friends and family members – they know who they are! I hang out with them as much as possible because life is too short to do otherwise.
I’ve been fortunate to have personal and professional role models who have greatly influenced my life. First, Judy Czarnecki Stark was a high school teacher who took a special interest in my positive development. She believed in my abilities and helped me believe in myself at a formative age. Next, Dr. Len Goodstein was a professional mentor for 35 years. Former head of the American Psychological Association, Len fostered my interest in human and organization development and encouraged me to follow my career goals. Both mentors became lifelong friends. Both died last year. The gifts they instilled will forever be part of who I am.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
So many to list! Here’s a few: Thailand, Budapest, Greece, Tuscany, and the English Lake District.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Well, I’m geek, so I like tech products that help me do my work. Those include a fabulous HP ENVY Curved All-in-One 34” computer, a Kinesis Advantage Pro Ergonomic Keyboard, and a standing desk with a treadmill underneath! And, of course, I couldn’t survive without my iPhone, iPad Pro, and Microsoft Surface Pro, particularly when I’m traveling and speaking.
My Current Passions?
Writing. Travel. Volunteer work. Art. Music. My King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Bella.