Teaching Happiness

Discover the good life through resilience, creativity, and community.

Project Happiness Doors

Get Happy From the Inside Out

7 Doors to Happiness Project guides your students to explore what makes them–and others–happy.


Fall 2012: Dee Williams Response to "Your Dream House" Essay Winners
by Dee Williams
Dee Williams, who downsized from a three-bedroom to an 84-square-foot house, responds to essay winners of the Fall 2012 writing competition.
Putting Teen Health First
by Judy Pruim
Social worker Judy Pruim takes you behind the scenes at Muskegon High's Teen Health Center at —a place where students feel safe, and their success and well being are supported. This is Judy's story.
Winter 2012: "The Ethics of Hunting" High School Winner Johnny Bobo
by Johnny Bobo
Johnny Bobo is a student at Federal Hocking High School in Guysville, OH. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting" by Alyssa Johnson. Read Johnny's essay about responsible hunting.
YES! Recommends: StoryCorps
by Jing Fong
StoryCorps records and archives interviews of everyday Americans to preserve history and personal stories. Its National Teachers Initiative was created to celebrate great teachers and to highlight their invaluable contributions and influence on students and all of us.
Fall 2011: "Bridging Differences" Middle School Winner Haley Coe
by Haley Coe
Haley Coe is a homeschool student with Oak Meadow School. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Why My Dad's Going Green" by Kate Sheppard. Read Haley's essay about friendship despite disagreement.
Fall 2011: "Bridging Differences" College Winner Cherese Smith
by Cherese Smith
Cherese Smith is a student at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington, just north of Seattle. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Why My Dad's Going Green," by Kate Sheppard. Read Cherese's essay about trying to understand her grandmother's prejudice against Hispanic people.
Fall 2011: "Bridging Differences" Powerful Voice Winner Lourdes Escobar
by Lourdes Escobar
Lourdes Escobar is a sixth grade student at John Muir Middle School, a Los Angeles Unified school operated in conjunction with the nonprofit LA's Promise. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Why My Dad's Going Green," by Kate Sheppard. Read Lourdes' essay about her struggle with the choices her father has made.
Fall 2011: "Bridging Differences" Powerful Voice Winner Wesely Mikiska
by Wesely Mikiska
Wesely Mikiska is a student at Appalachian State University. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Why My Dad's Going Green," by Kate Sheppard. Read Wesely's essay about the value of compromise.
Fall 2011: Kate Sheppard Response to "Bridging Differences" Essay Winners
by Kate Sheppard
Kate Sheppard, author of, "Why My Dad's Going Green," responds to the winning essays of the Fall 2011 writing competition.
The Legacy Project
by Jing Fong
Cornell Professor Karl Pillemer, founder of The Legacy Project: Lessons for Living from the Wisest Americans, collected over 1,500 interviews of elders on a variety of subjects. In text and video, the oldest living generations of Americans share their experiences.
Words That Inspire: Because
by Jing Fong
Instead of a letter, Terry Tempest Williams wrote a poem to nominate Lily Yeh as a YES! Breakthrough 15 Hero. The poem shared the many reasons why Lily Yeh is worthy of consideration. Who are the people students might be inspired to honor with a poem?
YES! Recommends: The Legacy Project
by Jing Fong
At a time of economic uncertainty—when your students are wondering about their future—the Legacy Project might serve as a compass to help them create their lives, connect to others, and change their world.
Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
There’s nothing like a college drop-out telling tales of getting fired and being diagnosed for cancer to fire up your students—and you—to pursue their passions. Especially when the speaker is the late Steve Jobs.
Spring 2011: "Your Unique Gifts" Powerful Voice Winner Bronson Afong
by Bronson Ho’omaikai Afong
Bronson, our Powerful Voice winner, is a student at Blanche Pope Elementary in Oahu, Hawaii. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Blessings Revealed" by Puanani Burgess. Read Bronson's essay on how his gifts help keep his Hawaiian culture alive.
Horses as Healers
by Lorna Shepardson
What do you do with a teenager who’s angry, depressed, disconnected, or all of the above? Lorna Shepardson knows a magical gift horses possess that can help bring young people from the depths of darkness to a glimmer of self-confidence. This is Lorna’s story.