Your Burning Desire

To inspire students to stop finding better and start creating better

Photo of Mark Perez
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  • Education

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  • Yes

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(425) 530 6332 2203 162nd PL SE WA: Mill Creek (98012)

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Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

I believe that students face immense pressure to get their lives together, yet no one ever takes the Time to create a curriculum or course designed to take them step by step through what they need to know in order to pursue their burning desire. What this will do is lower the anxiety of feeling hopeless, and alone by giving students the clarity and tools needed to actively pursue what is authentically most important to them.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The burning desire formula: This formula is designed to target 5 things, each meant to serve as a means of clarity for ones future while also being applicable to the every day - Desire: What is the ONE thing you want to do to better your life and the world? Vision: Why do you want to do it? (To___ So that___) This helps the student to have a vision of what they will do and who they want to become! Mindset: How do you need to improve yourself in order to create the lifestyle needed to be great at what you do (7 Things: Physical, Social, Cognitive, Intellect, Spiritual, Emotional, and Financial) - This attaches a simple approach to the problems one may face in their journey? eg: You feel anxious - Is it a social problem? or is It a spiritual problem? Truth: What is your capital T truth? - This is your highest held belief, a principle that to you is indisputable while also applicable everyday (EG: Better happens daily, Make kindness normal, or A commitment to growth is a commitment to pain) Choice: Time, energy and money - Which and how much of these three is needed to take your next step? The 5: Desire Vision Mindset Truth Choice

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Junior year, I'm at morning practice for cross country and me and my coach are the only ones who showed up. I happened to ask him "Is there any way I can give a speech at the cross country banquet?" He responded "Sure" To which I realized I had 2 weeks to prepare a 5 minute speech. It was my first time and looking back, I don't remember much of what I said. Though I do know the message was about Becoming Better. As in a cross country race, it takes only one runner to be the difference between a winning team. And what that meant was that if one person was inspired to get better... The team would get better. Which raises a question, what if one persons life could get better; what would that mean for the world? That question is what started my fundamental vision of why I do what I do: To create a better life for people so that united we create a better world.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...” Use this link

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

As a part of being able to walk through the steps with students, a lot of interacting must take place so that students can truly have a chance to express themselves. What happens is that the student for the first time the student has time to intentionally talk about what it is they desire in a way that benefits the world and their own life. While they have talked about careers before... They talk about it in a way that comes from the bias of someone else. At Tahoma High School in Auburn WA - The group I consistently talk to is always hesitant at first to answer questions out loud. Then as time goes on they are all desperate to be addressed because for whatever reason they feel as though what they feel isn't valid. What this formula does is validate what their burning desire is while giving them a realistic action plan!

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there? This organization aims to serve teachers and students in a way that involved character, which to me is absolutely amazing in how they serve. What I offer is looking at the student and teacher through a more holistic perspective. (Eg: Character mainly involves your emotional and social self) However in the pursuit of your burning desire - You will need to invest your entire individuality to create who you want to become and the life you want to live! This includes investing Time, energy and money!

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

While my main approach is workshops, one of my favorite students I've worked with is Sara from Tahoma high school who has been one of few students to see me speak 3 years in a row. Ive spoken with TEDx, SERVUS CON and at many high school leadership teams in the state of WA. Sara is prominent to her high school leadership and in her senior year she sat me down to tell how how since she first saw the method and what she see's now is the difference between being spoken at and being spoken with She said: Mark, Last year its like you were speaking at us, this year its like you were speaking with us". What she meant by that is that students love to feel included in their own transformation and when someone can do that. I believe that this formula has inspired many others aside from Sara!

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I plan on partnering with and Each are pursuing bettering schools in their own unique ways and we believe a partnership will increase the chances of graduating students inspired to make their lives and the world better. A lot of my next ideas involve - Refurbishing my website - Massive mail campaigns - Course development - Publishing a book - Social media advertising - Social media engagement

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Brand Development

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Disability community
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Recommended by others
  • T-Mobile page or contact

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Julia

Mark! This is a great idea tackling such a prevalent issue for teens! Keep up the good work!