Today’s post is by Kim Wierman-Reid, Senior Director, FIRST® LEGO® League.

Kids are often made to feel, sometimes unintentionally, that they aren’t good enough or the “right kind of kid” for a certain school subject or afterschool activity. We talked to kids, experts, and parents all over the United States to learn about what the current barriers to success were. What we heard the most was that many kids learn to doubt themselves because of the fear of judgment or lack of acceptance. This insight drove us to create our new campaign, More Than. More Than focuses on dismantling labels and promoting self-esteem through STEM-related activities like FIRST® LEGO® League.

We at FIRST® want every kid to believe in themselves and know that they are More Than the stereotypes or ‘boxes’ society has placed them in. As Senior Program Director for FIRST LEGO League, I’ve seen firsthand how kids gain confidence and develop a love of learning through the support of their teammates and coaches. We want to make sure that EVERY kid has access to these experiences and knows that they can pursue their interests and dreams, free of judgement and full of encouragement.  

Parents and educators play a critical role in building kids’ resilience, self-worth, empowerment, and academic interests; in fact, 77% of kids aged 13-18 say they would turn to a parent, teacher, or school counselor for advice if they were considering joining an extracurricular activity. As FIRST coaches, volunteers, and team parents, you can – and do – inspire kids to build the self-esteem and innovative spirit to build a strong future for themselves and the world.

Check out our PSA video and share the More Than movement with your team and community.

Thank you for supporting our movement and empowering our amazing kids! We encourage you to share your #IAmMoreThan stories on social media – our social media toolkit includes graphics, videos, and sample social posts to help you share your thoughts with your networks.