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Create Your Heroine Story:
Vassar College Reunion 2019

In the summer of 2019 I designed an experimental workshop for Vassar College Reunion 2019. The challenge?   How might we help alumnae to frame "failure" as part of a hero's journey? How might we foster conversation and community across classes and generations?


Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. 

Nora Ephron

The Workshop & Outcomes

Ten to twelve alumnae and students participated in the workshop. We gathered on Friday, the first day of the reunion, at the Vassar Farm. The participants ranged in ages from 20 to about 70+.


We asked participants to share a time in their life that they faced a challenge. We gave them time to create a "visual story" using the framework of the "Hero's Journey." We spent two hours creating and sharing stories. All the alumnae participated. People shared deeply personal stories which moved many people to tears and sparked great conversation.

The desired outcome was to foster a deeper sense of community across Vassar generations. We wanted to enable alumnae to have meaningful dialogue about how they faced challenges in their lives and learn from one another.

Participants expressed gratitude when we debriefed at the end of the workshop. They were impressed by how the activities help them to reflect and articulate their story. Most importantly, they shared that they felt centered and ready to attend their reunion.  Ultimately each framed themselves as a hero or heroine.  They walked away feeling "connected" and "empowered."

Student volunteers participated. They participated and responded  enthusiastically. They appreciated hearing the stories of older generations.

Alumnae Visual Stories & Principles

Resilience takes work.

Do the work. It's worth it.

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