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Ms. McCray from Portland ME is requesting a classroom visitor through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

The Inspiring People of Portland Project

Help me give my students the opportunity to work with these amazing performance artists--in order to bring to life the stories of Portland's inspiring people.

  • $2,424 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

CBHS students seek out opportunities to have an impact on their world. One might think that a classroom in Maine would be predominantly white, but our students are from a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. As a refugee resettlement city, Portland is home to students from Maine as well as many nations around the world, including Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Iraq, Iran, and more. CBHS is also full of athletes, artists, gamers, mechanics, scientists, historians, and poets.

Because of this rich environment, our students value diversity and are committed to equity and fighting for social justice.

They know that working together means appreciating those who are different from ourselves and developing the skills to advocate for ourselves and others. They know the importance of community.

My Project

This year, CBHS juniors have been seeking nominations for inspiring people in the Portland area to interview and then showcase and honor in a live performance presentation. In the media age, we hear much from or about the famous, rich, and powerful, while our neighbors are quietly living heroic, brave lives. We know there are many in our community who have shown immense courage, resilience and strength in the face of hardship or injustice. Most of us are not listening closely enough to those who are different from ourselves.

We want to listen to these every day inspiring people, and we want to bring their stories to life for all of us to experience.

Students will be trained in documentary interview skills and will work to unearth the story of their interviewees. Then, they will work with these amazing local drama experts to turn these stories into live performance pieces.

Gretchen Berg, a play writing and performance art professor, and Moira Driscoll, a local actor and drama teacher, will help the students create theater pieces that capture and honor these people's lives. Finally, we will host a public performance where all 97 students will come together to highlight the collective strength of those living in our own city.

Our nominees have experienced profound personal struggle and can clearly teach us all about how to live a life. The list includes immigrants, a former inmate and criminal justice reformer, a survivor of sex trafficking, and many others who will inspire us. Ultimately, we will all learn about the power of story and how to listen--something profoundly needed in our world today.

In an interview about the project with a reporter from the Portland Press Herald, one student, Mark Oryem said, "I think it's important to hear the voices of the unknown."

Ms. McCray
Grades 9-12
More than half of students from low‑income households

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Expand the "Where your donation goes" section below to see exactly what Ms. McCray is requesting.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Visitor Total
Gretchen Berg and Moira Driscoll $2,000.00

Visitor cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


3 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


Still needed View calculationHide calculation


Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

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Project Activity

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