It is pretty cool how a high school sociology class project can be so inspiring it gets converted to a great book called Cardboard Confessionals! Meet Mitch Reed. He’s a high school superintendent who saw a cool public project in Brookings, South Dakota. It was a display on Main Street where people walking by could read a deep thought-provoking question and were encouraged to write their answers on a big chalkboard for all the world to see. He couldn’t stop thinking about it and decided this would make a great project for a sociology class project. The project involved the whole school and inspired a good number of people in the small school and made them think. Not only was the project the inspiration for a book it also turned Reed into a National public speaker.

The book Mr. Reed wrote is called Cardboard Confessionals. In it, he shares the seven deep questions he asked the students of his school. The first question was, What is one thing you want to do before you die. While one might expect from a bunch of kids some answers like jump off a cliff, buy a sports car, or win a million dollars, the answers were impressive and changed his life forever.

Hear how this journey made Mr. Reed a better father, a better husband, a better teacher, a better leader, a better coach, and an all-around better person. Listen and hear a glimpse of how this project not only changed him, but he firmly believes it saved lives.

If you find yourself inspired by this podcast episode, you’re going to be even more taken by his book Cardboard Confessionals that tells more stories of the project and what inspired answers he witnessed. If you thought our future would be bleak based on your perception of today’s young people, you’ll come away with a whole new perspective. Dare I say, you’ll be downright proud.

If you’d like more information on the book you can check out the website If you’d like to purchase the book you can find it in several local book stores and gift shops in South Dakota or go to Amazon.

The podcast host Krysti Mikkonen is the owner of Rural Gold, a business located in rural South Dakota offering website development and coaching services for small to medium-sized businesses, with a special place in her heart for rural ones.  She also offers coaching services to entrepreneurs and difference makers individually and in a group called The Gold Miners.

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Author Mitch Reed on KELO-Land Living
Author of Cardboard Confessionals Mitch Reed on KELO-Land Living