As a social psychologist and professor, Mesmin Destin designs experiments illuminating experiences that change how we see ourselves in ways that inspire and support possibilities.

Why you should listen

Since his early days growing up in a Haitian-American family in Omaha, Nebraska, Mesmin Destin has wondered what pushes people to envision and pursue their paths in life. Now, Destin works in partnership with schools and communities to expand opportunities for young people to explore who they are and what they want for their lives and to bolster motivation and well-being. In doing so, he and his team produce valuable evidence about forces that can perpetuate or interrupt persistent social inequalities.

Destin’s research has been recognized and supported by organizations including the American Psychological Association, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation. His lab group continues to produce new scholarly advances, while simultaneously working to design programs that effectively improve educational opportunities for young people who face social and economic barriers to reaching their goals.

Mesmin Destin’s TED talk