Why The SELF Project?

The Strengthening Families Foundation has identified five protective factors for healthy kids and families. The SELF Project touches on all of these factors in an effort to create stronger communities.

  1. Resilience – Our curriculum encourages a positive attitude toward challenges, an openness to different ways of solving problems, provides a safe space to express frustrations and failures and draw on community resources to problem-solve, and self-awareness which leads to better self-care.
  2. Social Connection – The SELF Project brings peers together (both students and parents of same-age students) in supportive communities and consistently encourages thoughtful discourse. Adolescents are incredibly driven to connect with their peers and our curriculum steers those connections in a direction that is healthy.
  3. Understanding Developmental Stages – The discussion topics, activities and meditations are rooted in the latest research on how the adolescent brain develops and has distilled and translated that information to students and parents in a way that is meaningful and understandable.
  4. Support – This curriculum encourages collaboration and discourse that highlights the similarities between participants and allows them to look upon each other as a source of strength.
  5. Social-Emotional Competence

Additionally, our curriculum prioritizes

  • curiosity which has been shown to stimulate creativity, increase intelligence, improve learning and memory and enhance problem-solving.
  • student-driven conversation which leads to greater interest and investment in the process
  • story to convey key concepts because stories prompt our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin which, in turn, trigger our ability to connect, empathize and find meaning.