Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund – Part 11 of 12
ReThink & Seattle Student Union & Seek Common Ground
ReThink is an award-winning, innovative, nonintrusive, patented technology that effectively detects and stops online hate before the damage is done. ReThink is a student-led movement too!
“ReThink is transforming lives and conquering cyberbullying. Together, we will end digital hate “- forever.- Trisha PrabhuCEO of ReThink, Inc.
How did it all start?
It started when Trisha decided to be engaged UpStander, and not a silent ByStander
In the fall of 2013, Trisha, then 13 years old, read a news story about the suicide of an 12 year old girl from Florida who had been repeatedly cyber-bullied by her classmates. She was shocked, heartbroken, and outraged. She wondered – how could a girl younger than herself be pushed to take her own life? She knew, something had to change. Deeply moved by the silent pandemic of cyberbullying and passionate to stop it in adolescents, Trisha created the patented technology product ReThink™, that detects and stops cyberbullying at the source, before the bullying occurs, before the damage is done.
Trisha has met with families who have lost children to bullying and cyberbullying. She served on the board of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, an organization founded by the parents of Tyler Clementi, who took his own life after being cyberbullied for his identity. To ensure that the memories of these victims live on, Trisha continues to speak at various global platforms, universities, schools and communities to raise cyberbullying awareness, to stop online hate, and to engage adolescents to spread positivity and tolerance online. ReThink™ is a result of Trisha’s ground-breaking research and technology development aimed at training adolescent’s brains to make positive decisions on social media.
Contribute to help make ReThink a reality
for every adolescent around the world.
Cyberbullying is a silent pandemic that affects millions. In fact, research has shown that almost half of teens in the United States alone have either witnessed or been cyberbullied. At ReThink, we believe that no one should have to pay to be safe online. That’s why ReThink’s proactive solution to stop cyberbullying is available as a free app for download on both Android and iOS devices. At ReThink, we continue to expand and grow the ReThink technology and movement with generous support from organizations and citizens like you. We request your help to keep it that way.
Your contribution means that we can introduce ReThink at communities around the country, implement ReThink technology in international languages, spread our technology to new platforms, and spread the ReThink movements to schools in every corner of the world.
Sponsor ReThink program for your School.
Let’s empower students to ReThink before the damage is done!
Thousands of schools around the world look to ReThink as a positive way to help students become positive digital citizens. The ReThink program includes educational curriculum tailor-fitted to different grade levels, the ReThink™ technology for all of your students, and several opportunities to enable students to become leaders in the fight against cyberbullying. The ReThink program has spread to students across the globe. We see one example of this reach in ReThink’s introduction to over 1.3 million students in the State of Michigan by State Attorney General Bill Schuette as part of the OK2SAY program.
Our ReThink program specialists will work very closely with the school to customize a roll-out plan that fits the technology needs and curricular structure designed best for your sponsor school. This program gives the peace of mind to address cyberbullying at its roots at your school by empowering students to make right decisions online – before the damage is done.
Give the gift of ReThink to schools in your local community! At ReThink, we believe that every child deserves to feel safe online, and we know that you do too. ReThink’s unique and effective approach to stop cyberbullying before the damage is done has inspired philanthropists and upstanders everywhere in a mission to make ReThink a reality across the globe. If you’re interested in sponsoring a school, fill out the form below.
Please join the cause to stop online hate & cyberbullying
Together, we can stop cyberbullying at the source, one message at a time, before the damage is done. If you would like to find out how ReThink can help stop cyberbullying at your school or community and to adopt ReThink message for your schools’ anti-bullying campaign, please fill out this form.
This form is also used to officially make your request for a chapter starter pack and start a ReThink chapter. We’re thrilled you’re joining our movement and excited to see the powerful change you make. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- ReThink Citizens leads with a mission to tackle cyberbullying and foster digital literacy by equipping all youth with the tools and education they need to safely take on today’s digital world.
Seattle Student Union
Who We Are
The Seattle Student Union fights for student needs, uniting the south and north ends of Seattle. We stand up for abortion rights, climate justice, Covid safety, mental health support, Black Lives Matter, gun control and any other progressive cause. We win real change through organizing students in collective direct action. We’ve led countless walkouts and rallies and won N95 masks for everyone in the district, $4 million for school mental health counselors and a statewide ban on assault weapons among other gun control measures. Let’s keep fighting!
Our movement has won 3 statewide gun violence prevention measures.
· Ban on Assault Weapons
· Waiting Periods and Training Requirements
· Holding Gun Manufactures Accountable
$4 MILLION for school mental health counselors
Students asked for mental health resources, Seattle responds with $4.5M
May 17, 2023 at 6:00 am
Seattle Times staff reporter
Responding to the heightened need for mental health supports and continued demands from students for more resources, Seattle is funding a $4.5 million mental health pilot in five city schools.
The partnership between the city and Seattle Public Schools has allowed the district to hire extra staffers, including bilingual staff at schools with a high percentage of kids who speak a language other than English, as well as mental health clinicians. It’s also paying for trauma-informed trainings.
Public Health – Seattle and King County officials helped pick the schools with the greatest need for the pilot; they are Chief Sealth and Rainier Beach high schools and its two feeder middle schools, Denny and Aki Kurose, as well as Ingraham High, where a student was shot last year.
“What really got the ball rolling was how social media and gun violence and the impact of the stay-at-home order really kept our kids … away from their peers and trusted community,” said Dwane Chappelle, director of the city of Seattle’s department of education and early learning. “We’ve seen how the presence of anxiety and depression resulted in [a] student mental health crisis.”
At Ingraham High, mental health needs skyrocketed after 17-year-old Ebenezer Haile was shot and killed in a hallway on Nov. 8. After the shooting, community members asked for stricter gun laws, more mental health services, and better safety in schools.
Even before the shooting, students were asking for more mental health resources and an increase in counseling staff. During the height of the pandemic, students formed a new advocacy group, the Seattle Student Union, made up of students from across SPS.
After the Ingraham shooting, “students took to civic action by walking out of their classes to push lawmakers to do something, anything, that would make Seattle Students safer,” Seattle Student Union leaders said in a statement. “The Seattle City Council listened — authorizing 4 million dollars for youth mental health support and empowering youth who are the experts in their schools to lead the way on how to allocate those funds.”
Each school in the pilot received $125,000 this school year. The rest of the $4.5 million will be distributed over the next two years and include additional schools to be announced later — about $2 million each year. The money came from the city’s general fund and the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise levy.
School leaders were given control over how the money is spent because each community has different needs, Chappelle said. “We know there’s no one-size-fits-all … and mental health struggles present differently across schools and community.”
Chief Sealth Principal Ray Morales echoed that idea. “A lot of folks tout diversity — but we truly are diverse,” he said. “All of that diversity is not just about ethnicity … and at the same time, diversity creates challenges. It’s [extra funds] what we’re owed if I’m being honest.”
Morales said Chief Sealth has higher rates of students with disabilities, students who are English learners, and students on free or reduced lunch than many other Seattle schools. All those factors contribute to the diversity of obstacles for students and staff.
Out of all SPS high schools, Chief Sealth had the lowest percentage of students who attended school regularly during the 2021-22 school year, about 59%, according to state data. Rainier Beach was next, at about 60%.
“Mental health presents in different ways and I think it’s really important to highlight that for young people,” Morales said. “It presents in just not going to school, it presents in depression, and you might be coming to school and just be completely disengaged from the majority of your classes.”
Over the last two years, an influx of Central American students enrolled, Morales said, including unaccompanied minors as well as students who immigrated with their families. The lack of Spanish-speaking staffers has become an issue, he said.
Some of these students haven’t been in school consistently over the years and the language barrier has also been an obstacle. It’s been a priority to make sure there are staffers who are ready to work with students who are at different levels, he said.
With the extra money, Morales said, the school hired Hugo Garcia, a bilingual staffer. Garcia said it’s critical for students to have trusted adults in the building.
“The impact of a caring adult who takes the time to connect with a student struggling with absenteeism can be a powerful catalyst for growth and development,” Garcia said in a statement. “My chronically absent students can face additional challenges, like language barriers, that can increase a sense of isolation.”
Chief Sealth is one of the most diverse high schools in the district. Hispanic or Latino students make up nearly 30% of the enrollment. And almost 20% of the students there are English learners.
With the funds, Chief Sealth brought in five extra staffers, including Garcia. The other staffers include mentors for Latino students and somebody to run an after-school program, Morales said. About 100 students have benefited from the services so far.
Looking forward to the next school year, Morales said he’s working to bring in more resources to close language gaps for East African students.
Chappelle, the city’s education and early learning director, said it’s important for middle schoolers to have the same resources as they transition to high schools.
At Denny Middle, the extra funds were used to contract with Southwest Youth and Family Services for two mental health clinicians for 30 hours per week, Principal Jeffrey Lam said. The school now has three clinicians in the building, and it can offer six hours of therapy for each student, along with their families.
“Student mental health needs are not limited only to kids but also the well-being of the family — the grandparents or aunts and uncles that they live with,” Lam said.
The funds were also used to support educators, Lam said, with trauma-informed training. Educators were taught how to be aware of emotional triggers that can prompt memories of trauma, prioritize student needs, and better manage their own stress.
“Our staff are people who have been traumatized and our kids are also dealing with trauma and sometimes what will happen our kids will trigger our adults and our adults will trigger our kids — it’s a pretty nasty spiral,” Lam said.
It’s too soon to know how successful the pilot has been through data, but anecdotes show that it’s helping, Lam said. All the staffers have felt the benefit of these dollars because they were struggling to meet student needs, he said.
“The beautiful thing about this opportunity — it gave us a lot of hope as a school community,” Lam said. “It gave us optimism to know that we have some resources we can use to support the needs of students.”
School leaders, students, and community and public health officials will convene in the next couple of months to assess the success of the pilot. Chappelle said the work is ongoing and “we don’t envision this just being a one-time thing.”
Meet Some of the Team
Meet the Team
Natalya McConnell (She/Her) has been organizing since the age of 11. She has since collected thousands of signatures for different causes, organized many climate walkouts and a BLM protest culminating in the removal of cops from schools, fought for gender equity in sports and served as her high school’s class president for 2 years. Recently, she co-founded the Seattle Student Union. She’s proud of her south end heritage and excited to be serving on the SSU exec board.
Chetan Soni (He/Him) is a campaign worker, political consultant, and policy nerd who has been active in Washington politics since 2020. In the 2021 campaign cycle he served as a Youth Team Director for a mayoral campaign and then moved on to consulting with Prism West. In 2022, Chetan entered the nonprofit space to serve as a Fellow with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, and is now a Field Organizer there. Chetan works with the Seattle Student Union as the Executive Director, maintaining operations and spearheading political affairs.
Camille Gacer (She/They) is currently a junior attending Lincoln High School. She serves as an executive board member in the Seattle Student Union and has been a member since March of 2022. Tired of adults deciding what’s best for youth and prematurely lifting the mask mandate, Camille joined SSU during their second COVID safety walkout, hoping to make positive change in the community. As an Executive Board member, she most closely works on communications involving graphic design, social media outreach, and writing press releases.
Noir Goldberg (She/They) is a junior at Ballard High School. She has been a member of Seattle Student Union since January of 2022, and currently serves as an executive board member. After working with Students Against Sexual Assault, they were inspired to join the union as a way to the fight for change within the school district and beyond. Noir works with press, social media outreach, communications and organizing. She is a strong advocate for youth voices.
- Seattle Student Union fights for student needs, uniting the south and north ends of Seattle. They stand up for abortion rights, climate justice, mental health support, Black Lives Matter, gun violence prevention, and other progressive causes.
Seek Common Ground
Mission & Values
Seek Common Ground (SCG) provides statewide and community-facing organizations with resources, knowledge, and partnership to bring about the sustainable change that matters most to them and the people they serve. Authentic community engagement does not occur automatically. It requires time, intentionality, and investment in positioning organizations and leaders to bring the needs of their communities to decision makers and ensure that they have their rightful seat at the table.
We believe that for communities to be successful, to accelerate and sustain the change they seek, leaders and organizations need three key supports: funding, a supportive and well-managed learning community, and access to expertise. In our experience, organizations, especially those closest to the communities they serve, rarely have the opportunity to connect with their peers or participate in leadership development or supportive communities that larger organizations take for granted. Through Collaboration Networks and Action Accelerators, SCG provides these supports to organizations and their leaders, finding and nurturing the next generation of leaders.
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
Seek Common Ground believes that we can only fulfill our mission if diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded core values and infused in our daily work and relationships.
Diversity: We appreciate differences– including the wide range of identities, perspectives, and experiences–of all individuals. We seek to engage broadly, involving and reflecting the communities we serve.
Equity: Ensuring equally high outcomes for all by removing the predictability of success or failures that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor. We align our work, practices and routines so that all students have genuine opportunities to thrive.
Inclusion: We create an environment of involvement, respect, and connection – where the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives are harnessed to create value.
Educational Equity: Educational equity is the moral and civil rights obligation to ensure that students are provided the tools they need to succeed. This hinges on access to a school environment equipped for safe and stimulating learning opportunities, resources for social, emotional and academic growth, and excellent educators who are able to support students to meet their full potential so that they are prepared college, careers and life. *
In all we do, we seek to be conscious of and address the deeply entrenched practices, cultural norms, and decision-making structures that perpetuate inequities. Racial discrimination is a legacy of our nation’s painful history, and institutional racism and unconscious bias persist. Equity means receiving what one needs to succeed, as we are not all born with the same opportunities. We approach our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion with courage and optimism—knowing it requires a sustained commitment. When we make mistakes along the way, we will learn and grow.
*SCG’s DEI definitions are informed by our work with coalitions, partners, experts and our participation in the inaugural Promise 54 DEI cohort in 2018. We also adapted portions of our definitions from both Promise 54 and the New School Venture Fund.
SCG Work Areas
Wide range of resource materials listed and accessible via the website.
- Seek Common Ground and its Student Action Network for Equity supports student organizers advancing democracy, racial justice, and education equity.
29th October 2023