The period between the adolescence and the adult life is one of the most difficult times. Teenagers notice and realize the changes happening with their bodies and the mind but don’t know and can’t find the right answer to every question they face on their own. To help them handle all problems and create positive life outcomes for themselves, a group of activists from the US has created an educational platform named Think of Us.

The Think of Us’s History

The Think of Us started in late 2014 as a commitment to an initiative at the Clinton Global Initiative University after a group of social activists came to the conclusion that merely surviving to adulthood is not enough. They believed that youth deserve the opportunity to become what and who they aim to be and to get the most out of life. They consider the transition process from a teenager to a prosperous adult as a communal endeavor that connects employment, education, and abilities. And they wanted to make this transition as easy and productive as it can be. The project’s ultimate goal is to build a future where communities are designed to expand the development and wellness of maturing youth so that youth could ‚switch‘ into healthy, stable, and thriving adults. They claim that it is possible to evolve a collective impact, not only offering the tools but also arranging the system that will help young people employ the resources at their disposal.

The project is actively developing so that just after 2 years since its incorporation the team has launched an online web platform and a mobile app that assistance youth during the transformation into adulthood. The group of platform creators has also established a team of volunteers, freelancers, and part-time staff working on improving the awkward age and the beginning of family life. Simultaneously with starting and developing a beta version of the platform, the team also deals with the child welfare systems across the country in order to the integration of technology as part of the greater system changing. The Think of Us has quickly consolidated a leadership role in strengthening technologies and multimedia to perfect outcomes for youth. The team brought together a network of executives in child welfare to consult the growth, established partnerships with national agencies. In 2016, it has secured necessary relationships to deliver three demonstration projects in the US. Today, the Think of Us team uses technologies, data, and multimedia to improve policy, practice, and results for young adults and young families. 

What does the Think Of US project do

The project’s tasks are to protect and support youth in their transition period and bridge the gap between tech and child welfare to improve the well-being of the young adults and future families. The team applies technologies, information, and media to support organizations, counties, and states to execute new tools and to help them serve youth and families. Besides, the Think of Us also develops bespoke software, applications, and facilities for organizations that care about the future of the young generation. Today, the crew, that has more than 40 people, runs various social and educational projects.

Think of Us Platform

  1. Think of Us PlatformThe Think of Us Platform is a currently being developed since-based and evidence-informed coaching app for young adults and young families. It provides youth with interactive videos, self-coaching activities, and planning tools to assist them in identifying and arranging personal aims, while also providing an algorithm to achieve them. With the help of this app users become equipped to handle everyday challenges, such as renting an apartment or reconnecting with biological family. The platform also connects the young adult with advocates and care providers to help them to create a personal support network.

  2. Get R.E.A.LGet R.E.A.L. is the Center for the Study of Social Policy that was established to raise the healthy sexual and identity development for all teenagers and youth in the child welfare system. The large Get R.E.A.L. network also includes the Think of Us initiative and together they work on building a new better reality for the future generation. The cooperation generates interactive video tools for use across the US and focuses on changing child welfare policy and practice to support the healthy development of all children and youth.

  3. Common Experience in CareTogether with the Think of Us project, the CEIS empowers young adults to heal and develop themselves using the video, interactive media, and self-coaching activities produced in collaboration with the initiative. Youth in foster care are usually forced to navigate some very unique challenges starting from getting state permission to participate in sports activities or sleepover at a friend’s house to the complicated work of healing from the traumas. CEIC resources provide young people with techniques and tools to support them in their life journey and to let them know that they are not alone in their experiences: there are other people just like them facing the same problems and searching for an advice. The collaboration’s task is to show youth that being in foster care must not and won’t be difficult if young people will use the special instruments.
  4. Life Skills. The Life Skills classes are nowadays obligatory for the young people in the US. They should support youth in overcoming the challenging situations they face while preparing to live on their own. And the Think of Us is improving the classes’ self-coaching activities, interactive media, and information resources with the goal of enriching life skills curriculums across all platforms.
  5. Clinton Global Initiative UniversityAs mentioned before, the Think of Us initiative started as a ‘supplement’ to the Clinton Global Initiative University. In 2017, the Think of Us continues to work in close partnership with the CGIU to realize the commitment to provide foster youth in the US with the resources and support to empower themselves during their childhood-to-adulthood transitional period. 

The HACKATHON

The White House Foster Care & Technology HACKATHON is a two-day long event during National Foster Care Month that brings together non-profit organizations, child welfare projects, foster care families and alumni, as well as engineers, technologists, and managers from the technology sectors. During the event, the guests will discuss ways to make the foster care system better and to protect the youth and assist their parents. In the end of the conference, the best ideas and practices will be highlighted. The first White House Foster Care & Technology HACKATHON takes place on Thursday, May 26th, and Friday, May 27th and will be curated by the White House, the U.S. Department of  Health and Human Services, and the Think of Us project.

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