Every parent’s dream is to see their children grow, develop and succeed—and to borrow a phrase from Thoreau—to go confidently in the direction of their dreams. In reality, however, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, many teens report feeling disconnected and disoriented. For a variety of reasons, many teens are waning academically, emotionally and socially, and in many cases, the traditional school-based support systems have not been enough to address the need.
Iuri Melo, a licensed therapist, best-selling self-help author and co-founder of St. George-based SchoolPulse, has worked with the adolescent population for 20 years. Backed by research and data, his organization reports that when teens are “happier, better adjusted, and feel connected,” they perform better academically and have better attitudes—both indicators for future success. The aim of SchoolPulse is to provide that one-on-one connection with teens to promote the social and emotional wellness that leads to engagement, achievement and greater satisfaction with life.
For teens, using mobile phones, Iuri and his team deliver positive psychology that is designed to be interactive, personal and fun. “We proactively text students the most inspiring, uplifting and incredible psychology, and then provide live, one-to-one support to encourage, assist and troubleshoot,” explains Iuri.
Content formats include texts, podcasts, videos, surveys and memes based on social and emotional learning or SEL topics. Conversations with support staff are anonymous, private and confidential, offering teens the security they need to share their successes and struggles, and get sound support and guidance. “We’re the only proactive, text-based social and emotional support service for teens,” Iuri adds.
For parents, Iuri and his team see themselves as an ally, another resource to augment ongoing parenting efforts. Parents have access to the delivered content and social and emotional courses, view the wellness dashboard and get their questions answered. For school counselors and administrators, SchoolPulse strives to reach every student, and the platform provides “actionable data that is used to see patterns, evaluate current efforts, and inform future interventions,” Iuri concludes.
SchoolPulse was founded in 2017, and is now partnered with 62 schools across 20 states. Metrics show that students open 98% of delivered content, further demonstrating that the platform to help build better teens has value and reach.
To learn more about SchoolPulse, visit schoolpulse.org for a parent demo. If the platform is not at your child's school, you can opt in at schoolpulse.org/parents.
What Every Teen Needs
As a therapist for 20 years and best-selling author of a self-help book for adolescents, Iuri shares five things every teen needs:
- Someone who believes in them and who will cheer for them
- Someone they can believe in
- Someone who will see them, hear them and seek to understand them
- A way to win; teens need the skills and the wisdom to succeed
- A friend who is loyal, trusting and non-judgmental