We believe in the power of partnering with foundations to strengthen JED’s programs and make a positive impact in the lives of teens and young adults.
Below are just a few examples of JED’s partnerships. We thank each of this year’s foundation partners.
Ascend at The Aspen Institute
Parenting students make up over 20% of the undergraduate student population in this country, but their experiences are often unknown and invisible to most. In an attempt to better understand this population and their mental health challenges, Ascend at The Aspen Institute partnered with JED to conduct research on the topic and develop a set of recommendations to help colleges and universities better support these students. The framework, consisting of eight recommendations that guide higher education institutions in creating programs, policies, and practices that make campuses more accommodating to and inclusive of student parents and their unique stressors, seeks to help institutions of higher education build upon the extraordinary strengths of parenting students and to support them in getting what they need so they can continue their studies.
The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health
The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health, a collaborative fund seeded by Pivotal Ventures and supported provided by The Klarman Family Foundation, has partnered with JED to support JED’s Proud and Thriving, a project supporting the mental health of queer spectrum and trans spectrum college students.
This project is focused squarely on building greater awareness of, and comprehensive, system-level support for, gender and sexual minority students in high schools, colleges, and universities. The development of these frameworks will be informed by survey and focus group data from gender and sexual minority students and advanced by a cross-functional team with professional subject matter expertise in LGBTQ+ youth mental health, school-based program development, implementation and assessment and, among more than half of the team members, lived experience as sexual minorities.
Upon completion, the frameworks will be integrated into JED High School and JED Campus and promoted throughout the larger secondary and higher education communities, ensuring significant reach and impact.
AMB West Philanthropies
JED and AMB West Philanthropies have come together to address youth suicide in Montana, which has the highest overall suicide rate and the fourth highest youth suicide rate among all U.S. states (CDC). According to 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data, 25% of Park County students reported “seriously considering suicide” during the previous 12 months, and almost 5% reported an attempt, which was later treated by a healthcare professional, which is above the 3.7% state average. When examining Montana youths’ responses to the five YRBS questions most related to suicide, four out of the five showed increases in negative indicators over a ten-year period.
Between November 2020 to March 2021, JED led a strategic planning process informed by interviews with Park County leaders to develop an approach to engaging youth on emotional health issues. The outcome of that work led to a collaboration to launch a sustainable, locally-led Youth Council on Emotional Health in Park County. The Youth Council will be designed to attract diverse teens from across Park County, providing a forum for them to develop skills, share perspectives and develop and amplify a collective voice on issues and programming related to health and wellbeing.
Through this project, teens will be engaged in developing their leadership and voice on these critical issues, paving the way for significant, positive change in youth attitudes and behaviors around health and wellbeing.