Our Story

The Project came into existence in 2011 in response to the town of Mount Vernon, Iowa losing three teens to suicide within six months. When community leaders looked to other post-crises communities for guidance on the best steps forward, they found few resources.

Under the direction of resiliency researcher and community member Dr. Mollie Marti, Mount Vernon moved forward toward healing the community and strengthening its youth. Designated a pilot Thriving Community by the Project, Mount Vernon continues the work of recovering from these tragedies and proactively growing resilience.

In 2012, the Project applied for nonprofit status with a vision of supporting other communities to build the capacity of their youth to cope with and grow through adversity and create an environment in which no life is lost to suicide.

The Project is dedicated to empowering communities to support youth in growing their hope, resiliency, and appreciation for life’s possibilities. We are passionate about the advancement of well-being through research-based education and providing resources that empower communities to engage, connect, challenge, and empower youth.

Our Learning Center provides educators, mental health and health care practitioners, parents, and community leaders with high impact, practical ways to proactively strengthen the capacity of youth to grow through adversity and thrive. This work builds on our research-based ECCE Model of Community Resiliency.

Our Thriving Community initiative helps communities recovering from crises to create an environment in which members can heal and grow stronger. This includes supporting youth to envision, expect, and experience a lifetime of engagement, connection, growth, and contribution in community with others.

We look forward to partnering with you to positively impact the health and well-being of your community and youth!