Helping Students Live Life Better

Helping Students Live Life Better

A few months back, our team at Teen Lifeline took an assessment that looked at our motivations. Many assessments focus on personality, but I loved this one because it looked past our tendencies and helped us understand what drives us to succeed – and why we get frustrated in our pursuits.

This assessment really pegged me. There were a few key motivations that came to light but one really caught my eye.


As I work, interact, and even play – I’m always looking to improve in some way.

I don’t feel like it’s an obsessive trait, but it is definitely something that motivates – and frustrates if the opportunity to improve is lacking.

I think back to some of my past jobs where I experienced a lot of frustration. Usually it wasn’t the job. It was the lack of opportunity to make things better.

This is why I love my job now. At Teen Lifeline, I am called to not only create, maintain, and evaluate our programs, but I get to call adults into the public schools to help teenagers do the same. Our support groups give students the opportunity to improve their lives through small changes that can make a huge impact.

In our support groups, teenagers from every walk of life, faith, and background are welcomed into a support group to find community and acceptance in a way that is totally new for many of our students. They get to take a few small minutes each week to reflect on where life has taken them to this point, but more importantly – how they can move forward and make things better.

Our students need more adults with empathetic ears who will sit and listen – and not correct. Our groups provide an avenue for this to happen.

So why am I writing about our groups this week? Today is the official kick off of our 2016-17 support groups! We are thrilled to engage our local students across multiple school districts around our area and to provide more and more opportunities for students to live life better.

We are so excited to do this. We are thrilled to help improve the students we serve, the adults who serve them, and ourselves in the process.


Have you considered leading a support group at a public school? You can. Go to this link to find out more! 

Chris Robey, Teen Lifeline’s Program Director, has worked with teens for over a decade and strives to help students see the best in themselves.
Why We Do What We Do

Why We Do What We Do

I recently listened to the Freakanomics Radio episode Preventing Crime for Pennies on the Dollar” about a program called BAM (Becoming A Man).

They are based in Chicago and are largely successful because they use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) groups with teenagers to help them build skills to better handle life. They have been researched and proven to be successful for over nearly a decade.

However, the host of the show, Stephen Dubner, still asked, “What’s the secret ingredient?” I would argue that the “secret ingredient” is the genuineness of the people working with the students. Not the program.

Our support groups are successful when several things come together:

  • The curriculum is clear and easy to use.
  • The training is thorough and repetitive.
  • There is a commitment from the facilitator to stick with the group all the way through.
  • The facilitator likes teenagers. Really, genuinely likes working with teenagers.
  • The teens are invested in the process and accept this as their group.

You are likely to find niches in communities across the United States, maybe even the world, that are working hard to help teens. But the one thing that will make the difference is whether or not the people running the program are in it for the students rather than for another reason.

This is what makes Teen Lifeline different. This is why we do what we do.


Ricky Lewis is our Executive Director and has been with us since the beginning. As a father of 4, he seeks to help parents and their kids Live Life Better.