Our mission is to make respect the status quo.
We give youth and their influencers the tools to redefine respect and build self-respect so they can break cycles of disrespect and thrive.

What we do

We build the capacity of youth influencers to help vulnerable youth (ages 11-24) achieve positive academic and life outcomes. As featured by CNN, USA Today, NPR, Glamour, Clinton Global Initiative and Ashoka Changemakers, Ri trains youth influencers to become self-respect and resiliency builders. They learn to use trauma-informed coaching tools, create caring connections, and mentor more effectively using our Respect 360 toolkit. Trained partners integrate Respect 360 into their youth development frameworks, whether it be a school, jail, group home, or enrichment, career training, prevention or intervention program.

Why we focus on self-respect

  • What if every person came to believe that they were a unique contributor to the greater whole?
  • What if “I matter. You matter.” was how we all behaved?
  • What if respect was the status quo?

With true respect on the inside, this world becomes possible for youth and their influencers. When your self-respect is going strong, you can thrive vs. just surviving and getting trapped in cycles of disrespect (bullying, -isms, violence, abuse, inequality, poverty, poor health, unhealthy relationships, inadequate education, and early death.) Unlike self-esteem, which is our opinion of ourself that is most impacted by messages coming from outside of us, self-respect is nurtured from within. Despite your circumstances, you can nourish your self-respect through daily resiliency practices we call The Respect Basics. When your self-respect is your engine, you can go anywhere in life.

How we do it

Youth and their influencers redefine respect and practice The Respect Basics via our toolkit, Respect 360, which is implemented by partners at their sites.

Partners include: Schools in low-income communities (Title 1), juvenile justice, child welfare (foster youth and group homes), alternative high schools, and mentor, teen pregnancy prevention, work readiness or parent education programs.

Respect 360 can be implemented for professional development, an advisory program, school culture outcomes, classroom management, PBIS and school suspension reduction strategies, social-emotional group work, coaching and mentoring sessions, wellness and leadership development or classes, and to support Common Core State Standards (Grades 6-12: Writing and Speaking and Listening.)

We equally impact youth and their influencers

Vulnerable youth have had the experience that they don’t matter. Through our self-respect building toolkit, implemented by their trusted influencers, youth expand their circle of support, learn respect-based communication skills, see themselves as a unique contributor to the greater whole and evolve into leaders who think and behave like: I matter. You matter.

Respect 360

Youth around the globe are improving their academic and life outcomes through connections with caring youth influencers who practice The Respect Basics. Youth influencers who work at our partner organizations—primarily serving vulnerable girls and opportunity youth (those who are out of school and work)—are certified as a Respect 360 leader to nurture self-respect, create a culture of respect and coach and mentor youth and young adults ages 11-24 more effectively.

Together, youth and their influencers:

  • Practice The Respect Basics to grow our self-care, resiliency and impact as leaders.
  • Believe each of us is a unique contributor to  the greater whole and act like “I matter. You matter.” to create more respectful relationships, homes, schools, workplaces and communities.
  • Improve our social-emotional wellbeing and resiliency through partnership.

The Respect Institute has provided a framework that empowers our students to realize their personal power, harness their energy, and focus on what they are passionate about. The Respect Basics frame the work of our school and are helping our students develop the belief in self and resilience that will propel them to and sustain them in college.

Dr. Jennifer Gkourlias, Founding Principal, Young Women’s College Prep, Rochester