From the desk of JC Pohl…

This January TEEN TRUTH’s RISING UP: Coaching Program kicked off our 2016 campaign with a life-changing trip to Saipan, Rota, and Tinian, located halfway around the world in the Mariana Islands. The CNMI Public School System hosted a “train the trainer” event for 30 school counselors, as well as student trainings on all three islands. Culminating with a large assembly experience on the island of Saipan, the week’s work was some of the most rewarding I have ever done.

I am always amazed and inspired by the strong sense of community and respect found in the teachers and students across the islands. This trip re-united me with one of my most admired clients, Boni Pangelinan, as well as a long time RISING UP student Thomas Manglona II. It has been amazing to watch both of these friends grow over the 6+ years that I have known them.

I met Boni when she was a principal of an elementary school on Saipan. She is now Associate Commissioner managing various programs and the islands’ school counseling staff. Her focus is the implementation of social and emotional guidance through our peer-to-peer curriculum in an effort to provide suicide prevention and anti-bully education.

Thomas was an 8th grade student who I met during a hard time in his life, but his experience with both TEEN TRUTH and RISING UP inspired him to find his voice and source his strengths. Now he’s a senior in high school, the president of his school, and a correspondent for a Guam news station and the Saipan Tribune. He truly has found his voice and is already making a huge impact on our world!

It is such an honor to work with so many wonderful students, we trained over 120 student coaches and reached over 1,000 with our assembly program!

If you would like to see this type of growth in your students and staff please contact us to learn more about our efforts to strengthen school culture and build resilient students.  As always you can learn more at or connect directly at

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