We believe that teens today need help in developing life skills. Those skills are not adequately being taught in the schools or religious institutions. 18 Principles provides a “framework” for dealing with adversity, problem solving, friendship, suicide prevention, and other life issues.

We do not tell our audience what to do or not to do nor do we try to scare them. This is what differentiates us from other programs. We educate, make people aware of the choices they make, teach them that the ultimate responsibility is theirs, and to approach problems from different perspectives.

We believe that the involvement of teenagers in self-destructive activities such as gang involvement, illegal activities, dropping out of school and suicide are indicating a need for a more moral and solid social framework for use by teenagers in creating and maintaining effective social relationships.

There are any numbers of sectarian groups (churches, synagogues, mosques, etc) which provide this sort of framework. However, teens are rejecting the sectarian organizations in large numbers and are left with no moral framework to support their life’s issues. The 18 Principles are intended to provide that framework without resorting to religious teachings or organizations. We have taught the 18 Principals program in religious institutions without conflict and with great success.

Our activities involve presentation of the 18 Principles in a group setting by trained staff and volunteers with a discussion of their meaning and how it relates to daily life. We also have expanded programs that involve the group members creating artwork and essays about the 18 Principles and publishing these creative pieces as a fund-raiser for the student’s organization and our own. 18 Principles, Inc. provides all classes and support without cost.

We currently focus on teenagers (ages 12 through 18) that are in school. We also focus on aiding parents in their relationships with their children. The messages and methodologies are also expected to be useful in work with corporate employees and other groups such as prison inmates. We have plans to expand the program into areas that address teenagers that are not currently in school.

Our approach is to use the 18 Principles as the core of a belief system which is non-sectarian and is useful in establishing and maintaining positive relationships in all aspects of a teenager’s life. The training associated with this effort involves working with groups of teenagers to discuss how the 18 Principles applies to them and how to use the 18 Principles to guide their individual lives.

The primary activities center on groups of teenagers in public and private schools. However, our programs may also be applied to groups of teenagers within public and private organizations such as Girls, Inc., Boys and Girls Clubs of America, etc. The activities that are focused on adults follow the same basic approach but will be presented in workshops and classes that are arranged through civic and public venues such as libraries, free universities and adult gathering organizations. These activities may be presented anywhere in the United States. Whenever possible we will use existing facilities by the requesting organization. Occasionally we may have to rent a facility. 18 Principles does not expect to own or lease facilities in pursuit of these activities.

All of the training activities for teenagers are undertaken without cost to the teenagers. Other activities are executed to provide the funding for our operations. These activities may include merchandise sales related to our message, keynote speeches, paid training classes and other related services. We also expect to obtain corporate and philanthropic donors to support our programs. All of these fundraising efforts are focused on providing services to our target markets.

The classes that are provided to the teenagers, without cost, provide an effective approach to reaching the maximum number of students, especially those in under-privileged neighborhoods. With these classes comes an improvement in the teenager’s self-image and relationships, a reduction in teenager-on-teenager violence and suicide within the group.


We provide a safe environment to discuss the 18 Principles and how they are used to deal with the everyday issues of life through group discussion. We start our classes and workshops with relaxation techniques. We do this to get participants to stop thinking about daily activities and to focus on the 18 Principles framework.

We do not tell our audience what to do or not to do nor do we try to scare them. This is what differentiates us from other programs. We educate, make people aware of the choices they make, teach them that the ultimate responsibility is theirs, and to approach problems from different perspectives.

An Example

If you are having problems in school or with family or friends, the 18 Principles provides a framework to help you address those issues. Let’s look at Principle #6.

Many times when listening to friends’ problems we make them our own and start living them. We feel depressed, angry, frustrated and want to “right the wrong”. Principle #6 says the following:

“If you help someone through their problems, do not live their problems with them. Their problems are theirs alone, not yours. It doesn’t mean you do not care, love them, or do not try to help them.”

With this approach to your relationship with others, you will be able to maintain your own perspective and be a better friend.

Suicide Prevention

Overall Approach

We provide materials, discuss the warning signs and tell students where they can get help 24/7 anywhere in the United States. We will work with schools to set up a protocol to handle these situations.
As we began to teach classes locally, we found that every school we visited had experienced a recent suicide. We also noticed that in every class there were kids in deep pain. We became concerned. We found tremendous fear when discussing this topic with our contemporaries. To give you idea of the paranoia, when John Fielder’s (nationally acclaimed photographer, publisher, teacher, and preservationist) son committed suicide in March 2006 the local media in Denver would not publish the “1-800 Suicide” number for fear that it would encourage kids to commit suicide rather than call if they needed help. Children who are contemplating suicide are very adept at hiding these feeling from their parents. It doesn’t matter what your socioeconomic background is.

Successful Intervention

On a positive note two 12 year old kids approached us about one week after the first class incorporating suicide prevention and told us of their concern about a kid in their class. We had a successful intervention as a result and the school is establishing a protocol to handle future situations.

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