MENTOR - Making Empathy Necessary in Triggering Outstanding Results

MENTOR - Making Empathy Necessary in Triggering Outstanding Results

Laventille, Trinidad and TobagoPort of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Daniell Institute of Learning is a forward-thinking, educational company that offers a dynamic & holistic approach to teaching, training & educational research

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

East Port of Spain (EPOS) is a region in Trinidad that has historically and culturally been characterised by its poor social and economic conditions and is home to many of the ‘at risk’ communities in the country. This stigma has given rise to a host of socio-emotional issues that have negatively impacted the male youths of these areas. These issues have manifested themselves in the form of self-destructive behaviours that have affected the entire country and include but are not limited to elevated levels of violence and crime (many gang related), high degrees of delinquency and deviancy, and low academic performance.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

This programme proposes to use an emotional-relational model that will be applied in 3 EPOS secondary schools and is aimed to:  Manage classroom behaviours;  Curb violence and reduce crime;  Decrease the level of deviancy and delinquency;  Enhance learning and raise academic performance; and  Improve motivation and self-efficacy. This model will use emotional literacy and a 'rites of passage' module that will complement each other, working hand-in-hand to improve interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships and divert disaffected male youths within these schools from negative behaviours and steer them towards making more positive lifestyle choices. Ultimately, we hope that these youths will learn and live the message that no matter what difficulties they have faced they would have the capability to endure, the motivation to succeed, and the ability to communicate and use their emotions effectively thereby reducing crime, violence, deviancy and delinquency.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Recent studies indicate that EL has been proven to encourage pro-social behaviours and promote less problem behaviour, allow for better stress management, improve the quality of friendships and marriages, and even to raise academic performance (Brackett, Rivers and Salovey, 2005). Conversely, individuals who are not emotionally equipped have been shown to be more inclined to indulge in deviant and/ or violent acts including stealing and fighting, consume higher levels of drugs and alcohol and even demonstrate higher levels of stress and anxiety (Brackett, Rivers and Salovey, 2005) – the very behaviours we wish to curb/ avoid. Additionally, ROP programmes have been known to have vast success in raising academic performance, combating truancy, developing social skills, reducing behavioural problems and promoting communication values. In recent years, ROP has re-emerged in places like the U.S. and U.K. and has been particularly successful in helping disaffected young men to make healthier lifestyle choices. It has also been observed that ROP contributed towards turning boys’ lives around, raising attainment and reducing behavioural problems, which is the ultimate goal of this programme. Thus EL and ROP can be applied in this context to manage classroom behaviours, curb violence and crime, reduce delinquency and deviancy, raise academic performance, and motivate our youths.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

EL and ROP have both been known to make major contributions in achieving the highlighted goals with measurable, worldwide success. However, neither of these concepts has ever been applied to Trinidadian social programmes much less incorporated into the school curriculum. Moreover, El and ROP concepts have never even been explored in the wider Caribbean. Thus this would be an excellent opportunity to introduce these innovative methods to help counteract destructive behaviours of our male youths whilst assisting them to thrive, to reach their full potential, to be productive citizens, to be motivated, to be inspired, and to perform well in school.
About You
Daniell Institute of Learning
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Daniell Institute of Learning

Organization Country

, PS, Port of Spain

Country where this project is creating social impact

, SL, Laventille

Your role in Education

Administrator, After-School Provider, Teacher.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long has your solution been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

DIL is a forward-thinking, educational company that offers a dynamic & holistic approach to teaching, training and educational research

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

This solution is quite innovative as it has never been done in this country or in the Caribbean. Thus it is indeed ground breaking!

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

As previously mentioned, this particular model has never been used in the Caribbean. However, there has been huge international success in the application of EL and ROP to manage behaviours, improve academic performance, and motivate youths. An analysis conducted by Durlak et al (2011) on 213 schools with EL programmes (the largest and most comprehensive of its kind) concluded that among students enrolled in EL programmes, discipline problems were cut in half and that students scored at least 11% more in achievement points. Furthermore, Dr. Majors illustrated the success of ROP when the programme was implemented in a local U.K. college for male students. The project has seen many of the young men refocus their lives and start taking an interest in their education; some of them have won awards, others have gained places in universities. Following the positive outcome, the programme is in the process of being rolled out to other campuses at City College.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

a.A reduction in the percentage of violent crimes within EPOS schools by at least 10%
b.A decrease in deviancy and delinquency in EPOS schools by 15%;
c.A raise in the percentage of O’Level passes attained by male students of each school of the 3 schools in the EPOS district by about 3% annually; and
d.Motivating male students' desire to stay in school, to learn and to secure jobs by increasing the school leaving age from about 13 years to 16 years.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The main hindrance to implementation and success of this project is lack of support from the Ministry of Education. However, we are currently in the process of acquiring buy in from other Government ministries which will allow for the programme to be implemented in other youth social groups within the target area. As such, we will still be able to achieve our goals and positively impact on male youths within the EPOS and by extension, ‘at risk’ communities in EPOS.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

The first 6 months are critical since the focus groups will be selected and the need for this project will become paramount

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Pre-test phase – various aspects of students’ feelings, outlook and satisfaction about their current situation will be measured

Task 2

Identifying focus groups – results of the task 1 will be analysed and suitable candidates will be selected for the focus groups

Task 3

Introduction of ROP – participants’ feelings will be further analysed, to prepare them in using proper coping mechanisms.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

In 12 months of implementation we should really see the model start taking effect and some of our results being materialised

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Candidates will complete the ROP training and simultaneously be equipped with the 'soft' skills needed to combat challenges

Task 2

Introduction of our ‘Trainers’ trainer’ programme – relies on the ability of teachers and ‘elders’ to apply learned skills

Task 3

Post-test phase –involves using the same measures in pre-test phase & comparing the results to EL & ROP scores to gauge success

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

The “Aha” moment occurred when I met Dr. Richard Majors at the first ever UK training/ HR/ Education exhibition in Trinidad. Although I had heard of the term emotional intelligence, I never knew of formal EL programmes, much less their successful results. Dr. Majors spoke so confidently and passionately about the many applications of EL that I immediately began to think of the benefits of EL to the Trinidadian population given our high crime rate and many behavioural issues affecting our young men. It then made me wonder why these concepts had not been introduced sooner and that given the global impact of EL and ROP, it is only a matter of time for these concepts to be formally introduced to Trinidad and the entire Caribbean.

Tell us about your partnerships

Daniell Institute of Learning is currently working in partnership with Dr. Richard Majors, an educational psychologist and international expert in the area of emotional literacy, race, gender and class. Dr. Majors is a former senior fellow at Harvard Medical School and is the author of the bestseller ‘Cool Pose’ and creator of the highly acclaimed and award winning ‘Rites of Passage’ programme – a programme that will be used as a component in this model.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list