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.



Celebrating 4 Years of Life Lived Better!

I am very excited to be writing you about what is happening with Teen Lifeline. Over the past 4 years you have kept up with us through our website (which is now updated here). After 4 years of impacting students and working with schools, churches, courts, and families we have new things to announce. I hope you enjoy hearing about what is coming and will take the time to share what we are up to with others that believe in making a difference in the life of a teen.

With this post I have two big things to announce and there will be more to come. (more…)