Editorial update (May 8, 2023): A previous version of this story referenced SELF’s thank you card program. Due to an overwhelming response in requests for materials, we have removed links to that particular initiative at this time. 

The Santoro Education Lifeskills Foundation (SELF), a Florida nonprofit, is helping children and teenagers develop the skills they need to navigate the world. 

Helmed by retired entrepreneur and current philanthropist Joe Santoro, SELF provides free educational resources, launches community-building initiatives, and offers an online curriculum for middle and high school students called Alive2Thrive, which has awarded over $90,000 in scholarships to young people who’ve graduated from the program. 

Alive2Thrive comprises 36 videos organized into four targeted modules: Knowing Me, Managing Me, Understanding Others, and Relating to Others. The videos are 2-3 minutes long and include learning objectives such as creating a plan to improve your personal Emotional Quotient, and understanding the power of expectations. The videos are open access and are accompanied by downloadable lesson worksheets. 

“The Alive2Thrive program is designed to teach students introspection, how to manage and maintain interpersonal relationships and empathizing with others,” Santoro told Florida publication The Villages Daily Sun last year. “Oftentimes teens and young adults are not equipped with those skills and sometimes learn too late.”


In a statement shared with Nice News, 11th-grade Alive2Thrive student Christian Tetrault elaborated on the benefits of the the program: “[It] has gotten me through various life situations whether it be a low point in my life or when I’m at my best, they have taught me to communicate better with different people and they have helped me become a better individual who’s better at managing themselves and maintaining relationships.” 

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