Nikki Patterson Smith & Sean Smith
Black / African American, Woman-Identified
Youth & Education, Health & Food
Marketing and Communications, Product / Service Design, Information Technology, Operations and Administration, Growth, Scaling, and Investments, Community Engagement
We have built our business out of ideas, experiences, and a passion to positively impact today's youth. We often talk about how we see the world changing as well as how we can make things better. The state of education during COVID shutdowns was very experimental, and we watched as school districts across the country learned to pivot in real time. This was the catalyst for us taking action to build PEP Rally.
We joined AMPED's RTBI program, which provided us with the tools and resources necessary to build a tech company. We connected with mentors, as well as other entrepreneurs on a similar journey. With the support of RTBI, we were able to connect with Humana, which granted us 45K to begin building out our platform.
Sean works at one of over 50,000 high schools in America that are federally funded to assist low income students. His job is to make sure students have the resources needed to face the world today.
A study done by the CDC gives hard numbers to the needs and experiences he finds every day. It found that 37% of high school students are experiencing poor mental health, 40% are experiencing sadness or hopelessness, 20% considered suicide, and 9% attempted suicide.
This same CDC study found that those risk factors regarding mental health dropped significantly when a student felt a connection to someone in person or online.
We believe that our focus on mental health and community building will help strengthen our future community leaders into a much happier healthier future.
The idea was born from necessity!