Andrew Kung, Carlos Huang and Alex Kung launch creative problem-solving

Seeing a smile on the world
It is not only that Spring is finally appearing; the world really is getting better. Global measures of heath, peace and wealth confirm this each year.  Personally, I see a growing number of resources to foster healthy, happy and productive lives.  

Thirteen years ago, AWI was founded to help prevent depression.  This meant to somehow change thinking at school, in the wider community, and - most importantly - at home.  Today, schools are moving to include more social and emotional learning. Many communities are prioritizing connectedness. Families can more easily find activities that enhance problem solving and coping skills. 

I am seeing a smile on the world because some of the resources that AWI helped pilot and promote are being adopted even outside the USA.  A primary reason is because of Rotary clubs, some of which have been active in communities and helping individual families for over a century. For example, the Rotary Club of Wellesley (founded 72 years ago) is removing barriers to communication and support in our town with service projects. Its projects range from simple (i.e. scheduling pool tables for matches among teens and senior citizens) to complex (i.e. replicating its Peer Leadership & Depression Prevention program in India). AWI helped packaged this latter program for replication by any Rotary club in the world. This week, a friend in the Rotary Club of badan Idi-IshinI submitted the schedule to launch the same service project in Nigeria.

I hope you will celebrate with me on Wednesday, May 2nd, at Brae Burn  Country Club in Newton at the AWI annual event; the theme is Spring Forward:  Fostering our children's emotional wellness. T he evening will provide a practical tool for parents to use at home, refreshments, and lively  conversation.

What might be practical tools for parents? One example is a tip sheet for easier communication. Another example is a worksheet for creative problem solving, an ability to defer judgement long enough to redefine a problem and generate ideas before implementing a solution. The teens in the header photograph built and flew a 12 foot plane a distance of forty-seven feet with limited materials and time. Their success had been in doubt until they re-defined the problem from 'How to fly a 12 foot fuselage' to instead ask 'How to control a 12 foot wing'. The experience was provided by Jerry Beck, introduced below in the Featured Guest section.

In addition to the AWI event in Newton, fun events the same week are scheduled by two Wellesley organizations that help the mission of AWI:
~ Thursday, May 3, Rotary hosts 'Taste of Wellesley' with area restaurants
~ Sunday, May 6, Page Waterman Gallery hosts Next Upa juried art exhibition for high school students.

I will be at at each of the three events, enjoying a smile.  

you can improve your cognitive flexibility?    

Research confirms better coping and problem-solving skills can help prevent at least 1 in 5 cases of depression. Here is a worksheet to download that all of us can use to more easily exercise creative problem solving
64 foot paper airplane being assembled in Skyline Flight hangar
Featured guest

Jerry Beck is the Founder of the Revolving Museum In Fitchburg, Massachusetts. We met because he is attempting to break two Guinness world records for the largest paper:
  • airplane
  • sculpture
One element of Project Soar is to recognize the history of Fitchburg as a center for paper mills. Vintage and modern papers are included with the artworks for the plane. Participants have creatively transformed photographs, comic books, newspaper, stamps, ephemera, timecards, tracing paper, post cards, paper sewing patterns, paper kites, and even homework. 

Jerry invited Rotary and AWI to bring teens to create prototype planes and also art that will become the skin of the aircraft. The teens merged train-the-trainer workshops on Peer Leadership and Depression Prevention with a paper airplane flight distance competition. They created art and posters on emotional wellness to cover the plane. They also created prototype planes; the largest they flew by hand was 12 feet long.

Jerry explained that the 64 foot plane would be towed to a certain speed on a vehicle and then released to fly.The first flight is scheduled at the Fitchburg airport the morning of  Tuesday, June 12.  All are welcome to the launch; the Revolving Museum's created a Go Fund Me site for Project Soar.
Donations to AWI 

You may donate to AWI here .
Art by Mary Bevilaqua and Ana Natalia Epstein

Your donation is greatly appreciated. AWI leverages
every dollar effectively, providing curricula and train-the-trainer workshops to adults and youth.

C hecks may be made  payable to Adolescent Wellness, Inc. and mailed to 103 Old Colony Road, Wellesley, MA 02481.
AWI is a 501c3 non-profit and donations are tax deductible.
You can also select Adolescent Wellness, Inc. to support through purchases at
AWI Volunteers

T he people who make it happen!
  • Bob Anthony - President
  • Chip Douglas - Chairman
  • Phyllis Gimbel - Director
  • Calvin Place - Director
  • Lisa Siegel - Director
  • Penny Wells - Director
  • Jessi Somogie - Youth program
  • Frank Hays - Marketing

Bob Anthony | Adolescent Wellness, Inc. | 781.727.8617 | |