The Friendship School


Community Innovator, LeRita Cavness developed the concept for the Friendship School as a way to better understand the key barriers that keep homeless students from persisting in a traditional school setting.  LeRita pitches her concept at the September 2016 Design Challenge and was awarded funding to support the development of a core curriculum designed to meet the emotional development and mental health needs for youth experiencing the trauma of homelessness.


Click here for a full update on The Friendship School.  


Persistence: Participating youth are consistently attending the program and their regular school environments.  

Relational: Participating students show an increase in belonging, trust, and meaningful relationships as desmonstrated by interviews and focus groups.  

Social Emotional: Participating studetns show an increase/ improvement in self-perception/self-efficacy, engagement, motivation / desire to improve, supportive relationships, and other social emotional variables, as demonsrated by interviews and focus groups.  

Health: Students see an increase in positive health variables and a decrease in risk variables, as demonstrated by surveys.  

Academics: Participating students advance in online learning modules in the pilot program and/or show increase in completion and performance in their regular learning environments.  

Legal: Participating students see a decrease in referrals and in-school/ out of school engagements with the justice system.




LeRita Cavness, Brendan Landry