Increasing students’ knowledge of systemic causes of sexual exploitation to help them identify and navigate risky situations.
Cultivating understanding of what healthy, safe relationships look and feel like.
Fostering mental health, safety skills and bystander intervention practices to build resilience and community.
Our approach promotes and supports honest conversation -- peer-to-peer, child-to-adult, and within the broader community -- to nurture resilience and connection.
The Nest Program for Healthy Relationships is skills- and content-focused, providing dynamic activities for teachers to support students in cultivating healthy relationships. Nest’s prevention education is unique in that it’s grounded in socio-political concepts such as power, privilege and oppression. Naming and navigating these ideas is critical to creating a foundation for and promoting a productive discussion of sexual exploitation and trafficking.
We help teachers create safe, productive classroom environment necessary to explore vulnerability, power, oppression, abuse, and other challenging topics. The lesson starts with community-building activities and closes with a collectively-drafted classroom agreement that centers on participation, listening, and respect.
The goal of this lesson is to equip students with a vocabulary to discuss issues introduced in Lesson 1. Understanding the dynamics around risk requires looking at sexual exploitation and trafficking not as an isolated activity but as a problem linked closely to the way in which power operates not only in our relationships, but in our culture and society.
Students unpack what it means to maintain interpersonal boundaries. They then discuss healthy relationships by considering how they feel when they are in healthy relationships. We underscore the fact that there are many types of relationships (romantic, platonic, professional, familial, friend), and all can include characteristics of both healthy and unhealthy relationships.
What are unhealthy relationships and what does it mean when boundaries are not respected? Students will create safety plans by identifying trustworthy adults they can talk to if they believe themselves or someone else to be in an unsafe situation. Scenarios discussed include forms of sexual assault, exploitation, and trafficking.
We take the evidence seriously. Current data about child sexual exploitation and trafficking reveals critical determinants for risk, including a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and protective factors in preventing exploitation and fostering resilience. As an evidence-based intervention, the Nest Program is built on proven methodologies from education, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and community psychology. Our programming nurtures children’s authentic selves and cultivates their inherent strengths.
We celebrate children’s inherent strengths. We nurture each child’s self-awareness and inspire them to explore their feelings, express their ideas, and establish boundaries, as we know that these are the most fundamental resources for safety and fulfillment. We encourage empowering beliefs and personal agency over fear-based ideas.
We depend on allied adults to form circles of support and bonds of trust where young people remain centered in safe, expansive places that provide for their growth and healthy development. We maintain focus on children’s voices, experiences, perspectives and sensibilities in direct interactions, as well as when they are not in the room.
We are dedicated to creating supportive environments based on a comprehensive understanding of trauma. Each traumatic experience is unique to each individual involved. We listen and affirm. We encourage voice and choice for trauma victims while modeling mutual trust and respect in interpersonal interactions. We are transparent in our messages and behaviors.
The Nest Foundation’s lessons were, and are, a perfect match for my [Leadership Class]. What I was looking for were meaningful lessons backed by authentic information, and a way for students to feel like they could make a difference and become defenders of human rights in some way. The development of the Nest curriculum is centered around this idea and ends with students not only creating a way to make that difference, but to also plan for future actions. This program has great potential to impact society and empower our younger generations to feel like they have a voice in improving conditions for many people.
Thank you for bringing this amazing program to our Rangel sophomores, empowering them to take the knowledge forward into all of their communities to create real positive change. I hope many other schools can take advantage of this important and excellent curriculum for their students.
Having the Nest curriculum taught in my class last year was life changing for many of my students. At the conclusion of the unit, many of my students felt the urge to help this cause and change our cities’ juvenile trafficking reputation. Some students spoke at a public forum where they were able to question policy makers, while others created a Youth Ending Slavery chapter for our high school.
The 1-2 day Nest Teacher Training is a proprietary, evidence-informed program, delivered by a Master Trainer, that equips educators with the skills and knowledge necessary for implementing the Nest Program for Healthy Relationships. Participation is required to ensure maximum curriculum impact and curriculum safety.
During the training, participants build critical content knowledge and instructional mastery, and gain access to teacher-focused resources for personal support.
Participants are awarded Nest certification upon completion.
I think this curriculum is incredibly important for students to hear because it educates them on an issue that most of them don't know is happening in their communities.
I just think this conversation is incredibly important and that talking about things like sexual abuseand intolerance is the only way we can begin to start decreasing the normality of it all.
I think that this is a unit that should be taught to everyone, and I also thought that this was one of the most important lessons I've learned in school.
This was the very first time that I found that I could take something I learned and feel I have the real power to turn around and educate others. It’s the first time that I learned something that I felt I HAD to teach others.
The Nest program started me on a career path to advocacy and activism. I want to be a lawyer to work for social justice causes and this is just now embedded in the way I think in my everyday life.
I think everyone needs an education on this. My guy friends are even taking action and I like how boys are waking up to this epidemic.
I enjoyed the curriculum very much, it gave a lot of insight on the matter and I was able to learn a lot. I think the forum is a good idea, getting people together to address the topic and get ideas running around. Keep this curriculum up, it'll have impact on people more and more and eventually this matter will come to simmer and hopefully stop completely.
Interested in bringing the Nest Curriculum to your School or Organization? Fill out the form below and a Nest representative will reach out to you soon.