Two years ago, teen siblings and tech entrepreneurs Charlie and Hannah Lucas launched the award-winning notOK App, designed to save lives by alerting contacts to possible distress or danger.
As the world adapts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lucas siblings want to ensure the needs of young people are not being overlooked. Inspired by the current plight of teens displaced by school closures, the siblings teamed up with philanthropist and Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey to donate $45,000 to students in need during the We Are Well virtual prom.
The virtual prom is scheduled for Saturday, May 2 on Instagram Live from 9:00 p.m to 11:30 p.m. Eastern. And the goal of the special occasion is to help teenagers who are struggling mentally, financially, or physically. Thanks to the support and generosity of Dorsey, students will receive grants for tuition, books, rooming fees, laptops, internet, or even basic needs like food and shelter.
In addition to the millions of parents and guardians who have been impacted financially by COVID-19, the Lucas siblings want to help students find joy during this time. More than 55 million students have been impacted by school closures. For many of them, school was a safe haven where they ate, spent quality time with their friends, and tune out of what was going on in their household and simply be themselves
“With over 26 million adults out of work, imagine how many kids and teenagers that represents. At the end of the day, adults and corporations are getting bailed out so we are doing whatever we can to help kids our age,” Hannah and Charlie Lucas said in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE .
A recent study polled students aged from 13 to 25 about their current mood in light of the pandemic. The top three results were “frustrated” (54%), “nervous” (49%) and “disconnected” (40%).
Beyond COVID-19, teenagers are a vulnerable subset of society. As advocates for youth, the Lucas siblings understand the importance of connectedness and having resources as students are sheltered in place and many lack what they need to learn remotely.
“Whether they need internet access or a laptop, or even if they need basic needs met like food to get them through another few weeks. Because at the end of the day, we believe it’s ok to be notOK, whatever that means to you,” added the Lucas siblings.
More than 1,500 students have signed up for the virtual prom and others are encouraged to tune in. During the event DJ Jazzy Jeff will be on the ones and twos, there will be celebrity appearances on the digital red carpet, and attendees will be able to receive wellness tips.
To learn more about the prom, click here.