Our Mission

Our Mission

The Best Friends/Best Men programs promote the message of self-respect through self-control and provide participants with the skills, guidance, and support to avoid sexual behavior, illegal drugs, alcohol use, and violence which puts at risk the opportunity for a successful future. In the spirit of true friendship, the programs provide positive peer groups for adolescents and create an environment which raises aspirations and promotes achievement and future employment.

Five Basic BFF Goals:

  1. To develop critical thinking skills in adolescents to enable them to progress from the concrete to the operational stage of reasoning in which they can anticipate consequences and make sound decisions.
  2. To develop a sense of self-respect and self-worth through achievement within the community and through their own self-control;
  3. To enrich the lives of adolescents by promoting their aspirations and providing decision-making skills;
  4. To incorporate the school, families, role models and teacher mentors into the adolescent support system; and
  5. To provide positive peer groups for 10-18 year old youth in which they are valued members and in which they have a sense of connection to their school and to each other.

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Daughters in Danger

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Respected family advocate Elayne Bennett brings hope and encouragement to families and shows the way to protect our daughters and sons from potential threats. It implores us all to pay attention – and to act.

I hope you come back next year. The program is very informative as well as entertaining.

High School Student

The Best Friends Foundation strives to provide a nationwide network of programs that is dedicated to the physical and emotional well-being of adolescents.

Since 1987 the Best Friends model has been imple-mented in over 150 schools in Washington, DC and across the nation. Our staff takes great pride in the fact that research on the Best Friends/Best Men High School Student program has demonstrated significant reduction in risk behavior and increased positive peer relationships. However, we are alarmed at the recent resurgence in sexual activity, drug use, and relationship violence among pre-teens and teens. A recent front page article in the Washington Post stated that sexual violence is now occurring at an increased rate in the lower grades. In response to the current issue of adolescent violence and abusive behavior, the Best Friends Foundation has developed the Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention Seminar: Stop the Silence, Prevent the Violence.

The Best Friends Foundation was a recipient of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Healthy Marriage/Healthy Relationships grant for middle and high school students. An important component of the grant was the focus on teen violence and abuse in intimate relationships. We would like to expand our program to offer our HHS approved curriculum and Violence and Abuse Prevention Protocol to more students and teachers and to extend the bullying prevention program to elementary and middle schools.

It is estimated that almost 30% of the youth in the United States are involved in bullying and abuse as either a perpetrator or a target. In addition, one out of every ten high school students has been a victim of relationship violence. Adolescents involved in violence and abuse tend to get in trouble more often and have lower achievement than youth who do not experience such behavior. They are also most likely to fight, drink, use drugs, and smoke than their peers.

If you have questions regarding the Best Friends Foundation seminar and your students participation, please contact us at 202.394.4501 or Joselyn Huffstetler at h.joselyn@gmail.com or me at ebennett@bestfriendsfoundation.org for more information.

With best wishes for the best future for our youth,

Elayne Bennett
President and Founder