Founder and President
Elayne Bennett developed the Best Friends program for adolescent girls in 1987 while at the Child Development Center at Georgetown University. Because of its success, teachers and principals urged her to develop a boys program. She launched the Best Men program in 2000. Mrs. Bennett is the President and Founder of the Best Friends Foundation. She is the author of the Best Friends program model and curriculum materials for elementary, middle and high school students and has taught the Foundation’s character education drug, violence and abuse prevention curriculum in 27 DC Public Schools located in Wards 1 – 8. Mrs. Bennett is a spokeswoman on issues of adolescent behavior in the current culture and presents solutions for the improvement of peer interaction and the promotion of positive character development and achievement.
Elayne Bennett has appeared on several national television shows, which showcased the Best Friends and Best Men programs. These programs have served over 5,000 students in DCPS and an additional 3,000 students nationwide. These shows include ABC Nightline, CBS The Early Show, PBS To the Contrary, Fox News Fox News the The O’Reilly Factor and The Story with Martha MacCallum, ABC World News Tonight, and NBC The Today Show. Her speeches and collected writings have contributed to the books Giving Back by Merrill J. Oster and Mike Hamel, Restoring the Teenage Soul by Margaret Meeker, M.D., Building a Healthy Society by Editor Don Eberly, Her Op-Ed “The Violence in ur Schools Must Stop” was published in LifeZette. She has given testimony on the Best Friends model of positive peer interaction in the prevention of teen pregnancy before the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight in the House of Representatives, the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.