About The Relationship Foundation

Our Mission

The Relationship Foundation is working to transform schools through relationship education, helping students, teachers, and communities build resilience before and in response to trauma by building positive relationships that allow them to thrive and improve behavioral, academic, and life outcomes.

About Us

The Relationship Foundation is a nonprofit focused on the essential role of positive relationships in resilience and education. TRF promotes the Trauma-Informed education movement through the lens of fostering supportive student-teacher and peer relationships. As a caring relationship with an adult builds students’ resilience to trauma, TRF is working to shift pedagogy to focus on these relationships by providing professional developments, its unique Social-Emotional Learning curriculum titled "Healthy Relationships 101," and student workshops.

A positive relationship can reduce the negative effects of childhood trauma, and a supportive, compassionate community enables children with trauma to learn and thrive, but TRF’s work does not only benefit students with trauma. Caring relationships also improve the learning environment for all students and teachers and act as a preventive resilience factor in addition to a post-factum one. Through Relationship Education and Social-Emotional Learning, The Relationship Foundation seeks to transform the way we approach education, giving students the support and lifelong skills they need to learn and achieve both academically and socially.

Our History

Executive director Michael Jascz created The Relationship Foundation after a lifetime of studying all types of relationships. His studies, especially of Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication, led him to his career as a successful relationship coach and to the realization of how much more satisfactory his life would have been had he learned these communication skills in school.

Michael's extensive knowledge of relationships and NVC gained the attention of a school administrator in December 2007. The administrator invited Michael to introduce Relationship Education and NVC to a group of high school students in Manhattan. After the presentation, a school counselor emailed the principal saying that he had not before seen a group of students transformed in 42 minutes in his 10 years at the school. Subsequently, the school invited Michael to teach Relationship Education as a component of their health education classes. As the year progressed, the staff recognized the magnitude of the student's transformation into empathetic listeners and critical thinkers.

Along with a team of educators and psychologists, Michael went on to develop a curriculum titled "Healthy Relationships 101," and TRF achieved nonprofit status in 2014. The curriculum provides students with communication skills that empower them to express confidence, leadership, and empathy in all of their relationships. Our program also addresses social issues such as abuse, bullying prevention, technology, and boundaries.

Our curriculum has reached thousands of students through workshops, assemblies, and classes. We have introduced it into schools throughout New York City and nationally, facilitating seminars and workshops for both teachers and administrators. From its roots in Relationship Education, The Relationship Foundation has expanded its purpose to encompass the essential role of positive relationships in resilience and education.