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Building Belonging in the Classroom
Belonging is a central message of Christ and key to addressing this mental health crisis many of our students are experiencing. Join Friendzy co-founders Joy Roberts and Julie Widman as they discuss practical tools that will equip educators and students alike in cultivating a sense of belonging, even in the midst of tension, trauma and disagreement. This session is the perfect primer to Friendzy's upcoming professional development session at NCEA 2022 called "Bouncing Back: Resilience through times of Trauma and Stress," which will take place on Wednesday, April 20 at 10:45 CDT in the Magazine Room of the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.


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Joy Roberts
Co-Founder @Friendzy
Joy Roberts is a curriculum designer, speaker, teacher and social-emotional learning advocate. She is the co-founder of Friendzy, a comprehensive social-emotional learning program for schools PreK-8th grade. In a world where loneliness, isolation and unkind words are commonplace, she is committed to equipping a generation of students on how to be really good friends. Students are showing up in the classroom without the emotional competency skills they need to succeed, but these skills can be taught. School is a petri dish where emotional intelligence skills can grow quickly and then immediately be put into practice. Joy is passionate about supporting both educators and students with the skills they need to bounce back from challenges, stand up for what they believe, form healthy relationships, and build strong school communities.
Julie Widman
Co-Founder @Friendzy
Julie is fueled by coffee and energized by music; she leads with her heart and passionately teaches, equips, and writes about the power of SEL. Julie’s heartbeat is to help others foster authentic, genuine relationships. She is the co-founder of Friendzy, a comprehensive social-emotional learning program for schools PreK-8th grade. She is certified in SEL Leadership through St. Elizabeth University and thrives when working in partnership with dioceses and schools to provide direct support in fostering a positive climate and culture on campuses through Friendzy. Julie believes that teaching the biblical pillars of friendship will provide students with tools that will benefit them for a lifetime. When we learn friendship, we learn it for life.