create your own ok

About OK You:

Hello! Welcome! We are a nonprofit that supports youth in using creative wellness practices to stay connected to their OK selves.

Our projects are designed by diverse artists who all have one thing in common: using creativity to understand, express and befriend the challenging moments and emotions of life.

Whether you’re a counselor, educator, youth-supporting organization, parent or young person, we are here for you! See below for how this program can be of support to you, and feel free to reach out to us any time.

we believe:

We believe “inner OKness” comes from the acceptance and embracing of all emotions as part of the human experience and as opportunities to know and love ourselves more fully.

We believe that shifting our self-stories from “What’s wrong with me” to “What’s right with me” gives us the power to more confidently navigate the difficult emotions and moments of our lives.

We believe the arts provide an emotionally safe, accessible, and healing language for expressing difficult feelings.

We believe we can have the greatest impact as a program by supporting those who are already in trusted relationships with young people: school counselors, educators, families, culturally-specific organizations.

We believe in using this program to address disparities and lack of inclusion in arts and wellness programming, resources, and opportunity, and are committed to keeping our resources free to all. 

We believe in centering the voices and wisdom of youth in growing and shaping our program.

Over time the stories we tell ourselves create neuropathways traveled so often they become our truth. The good news: We can change our stories.

With practice, we can transform the way we see ourselves and move through the difficult emotions and moments of our lives with greater compassion, creativity and courage. This idea is at the center of our program and every project and experience we create.

This program was made for:

YOU

Kids and adults of all ages have used our projects to create a new relationship with fear and worry, and some have even shared their own projects with us (we love that). 

If you’re new, the best way to start is to jump right in. You can try our projects on your own or with friends or family. You can also gather a few friends together and start your own OK YOU club! (If you do that, reach out and we might just send you some stickers.)

Artists of all ages

How do you use your creativity to explore, express and navigate emotions? Do you have a project idea that could inspire others to create their own OK? We want to hear from you!

youth leaders

Do you want to start an OK You group for your friends or classmates? You can do it! Start by reading over our workshop guide, or just pick out a few projects to try with your group. If you have any questions, reach out to us at hello@okyou.org. We would be happy to help you get your group started, and we’d love to send you some of our stickers!

parents, guardians, care providers

Our projects can provide a safe opening for expression, conversation, and understanding. Beginning or ending the day with a worry-release ritual like Give Worry a Time Out or creative wellness practices like Journal Comics or keeping an art journal are also great ways to connect as a family while using creativity to release, share and navigate through difficult moments and emotions.

counselors & teachers

Using our projects in your small groups and classrooms is as easy as opening our projects page! If you’re facilitating a group, consider involving your students in selecting and leading projects. We’ve had students as young as 10 organize their own clubs and lead workshops for younger students.

Visit LEAD A WORKSHOP for our step-by-step workshop guide, tips for a successful workshop, and suggestions from other educators and artists. You can also use our project filtering tool to search for projects by age, art form, length, and SEL goal. All of our projects are designed to support social-emotional learning, and also meet many National Arts and National Learning  Standards. 

Not a lot of room in your lesson plan for a project? A simple worry-release ritual like Give Worry a Time Out can be a powerful way for students to name their feelings, realize they aren’t alone, and exercise their power to decide when and how much time to spend with their fears and worries. 

administrators

Would you like a customized professional development training to support your staff in gaining fluency with our resources, while also taking in a wellness experience of their own? Whether in-person or remote, our workshops are lively, hands-on, team-building experiences that provide educators with everything they need to incorporate our projects into their classroom, small-group and one-on-one work with students.

healthcare professionals

Simply sending families to our website can kick-start a creative wellness practice in the home that supports kids in developing skills for navigating difficult moments and emotions. If you’d like us to send you postcards or a flyer for your office, just reach out.

Could your worrying mind use a relaxing getaway? Our Take Your Brain on Vacation project invites you to dream up your own mental vacation spot.


Finding time to connect and create as a family is a great way to open up channels of communiation and understanding… while nurturing your creativity and inspiring lifelong wellness practices in those your love.

Involving students in the planning and leading of workshops sends a strong and true message that they have what it takes to create and guide their own wellness journey.

Our OK Kits include all of the materials needed to turn a tin into a self-care toolkit and creative wellness ritual.

How can we support you?

 We’re always happy to answer questions or help in planning or organizing the perfect experience for you or your group — just send us a note!

If you’d like occasional updates from us, and be the first to know about new projects, consider joining our mailing list.

 

How can you support us?

Thank you for asking!

Are you already using our resources? Have you adapted our projects in a way that could benefit others? Would you be willing to complete this short survey so we can learn and grow from your experiences? We’d really appreciate it!

Do you believe in this program and want to see it reach more young people? Consider becoming an Anxiety Society member. You’ll receive a cool pin, a great feeling, and invitations to special events — plus our undying gratitude.

 


  • OK You is an empowering community and practical way for children to overcome their fears through creativity and courage.

    - Kevin Ashworth, Clinical Director, NW Anxiety Institute

  • I learned that there are many ways to not worry about your worries.

    - Fear Less student

  • My students realized that by putting their fears down on paper via various forms of expression, they can wield more control over their dark thoughts and as a consequence, they become less foreboding.

    - LeAnne Cox, school counselor

  • We support OK You because we believe this program offers a fresh & powerful way for kids to manage their anxiety.

    - Christina Volgyesi, VP of Marketing, Dr. Bronner’s

  • OK You is saving my life right now. It's been a nice surprise resource at a time when I really needed it.

    - Anne Witt, speech pathologist, DaVinci Middle School, Grant High School & Providence Hospital

hello from our team!

Staff:

Kathleen Lane
Founder, Program Director, author; former Co-Founder/Director of ART 180

Ahmond Jackson
Social Media Manager/Content Producer, Music Composer

Gayle White
Operations

Board:

Marna Stalcup, Chair 
Founder of The Right Brain Initiative and former Director of Arts Education for the Regional Arts & Culture Council

Claudia Valderrama, Treasurer
Global CFO, Wieden + Kennedy

Katy Mayo-Hudson, Secretary
Educational Consultant, Co-founder & former Director of Education & PD for Turnaround Arts

Bethany Harvey
Middle School Counselor, Social Worker, LCSW Candidate and Professional Dancer

Heather Hadraba
School Counseling Program Director, Lewis & Clark Graduate School

Ivo Mussa
Senior Financial Analyst, Nike

Marisha Childs
LEAP Managing Attorney, Clackamas Women’s Services 

 

Advisory Council:

Alison Bonifay
Director of Clinic Operations & Senior Clinician, NW Anxiety Institute

Barbara Bouchard Green
Artist, art enthusiast, art accessibility specialist

Beth Haidle
Artist, Creative Director of Illustoria

Britt Bieberich
LGBTQ2SIA+ Program Manager, PPS

Chris Williams
Student Advocate, Manager,  Storyteller, Improviser, Producer, Active listener

Christian Orellana Bauer
Multidisciplinary Artist and Facilitator

Courtenay Hameister
Writer, Editor, Author

Cristianne Lane
Professional Development Director, Lee Pesky Learning Center

Gary Hirsch
Artist, Creator of Botjoy and On Your Feet

Han Oh
Marketing Consultant

Hana Layson
Head of Youth and Educator Programs, Portland Art Museum

Jennifer Gilbert
School Counselor, Fear Less Ambassador

Jim Brunberg
Founder & co-owner
Revolution Hall

Jonathan Hill
Cartoonist, Illustrator & educator

Kelsey Snook
Artist, designer and creator of shared experiences

Kim Leonard
Senior Research and Learning Officer, Oregon Community Foundation

Lisbeth Kobs
School counselor, Beverly Cleary School

Liz Gill Neilson
Co-owner/Creative Director, The Beauty Shop brand & interactive Design Agency

Lynne Schlom
Former Assistant Director—New Teacher Professional Development, PPS

Mariel Del Rincon
Visual artist, Ideal PDX

Marquita Guzman
Student Success & Health Program Administrator, PPS

Mia O’Connor-Smith
Artist, Dancer, Founder of Deep Underground, Workshop Facilitator

Phoebe Ebright
Principal, Ebright Consulting

Robyn Tenenbaum 
Principal of Rhapsody Productions, Co-creator of Live Wire Radio

Sara Guest
Communications Advisor to Multnomah County Chair, Jessica Vega Pederson

Thom Walters
Organizational Development Strategist

Yoana Molina Marcial
Director and Founder, Guerreras Latinas