Dylan’s Wings of Change

How Dylan's Wings of Change took an in-depth look at their social media presence, focusing their concerns for students' emotional health especially during a pandemic.

Dylan’s Wings of Change (DWC) is non-profit organization founded by Ian Hockley to honor his son, Dylan, who died in the Sandy Hook shootings. One of the highlights of DWC is their Wingman program: a unique, experiential learning program that helps children with social and emotional learning, leadership development, team building, community/organizational bonding, and emotional intelligence behavioral improvement.

The Health Check

  • The following are some of the key learnings from the Health Check:
    • Competitors are distinguishing themselves by either posting mostly tips/tools/resources OR personal stories and faces. There is an opportunity to combine these.
    • Dylan’s name is a driver of social media mentions in the context of Sandy Hook. His story and who he was holds a lot of power and emotion. Posts that specifically talk about Dylan really bring back the heart of the message that children do need mental and emotional support throughout their development.
    • Big engagement is coming in spikes around milestones. It’s very possible to build an upward trend of engagement by creating a year-round strategy that syncs Dylan with everyday lives and calendars. This would apply not only to current programs in schools, studios, and businesses, but to everyday interactions and attitudes in organizations/companies. Focus on its people and faith. 

The Opportunity

79% of teens wish there was an inclusive environment or safe space for people in school to talk about mental health.

Young people need a concrete hope. Teachers need help providing it, exacerbated by COVID. DWC can message emotional stories and practical learning. It just NEEDS content amplification.

The Connection Plan

Goal: Amidst back-to-school momentum and under pandemic restrictions, DWC will motivate educators around the country to adopt and promote the Wingman program as an effective way of empowering students and fostering empathy.

Strategy Statement: Tell the Hockley’s ongoing story and intimately connect it to empathy and the Wingman program on social media, in order to motivate educators and parents to follow the organization, learn about the program online, then become a lead.

Audience: Nationwide educators, both elementary and high school, who are anxious, stressed, and concerned with child depression, the pandemic’s impact, and overall wellness, but lacking a clear solution.

The goals of DWC align perfectly with educators and parents. Both seek to curb the bullying, anxiety, and depression that is rampant among youth. This can only be achieved by empowering students to practice empathy and leadership. The Wingman program is a structured, compelling way to give any learning space that opportunity.

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