To promote the lifelong resilience in children and youth by strengthening the caring capacity of the adults who influence their lives


Since 1994, Acknowledge Alliance (formerly the Cleo Eulau Center) has used the power of fostering resilience to help build positive connections between teachers and students to open the doors to learning and well-being. The foundation of Acknowledge Alliance started with the belief, that when a child has a caring adult in their life who holds high expectations and believes in them, they can succeed despite adversities. Acknowledge Alliance serves K-12 schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, integrating resilience into all levels of learning by: mentoring educators, counseling at-risk youth and teaching social emotional learning lessons for the whole classroom. 

When it comes to strengthening resilience, social emotional learning and caring relationships are essential. Social emotional learning is what allows children and adults to control their behavior, understand how their personal behavior impacts others, and enables them to empathize and collaborate with others. When teachers cultivate their own social emotional skills and practice self-care, they are able to respond to challenging moments with compassion and understanding, rather than shame and punishment. For adolescents who are on verge of completely falling out of the education system, Acknowledge connects them with one of our therapist interns. Through counseling and support, youth develop the coping skills needed to overcome obstacles and strive towards graduation. More students feel connected to school because of the improved relationships with their teachers, peers and counselor. Our approach transforms the course of young peoples’ lives and empowers them to realize their fullest potential.

Due to the pressures in education today (whether peer pressures or test scores and performance), many schools are becoming a place where teachers and students alike are left feeling frustrated, alienated and lost. 

Educators face a challenging environment. They are charged with raising test scores and new Common Core performance metrics while also striving to keep classroom climates well. Students represent a broad diversity of backgrounds, experiences and learning styles - many factors outside of the classroom impact their engagement and behaviors. When a student’s social emotional well-being is not addressed, they are not able to open their minds to learning.

Teachers are the most important influence in these young peoples’ lives, next to immediate family. We acknowledge that it takes only one teacher or caring adult to change a student’s life for the better. At Acknowledge Alliance, we provide the support and resources from one to many educators, school administration and youth that result in life-changing effects that go far beyond classroom walls.

MAJOR FACTS

  • The adult-student relationship is the most powerful variable for learning and success
  • Teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years
  • However, 46% of teachers leave the profession before their fifth year
  • Burn out, poor working conditions and emotional stress consistently rank as primary reasons teachers leave the profession
  • Schools and districts nationwide spend $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements
  • Over 3 million elementary and middle students are suspended each year
  • The prevalence of mental disorders among youth in the general population is estimated to be about 22%; the prevalence rate for youth in the juvenile justice system is as high as 60%
  • Approximately 20% of teenagers will experience teen depression before they reach adulthood
  • Untreated depression can lead to academic failure, bullying, eating disorders, substance abuse and even suicide
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people 15-24
  • A positive child is one who feels valued and comes into the classroom "ready to learn"
  • The whole child approach prepares young people for long-term success beyond school

Acknowledge Alliance was founded in 1994 as The Cleo Eulau Center to help children rebound from adversity by nurturing their individual strengths and resilience.

Cleo Eulau was a distinguished clinical social worker whose celebrated career spanned decades of service in the mental health field. She was the first woman and first non-psychiatrist to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the department of psychiatry at Stanford University as well as the recipient of numerous other awards and recognitions. She also served as an inspiration, mentor and role model to countless mental health professionals.

The Cleo Eulau Center was established by a dynamic group of Cleo’s colleagues and former students to honor her lifelong commitment to support at-risk youth in achieving productive and happy lives. At the heart of the agency was to acknowledge that every child has the ability to succeed and thrive and that everyday interactions between adults and kids are central to the positive development of each child.

Today, Acknowledge Alliance strives to further Cleo’s dedication to excellence through our innovative programs and highly qualified staff and board with expertise in the fields of mental health, education and program management. We serve K-12 public and private schools in the Greater Bay Area and Silicon Valley, but our discoveries can apply to school communities nationwide.

Acknowledge Alliance is honored to continue Cleo’s legacy, and we are committed to uphold the ideals that she embodied. She will forever be the heart of the agency and the enduring inspiration for our work.