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Center for BrainHealth’s Adolescent Reasoning Initiative Named Nonprofit Team of the Year

Center for BrainHealth

The Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, was honored this week when its Adolescent Reasoning Initiative was named Nonprofit Team of the Year at the third annual Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards. This honor reflects the team’s work in training teachers to guide middle and high school students in improving their executive function skills. For more than a decade, Jacquelyn Gamino, PhD, and her team at BrainHealth have trained teachers in cognitive science-based programming that instills reasoning, problem solving and innovation among students across the entire curriculum.


“We are grateful for this recognition of the work the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative does to ensure that students learn to use executive function that not only improves their academics, but also opens the way to a lifetime of problem solving, reasoning, and innovating. These skills will enable today’s students to be tomorrow’s movers and shakers, filling the workforce with problem solvers and creators for the future,” said Dr. Gamino.
Results That Matter “People equipped with strong executive function are better prepared to make thoughtful, informed decisions and to fuel economic growth through career readiness,” continued Dr. Gamino. “Investing in adolescent brain potential cultivates future communities of young adults with the cognitive prowess to generate workable solutions to overcome the challenges that plague our world – economic, health-related, social inequity and more.” Jonathan Smith, principal at D.W. Carter High School, is a longtime BrainHealth partner. He said, “I started working with the BrainHealth team when I was principal at T.W. Browne Middle School. In three short years, we moved from the bottom 5% of the state to the #1 spot in the Dallas ISD, and BrainHealth was an integral part of that work. Now as principal at Carter High School, we’ve also seen improvement – in many areas, double-digit gains – among students who have participated in the BrainHealth program.” Adolescent Reasoning Initiative Looks Ahead To date, the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative has trained more than 600 middle and high school teachers, who in turn have reached over 80,000 students – with results that are measurable, significant and lasting. This summer, the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative team successfully moved from an in-person model to an immersive virtual platform, engaging teachers in active, meaningful learning. Virtual classroom training modules are being finalized to enable the team to maintain their momentum this fall, in the midst of the global pandemic. The team appreciates the hundreds of teachers and thousands of students who have trusted BrainHealth to improve their brains. Just as importantly, the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative (previously called Middle School Brain Years) is grateful to the many supporters who have helped fund this important work: State of Texas, Simmons Foundation, Communities Foundation, RGK Foundation, Meadows Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Joel Robuck and Friends, and many other generous community members. CONTACT Stephanie Hoefken 972.883.3221 stephanie.hoefken@utdallas.eduABOUT CENTER FOR BRAINHEALTH Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, is a translational research institute committed to enhancing, preserving, and restoring brain health across the lifespan. Major research areas include the use of functional and structural neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neurobiology supporting cognition and emotion in health and disease. This leading-edge scientific exploration is translated quickly into practical innovations to improve how people think, work and live, empowering people of all ages to unlock their brain potential. Translational innovations build on Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Tactics (SMART™), a proprietary methodology developed and tested by BrainHealth researchers and other teams over three decades.ABOUT THE AWARDS The Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards are offered by D CEO in partnership with Communities Foundation of Texas, with the goal of honoring professionals and organizations in the nonprofit world that continue to make a positive impact on the community, often under difficult financial constraints. They also recognize corporations that support the nonprofit community, including this year both corporate and nonprofit efforts surrounding COVID-19 community response. D CEO managing editor Will Maddox added, “I used to be a public-school teacher… and I’ve got to say that having someone who wants to pour into you as a teacher and educate you is really refreshing, really important.” This year’s awards attracted more than 510 nominations and included two new categories to recognize efforts in response to COVID-19. Winners in several categories were selected from among 80 finalists.

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Jacquelyn Gamino, PhD

Director of Adolescent Reasoning Initiative Assistant Research Professor

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Adolescent Reasoning Initiative

Empower your school's educators to improve their students’ higher-order thinking skills.
Early adolescence is an optimal time to enhance reasoning, problem solving, and innovation.