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The Trevor Project and the PwC Charitable Foundation Receive PR News Award for Innovative Collaboration

BY: Trevor News
Reach Out to Trained Counselors by Ludi Leiva

The Trevor Project strives to reach the 1.8 million LGBTQ young people who seriously consider suicide every year in the United States — it is imperative to our mission of ending suicide among LGBTQ young people. Collaborations, like the one between The Trevor Project and the PwC Charitable Foundation, make our mission possible by innovating and advancing the methods we use to reach and assist these young people. This collaboration, which was recently awarded a PR News Award for Corporate & Non-Profit Partnership, allowed The Trevor Project to transform its technology infrastructure, volunteer recruitment methods, and best-in-class data security and AI capabilities, all in an effort to better respond to LGBTQ young people in crisis. 

Since this collaborative relationship began three years ago, some major strides have been made in improving the overall quality of The Trevor Project services. The initiatives between the PwC Charitable Foundation, PWC US and their professionals who provided pro bono consulting, and The Trevor Project include the creation of a self-paced training program for volunteers — a model that increased The Trevor Project’s capacity to recruit, train, and retain more than a thousand volunteers in one year (a huge increase from the old model which only allowed them to train 120 counselors each year). 

The PWC Charitable Foundation’s support also enabled The Trevor Project to invest in its AI and Machine Learning technology team, resulting in the creation of an AI-powered, chatbot-style simulator, Riley, that allows volunteers to roleplay crisis conversations with an emotionally realistic bot. Riley launched in 2021 and won Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of the 2021 and Fast Company’s Social Good award for its 2021 Innovation by Design. And, thanks to the collective investment of grant funding and pro bono support from the PwC Charitable Foundation and PwC US, the Trevor Project was able to invest in a custom back-end crisis-response infrastructure and development of a more efficient volunteer management system, allowing for the expansion of service hours to 24/7 operations.

The importance of these advancements cannot be overstated. The Trevor Project research found that 42% of LGBTQ young people considered suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary young people (with 1 in 5 trans or non-binary young people attempting suicide in the past year). The need for comprehensive and LGBTQ-specific mental health services is great, and with the help of the PwC Charitable Foundation and PwC US, The Trevor Project continues to work toward fulfilling that need completely. All these improvements in volunteer management and technology allow Trevor to adapt quickly to the changing needs of volunteers and the young people they serve, helping save young LGBTQ lives.

The support of the PwC Charitable Foundation and PwC US has unlocked incredible potential for Trevor to mature as an innovative organization,” said Muneer Panjwani, Vice President of Institutional Partnerships at The Trevor Project. “It’s rare that nonprofits are able to explore technology solutions with the level of sophistication that Trevor has, and finding ways to apply leading technology tools to our lifesaving work has boosted our ability to scale. Our work with the PwC Charitable Foundation and PwC US continues in the pursuit of reaching as many LGBTQ young people as we can and ending LGBTQ youth suicide.” 

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat, or by texting START to 678-678.

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