Stephanie Twickler Meegan ’71
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 2011
The focus of Stephanie’s work has been to promote the personal safety and resiliency of children. In the 1980s she authored two nationally-recognized programs. The award-winning Peer Proofing helps children develop assertiveness skills and respond confidently to peer pressure. The prevention principles established in Kids & Company: Together for Safety became the foundation for many prevention resources developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Stephanie provides pro bono crisis intervention for Massachusetts communities shaken by sexual abuse, abduction, or unexpected death. For example, when the most far-reaching case of child sexual abuse in state history surfaced, Stephanie was asked to participate in a public meeting run by law enforcement. When the citizenry started to become frustrated and angry, Stephanie addressed the crowd. By explaining how to reduce their children’s fears and replace them with habitual behaviors that lower risk of victimization, she helped shift the tone from hostile and panicked to calm and purposeful. She continues to support these communities in their efforts to strengthen systems for prevention and early intervention.
Over the next decade, Stephanie consulted for state departments of education and school districts across the country on strategic planning for embedding technology into 21st century teaching and learning. As associate producer for Docema LLC, Stephanie did archival research and developed all curricular materials for Damrell’s Fire, a documentary of the Great Boston Fire of 1872, the second most destructive fire in 19th century America, and Fire Chief John Damrell who led a 30 year crusade to save America’s cities from burning down. The film debuted on hundreds of PBS stations in 2006.
Currently, in collaboration with parents, educators, law enforcement and mental health professionals, Stephanie continues to offer programs for helping children strengthen social skills, prevent substance abuse, build character, manage stress, grieve loss, and constructively move through and beyond conflict. In recent years, she has worked with adults to more fully address the developmental and learning needs of boys; to intervene effectively with youth who bully or are bullied, and to empower children and teens with constructive bystander options for transforming the bullying dynamic.