The Pursuit of Happiness Project

We are currently experiencing an epidemic of depression. 9% of children experience a major depressive episode by the age of 14 and 20% of children experience a major depressive episode before leaving school. Children who experience depression are more likely to suffer from it as adults. 

The silent epidemic of depression has been recognized as a national and global emergency and was declared a top priority by both the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

Our Solution is a volunteer driven organization dedicated to teaching life skills to children around the world.  Recent scientific evidence shows that specific life skills, such as building close relationships, regular exercise, and reducing screen time, prevent depression and maintain wellbeing throughout the lifespan. 

What Pursuit of Happiness has Achieved

Thanks to the heartfelt dedication of numerous volunteers and a web marketing grant from Google Inc., about 5 million visitors, including faculty and students from 1,500 secondary schools, 2,500 universities, and representatives of more than 200 governmental organizations from around the globe, have accessed our educational resources, including lesson plans and web pages on the science of happiness and well-being.

Over 1,000 tenth graders attending Beijing School #19 were taught a 20-week course on the psychology and philosophy of happiness. At the end of the program, student anxiety had decreased significantly and feelings of hope increased. Students overwhelmingly felt that they had gained a sense of control over their own psychological well-being and expressed confidence in their ability to become happier people. 

Pursuit of Happiness was selected to design curricula and train faculty staff for the first state-funded recovery high school, the Raymond Lesniak Recovery High School, in New Jersey. The school was founded as part of a New Jersey Congressional Task Force initiative to address increasing opiate abuse among teenagers. Training is ongoing and has been instrumental in educating youth and preventing addiction and relapse. 

What we are asking for and what we want to do:

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to design curricula and provide teacher training in secondary schools  

Our projects include:
-Depression prevention for at-risk populations of American high school students
-Teaching happiness skills at Recovery High Schools in partnership with PreventionLinks 
-A large-scale intervention aimed at depression prevention in 5 Chinese high schools
Your donation will help to change the lives of children and give them the chance to build a better future. We appreciate any amount donated and thank you for your support!

For further information

If you intend to donate, but would like more detailed information about our activities, or would like to launch a program in your school district, please call Mark at (631) [phone redacted] or write to us at

Read more about our story at

Donations (55)

  • Hung Ly
    • $88 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $30 
    • 4 yrs


Mark K. Setton
East Setauket, NY
Teaching Happiness Inc
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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