Making a non-cash donation to support The Simple Good enables us to support the mental health of our youth through Visual Arts-Based SEL programming.

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The inspiration for The Simple Good was born from our Founder, Priya Shah’s, personal experience with art, travel and overcoming adversity.

Born without a left hand, a woman, and a person of color, Priya realized that although she never saw her characteristics as barriers, many people had set limitations on her possibilities based on them. She learned that perceptions can both create and eliminate obstacles and that each one of us has the ability to reframe our perception through understanding the simple good that lives within us. For her, it was the simple good of her being an artist – and the power it has to connect and heal one another no matter where you are in the world.

Similar to our founder’s travel experience, we aim to connect youth to a world beyond their own so that they can be inspired by examples of hope and resilience. We are dedicated to creating environments that encourage positive self-esteem, self-worth, and empathy towards others. We work to foster individual purpose and accountability to one another, and through this we decrease the global risks of violence and create peaceful environments for everyone. Read more about our founder’s story here.


The World Health Organization estimates that up to 1 billion children between the ages of 2-17 years old have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence, or neglect within the past year. Youth victimization and segregation negatively impact our youth on a global scale, and the rise of economic depression, political conflict and societal pressures worsen the conditions children face every day. The terrible conditions created by these issues have caused ⅔ of youth to be exposed to trauma in various forms, and as many as 75% of those in need of help have few or no options for intervention.

Continuous unaddressed trauma in a young person’s life can lead to a lack of hope, and perpetuate the inequality and violence found in communities around the world. Experts agree that trauma can deeply impact healthy growth and development and negatively influence the behavior of young people.

In the U.S. alone, 50% of adolescents meet the criteria for mental health disorders and 50% of students 14 years or older with mental illness drop out of school. Our global Mental Health crisis is only getting more intense, and continues to create new issues in our education systems. Studies have shown that early intervention is essential to address trauma in our world’s youth, and can empower them with tools to overcome future obstacles.


We are a 501(c)3 non-profit that delivers Visual Arts-based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs which support the mental health of youth by teaching students to find the ‘good’ first within themselves.

For over a decade we have served over 7,000 students across 16+ communities in Chicago and globally. Our trauma-informed curriculum has also proven to be successful cross-culturally in Rwanda, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Croatia. Here’s how we are making a difference:


Exploration of Positivity Around the World

Through our global photo blog, people from across the globe are sharing their ideas of the 'simple good’ in order to inspire our students via photography and storytelling. This helps students  discover a world beyond their own but also challenges them to think about their own meaning of the 'simple good’ to empower themselves and impact their communities.

A child tracing his hands with blue paint.

Creation Through the Arts

Create, create, create! We analyze what we learned about the 'simple good' around the world and have our students create art that demonstrates their representation of the 'simple good'. We use various artistic mediums to achieve this such as paint, mixed media and photography.


Public Showcase in Creative Institutions

There are some things we don’t learn by hearing – we learn through experience. Our program ends with our students presenting their art during a public showcase. The showcase is important for our students because it exposes them to art and creative career paths and broadens their perspectives about what is possible. It also allows our partners meaningful opportunities to connect with our students and support their development.


Together, we are building more peaceful, just, and connected communities. Please consider donating to expand our impact. We can’t do our critical work without your support!