María José Soler, President, Jóvenes Fuertes


In 2021, with the support of the Fundación ReachingU, Jóvenes Fuertes implemented a training on character education and development of socio-emotional skills for principals and education leaders.

The pandemic brought about a change in the usual modality of meetings, so the activity took place in virtual training modules, and an in-person event on the closing day. 

Fifty-two  participants from 25 educational centers from across the country, including Montevideo, attended the activities.

The project covered two levels, primarily:

  1. Education updating and teacher improvement, to train educators capable of applying positive psychology both personally and in their profession
  2. Psychological intervention with the goal of promoting mental health among teachers and the educational community, while preventing occupational hazards

Here are some of the results obtained:

  • 98% of the participants reported a better psychological well-being in several dimensions, such as emotional regulation, improvement in bonds and personal growth, among others. 
  • 98% of the participants managed to design and apply strategies based on social-emotional learning; they also designed center-specific campaigns and projects for 2022.
  • Participants reported high levels of satisfaction and applicability of the training received at the personal level and at work, either teaching or in managerial tasks at schools.

The teachers appreciated and thanked the opportunity provided by Fundación ReachingU to discuss issues they felt really necessary 2 years into the pandemic, where relationships and socio-emotional issues gained a preponderant role in education.

One of the most appreciated strengths wasjointly building teaching excellence in practice”. The participants were given a chance to integrate the lessons learned consistently with the contents and syllabus shared with them. 

It became apparent that people needed to work through socio-emotional competencies, and that creating spaces for dialogue and reflection was very important to promote a healthy development and to prevent disruptive behaviors among the young.

At present, the education authorities are proposing a profound reform of education that includes, among other issues, the integration of socio-emotional competences as an important element to be incorporated into the curricular fabric.  In keeping with that, a bill has been submitted to Parliament establishing the mandatory nature of training in socio-emotional competences both among students and teachers. (*)

In that regard, the initiative presented by Fundación ReachingU has been instrumental in the promotion of programs that provide teachers with the tools required to disseminate these contents.


We share some anonymous testimonials from participants:

 “The entire course took place remotely. This modality provides an excellent opportunity to leverage advocacy of Emotional Education and Educational Psychology as part of the training for other management and teaching teams. The tools acquired allow us to analyze a whole range of situations students go through, and enable us to include emotional aspects to strengthen students and help them overcome any obstacles and thrive. It was wonderful. I do hope that this project Jóvenes Fuertes may continue its work!!!!” 

 ̈The idea is to help people analyze the situation, develop strategies, visualize possibilities for intervention and define what to do, seeing and emphasizing the positive things, to promote change. The aim is also to encourage students to search for their own possibilities, always inspiring them to achieve their short and medium term goals, and to show the stakeholders that through our actions and activities like workshops we can intervene in the present to improve things, going from the individual to the collective ̈

 “The course gave me tools I can use in my profession to work on the emotions, but most of all, it has helped me personally; it transformed the way I see education so I now see it in a more humanistic and empathic way. It enriched us all and I am sure that it will continue to impact the centers where we work”