Business Leader and Philanthropist Ken Langone Joins RADical Hope Board of Directors
Champions Youth Wellness, Resilience Through Innovative Programs
New York, N.Y. (February 17, 2021) – American businessman, investor and philanthropist Ken Langone has joined the Board of Directors of RADical Hope, a foundation dedicated to improving the lives and futures of young adults by strengthening connections and building resilience.
RADical Hope was established in 2018 following the tragic death of Chris Martin, a Gonzaga University junior. The Foundation develops and invests in programs that teach fundamental skills to enhance the mental, physical and emotional health of young Americans so they’re better equipped to cope with 21st-Century challenges. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. for those between the ages of 17 and 24.
“In many cases, we’re all surprised when we find out a dear friend’s child took his life, because we assumed everything was okay,” Mr. Langone said. “So what we’re trying to do is to put our human antennae out there through skill-based programming to let young people know there’s a place to go; there’s a place to open up your heart; there’s a place to open up your mind; there’s a place to reach out for help and not feel stigmatized. The cause is noble and the need is great. Let us not fail.”
Mr. Langone is a major benefactor of New York University and the NYU Langone Medical Center. Last fall, RADical Hope partnered with NYU to pilot RADical Health, a skill-based wellness program for college students to help them stay well and stay resilient. Following the pilot, RADical Hope will scale the program to other U.S. campuses with the goal of reaching one million students by the end of 2022.
“RADical Hope wouldn’t be where it is today without Ken’s generosity and commitment,” said RADical Hope Chairman and retired U.S. corporate executive Larry Bossidy, a long-time friend of Mr. Langone and the grandfather of Mr. Martin. “Ken brings knowledge, vision and energy to everything he does, and his leadership in the youth mental health arena will make a big difference. I’m so grateful for his partnership in tackling this challenge.”
RADical Hope identifies, funds and partners with exceptional youth mental health programs to help them expand into as many communities as possible. The Foundation made a multi-year investment beginning last fall to expand Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), an organization dedicated to ending discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illness, into 50 high schools in the Northeast. Its first investment was in PeaceLove, a national organization that promotes mental wellness through expressive arts.
“Our mission is to break the grip of emotional isolation that has reached epidemic proportions over the last year,” said RADical Hope CEO Liz Feld. “We need to help these young adults now and Ken’s commitment to our efforts will enable us to do that more quickly and effectively. He has supported our work from day one and having him champion this cause will be a gamechanger for millions of students across the country.”
RADical Hope is committed to addressing America’s youth mental health crisis by building resilience in young lives. The Foundation works with proven, frontline engagement programs that deliver on its core priorities: connectivity, empowerment, emotional regulation and engagement. It was established in 2018 by Pam and Phil Martin in honor of their son, Chris, who died by suicide in the Fall of 2017 during his junior year of college.