ME2U is a premium messaging service that will help groups communicate safely and effectively with teens and their families. We provide invested adult leaders the ability to text and email their adolescent group members while keeping parents involved from the very beginning.
It is our mission to equip parents and group leaders to encourage and connect with today's youth through messaging tools founded on accountability, safety, and persistent positive input.
How We're Different
ME2U is perfect for any group leader that interacts regularly with youth. This could be a coach, a youth pastor, a club leader at a school, a mentor, or a teacher. There are thousands of opportunities for adults to reach out and invest into the lives of teens, and staying in touch with them through text messaging is a very effective medium in today's world. Unfortunately, things can go very, very wrong, and often no one knows about it until it's too late. Do a simple news search on "inappopriate texting" and you'll quickly gain perspective as to how prevalent this problem is in all walks of life.
Our service allows leaders to place a proactive boundary between them and their group members, and we keep parents involved from the very start. Instead of trying to equip and encourage kids in isolation, group leaders are able to come alongside parents and work together for the best of the kids.
History, Traction, & Why We're Raising
This project has been under development for just about a year now. We've seen first-hand the dangers encountered when one thinks they can manage boundaries on their own, and feel this is an opportunity to encourage and equip families and invested adults who truly do want to add to the lives of our youth. Our product is currently available in beta at www.me2u.us. The system is operational, but we are still working to bring the full system online for the public. We have developed this entire application in-house under the cover of our IT consulting business, and we are excited about the opportunity we have to "go live" in the very near future.
We're raising money on Fundable to help with three things:
1. Legal Preparation: To provide this type of service, we must stay in line with federal privacy guidelines such as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). We have already engaged legal aid and set up preliminary policies, but they will need to be solidified and our entire site will need further review as we bring everything on line.
2. Up-Front Expenses: We have built a strong foundation for our product and brought up many operational pieces of the puzzle. However, there is still much to do, and in particular, much to do that costs money up front. To officially launch this product, we must incorporate payment processing, an advertising and marketing push to raise awareness, and an additional layer of text message processing. Each of those items cost a lot of money, yet none of them offers an immediate return to cover their cost.
3. Wrap up development: We're not looking to quit our consulting business to work full-time at ME2U anytime soon. We consider this both a great idea and something that simplyneeds to be done. To launch the system for the public, we must dedicate some resources towards that push, and Fundable seems like the perfect place to do this. Not only do we allow those who will use our system to get on board early and at a discount, but we also allow others who share our vision to come alongside and support the project, it's mission, and our cause.
Why We Do It
ME2U exists not just to solve a conceptual problem, but to meet a true need. Just look at some recent stories in the media regarding inappopriate relationships fostered via text messaging:
Dallas, TX (10/14/2012): Inappropriate relationships can cause psychological harm to the students — even when sex isn't involved.
ME2U acts as a secure buffer between group leaders and their members. With our system, there is no personal exchange of cell phone numbers, and every message sent is archived and relayed to parents and group administrators as part of a weekly email digest so that they can see all communication involving their children.
When a new group is created, the leader can invite members to join via email, social media, or a bulk entry contact form. Parents then follow a link to sign their families up and elect who will receive messages from the group. Once authorized, the group leader sees only the names (no cell phone numbers or email addresses) of their group members and can send them texts or emails through the system. The messages pass through our system and are relayed to the recipient from an address completely disconnected from the group leaders private cell phone number or email address.
Parents and group leaders are sent a weekly digest of all communications sent to their families or groups. This allows them to proactively be involved in the conversation and allows group administrators to maintain a solid level of accountability and safety, all while getting the most of out of today's technology.