SAN FRANCISCO, CA—(Marketwired – July 16, 2016) – Teen social network After School has hired Jeff Collins as their new Vice President of Communications and Partnerships. After School recruited Collins from San Ramon, CA–based Chevron, where he led company efforts to develop socially responsible business policies and practices as Senior Counsel for Global Policy. Collins, a lawyer by training, honed his policy and communications skills as a U.S. Diplomat, serving in challenging posts around the world, and advising the President of the United States as a Director on the National Security Council.
After School is the largest teen social network in the U.S. with millions of users in over 80% of all American high schools. The network allows teenagers to connect and share with other students from their school.
Collins is leading efforts to form strategic partnerships to further After School's commitment to provide teens with a safe online space and offline opportunities to make a positive mark on the world. After School recently announced new partnerships with Youth Service America, ConnectSafely, Stomp Out Bullying, and others. These add to the company's successful partnerships with Crisis Text Line to give teens access to Crisis Counselors, and DoSomething.org, an organization for youth and social change.
Asked why he joined After School, Collins said the company's massive popularity among young people presented a rare opportunity to have a substantial social impact at a time of huge social challenges. “There are more young people in the world than ever before — 1.8 billion between the ages of 10 and 24. Few companies have an active audience of millions of teens as After School does. At a time of massive domestic and global shifts, young people represent an unprecedented potential for social progress.”
Asked if he had any concerns when joining the company, Collins said he knew that the app's anonymity feature would present challenges. But, he also knew it presented an opportunity to separate After School from other companies who are lumped into the “anonymous” category of social networks. “I went into the meeting with the founders with an open mind, and saw a lot of opportunities to help them overcome challenges and provide value to the company,” said Collins. “Whether working at the White House, in Iraq, or at a startup, I thrive in seeing problems and finding ways to overcome them, and look forward to doing that for After School,” continued Collins.
Collins' decision was cemented by his natural affinity with After School's cofounders Cory Levy and Michael Callahan, who shared his optimistic spirit. “It was very clear to me that Cory and Michael were not just two entrepreneurs out to make a buck. They are committed to using communications technology to help young people and better the world.” Collins said that the founders' high–minded values had had a real–world impact on teens. “Over 70,000 alone have used After School's crisis text feature to connect to real–time crisis counselors.” Collins said that as the person in charge of defining and executing the company's communications strategy, he “look[ed] forward to helping external audiences learn about Michael's and Cory's dedication to helping young people and bettering the world.”
Over the next year, Collins and the After School team will continue to build partnerships that bring help and value to their teen users. From preventing bullying to suicide prevention to assisting teens in participating in positive activities, After School is dedicated to creating positive change and improving lives. “It's been a wonderful experience and has surpassed my expectations so far. I love being at a place where I can help the company and people,” said Collins.
To find out more about After School, visit AfterSchoolApp.com.