Find Your Voice | Tell Your Story | Share Your Hope

Our SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL & PBIS Curricula are built upon a solid foundation of: 


Much like the Saturday morning cartoon Schoolhouse Rock™, UBU Project Arts Integration Social Emotional Residencies utilize performing arts skills and curricula to support and enhance the work already being done within your SEL/PBIS curriculum. The exciting difference with UBU Project Arts Integration Residencies: 

All lyrics and scripts are created by your students!

The perfect addition to any organization's Social-Emotional Curriculum | Positive Behavior & Supports Intervention | Safe & Healthy Students Programming, UBU Prevention Residencies follow the model of all UBU Project Arts Integration Curriculum (as based upon the principles of Socratic Seminar) increasing student meta-cognition of the subject matter at hand through a guided, interactive process which is,

  • Student-led
  • Project-based
  • Goal-oriented
  • Arts-infused

Likewise, with our UBU SEL/PBIS Residencies, we explore the neuro-plasticity of the human brain by creating the foundational steps of encouraging healthy, new neuro-pathways in all participants.  This process is achieved through UBU's hope-filled, creative, interactive classroom techniques, methods and materials. Every UBU prevention residency is a celebration of life based upon positive self-discovery, making healthy choices and advancing the life-narrative of all involved towards an affirming sense of wholeness and self-compassion. 

As teaching artists, we fully recognize the need to maintain a full and informed awareness of this highly delicate subject matter.  Therefore, we engage in ongoing communication with, and support from, mental health care, childhood trauma and education professionals. The facts we deal with on a daily basis are truly sobering, humbling and, inspire us to action:


Youth Suicide Statistics:

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for children ages 10-14 in Arizona alone (NPR)
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for youth nationwide ages 14-24 (CDC)
  • There are suicide statistics for children as young as 5 years old. Kindergartners are choosing to end their own lives. (CDC)

Youth Substance Abuse Statistics

  • Drug overdose deaths among teenagers rose sharply over a one-year period according to federal data. “This is a public health crisis,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. (NIDA)
  • Numerous youth report beginning their journey of substance abuse as early as 4th grade or sooner (UBU/Student interviews).
  • Between 2006-2015 there were over 36,000 drug-related deaths among adolescents and young adults in the united states (Recovery Research Institute)

Youth Bullying Statistics

  • Bullying is a form of youth violence. Almost all children will at some time experience bullying behavior as bully, victim, and/or observer of others being bullied.  "Bullying is a major public health problem.  Nearly 30% of American adolescents reported bullying experiences as the bully, the victim, or both." (CDC)
  • Bullying is widespread in the United States. In 2013, 20% of U.S. high school students reported being bullied on school property and 15% reported that they were bullied electronically within the past 12 months
    • Youths who are bullied are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment 
    • Youths who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in life  (CDC)

Our Kids Need:

Hope | Resilience | Self-Compassion | Empathy 

The mission of The UBU Project is:

To end youth suicide, addiction and bullying through arts integration. 

It may seem like a daunting task; however, The UBU Project is Doing Something About It As Champions In Partnership with Schools, Districts, Communities, Teen Centers, Juvenile Detention Facilities and other Youth-Focused Organizations 

Quite simply put: The UBU Project teaches suicide prevention, drug prevention and anti-bullying through Interactive, Performing Arts Integration (Social/Emotional Learning) focusing on our UBU Treasure Chest of:

Hope | Resilience | Self-Compassion | Empathy  

Read the words of UBU Residency Students:

  • "Hey Mr. David, thanks for telling me about this. The depression I used to have is slowly going away. I'm still trying to love myself but at least I love myself at least a little bit."
  • "I like making music and making songs. My treasure chest is in my heart."
  • "Mr. David, I understand resilience better. Thank you!"
  • "I love the UBU Project because it teaches me that I have to treat myself with love and respect and it teaches me how to write music."
  • "Mr. David, your lessons were amazing. They taught me a lot about hope, resilience, self-compassion and empathy."

Plus these powerful testimonials from UBU parents, teachers and school counselors who have experienced the life-affirming work of The UBU Project:

  • "Being  a student in David Simmons' Songwriting Class, has been a huge part of (my daughter's) finding strength and confidence within herself after her 2018 suicide attempt. I'm beyond thankful." -UBU Student's Mother 
  • "The students get to know the social emotional skills they need . . . they also have a new song writing skill that builds their self-esteem and helps them give voice to the struggles of their hearts in a hopeful, compassionate, and empathic way. I highly recommend “ The UBU Project” to other schools and students." -Elementary School Counselor
  • "Mr. Simmons provides such a wonderful example for all students. His workshops create a safe space for students to share their thoughts and feelings." - High School Prevention Coach

(Utilize Your UBU Project SEL/PBIS Residency To Create Peer-Led Support Groups & Outreach Programs Within Your School,  District, Community and other Youth-focused Organizations)

for details contact us directly:

All UBU Project Residencies are Tailored to Your Needs, Goals and Guidelines

UBU Suicide and Substance Prevention Videos

UBU Suicide Prevention: Student Reflections

UBU Suicide Prevention: Faculty | Staff | Admin Reflections

UBU Student Reflections: Suicide Prevention | Peer Mentoring

UBU Project "Lyric Video" All lyrics by UBU Project/IntelliSchools Residency Students

UBU Students perform their original song: "Celebrate Life!"

UBU Substance ABUSE Prevention: original Student songs

The True Story Inspiring UBU Prevention Residencies


Notes from UBU Project Founder and Executive Director David Simmons:

On March 31, 2009 I woke up, lied to my wife and told her everything was fine, then, through a variety of drastic modalities, attempted to take my own life.  This was not a cry for help. This was my violent, final attempt to end myself. Had I not been found and saved when I was, I would not be alive right now. After seven and a half weeks on a locked psyche ward I was discharged with the following diagnosis; Major Depressive Disorder Recurrent. It was discovered that I had been living with this mental illness for over 40 years and it had never been properly discussed, diagnosed or treated. However, my recovery has been so remarkable that when I tell this story it’s as if I’m talking about a book I once read written by someone else about a completely different person. I have learned the difference between living with mental illness, and living with managed mental illness.

Rather than continue to morn and grieve the nearly life-ending events of March 31, 2009, my late wife Marilyn quickly dubbed it: LIFE DAY. The Day I Got a 2nd Chance at Life! I have not wasted this gift...

I then began a personal campaign to shine a light in the societal darkness of mental illness and its much-needed diagnosis and treatment. To normalize the conversation. Then recently I was deeply moved by the following statistics:

  • The leading cause of death for children ages 10 - 14 in Arizona is Suicide 
    • The 3rd leading cause of death for youth ages 10 - 24 nationwide is suicide as well
  • Over a recent ten year period there were over 1,300 reported suicides in children ages 5-14. 
    • Kindergartners are committing suicide
    • I personally know a young mother whose 7 year old child attempted suicide twice. 
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide 
  • Nearly 20% of all children and adults in America are diagnosed with some form of mental illness or disorder. 
    • I recently spoke with a mother whose teen-aged son lived with suicidal depression for over two years because he was ashamed to admit it. Fortunately he found help before he ended his own life. He never gave up.

I am not a mental health care professional or therapist. I am a “wounded healer” working in partnership with mental health care and K-12 education professionals to create opportunities for these young people to be heard, not hurt. To celebrate, not destroy. To learn that it is OK to tell their story, find hope and share it with the world. 

In addition to my experience as a thriving survivor of my own suicide attempts, I am a grateful recovering alcoholic (26+ years) and also experienced my fair share of bullying as a public school student. These experiences, in addition to decades of work in classrooms and performance venues, give me a unique perspective in leading The UBU Project's #NeverGiveUp SEL residencies where students are encouraged to: "Find Your Voice. Tell Your Story. Write Your Song. Share Your Hope."

"The UBU Project's suicide prevention program is much more than a suicide prevention program. It is a celebration of life!" -High School Student

"I got things to do

I ain't even half way through

Step aside, gimme room to move

Take a ride and lose your blues

Cause I ain't done yet (I ain't done yet)

I ain't done yet (I ain't done yet)

Don't you worry, and don't you fret

Cause I ain't done yet!"

From I Ain't Done Yet, music and lyrics by David Simmons  (on the UBU Records CD: HOPE)

To hear the entire song please scroll down and click the video link

David Simmons: "I Ain't Done Yet"