For over 40 years, I had the privilege of providing psychological services for children and families in North Carolina, having earned my doctorate in School Psychology from UNC- Chapel Hill in 1979. In my private practice, I typically treated kids with a wide range of problems, like attention deficits, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, depression, anxiety, and family issues. I retired in May, 2020.
My playroom was usually stocked with therapeutic board games, puppets, play dough, arts and crafts materials, stuffed animals, a sand tray, and more. In 2009, I became concerned about the many children who needed psychological help but would never receive it. I wanted to develop a tool that parents could use at home to help build their child’s social-emotional skills, which would provide a good foundation and establish positive communication within the family. Since most kids love computers and engaging games, we needed to build a digital product.
As an architect for almost 50 years, I have designed many complex building projects and worked with multi-disciplinary teams to get them engineered and built - a process that often takes several years.
The Pepi Project has been different in several ways. The illustration and design part of the project presented new challenges - many due to working in the multi-media digital world. Unlike architecture, cyberspace is an environment that is always changing; once you build something, you have to start upgrading it almost immediately!
We believe we achieved our goal of creating game-based tools for learning that were fun and rewarding for kids and their parents.
A number of people contributed talent to make the Pepi Project happen. Some spent a short period focusing on a specific goal or task, while others spent an extended period working on a broad range of tasks. We valued every contribution as well as the advice and counsel of friends and family.
Judy Williams, Laura Wyatt, PhD, Co-Principals
Dana Aderhold, Work/Life & EAP Manager
Corporate Partners Program, Keisha Demps, Partnership Developer
Technology Incubator, Ashley Hudson, Director
Mike Carnes, Technology Commercialization Counselor
Luis Morales Benitez, Marketing Intern, MBA Program, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-CH