Quarky Animated

In this animation, you’ll learn the story behind the Quarky app and how you can get involved. Designed for young people in the greater KC metro, Quarky offers access to information and places that can be difficult to find when looking for help. Ranging from fun to serious: there are articles, people and places that can help provide solutions and raise awareness to some of life’s most challenging problems. Includes:  1000+ KC Resources around Health, Wealth & Well-being; Event listings; Service Opportunities; 500+ Helping articles; & 24/7 Crisis Text & Talk Lines Download from Google Play or the Apple App Store

If you like it, Share Quarky with your Friends.  We made it easy.  Use the “Share” button below.

If not, let us know why here. Maybe we can fix it.  -jason]]>

A Quarky Podcast

  • For young people, Quarky offers access to information and places that can be very hard to find. Ranging from fun to serious: there are articles, people and places that can help you.
  • For human and social services organizations, Quarky is a new way to reach your audience with all the amazing resources you find so hard to make accessible to young people.
  • For businesses with a mission to offer something good to our young people, Quarky gives you a platform to make your business resources more accessible.
  • Listen to the podcast. Download Quarky on Apple App Store Download Quarky on Google Play Quarky is a creation of Soul Hole Productions with inspiration and financial support from North Kansas City Hospital.

    CORNERSTONES CARES PODCAST

    Cornerstones Cares is a podcast produced by Cornerstones of Care to contribute to a healthier, more productive community.  The show is produced by staff and volunteers serving as program hosts, engineers, interview subjects, researchers and writers. From helping parents learn to be better at the most important job in their lives, to destigmatizing mental illness, we are sharing information from the breadth of our expertise on Cornerstones Cares.]]>

    Elevate YourSelf Intro

    Elevate YourSelf Stories, exercises, or experiences to build faith in yourself (or personal self-esteem).  It takes an emotionally mature person to help others. This section will help develop inner-strength and provide stamina for building yourself and your friends toward being happy, whole people. Also includes the opportunity to share what inspires you or your own creations.]]>

    Seeking Talent and Feedback

    Quarky:  Seeking Talent & Feedback Youth-centered design means 100’s of young people have already influenced the features, look/feel and content of Quarky. We want the app to remain created for and with young people and the community that surrounds them. Your responses will be taken seriously and your willingness to help us improve might make the difference in another young person’s life. The feedback form has two parts: Part 1: Quick & Dirty: For everyone and, especially, if you’ve only got a minute or single comment. Part 2: The Walk Through: Provides opportunity to comment on each section of Quarky and/or already start contributing. It’s all optional, but we will need your email to follow up or send a gift card (to those that first point out bugs) and your name, if you want a byline on content you submit.

    Start here

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    Share Quarky

    Includes:  1000+ KC Resources around Health, Wealth & Well-being; Event listings; Service Opportunities; 500+ Helping articles; & 24/7 Crisis Text & Talk Lines Download from Google Play or the Apple App Store

    If you like it, Share Quarky with your Friends.  We made it easy.  Use the “Share” button below.

    If not, let us know why here. Maybe we can fix it.  -jason]]>

    Quarky Components

    Quarky Components include

    1.  1. The Hub: a news feed of articles from deeper in the app; partner event notifications and sponsor-driven content.  Designed for continual updating and pushing content.
    1. 2. Places: dynamic and geo-located resources that users or agencies can add
    • -For Fun: hang outs, hobbies, create, play, more
    • -For Help: emergency, food, housing, health, legal, more
    • -For Service: donate, volunteer, recycle, worship
    1. 3. The Guru (a well-informed mentor/or friend)
    • *Elevate Your Info:  a glossary of useful information, terms or advice (includes what was previously the Northland’s “Teen Yellow Pages”); infinitely expandable; most useful through search
    • *Elevate Your Skills:  ~30 columns about helping techniques.  Each is a complete concept unto itself, but together form a cohesive method of recognizing, intervening, or referring problems of any intensity.  Special section on the “Red Flags for Referral” to help know when, why and how to reach out to an adult.
    • *Elevate Your Story:  Opportunities for social norming along with scenarios covering actually situations other teens have reported being in or asking for help with.  Each has a structured way of thinking through how to deal with the situation and a suggested response that lays out some of the options to the situation melding a good therapeutic and personally healthy response. Additional, this section will allow sharing of your own stories and/or advice for vetting, response and norming
    • *Elevate Your Game (Cheat Codes for Life): future focused edification and tools to navigate complex systems or issues, such as housing, post-secondary pathways, psychopharmachology, leadership development, building a healthy body image, etc…
      • -Game Plans: Life skills modules (stopping bullying, healthy eating)
      • -Get a Job:  Career pathway information on growth and sponsored industries
      • -Money Smart:  Financial planning modules for becoming more financially independent
      • -Read It:  Crowd-sourced reading list of books that matter
    • *Elevate YourSelf:  Stories, exercises, or experiences to build faith in yourself (or personal self-esteem).  It takes an emotionally mature person to help others. This section will help develop inner-strength and provide stamina for building yourself and your friends toward being happy, whole people. Also includes the opportunity to share what inspires you or your own creations.
    • *Elevate Your Spirit:  Articles, insights and an existential focus on spirituality, sacredness, how we are spiritual beings and religious involvement.  Various studies have found that 95% of American adolescents believed in God, 77% agreed that they were “spiritual beings” and roughly four-fifths indicated that they had interest in spirituality and they believed in sacredness. (*see below for more reasoning and links to research)
    1. 4. Help Now (24/7 “one-click” connections to a live person)
    • -Immediate Crisis: 911
    • -National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
    • -National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-786-2929
    • -Crisis Intervention & Counseling Nineline: 1-800-999-9999
    • -Crisis Text Line: TEXT “START” TO 741-741
    • -KC Youth Crisis Hotline (24/7): 816-741-8700 or 888-233-1639
    • -Report Bullying or Threat: Link to http://report.sprigeo.com/
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    Our Quarky Assumptions

    Our Quarky Assumptions 1.  Target population is all Youth/Young adults between 14-24 year olds (“youth” for this point forward). 2. Youth have challenges: mental health issues, bullying, homelessness, identity formation, family instability, unclear education and career pathways and poverty.  Even Johnson County, KS has 1 out of every 5 children/youth (<25) living in poverty.  Wyandotte County poverty rate is 40% of all under youth under age 18. 3.  There are significant barriers to connecting youth to resources or opportunities.

    • a. Paper/printed resource guides no longer effective.
    • b. Helping systems are inhibitively complex.
    • c. Lack of support for life planning beyond age 18.
    • d. Youth are disrespected and in many cases feared by the general public.
    • e. Main stream marketing is designed to get youth to spend money, not connect them to needed services or positive resources of all types.
    4.  There is still a significant stigma associated with having challenges in one’s life, seeking or engaging in services, especially during the identity formation years. Of youth participating in a local Creating Community Solutions discussion around mental health, stigma was the highest-rated challenge to mental health and 75% of those under 25 said bullying prevents people getting treatment; that it dehumanizes and that it can lead to suicide. 5.  Overcoming social stigma requires a resource be socially accepted, optimally even “cool”, not primarily challenge-focused, such as a suicide hotline sticker or app; neither of which you will find on many young people’s notebooks or cell phones. This means the resource needs to be useful to both those who have challenges and those that don’t. 6.  Youth have mobile devices and use mobile applications. 7.  Youth care deeply about their friends and have a natural affinity for people their own age, including reaching out to friends when facing a challenge. Most of those friends are not prepared or connected to resources that would be most useful. 8.  Positive activities, such as art and social events, outside of school provide valuable opportunities for youth to belong. These activities exist and a mobile application connecting young people to them would be useful to a very wide portion of the target population and allow for a conduit of more challenge-focused resources to both those needing them and the friends who might need to refer to them.]]>

    What are Cheat Codes?

    Cheat Codes

    1. In the gaming world: Cheat Codes use to refer just to entering in a sequence of inputs either buttons from a controller or characters from a keyboard used to change the way your games are played. Cheat Codes are created by the developer and put in the game intentionally. This idea originated from game testers to be able to easily skip levels, heal their character, gain an item, etc to effectively test the game. The term Cheat Code is now commonly used for anything to help a player with their game. Cheat Codes now can be actual codes typed in to unlock a feature of the game or hint like a location of a hidden item players want to find. Can be a strategy to perform a function in the game as well.
    2. Unfairly awesome; an act or object so redonkulous that a higher power must have programmed it into the game of life.
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    Why is it called Quarky

     What’s in a name:  “Quarky”  1. Everyone throughout the planning process has affirmed the commitment to remove stigma from the help seeking process by having an app (which should also mean its name) that could serve all youth from those already thriving that could help their friends to those struggling with mental health issues. 2. Being too specific with our name could significantly limited the scope of what is thought to be included 3. Many, many words have both positive and negative associations both formally and informally with slang connotations. Quarky has a benign to somewhat positive (and appropriate) slang meaning.  See Urban dictionary definition below. 4. Creating a word allows us to create the meaning through what’s in the app 5. At least 50% of the youth polled to focus group app names responded positively to “Quarky” (over 120 youth polled) 6. Quarky doesn’t seem gender specific and is just fun. Say it three times really fast and you’ll see. Quarky Definitions from the Urban Dictionary: Quirks:  a strange and unexpected turn of events

    1. When your emotions are a mix of depression and sadness, and giddiness and love. Ew, this is weird. I feel, like, totally depressed, but all happy and loved and giddy at the same time. I feel so quarky right now!
    2. Dorkyin an adorable Cheezy but cute at the same time.
    Girl: Felt great today! 😀 Guy: I’m sure you looked it too 😉 Girl: Awh, you’re so quarky!
    1. Words Related to quarky: Adorable; cute; happy, cheezy; depressed; dorky; giddy; sad; beautiful; dancer; entertaining; funny; legs; love; rambunctious; sensitive; soft
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    Quarky Origin Story

    Origin Story In 2013 the Homelessness Task Force of Greater Kansas City supported by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) applied for a Department of Health and Human Services grant to improve the outcomes for youth involved in the foster care system at risk for homelessness.  One of the ideas that came out of the 20+ agencies collaborating toward that grant was the need for an electronic listing of resources available to both youth themselves and the agencies that came into contact with them.  Funding for that particular grant was not awarded, but the idea of an electronic resource guide had some traction and a smaller group continued to discuss that possibility. That group consisted of representation from Soul Hole Productions, North Kansas City Hospital’s Youth Health Initiative (whose mission is to create and maintain a community partnership in order to better facilitate and coordinate youth health information and access within Clay and Platte Counties) and the Healthy Transitions Initiative of Jackson County (a coalition of 30+ youth serving agencies that had concluded that the lack of connection to resources was a significant barrier to healthier youth).  Both initiatives recommended an electronic resource guide and that the most culturally appropriate response for the target population of teens and young adults was through a mobile application. Soul Hole Productions was willing to invest their time and expertise; Jason had 25+ years’ experience working with teens and Derek, was a programmer with expertise in mobile application solutions. North Kansas City Hospital was willing to invest energy and financial resources.   Therefore, Quarky is a creation of Soul Hole Productions with inspiration and financial support from North Kansas City Hospital. It’s Quarky.  So Be Quarky and let us know what you think at info@quarkyapp.com.]]>