The Voices Behind Wait Until 8th
Brooke Shannon lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Michael and three daughters. She has a Master's in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University and B.A. in Political Science and Communications from University of Miami. She believes all children should experience a childhood filled with outside play, long afternoons with a books and puzzles and time without the presence of a screen. After many conversations with friends about the smartphone problem, she wanted to make a change in her community and hopefully beyond. Please join her in equipping and blessing children with more years without the dangers and distractions of a smartphone.
ashley and Ben cannatti
Ashley and Ben Cannatti are parents to four very active and engaged elementary and middle school aged children. They are both involved in their church, their children’s schools, and their community. They have taken the Wait Until 8th Pledge for all four of their children.
Stephanie Strain is a wife, mother and local artist based in Austin. She was born and raised in California and received her BA in Linguistics from University of California at Santa Cruz. She is very involved in her community and serves as the Booster Club president her children’s elementary school. She encourages her two children to be independent thinkers and to love travel, the outdoors and reading.
Stephanie believes that middle school can be a tricky time for children and that those years are better spent away from the added stresses of social media and the pressures that come with having a smartphone.
Tera Ferguson lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, Douglas Rivera, and their three children. Tera has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Duke University. She has more than 14 years of professional experience in business and technology consulting and high tech marketing and product management. She is currently a part-time independent consultant, full-time mom, and active volunteer in the Austin community.
Tera and her family enjoy spending time outdoors, traveling and watching movies together. She believes the social pressures we all face in an online environment take confidence and maturity to navigate, and that delaying access to social media will help her children handle it in a responsible way.
Elaine Trull is a native of Austin, graduated from the University of Texas and is a full-time mom. She and her husband, Asa, have two children. Elaine has observed that young minds are like sponges; they are wildly curious, but lack discernment. Elaine believes our children deserve the opportunity for their minds to be filled with all the wonder this world has to offer, free from the dangers of the internet, predators and the snares technology uniquely provides. Without the distraction of a smartphone, children can foster relationships, build communication skills and grow their imagination - priceless assets for life.
Kim Levell was born and raised in Dallas and now lives in Austin with her husband Michael and two children. She has a bachelor's degree in Child and Family Studies and Psychology, a Masters in Counseling, and is a former Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas. As a former special education teacher and behavior specialist, she has seen firsthand how an overindulgence of screentime can negatively affect mood and behavior in children. As a full-time mom, Kim is actively involved in her children's schools and her family's church.
Erin Breitenbach lives in Austin, TX with her two sons. She has a PhD in Health Education from The University of Texas and works as an Associate Professor and Department Chair for a Doctorate in Health Education program (DHEd) and a Doctorate in Education (EdD) in Health Professions Education program. Erin believes that the hours a child could spend on screens could easily be replaced with time spent on meaningful relationships, experiences, activities, and skills development. She is a firm believer that childhood is the easiest time to develop the habits and skills that will last a lifetime. Erin enjoys athletics, traveling, reading, and lots of outdoor adventures with her children.
Cathy York lives in Austin with her husband Brian and their four children. She received her BBA from the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active volunteer in her children’s schools, church and community.
Cathy thinks children are maturing at a faster rate now than previous generations. She believes in growing a strong foundation of self-confidence and self-esteem in her children to help them navigate the risks of social media. She wants her children to take full advantage of their childhood and feels smartphones can impede this.
Anne Marie Hicks
Anne Marie Hicks lives in Houston with her husband Rob and their two children. Anne Marie earned her BBA in Marketing from Texas State University and loves working as a Realtor in Houston. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and encourages her children to have fun and play outside.
Since research shows children’s brains are not fully developed until around 25, Anne Marie believes children do not have the maturity or the decision-making skills to handle smartphones or social media. She and her husband have taken the Wait Until 8th Pledge for both of their children.