Mission/ Founders

 Science of CAN. logo


The mission of Science of CAN. is to empower youth and young adults to take control of their lives through the democratization of knowledge of relevant findings in the fields of psychology and brain sciences. The structure of academia isolates new knowledge within institutions and makes little effort to translate findings for consumption by the general public. This fact is uniquely true when it comes to youth and young adults. Science can provide knowledge and tools that if communicated in a more accessible way, have the ability to empower young people to take control of their own destiny.

Science of CAN. will work towards this democratization of knowledge through the following three steps:

(1) Design a curriculum of micro-lessons, beginning with work in positive psychology and branching out to relevant findings in the broader fields of psychology and brain sciences.

(2) Partner with educators and existing youth organizations, clubs, camps, etc. in Hawaii to embed this Science of CAN. curriculum into existing programming.

(3) Iteratively refine curriculum using feedback from youth and adult community members for more generalized application to youth programs beyond Hawaii.

This mission grows out of an acknowledgement of an ongoing and evolving mental health crisis in America, that particularly effects underserved communities of color, such as indigenous residents of the Hawaiian Islands. While other organizations do important work to destigmatize mental health and improve access to clinical resources, Science of CAN. seeks to fill a more informal role in the community. By focusing on youth at the community-level, Science of CAN. takes a novel approach to mental health and its positive maintenance as a social issue rather than an individual one. Through the democratization of knowledge to the community, Science of CAN. seeks to provide tools for youth to work together to address and cope with everyday challenges as preventative rather than reactive to the development of mental health pathologies.

About the Science of CAN. Founders:

Matt Shackley

 Matt Shackley                               

Andy Bestwick

Andy and Matt are long time friends and teammates who met racing road bikes on the same cycling team. 

Matt is a doctoral student at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education (GGSE) at UC Santa Barbara. He studies science teachers and science education, specifically how teachers’ theories and beliefs about science develop and change and how those beliefs impact teachers’ practice. He works with the Community Based Literacies project coordinating an after-school place-based environmental science program for underserved youth’s. Prior to his doctoral work, Matthew worked for 5 years as a K-12 teacher in middle and high school science. He's also a badass on the bike with a huge engine! 

Andy is the founder of the Spirit of CAN. with a longtime dream to establish the Science of CAN. His CAN. is to meet the apparel brand mission -Inspire individuals to embrace their own inner Spirit of CAN. while contributing to mental wellness education through messaging and the establishment of the Science of CAN.