Why We Rap

Deana Puccio, a former Assistant District Attorney from NYC, criminal lawyer, had three daughters, aged 9-15 back in 2012. Having worked as a sex crimes prosecutor, she worried that young people were not being educated on the laws defining sexual offences or consent. So, she began putting together presentations to deliver in schools. Allison Havey, a journalist, thought it had enormous educational potential and the two friends began working together. Shortly after delivering trial RAP presentations in their living rooms to their children, their friends and to parents, the Jimmy Savile story broke. School responded immediately to the project, while students expressed relief at finally discussing these sensitive issues in a straight-forward, mature manner. Young people began sharing their experiences, concerns and questions, and the rest is history!

Who We are

Deana Puccio, Co-Founder

Deana co-founded The RAP Project in 2012. She has vast experience in educating young people on the laws defining sexual assault and sexual harassment. After attending New York University, obtaining a Master’s Degree at George Washington University and her Juris Doctorate Degree from The City University of New York Law School, Deana worked as a Senior Assistant District Attorney and was on the very first Sex Crimes/Special Victims Unit in the US, which launched in Brooklyn. Deana is the co-author of Sex, Likes & Social Media: Talking to Teens in the Digital Age published by Random House/Ebury. She appears as an expert commentator on Sky News, the BBC and is often invited to speak at educational conferences, to corporate clients and festivals. She lives in North London with her husband and three daughters.

Allison Havey, Co-Founder

Allison is a London-based author and Co-Founder of The RAP Project, an organisation delivering presentations on Relationship and Sex Education in over 260 schools through the UK and abroad, since 2012. She is also the CEO of The RAP Foundation, a charity she co-founded, delivering RAPS to state schools free of charge. She grew up in New York City and attended Sarah Lawrence College where she studied Russian, French and European History. Prior to RAP, she worked in Paris, Moscow and travelled extensively as television and print journalist for 25 years for NBC, Associated Press and ABC News. Since becoming an educator. Allison is a speaker at conferences, festivals, & the co-author of ‘Sex, Likes and Social Media: Talking to Teens in the Digital Age’ published by Random House/Ebury. Allison lives in North London with her husband and has a son and a daughter.

Jessica Hawley, Director of Primary School Development & Presenter

Jessica is London-based but born and raised in Mexico City. She then pursued her degree at Colgate University In New York and studied Political Science and Philosophy. Following university, she worked as a Social Worker in New York City and delivered workshops on topics including sexual health and drug prevention before moving to Dubai and onto London with her husband. She received her MA in Education at King’s College London and then went on to gain a PGCE qualification as a Secondary School teacher in Citizenship and PSHE from the Institute of Education. She’s passionate about empowering parents to talk to their children about self- esteem and sexual health. Her motivation is based on work experience, research and most importantly, raising her three daughters.

Eshu Christianson, Presenter

Eshu is a presenter for The RAP Project and The RAP Foundation. He is a graduate of UCL where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Camden-born and bred, he has a long history as a volunteer with the homeless as well as with youth mentoring programmes. While working with The Simon Community, he provided people living on the streets with practical access to services. Recently, he earned his FA qualification to coach youth football clubs within the Islington Youth Development Program. He mentors young adults in Camden and is dedicated to helping young men, in particular address toxic masculinity, and uses communication and compassion as tools for helping youth achieve their potential.

Sophia Georgiou, Social Media Producer & Presenter

Born and raised in London, she studied English and Spanish at the University of Leeds, focussing on social injustice and women’s rights issues throughout many aspects of her studies. Sophia spent a year studying languages at the University of Valencia and then went on to complete her MA in Applied Translation Studies back in Leeds.

She’s extremely passionate about empowering young people and making sure they have the correct and comprehensive knowledge to make sensible and informed decisions as they grow and move on into life during and after school and university. Having experience as a young woman growing up in the digital era, she wants to use her knowledge to help educate as many young people as possible.

Cathy Walker, Presenter & Educational Consultant

Cathy studied her undergraduate degree in French and Spanish at the University of Sheffield, and gained a PGCE from the Institute of Education, University of London. She has over 20 years of experience in education, including as a teacher and Head of House at Highgate School, London and as Assistant Headteacher at Sheffield Girls’ GDST. As an Education Consultant, she continues to work closely with young people and their families to safeguard their wellbeing, develop confidence and encourage them to make informed decisions through coaching, mentoring, and running workshops. Cathy is also currently studying for her Masters in Psychology and Education, and blogs regularly about education, mental health and self-esteem. A native Glaswegian, she studied abroad as part of her degree, lived in Paris, and spent 16 years working in London. In 2016, she left North London for Sheffield, where she enjoys living near the beautiful Peak District. In her spare time, Cathy enjoys running, cycling, yoga, reading, cooking, and dancing. As a mum to two daughters, she is a proud feminist and wants her children to grow up understanding that they should not be disadvantaged by their gender. Cathy is keen to spread her message to young people, their parents and carers that resilience, kindness, trust and open communication can help us all to navigate, adapt to and make a positive difference in a constantly changing world.

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