Youth

Every child and young person deserves equitable access to tools that support physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing. Our trauma-sensitive programs for young people combine mind-body practices like yoga and mindfulness, experiential development of core competencies of Social Emotional Learning, and collaborative learning to promote connection and community.

Through a strengths-based and resilience-building approach, we provide a space for young people to learn and practice skills that support their holistic wellbeing and their continued growth toward their highest potential.

120

Youth classes served in X counties
so far this year

90

Number of Partnered
Facilities

300

Number of Participants so
far this year

The practices we share are proven to increase:

  • Resilience
  • Focus and concentration
  • Self-awareness
  • Mental and emotional wellbeing
  • Self-esteem
  • Purpose, hope and compassion
  • Restful sleep, relaxation and energy
  • Sense of community

Our program offerings include:

  • Ongoing weekly trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness classes;
  • Flexible and adaptive curriculum-based programs focused on our four skill building Learning Modules for young people;
  • Staff development, teacher in-service, and professional trainings for people working with children and adolescents seeking to adopt trauma-sensitive practices, share yoga and mindfulness, or explore teaching models based on co-created space and collaboration and mutuality with learners.

“I like how it helped me escape a little within my day. It helps me relax and focus. The most helpful part of yoga was that it lifted up my mood.”

– Participant at a Youth Detention Center

“Yoga class helps me because it’s the one opportunity I get to leave the unit and focus on myself. It’s the only class where you allow your body to teach you and to guide you. You get a chance to leave the drama behind at the unit and allow your body to move freely without judgement. It’s a class where you get to be yourself. In yoga, you get to make your own decisions. Yoga class is a reflection of life, and you can carry what you learn in yoga outside into the real world.”

– Participant at a Youth Detention Center

Program Highlights

  • A justice program for youth found improvement in emotional awareness and regulation.
  • A program evaluation using an emoji rating for satisfaction found the students enjoyed the class and found the guided relaxation to be the most helpful.
  • An evaluation of a justice program found that there was an increase in the youth’s ability to pay attention to how they feel.
  • An evaluation of a justice program found that young people had increased confidence in trying new things, and an increase in feeling able to try again if they do not succeed at first, a key component of resilience.
  • Evaluations at a Youth Detention Center showed that 100 % of youth who gave responses to how they feel after taking the class described themselves as either calm or relaxed.

Learn more about Youth Studies

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Katy Kopnitsky

Youth Director

Colleen DeVirgiliis

Director of Training