I had the privilege of attending one of the classes in the Institution. It was amazing to see the demeanor of the girls before and after a teaching session with an AYP instructor. Pre-class, the girls were reserved, shoulders raised high from stress or tension. Their energy was low. The AYP instructors did a fantastic job of helping the girls to open up, share feelings and journal. I was able to share a wondeful yoga session with the girls. They left the meeting room more upbeat, connected and less stressed. AYP is an amazing organization with wonderful people. This organization is really making a difference.
I have been on the Board of Directors since 2012, and I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to work with such an incredible organization. I am humbled by the level of devotion, drive and passion of both the instructors and the students. This organization provides the girls with a life line and a chance at a healthy life. As a criminal defense attorney, I have seen first hand how juveniles get lost in the system and are returned to dysfunctional living environments and continue on the path of criminality and exploitation. AYP is changing the script of many lives, and is providing a path to a life of better choices, safety and personal strength. AYP is making a difference, and I am grateful to give my time to this project.
This is an amazing organization that supports incarcerated juvenile girls to become stronger and better.
This non-profit works directly with at-risk, exploited teen girls who are incarcerated. The work is hands-on, teaching these girls life skills that will help them overcome the cycle of crime and violence that they are in. I am so proud to support this organization.
I have been serving on The Art of Yoga board for a number of years and prior to my board position I worked as a site director for the Santa Clara facility. I first hand was able to watch lives change of these girls in the juvenile detention centers as a direct result of the program. The yoga, art and writing this population is able to experience brings amazing transformation to their lives. The staff and women involved are extremely dedicated and passionate about their work. I cannot say enough good about this amazing organization.
I've been serving on this board for more than 4 years, and what the passionate staff and volunteers at AYP accomplish: accepting these marginalized teen girls, and then showing them how to improve their lives, from San Francisco to San Jose is extraordinary. It's not easy working in the juvenile justice system--and that's what The Art of Yoga Project does--it helps girls take personal responsibility and gives them a different perspective and a better way to be for themselves, their families, and in their communities. The Art of Yoga Project is literally about saving lives, girl by girl.
This organization serves a high-risk, high-need group in a way virtually no other group does -- gender-responsive, small group attention to their most personal needs. AYP sows the seeds for lifetime changes in girls whose lives have started off on the wrong track. California and the country need more organizations like AYP.
I fell in love with the organization from the moment I watched the founder, Mary Lynn Fitton, teach a class in the San Mateo County juvenile detention facility for girls many years ago. I have had the pleasure of watching the organization grow from a tiny volunteer-dependent series of classes to a well-formed, stable organization that still provides outstanding service to local girls in need, but also is taking concrete steps to document its impact in order to broaden the impact of the program across the state, country, and even internationally. I consider it a privilege to serve on the board of this inspiring organization.
I fell in love with this organization 7 years ago when I agreed to join the board and have never looked back! It has all the important elements that make an organization effective; an important problem in the community, an effective approach to address the problem, excellent people with a huge heart and commitment to the organization and a lean/effectively run fund raising and administration function. I hope to continue to provide my personal time and financial support for many years to come. Hope you will consider this too!
In January of 2009 I had the incredible privilege of meeting a couple of teenage girls from the bay area program. They attended a benefit class that I taught in Berkeley. Though they were doing yoga amidst a sea of adults, they participated with full enthusiasm and wholeheartedness. What a gift the Art of Yoga Project has been in the lives of these and so many other young women. Recently, I learned that one of the girls I met had been accepted to a University and was moving forward with her life in a positive way. A miracle of love!
I am so grateful to be working with this amazing team! We are an organization of women helping teen girls right here in our own communities – Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties. I am honored to represent their voices and ask for your help.
These are children. 12-17 years old. The average age is 15. They are incarcerated and yes, they have made poor choices, but the truth is that they are caught in a cycle of victimization. The Center for Gender and Justice reports nationally 70-90% of girls in the system have been sexually abused. What typically happens is a girl is abused at home, she then runs away and on the streets is further victimized with ‘crimes of survival’, involving drugs, gangs, or even prostitution.
So while our mission speaks specifically to developing girls’ accountability, we absolutely need a therapeutic approach. This is called “trauma-informed,” meaning interacting with her in a way that is not harming, but healing and transformative.