The Art Of Yoga Project

Rating: 4.97 stars   63 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Crime & Law

Location: 555 Bryant Street Palo Alto CA 94301 USA

Mission: The Art of Yoga Project's mission is to lead teen girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability to self, others and community by providing practical tools to effect behavioral change.
Results: At The Art of Yoga Project we specializes in working with incarcerated teen girls and have a long standing relationship and a proven track record with the juvenile justice systems in three Bay Area counties. The Art of Yoga Project strives toward a very specific goal of creating accountability, responsibility, self respect, self control, and ultimately, behavioral change in a very specific and under served population. The philosophy of yoga and the freedom of creative arts is delivered meaningfully to this important (and often overlooked) population of young women who are so desperately in need of support and guidance. The Art of Yoga Project website provides more information about our work including our research, mentoring and training programs, as well as stories and artwork from girls that have participated in our program. www.theartofyogaproject.org
Target demographics: At-risk teen girls (12-18) in the California juvenile justice system
Direct beneficiaries per year: 500+ girls
Geographic areas served: San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
Programs: The cornerstone of The Art of Yoga Project is its proprietary, gender-responsive Yoga and Creative Arts Curriculum, a secular course that combines health education, character development, yoga, meditation and creative arts. The program helps each girl build increased self-awareness, self-respect and self-control as well as develop competent decision-making skills and life-long wellness practices. Using the tools taught, the girls begin to identify the issues that cause them to make poor choices, manage their anger and impulses, and develop a productive outlet for their emotions and dreams. Each session begins with a rigorous, strengthening yoga practice and continues with a creative art activity. Throughout class, trained facilitators lead discussions on themes such as non-violence, tolerance, sexual ethics and integrity. People and Locations With three full-time staff and over 40 certified yoga teachers, artists and therapists, AYP currently serves over 500 girls in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is an amazing organization that supports incarcerated juvenile girls to become stronger and better.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

Tell your story here and help others understand this charity This charity provides an education of art and yoga to encarcerated girls in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the girls who we work with grow and learn how to love themselves

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I am so happy that AYP has started the aftercare program that allows the girls a safe environment after they are released from custody. I wish we had more funding to expand this integral part of the program.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the opportunity to be involved with The Art of Yoga Project for many years. I have seen first hand the work that is done and the difference the program has made in the lives of these teen girls. I feel blessed to be able to continue to support and be involved with AYP.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get the philosophy, approach, and curriculum into more organizations serving at-risk teen girls.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

The Art of Yoga Project hooked me the minute I walked into a room in a secure facility full of teen girls all wearing their AYP t-shirts -- the only article of clothing they had that didn't say "Property of the County of _____" on it. As I watched them move through the yoga practice and art projects I was amazed at the level in which they were engaged in the activities, awestruck when a staff person pointed out two girls working together and told me they had been members of opposing gangs "on the outside." This program gives the girls a voice they often didn't know they had or never felt safe using. It provides them with vital coping skills that will no doubt help them overcome the challenges they will face upon their release and completion of the program. I can't imagine a more important service to girls who are preparing to start over on a better path. In addition to serving the incarcerated teens, AYP as an organization does a great job of developing teachers and leaders to bring their talents to this program and ones like it across the country.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

interviewing participants in the program and the staff at the facility who credit the positive changes in their thoughts, attitudes, relationships, academic achievement, and progress in other forms of treatment and with what they have learned through AYP

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching it grow from a tiny mostly volunteer group to a stable, growing organization that celebrates the potential of all the women involved from participants to the executive leadership.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, passionate, hard-working, tireless, resilient.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

dramatically change the way female teens are treated in the juvenile justice system across the country so that they can break the cycle of violence and crime and move forward with productive lives instead of cycling back into the adult corrections system.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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