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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Mind Body Awareness Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Crime & Law, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention, Youth Development Programs, Youth Violence Prevention

Mission: Our mission is to help youth transform harmful behavior and live meaningful lives through mindfulness and emotional awareness.

Results: MBA partners with the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center and the San Mateo Youth Services Center to deliver mindfulness-based services in their juvenile hall and long-term camp facilities (Sweeney and Glenwood).MBA developed our 10-session proprietary rehabilitation curriculum designed specifically to meet the social and emotional needs of incarcerated youth with a focus on violence reduction and impulse control. Our philosophy is focused on building authentic heartfelt relationships with the youth we serve. The curriculum is based on ten weekly modules on topics including emotional literacy, empathy, interpersonal relationships, forgiveness, and transforming negative beliefs. 2015 Program Objectives: 1) Alternative Education Schools - Serve 175 unique youth in three OUSD continuation high schools and 60 youth in the Newark Unified School District during the 2015-16 school year 2) Probation – Serve 330 unique youth in the Alameda Juvenile Justice Center and 110 in the San Mateo Youth Services Center. 3) Impact - Achieve a minimum program participant self-reported reduction of 25% in perceived stress and a 25% increase in self-regulation that MBA participants have historically reported.iiiiv 4) Research - Collect and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data and share results with our partner organizations to inform ongoing program improvement.

Target demographics: at-risk youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,372

Geographic areas served: Alameda, San Mateo Counties

Programs: Our services are based upon a proprietary curriculum synthesized from best practices in counseling, meditation, group-process modalities and socio-emotional learning models.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

MBA is pioneering mindfulness-based mental health services for at-risk youth. They are a leading innovator in the field and well known in the Bay Area community. I fully support their work and dedication to the youth they serve.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MBA Project provides mindfulness, meditation, and social emotional learning to Bay Area youth that may need it most and typically wouldn't have access to this type of curriculum. The Instructors are highly skilled and are able to connect with the youth in an authentic way, making the concept of mindfulness relevant and accessible to their lives. I have seen first hand the impact of the work on these youth and am consistently moved by the connections and transformations I have witnessed.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MBA provides an invaluable service to the students at my high school. The group allows students to express themselves in a non-judgemental, safe, and supportive atmosphere. The MBA curriculum also gives students a framework for reflecting on their choices and behaviors. Students have conveyed their appreciation of the time to reflect and that someone is “really” checking in with them. In my view, the MBA program is a gift given to my students that aids them in their personal growth during a transitional time in their lives.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The MBA Project meets our youth with a warm heart and deep listening. For so many of today's youth, there is no safe space where they can share their fear, pain and joy. MBA allows the youth to feel seen and heard in ways that are healing and restorative. In my experience with the curriculum, mindfulness is presented in a manner that is comfortable and relatable.

MBA is a wonderful agency that has a lot to offer.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MBA is a beacon of light in the Bay Area non-profit community. With an approach rooted in mindfulness, they facilitate the transformation and healing of at-risk youth within the criminal justice system. It's an incredible organization to work for with wise, compassionate and committed individuals who bring a wide array of skills and approaches that serve this largely ignored population. May the light of this organization continue to thrive and shine!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had many friends over the years work for this non-profit, and they have all spoken highly of the work that they do with incarcerated youth in the Bay Area. In my opinion, this is essential work in order to rehabilitate offenders rather than simply incarcerate and punish them.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MBA Project, with over 15 years experience serving at-risk and incarcerated youth, is clearly one of the leaders in serving this population. They integrate mindfulness-based interventions along with emotional literacy techniques and have served hundreds—if not thousands—of youth from this population in the Bay Area. They deserve all the support they can get!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MBA Project is an incredible organization that brings mindfulness-based rehabilitation services to teens in Oakland who really need it. Their instructors bring years of experience and connect well with the youth. I'm continuously amazed by the impact this organization has on those who take part.

Joe_92

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just recently started volunteering with MBA and it has not only inspired me to do more but has given me hope. Sitting in a group with incarcerated youth watching them self regulate feelings / thoughts and listening to them talk about how mindfulness has helped them be less reactive to situations in the hall has been awe-inspiring.

Kim_242

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've done a little bit of volunteering with MBA Project and am so inspired by the work these guys are doing. It's incredible to see how some of these young participants have been transformed by the mentoring and mindfulness practice, whether or not they continue to meditate after the program ends. These are tools I know they will take with them for life.

SunshineBlue

Advisor

Rating: 5

MBA works with a group that really needs support, at-risk teens. MBA gives them the tools they need to turn their lives around and it's quite amazing. Just listen to the stories on their website from former students who have made big changes. It is so heartwarming and it's wonderful that they are doing such important work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mind Body Awareness project seeks to serve underprivileged youth that would not have the opportunity to learn about meditation techniques in their daily lives. In world of chaos, they teach these youth to look within themselves- something so simple, yet serves a high return. Staff and instructors are thoroughly dedicated and passionate in what they do- serving as inspiration not only to the youth they serve, but also for society as a whole.

cathysitzes

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm really impressed with what MBA is accomplishing. I've recently had the chance to volunteer and help them with video editing. The stories that I've witnessed are inspiring and you can really see what this organization has meant to the young people they've worked with. What they do is so critically important and they carry that weight with an open spirit and true enthusiasm. I have truly enjoyed volunteering for this organization!

David314

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mind Body Awareness project helps the most vulnerable youth in our community learn skills to keep from falling through the cracks and to become more able to control their lives. All the instructors and facilitators are warm and down-to-earth, deeply connected to the kids they help out. In every meeting I've attended, the question at the forefront is "How do we help these kids" rather than questions of abstract principles or ego-stroking.

Christiana G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Read the news and you'll see lots of articles about crime and street violence in Oakland. You'll see young men killed by the police and dismissed as "criminals" and "thugs." The Mind Body Awareness Project works with the young people often ignored or demonized by society, and teaches them how to use meditation to cope with their struggles. Many of them are traumatized by violence, have lost friends and family at young ages, struggle with grief and anger, lie awake at night in juvenile hall. MBA Project sees them as individuals, just as flawed and wonderful as everyone else in society. When these young people are treated with respect and empathy, they are able to see themselves and their lives in completely different ways.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MBA does inspiring work for incarcerated youth by using mindfulness techniques. MBA's stance on change is very effective in producing meaningful outcomes for the youth population. This organization provides the youth with resources and tools that they can use to transform negative emotions and behaviors into positive ones by using meditation and holistic stress reduction techniques.
Truly an inspiring group of people that work within this organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MBA is an organization that invests in, believes in, and serves youth at risk in the Bay Area. It's an organization that offers meditation and mindfulness to a group that is overlooked and ignored. So thankful that I have the privilege of contributing to this organization!

Laney R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MBA is a clear pioneer in making mindfulness relevant and accessible to marginalized youth at risk. Youth report a wide range of benefits from their participation, ranging from improved sleep quality to reduced stress and impulsivity. Facilitators are warm, emphasize human connection and deeply care about the youth served. This strength-based program supports youth to recognize their basic goodness, access their own inner wisdom and make choices that support them to live healthy and meaningful lives.

Shelby11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The MBA Project is an incredible organization made up of an outstanding team of dedicated, passionate and highly knowledgeable professionals that are truly making a difference in the lives of youth inside juvenile hall and in our community at large.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The MBA Project is bringing super valuable life skills to very deserving, but sometimes quite hard to serve young people. I applaud the work that they do and wish that there were more programs like this around the country. We might be able to turn the tide on the incarceration epidemic!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being involved with MBA has been a dream. To have the opportunity to teach inside of the facility has greatly shaped a stronger sense of mission for me. It works, the teens really want what we are bringing and are using it.