Having had two "at risk" teenagers, I understand how difficult it can be to connect these young people. The key is to help them help themselves; to let them know they are not being judged, that you care about them and you believe in them. The Art of Yoga Project is perfect example of a well-thought-out plan to give these young teens the self-confidence and the tools they need to face their difficult situations head on. The wonderful yoga instructors teach them how to control their thoughts and actions which in turn leads to improved decision making. The goal is to release responsible young ladies from the juvenile facilities with this new outlook on life that will break the cycle of repeat incarcerations. AYP is an incredible organization with outstanding leaders and volunteers with one goal in mind: to help these young ladies to have happy and productive futures. I would hope this project would be a role model for other facilities!
Having advised and helped many non profit organizations focused on helping women - this one stands out. The dedication of the team, the mission of the organization and the changes they make in young lives speak for itself.
I work with troubled high school girls. I became aware of this organization through an article in Yoga Journal (Oct 2009) called Peace on the Inside. I didn't realize that 15% of the youth prison population was made up of girls! It was great to see a gender responsive program in action and learn a bit about their model.