Centering Youth is currently leading a Yoga and Mindfulness class for young people in the TLC (The Learning Club) Program at the Fulton County Juvenile Court in Atlanta, Georgia. This class is a prototype class for underserved youth in which Centering Youth brings breathing, calming, focus, balance, and positive body awareness/movement a safe environment, to a class of young men and women involved with the juvenile court. At the same time the class serves as a learning lab for yoga teachers, and those training to be yoga teachers, on how to lead a trauma-informed yoga class. The class is attended by the young people involved with the juvenile court, parents, grandparents, siblings, mentors from local colleges, and court staff.
Anecdotal evidence from the young people and their parents reflects that the breathing, messaging, calming and focusing tools Centering Youth provides have led to real change in the young people, their conduct and their ability to function in a thoughtful, positive way.
Centering Youth started a weekly Yoga and Mindfulness class for the Dekalb County Juvenile Court‘s Rebound Program on October 29, 2013. The Rebound program is a wonderful, highly structured program for young men who are under the supervision of the Juvenile Court. Each participant obtains a wide variety of individual programs and services geared towards their specific situation. The Centering Youth yoga and mindfulness class provides participants with an opportunity for a once per week class focused on bringing each youth tools for calming, focusing, gaining strength and balance, and moving forward towards a personally fulfilling life.
Each time we start a new class in a new setting, we are faced with challenges, opportunities and the joy of meeting a new group of kids. As always, the kids were a little leery as they started their first Yoga and Mindfulness class, but thanks to our experience, we were able to communicate the true joy we have practicing with them, setting them at ease and allowing everyone to relax and enjoy the start of a wonderful journey into calmness, focusing and non-judgment.
Centering Youth is now leading Yoga and Mindfulness classes for young people at three Regional Youth Detention Centers in the Atlanta area. In Georgia the detention of all juveniles is handled by the state Department of Juvenile Justice, so even though we have been working with juvenile courts in the Atlanta area, we had to work with the state to make these classes happen. To our knowledge these are the first Yoga and Mindfulness classes in any adult or juvenile prison/detention facility run by the state of Georgia, and we are pleased to have this opportunity.
As Centering Youth classes have gained traction and credibility in Detention Centers and Juvenile Courts, demand has increased for our classes, as detention center and juvenile court staffs see the real difference our classes make in the lives of the young people under their supervision.
Covenant House Georgia
Centering Youth is now leading a weekly Yoga and Mindfulness class for the wonderful Covenant House Georgia, which serves homeless youths between 18 and 22. Covenant House Georgia serves “the suffering children of the street with unconditional love and absolute respect, while providing immediate needs, education & vocational skills.” We are so proud to return to this great program, where Centering Youth was first conceived in 2012.
Empowered Living Academy
The Empowered Living Academy was founded in the fall of 2014 through a partnership between Wellspring Living, the YMCA, and Randstad US. These three organizations saw the need to provide a comprehensive program to provide HOPE to struggling young ladies with backgrounds of exploitation and/or at risk of exploitation. The following is considered to make one vulnerable to exploitation: No GED/Diploma, Drug Use, Sexual Abuse, Homeless/Unstable Housing and No Income.
The Empowered Living Academy provides young women, ages 18-32, with the courage to move forward and the confidence to succeed.
Pregnant Inmates at Helms State Prison
Centering Youth, in collaboration with Motherhood Beyond Bars, is now leading a yoga class for pregnant inmates at Helms State Prison in Atlanta, as part of Motherhood Beyond Bars’ work to improve the holistic health of incarcerated pregnant women, new mothers, and their children through health education, counseling, and services. Motherhood Beyond Bars is an initiative of the Georgia Prison Ministries.
Centering Youth and Mercy Community Church have partnered together to offer weekly yoga classes on the streets. While a diverse community, the majority of Mercy members are currently experiencing homelessness. However, like all Mercy activities, anyone is welcome to participate in the classes. Being on the streets is difficult, bodies take lots of abuse when exposed to all the elements and when feed are the main source of transportation over the concrete. In a safe environment, these yoga classes are designed to help relieve the stress of living on the streets, cultivate awareness, cultivate focus, gain strength, embody flexibility, find balance, and help participants encounter both peace of mind and body. In order to cultivate compassion and a mentality of service, we offer prayer requests at the beginning of each class. Classes are followed by a shared meal, knowing that nourishing food is also important for wellness.
New American Pathways
New American Pathways is a new organization created on October 1, 2014, by the merger of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA) and Refugee Family Services (RFS). Prior to the merger, RRISA and RFS shared a deep legacy of service to the refugee community in metro Atlanta. For more than two decades, the organizations provided complementary services ranging from initial resettlement to literacy, employment, youth education and school services, and immigration and citizenship assistance. New American Pathways hosts 3 after school programs in DeKalb County schools with large refugee populations. At Jolly Elementary, New American Pathways partners with Centering Youth to offer approximately 45 students in grades K-5 from 6 different countries the opportunity to learn about different fitness activities to accompany our health and nutrition grant. The after school focus areas are literacy, enrichment and tutorial. The students love getting to learn yoga and look forward to yoga day each month!
We are honored and thrilled to announce our new weekly class at Anchor Hospital! Established in 1986, The Anchor Hospital campus of Southern Crescent Behavioral Health System is a 122-bed facility accredited by the Joint Commission that specializes in the treatment of behavioral health and addictive disease disorders for Adults and Senior Adults.