"I do think it's just something special that's happening.
But I think it's easily matched at any other school."
- Principal John Jimno, Park Middle School
Park Middle School in Antioch, CA is experiencing powerful effects from purposefully weaving Dynamic Mindfulness into its daily schedule: students and staff feel grounded, appreciated, and better able to care for themselves and others. Students are reaching out for resources. Teachers are reporting more sustainability, personal and professional. The community as a whole feels more connected...mindful.
We envision a mindful generation for a more connected and compassionate world.
Our vision continues to unfold in communities across California, Houston, New Jersey and more. Together we are creating mindful moments in which children and youth might feel safe, free to be themselves, and valued as unique and capable individuals. These moments can shift reactions, shape a community, and build relationships that focus on people’s inherent strengths.
Thank you for your support: 87 cents of every dollar donated goes to programming. Together we are leading a movement that strengthens resiliency and empathy in our schools and communities.
Read more about how we strove to match Park Middle School's transformation in schools and communities across the country in our 2017 annual report.
Practicing mindfulness feels like nothing's going to hurt you and you're free to be yourself.
Dynamic Mindfulness feels like my happy place.
Dynamic Mindfulness clears my mind and makes it so that I can think about one thing instead of thinking about a million things at once.
Victoria believes that mindfulness helps people "calm down, breathe, and remember the dreams they want to pursue." It's a powerful practice for this natural leader who, inspired by her grandmother, is already seeking ways in which she can serve and guide others. And it's a helpful anchor in navigating middle school's turbulence.
Victoria, a seventh grader at Frick Middle School in Oakland, CA, knows all too well how busy and stressful middle school can be. She cheers, serves as a peer mentor in Frick’s restorative justice program, leads Dynamic Mindfulness during class, and is organizing and fundraising for a student trip to New York City and Washington D.C, a trip that she proposed. Dynamic Mindfulness has bolstered her ability to soothe the aches and pains that come from cheerleading and to manage the pent-up frustrations and emotions that come from living. Ultimately, she says that Dynamic Mindfulness helps her live her life to the fullest.
As a youth who describes her gifts in terms of service to others – such as her ability to hear both sides of an argument and work with people to find a compromise – Victoria inspires us. She is an impressive reminder of how encouraging role models, supportive families or communities, and empowering school programs can nourish the determined and vibrant spirit of each of our children and young adults, valuing their individual gifts and supporting them in living their lives to the fullest.
We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente for providing partial funding for our program at Frick Middle School. We have been amazed by the program in place at Frick. These students are proud, independent, compassionate, and mature. To support our youth through Dynamic Mindfulness is to support equity, resiliency, and empathy in our schools and communities.
Evaluation Report, Dynamic Mindfulness Program at Mission High School, San Francisco USD
Evaluation Report, Dynamic Mindfulness Program at Renaissance Institute, Jersey City Public Schools
Dr. Conrad Tiu, Administrator, LAUSD Los Angeles New Administrators Leadership Program, and Dynamic Mindfulness Certified Trainer:
What is inner leadership and how do we cultivate it? What can we do to sustain ourselves as leaders, knowing just how the challenges and pressures of work can affect our health and wellbeing? For Conrad Tiu, Ed.D. and long-time educator, these questions continue to influence his work and his approach to education. Mindfulness is a critical part of his answer.
Conrad began practicing meditation in high school and attributes his practice to saving his life. As a child Conrad encountered trauma at home and bullying at school. Neither place felt safe for him. But things shifted when his high school teacher and mentor, Father Perez, introduced Conrad to meditation and later, in college, when he was introduced to yoga. His resilience and confidence grew, and he began to thrive even as his family, his colleagues in education, and his former bullies felt the long-term effects of chronic stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
Transformative leadership, like mindfulness, comes from within. It’s supported by stress resilience and self-awareness practices that encourage reflection, strategizing, listening, and empathy. Conrad took our two-day Dynamic Mindfulness training to complement his approach. Then, eager to serve educators more effectively, he joined our intensive, year-long Dynamic Mindfulness Certified Trainer Program. He now promotes Dynamic Mindfulness and transformative leadership within the Los Angeles Unified School District.
From supporting educators to sustaining transformative leaders and turning around at-risk schools, Conrad has worked hard to shift perspectives and actions from what school leaders, educators, students, and communities should do to how they should be. “What is it that’s with you 24-7 and that you better take care of?” he asks, “You. Not just the body: there’s the heart and the soul.”
Thank you, Conrad, for continuing to care for hearts and souls of the people you serve.
Niroga's 3rd Annual Stress Resilience Conference
Building Stress Resilient Schools and Communities
July 26, 2017 at Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Educators, health professionals, and community members gathered at the beautiful Oakland Asian Cultural Center for a day of inquiry and inspiration. Together we learned how stress and trauma from structural inequities affect children and youth’s brain development and behavior. We grappled with implications for policy. And we celebrated Janette Hernandez, Director, Secondary Education, San Lorenzo Unified School District, for her tremendous work promoting equity and inclusion in education. The day was full: provocative in its focus on the work that remains in making our communities more equitable, inclusive, and compassionate and compelling in its illumination of the ongoing community work to achieve that vision.
Niroga's Education Excellence and Equity Award 2017 Award Recipient:
Janette Hernandez, Director, Secondary Education, San Lorenzo Unified School District
Janette dramatically changed the course of secondary educators in two districts by her personal example, by engaging organizations and ideas that support social-emotional learning and the whole child, and by her commitment to equity and inclusion in all its forms.
The picture is striking: a small group of high school students creatively and confidently work with each other to lead nearly a hundred students at the elementary school down the street in Dynamic Mindfulness. The children, giggling and lively, follow these newfound role models. The gym nearly hums with pride and joy.
The Culture Keepers at Renaissance Institute in Jersey City, New Jersey, are steadily generating a community where mindful mentoring is part of their school day. Renaissance Institute is a harbor for high schoolers who face challenges in their assigned schools. It’s a small school with a shifting student body. And after two years of energetic leadership by its Culture Keepers, it’s a school where nearly every student is both a practitioner and a leader of Dynamic Mindfulness. Students lead the younger children in nearby elementary schools and students in U-Can Academy, which shares their building. They lead substitute teachers, security guards, and custodians, and teachers. They lead family members. They lead each other. As one Culture Keeper shared, “Practicing Dynamic Mindfulness helps with a lot of emotions, and I like when I can teach other people.”
This practice is powerful and empowering for our youth. Whether they’re facing the stress of tests, college exams and applications, relationships with their peers or families, or other stresses caused by circumstances and inequities, our youth are feeling the pressure. “I think every student should do it every day,” said one student, “A lot of people don’t think that kids have stress but sometimes they have even more stress than adults.” Tools that build stress resilience while also building self-confidence and self-awareness are not only lifelines in the immediate but also anchors for a lifetime.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the youth and staff at Renaissance Institute and U-Can Academy who do the hard work every day. We are also immensely grateful for our donors’ generosity in funding this programming. It takes a community to foster a mindful generation.
Did You Know?
We've conducted several trainings in multiple counties for County Probation Offices since 2011.
It's one of many ways that we’re aiming to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline and encourage trauma-informed care for young adults in the education and juvenile justice systems.
There was a pretty tense gang related verbal altercation this morning, and using the mindfulness techniques I was able to calm down both [students] involved. We got them to separate offices, where I then had them do the breathing techniques. It REALLY worked and I was happy and amazed at how just 2 extra minutes of breathing helped them get ahold of themselves.
Probation Officer, Contra Costa County, CA
People like you power our work. Thank you for your generosity, your commitment, and your support. We work hard to ensure that 87 cents of every dollar donated goes to the communities we serve. We are especially thankful for the support of our individual donors like you and the following foundations whose generosity enabled full-scale programs to take root, grow, and bloom during 2017.
Banks Family Foundation
Guill Family Foundation
Wells Fargo Bank
We Oppose Violence Everywhere Now
Yoga Dana Foundation
A one-time gift of $20 empowers a mindful child for a year
A one-time gift of $200 sponsors a teacher, impacting 20+ children for a year
A monthly donation of $20 cultivates a team of mindful children for a year
A monthly investment of $200 enables a teacher to become a mindful leader in their school
Your $10,000 investment empowers an entire school community with the tools, resources, and hands-on support they need to implement our robust program across the school
See how your financial support contributes to our fiscal health and expenditures. Though we've grown this year – establishing regional offices in Southern California, Houston, and New York / New Jersey to support national expansion – our overhead remains the same percentage. Every dollar counts in creating more compassionate and connected communities.
Thanks to your support we served children, youth, educators, probation officers, and so many others across the nation.
- Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center and Weekend Training Academy (WETA)
- Alameda County Public Health Department
- Alta Bates Comprehensive Cancer Center (Cancer patients)
- Berkeley Unified School District
- Beyond Emancipation
- Cabrillo Unified School District
- Canyon Oaks Youth Center
- Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall and Orin Allen Ranch
- El Cerrito High School, El Cerrito
- First Five, San Pablo (Pre-natal)
- Hayward Unified School District
- Laney College
- Merritt Peralta Institute, Sutter Health, Oakland (Adult rehab and recovery)
- Next Door and Sanctuary transitional shelters, San Francisco
- Oakland Unified School District
- Park Middle School, Antioch
- San Francisco Unified School District
- San Mateo County Juvenile Hall and Camp Glenwood
- Therapeutic Day Schools in San Mateo County
- YEAH Shelter for transition-age youth
- Canoga Park High School
- City Terrace Elementary
- King-Chavez Arts Academy
- King-Chavez Preparatory School
- LAUSD Special Education Service Center - Northeast
- LAUSD Professional Learning and Leadership Development
- Linda Verde Elementary School
- New Los Angeles Charter Middle School
- New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School
- Archway Academy / Southwest Schools
- Breakthrough Houston
- CHAT (Culture of Health - Advancing Together)
- Key Middle School
- KIPP Liberation
- KIPP Truth
- Teen and Family Services
- YES Prep Northbrook
- YES Prep Southside
Jersey City, NJ
- Jersey City Public School District
- Renaissance Institute
Every child, every educator, every community matters.