A Turn-Around as Adults Turn Leadership Over to Students

The Barrio Logan district in San Diego has been affected by poverty, crime and gang violence - in 2010 the Southeast San Diego neighborhoods were featured on The History Channel's Gangland television series. Niroga has a program in two schools there, a late elementary school and a middle school. Two students from each classroom in the middle school came together to form a Mindfulness Team, with support from AJ, the Vice-Principal, and other teachers.

Lisa, the Principal, had this to say, "We have turned over the leadership [of school-wide mindfulness] to students, and right now we are seeing a real turn-around, a real uptick, in the participation because our mindfulness leaders are taking ownership of leading it. It is now a cool thing to be a mindfulness leader. They are taking pride!

And this is what AJ, the Vice-Principal, said, "With this mindfulness team, we are going to change not just our school, we are going to change the community. When we have community meetings in the school, our students are going to lead parents, teaching them how to breathe, how to be calm, how to be mindful. That way, these students can take it home and teach it to their younger siblings. If there is a snowball effect, that would be beautiful!"