Niroga Selected as a Champion of Children's Wellbeing

Earlier this year, our Education Program Director, Coleen Armstrong-Yamamura submitted a proposal to the Children’s Wellbeing Initiative, organized by Ashoka and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Initiative asked the question, “How do we ensure every child in the United States grows up with a strong sense of self, belonging, and purpose?”.

300 leaders submitted their ideas and vision for securing the wellbeing of our young people. In August we found out we made it to the second round, a group of 122 Pioneers of Children’s Wellbeing. Last week we found out that we were selected as one of 10 Champions of Children’s Wellbeing! We are honored and excited to be counted in excellent company with these other organizations.

Stress Resilience for Self-Aware Kids: Tools for Emotional Regulation and Healthy Relationships

Coleen’s proposal focused on building stress-resilience for self-aware kids.

“As an educator, I have lost many capable, hard-working students to the stress and trauma of their environment. When your stress response is in overdrive--as it is for victims of chronic stress and trauma--it has dire consequences to your physical health and your ability to regulate emotion, focus your attention, and show empathy to others.

Many of our students that are labeled as having "behavior problems" and excluded from the school environment through suspension and expulsion are suffering from chronic stress and trauma. The current consequence and behavior intervention structures within schools do not address this critical and fundamental trigger of many student behaviors that are maladaptive for the academic environment. The consequence is that thousands of children with limitless potential are being pushed into the school to prison pipeline every year instead of being given the tools and opportunities to heal from these symptoms of trauma and chronic stress.

Neuroscience has found that the areas of the brain that are negatively affected by trauma and chronic stress are the same areas of the brain that are healed by a Mindfulness practices. Trauma research has found that movement is essential when dealing with trauma as we carry our issues in our tissues. Dynamic Mindfulness is an evidence-based movement practice that can support this generation of students to achieve their goals and fulfill their potential regardless of their zip code or background circumstances.”

You can view the complete proposal here.

What does this recognition this mean for Niroga?

Ashoka and the Robert Wood Johnson will be supporting Niroga with the opportunity to refine our vision, tell our story, and connect with and learn from changemakers around the country who are transforming the ways that kids grow up. They will provide mentorship, visibility at a Children’s Wellbeing network event, and some financial contributions to our programs.

This initiative will not only support our mission of bringing the transformative practice of Dynamic Mindfulness to the young people who need it most, but it will also help Niroga tell our story and increase our visibility.

We are deeply grateful to be welcomed into this community of leaders and changemakers. Stay tuned for more to come!