The Mind Body Awareness Project is celebrating its 17th Anniversary this year and over that time we have helped thousands of incarcerated youth and teens at risk transform harmful behavior and begin lead meaningful lives through mindfulness meditation and emotional awareness training. We are proud of the work we have done and believe deeply in its importance and success in helping youth change their lives. MBA’s services are based on the best practices in meditation, group-process modalities, and social and emotional learning models and our curriculum is relevant and empowering. We believe deeply in what we do and look forward to continuing our work in the future.
However, MBA has struggled over the last few years to find the financial resources we need to do the work we feel needs to be done and these constraints have not allowed us to best serve the youth. We felt it was prudent at this time to temporarily pull back from most of our direct services effective July 1. With this temporary suspension our hope is to continue to find ways to support youth at risk for incarceration and gang involvement by focusing our energy and resources on curriculum development and training, and simultaneously more closely examine some of our challenges, financial and others, in order to find a more sustainable and healthy path forward.
Our intention is to continue working in juvenile halls with most of our current team on a volunteer basis and with a limited schedule. We are launching an on-line training program which will support others in the field doing the same type of work. We have a successful program for training other providers with using mindfulness with youth at risk, and by taking it on-line we will reach that many more people and eventually youth. The work will continue in this way.
Micah Anderson will stay on as Program Director and run the training program. Our current Clinical Program Director, Jennie Powe Runde, will move from a staff position to being a board member and oversee work on the curriculum. I will stay on as Executive Director for the time being as we reorganize.
Although we are deeply saddened by this move, we feel confident that it is the right one for the organization and we trust we will create a solid and healthy foundation from which to grow and bring this important work to youth in the future. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.