Join us in our online training pilot!

Using Mindfulness with At-Risk Youth Online Training

Wednesdays, September 13 – October 18, 6pm Pacific

In this 6-week online training, participants will receive a general overview of mindfulness facilitation with at-risk youth. Topics include: an intro to the basics of mindfulness (including benefits and potential risks with this particular population), how to establish a safe container in order to best facilitate openness and engagement, and how to work with resistance if it arises in the group. Through a combination of both didactic and experiential exercises, participants will come away with concrete tools to help facilitate mindfulness based interventions when working one-to-one or in a group. You can sign up here.


—Learn foundational principles important for establishing a mindfulness program with youth

—Learn concrete tools and techniques to introduce mindful self-awareness and emotional literacy to youth

—Understand specific ways to structure a group to help increase authenticity and reduce resistance

—Gain confidence when introducing embodied self-awareness to at-risk youth

Who would benefit:

—Teachers, school administrators, and youth workers

—Therapists, counselors, and clinicians

—Juvenile justice workers

Why MBA Project?

For the last seventeen years, the Mind Body Awareness Project (MBA) has delivered mindfulness-based rehabilitation programming to over 7,000 unique at-risk, incarcerated youth in the California Bay Area. MBA’s curriculum provides the most at-risk youth in the most difficult environments – probation detention facilities and youth detention camps – with concrete tools to reduce stress, impulsivity and violent behavior and increase self-esteem, self-regulation and overall well-being.

Drawing on the practices of a variety of contemplative traditions, as well as the Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction protocol developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn (an MBA Project advisor) and the Emotional Intelligence work of Dr. Daniel Goleman (an MBA Project advisor), MBA’s curriculum is a proprietary synthesis of best practices in meditation, group-process modalities, peer counseling, and social and emotional learning models. They impart the tools and competencies necessary to overcome trauma, transform negative behaviors, and make positive life changes. Register here.

Our instructor team brings decades of experience in meditative and contemplative practices, youth and social justice work, and cutting-edge research and modalities.


Vinny Ferraro was running the streets at a young age. With an incarcerated father and not much supervision he soon found himself headed there too. Vinny was introduced to the path of service in 1987 and began a journey that has taken him from MTV to San Quentin.

In 2001, he began teaching for Challenge Day, where he taught emotional intelligence and other social skills to youth. Vinny eventually become their Training Director, leading workshops for over 100,000 youth. He went on to become the Training Director for the MBA Project and is currently the Senior Trainer for Mindful Schools in Oakland.

Vinny is a meditation instructor and a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk youth. He is also one of the founding members of Dharma Punx and the Guiding Teacher of Against The Stream Meditation Society, and doesn’t like talking about himself in the 3rd person.

Jennie-Powe Runde is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and has been working with youth at risk for incarceration and their families for over 15 years. During her college years, Jennie worked with several organizations devoted to empowering and supporting at-risk youth. She made weekly visits to juvenile hall as part of McGill Students for Literacy, and facilitated workshops with an organization developed to address the disproportionate number of minority youth in the juvenile justice system.

After graduation, Jennie joined AmeriCorps to work as a mentor for teens on probation. She found that she loved working with juvenile justice impacted youth, and especially helping young people discover their inherent creativity to encourage reflection and deeper self-understanding. She has continued working with youth, their families, and the people that serve them as a clinician, administrator, workshop leader, trainer, supervisor, mentor and friend. Her passion for expressive arts, values-based work, and the importance of including all voices in a team-based approach to treatment strongly influences her work.

Micah Anderson spent several of his teen years in and out of placements due to struggles with drugs, crime, and anger. Around this time, he was introduced to 12-step fellowship, and after extensive travel overseas, began a personal meditation practice in the early 1990s.

He began working with MBA in 2011. Since then, he has taught retreats and led trainings on mindfulness, emotional literacy, and mental wellness in five countries, and leads a weekly meditation group in the Bay Area.

He is currently a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) trainee with a humanistic-existential lens, focusing on both trauma-informed approaches and mindfulness-based interventions.

Micah lives in Oakland, CA. with his wife and two children, and received his Master’s in Psychology from Sofia University in Palo Alto, CA. He is currently undergoing supervision for his MFT license. He loves to spend time with his family, drink matcha tea, and catch up on his collection of books.

Course Features:

  • Access from any PC, Mac or mobile
  • Lifetime access to training materials; study at your own pace
  • 1-hour course per week, with additional readings and practices
  • A prerequisite for our Trauma and Mindfulness online course

Pilot Program Cost: $150 until August 31, 2017. $250 after.

Get all the details and sign up here.

Time: 6 PM PST (attendees can watch a recording of the webinar at any time)

Length: 60-75 minutes per webinar

Sign up today!


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The Mind Body Awareness Project | 415.824.2048 | 465 Elwood Ave., #2, Oakland, CA 94610
Mindfulness & Life Skills for At-Risk Youth

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