The science of neuroplasticity tells us that youth are changing their brains while working with programs like the Mind Body Awareness Project’s. Any new neuroplastic or habit change requires an environment of appropriate attention triggers to support it.
When youth leave juvenile hall programs to return home, all they have are the old triggers. It can be their intention to change their behavior, but there simply isn’t a support system in their environment to support that change. SMS text based programs for adolescents and for low socio economic status people have proven to be effective for improving health behaviors in areas of prenatal care, diabetes and STD prevention, because these provide a lifeline of positive triggers for people’s intentions to be healthy. Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory of “entertainment-education” and hundreds of related experiments support creating video content to help change and ingrain behavior[i]. Creating a services of culturally and age relevant media triggers can serve as a discrete/ private lifeline to support youth and their intentions for positive change after they leave detention.
The MBA Project is creating a financially self-sustaining mobile platform based Software as a Service digital product that juvenile justice departments would pay to implement for their clients on probation returning to the community as an additional reinforcement to ingrain behavioral change. Within 3 years, deliver a product with daily at-risk youth focused content with ongoing assistance from youth themselves.
MBA is studying the moment to moment lifestyle of reentered youth and gather their ideas of what would cause challenges and work for them. We will pay youth to test out digital products in the study and be co-designers via single interviews or in ongoing interviews and focus groups.
We are testing digital products including MBA’s incarcerated youth focused content and expand the number of digital hip hop and youth culture meditation tracks (we already have 12 tracks) and getting feedback from the youth that we serve on products aimed at mainstream students, especially the Stop Breathe Think app and the Headspace app to determine what kind of an app product this youth population would actually use.
MBA meditations and guided visualizations:
The MBA Project and the Insight Prison Project collaborated to produce two volumes of the “Elders Speak”, a collection of 21 meditation tracks and thought provoking musings to youth from folks serving life sentences in San Quentin prison. Here are a few of those tracks:
An Inquiry – What’s the Cost?
Your Best Thinking
Ameni’s Outro In-tro meditation