Youth Stories

For more information on the MBA Project’s Program Impact.

Michael’s Story

“I was there when my brother got shot. It messes me up and I can’t sleep. MBA has helped me be able to sleep faster. I used to just snap at people. MBA helped me with that.”

Michael participated in the MBA Project while incarcerated. He was released in fall 2014 and continues to practice meditation. He is heading to community college this fall.

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“Mindful meditation is a way to release from all the stress . . . It’s always like you can just take a break. It’s like taking a break from life. It’s like pausing. You got a remote control for life. You just hit pause and all the [stuff] that’s going on around you doesn’t matter right now; you’re just doing you. So it’s all that is there in the moment.”

“Instead of reacting I can just stop, think about it, feel me, you know, I can actually choose instead of reacting to it. It’s [mindfulness] going to help me in a lot of ways; family issues, school, stuff at the house, camp (long-term juvenile detention) right now. And like knowing there’s gonna be people you’re gonna meet in the real world, it’s gonna help me become . . .help me build my character too.”

“I took a lot out of this class. I learned a lot. I learned how to express how I feel. I learned how to just enjoy the little things in life. And also, like I’m very appreciative to you guys for bringing it out here to us. Cause like, no one really [cares] about us cause we’re locked up. So they just like put us away. So I appreciate you guys coming up here.”

“This class has helped me find inner peace. I find myself [meditating] at home and when I am about to lose my temper. It is helping me stay sane.”

“I learned that you have to deal with what’s going on. To notice and deal with what I’m struggling with. You feel struggles coming down on you, and you have to deal with it. Meditation helps me.”

“Instead of getting mad at people, I try to meditate and take deep breaths. Instead of blowing up on people, instead I think about it twice, step aside and take time to breath.”

“This class was very interesting and it taught me a lot of new techniques I can use when I’m feeling angry or different types of moods. It’s a good way to go to sleep too.”

“I benefited from it from being more chill, less angry all the time. And like, I look forward to come over here every time, it’s pretty cool over here.”

“This program really taught me how to be aware of my emotions and my feeling and be aware of alternatives to unhealthy solutions. And keep coming back, it works.”

“I felt like I could come down here every Friday you know and just get some steam off. Through the week I be going through some trials and tribulations you know, and when we come down here and we do some of the meditations and I can just chill you know and some of the meditations I use outside of the classroom. They just make me feel like I could be myself when I come down to MBA.”

For more information on the MBA Project’s Program Impact.


The Mind Body Awareness Project | | Oakland, CA
Mindfulness & Life Skills for At-Risk Youth

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