Archive for the ‘YES’ Category

YES! students at the East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey

The YES! (Youth Empowerment Seminar) empowers students to reach their full potential by teaching them concrete tools to clear their mind, sharpen their focus, expand their comfort zone and constructively confront challenges. The program is found to be very effective and is rapidly expanding since 2008 when it was first introduced. This school year 4,000 students have already been taught across the US, including in Chicago, San Francisco and New York.

Teachers Michael Stipkala and Narciso Cruz with students

In New Jersey, the YES! program was initially taught to 25 students in East Side High School in Newark in early 2008. The program has grown and in the school year (2009-2010) YES! was offered to the entire school through the physical education department.

Teachers, Michael Stipkala and Joey Reprise with students

The YES! program complements the regular school curriculum of math, science, literature etc. by teaching children the critical skills of managing their emotions, recognizing personal strengths and nurturing a sense of connectedness. The combination of breathing, yoga, meditation techniques and interactive group processes is effective in relieving stress. The program uncovers the basic human values of friendliness, responsibility, enthusiasm, curiosity, creativity and joy that are already there in each and every child.

It is a holistic approach to education. It brings in the social and emotional learning that enhances the regular curriculum. The calmness brought by the techniques helps students concentrate better on their studies. They feel more confident, take more initiative, smile more and get along better with their parents and peers.

Students doing yoga

It promotes inner harmony and they are more in tune with themselves, as well as outer harmony so they are more at ease in relationships. The awareness brought by the program empowers them to go outside their comfort zone and really achieve their innate potential while being the happy children they are meant to be.

Here are some recent photos from the YES! program at East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey. Thank you to David Rapoport for the photos!

YES! students at the East Side High School

The program is expanding rapidly. We invite your participation. Learn more at our fund-raising dinner and holiday party.

Check out
Youth Empowerment Seminar for Schools website

Donate on-line to YES for Schools Program (to direct funds to New Jersey schools, write “New Jersey” in the memo field)


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