Breathe for Justice

Investing in the Next Generation of Leaders with Ivy Child’s Youth Ambassador and Leadership Training Program

Introduction to Our Youth Leadership and Mindfulness Training

Welcome to Our Youth Leadership and Mindfulness Training Program at Ivy Child. Our initiative is dedicated to nurturing the potential of the next generation of leaders while addressing the critical mental health challenges facing young people today, especially those belonging to historically marginalized and minoritized communities.
Our program is built on the principle of equity and inclusivity, with a special focus on students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). We recognize the unique obstacles and systemic barriers faced by these communities and are committed to providing tailored support to help them thrive.
Through a holistic approach, our program integrates Youth Training, Certification, Leadership Programs, and Mindfulness-Based Practices. By combining leadership development with mindfulness training, we equip young individuals with the tools and skills they need to succeed in all aspects of their lives.
Our Youth Leadership Training Program goes beyond traditional leadership models to cultivate inclusive and empathetic leaders who are committed to social justice and community empowerment. Through experiential learning, mentorship, and hands-on projects, participants develop critical thinking, communication, and decision-making skills while also fostering resilience and self-awareness.

Addressing the Mental Health Crisis Among Youth

The increasing prevalence of mental health issues among adolescents, especially those from low-income and ethnically diverse backgrounds, underscores the critical need for accessible mental health services. Environmental stressors contribute to a range of negative outcomes, from poor academic performance to higher rates of juvenile arrests. Ivy Child aims to bridge the gap in mental health care access and quality for this underserved youth through mindfulness-based practices.

Youth Training and Certification: Laying the Foundation

Our Youth Training curriculum extends beyond conventional education to include critical life skills development, with the end goal of achieving Youth Certification. This program trains 100 high school youth from underserved communities annually, equipping them with mindfulness tools to improve well-being and alleviate stress. The certification signifies their dedication to personal growth and leadership.

Youth Leadership Program: Cultivating Future Leaders

Central to our mission is the Youth Leadership Program, designed to empower young leaders to apply their skills in real-world scenarios. This hands-on experience includes community service projects and policy debates, cultivating a sense of social responsibility and the courage to lead change.

Special Focus on BIPOC Students

Our initiative serves high school youth with a focus on those from often overlooked populations, including BIPOC students. We aim to equip these youths with the skills necessary to recognize the connections between healthy movement, well-being, and emotional intelligence, while understanding their roles in response to systemic oppression and trauma.

Yoga & Mindfulness Youth Teacher Training Initiative

Ivy Child International’s 200-hour yoga and mindfulness certification program, followed by a year-long apprenticeship and mentorship, specifically targets BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and youth from diverse backgrounds. This program integrates mindfulness and yoga into educational environments, preparing students to confront systems of oppression and promote individual and systemic transformation.

Program Goals and Impact

The Program Goals and Impact of our Youth Leadership and Mindfulness Training initiative at Ivy Child are multifaceted and deeply impactful. Our primary objectives revolve around empowering youth with the necessary tools and skills to navigate the complexities of life with resilience and confidence. To achieve this, we focus on several key areas:

  • Emotional Intelligence: One of our foremost goals is to enhance the emotional intelligence of our participants. By developing self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills, we aim to equip youth with the ability to recognize and manage their emotions effectively, fostering healthier interpersonal relationships and overall well-being.
  • Improved Decision-Making: We strive to cultivate critical thinking and decision-making skills among our participants. Through mindfulness practices and leadership training, youth learn to make informed and thoughtful decisions, enabling them to navigate challenges and seize opportunities with clarity and confidence.
  • Promotion of Health and Well-being: Central to our program is the promotion of physical, psychological, and emotional health among youth. Through mindfulness-based practices and Holistic Wellness initiatives, participants learn valuable techniques for managing stress, anxiety, and depression, thereby fostering a sense of balance and well-being in their lives.

The impact of our program extends far beyond the individual level, positively influencing communities as a whole. Participants report significant reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression, indicating the tangible benefits of our Training. Moreover, equipped with newfound skills and insights, many of our participants become advocates for mental health and wellness in their communities, actively sharing their knowledge and experiences with their peers.
Furthermore, our “train the trainers” model ensures the sustainability and scalability of our impact. By providing financial support and stability to our trainees, we not only empower them with employment opportunities but also cultivate a network of youth leaders who can continue to impart valuable skills and knowledge to subsequent cohorts. This multiplier effect not only amplifies the reach of our program but also fosters a sense of ownership and agency among participants, empowering them to drive positive change in their communities for years to come.

Population Served and Program Impact

Annually, 100 Youths of Color are trained and certified through our program, demonstrating an increase in social-emotional awareness and the integration of healthy habits through daily mindfulness practices. Our trainees are prepared to be conscious, caring agents of change, advancing social justice through mindful actions.


The program is designed for high school students, particularly those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and youths from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Yes, while we are based in Massachusetts, our program is inclusive and welcomes youth and participants from across the globe.

It represents a participant’s dedication to leadership, personal growth, and mastery of mindfulness skills, enhancing their academic and professional profiles.

By equipping youths with mindfulness tools and fostering social-emotional competencies, we aim to improve the accessibility and quality of mental health care for diverse youth facing mental health disparities.

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Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our youth and communities, paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future.

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