Mindfullness at Educate Tomorrow
The P3, Finding Your Power Purpose and Presence summer executive internship 2017, began with the same zeal and enthusiasm as previous years. This was particularly special because, this transformative work was being introduced to a fourth cohort of young women. Over the years observing the interns’ growth, (albeit incremental) as a result of their executive development training - is encouraging. Most of the young women recognize, embracing and applying mindfulness tools, is a lifelong practice–that works if you work it.
This summary reflects the experience of the 20 young women that have completed the 2017 Summer Executive Internship Program. The internship follows the course outline of Finding your Power, Purpose and Presence (P3). P3 is a life skills course that focuses on strategies, that enhance an appreciation for personal well-being and an awareness of the benefits of mindfulness. Instilling how learning to be still, introspective and reflective, accesses the true source to making mindful decisions while navigating life.
The course design considers the six human needs for optimal functioning. Love & compassion, gratitude & happiness, peace, a vision for your life, a sense of control and feeling supported. It also recognizes that self-control is a major characteristic that all successful people share. All the material used promotes a heightening of these experiences. Course components focus on identifying personal strengths and assets, by sharing strategies and tools that guide participants on a journey of self- discovery.
Working with our partners at Miami Dade College, Fostering Panther Pride at Florida International University and Casa Valentina, we identified a group of potential candidates. Participation guidelines support young women who are currently in college or rising freshmen, and who have aged out of the foster care system or are experiencing homelessness.
To Be Mindful…
“One topic that stood out for me was Mindfulness. This is the practice of cultivating a focused awareness on the present moment. Basically, paying attention on purpose, being present in the moment. Ms. A asked us when we are angry, where do we feel the anger. I said, in my throat and my chest. There’s this uncomfortable feeling that happens when I’m upset. This awareness of thought, feelings and bodily sensations is mindfulness. JF
“Something that stuck with me was me learning to pay attention to the moments of anger and frustration, and knowing how to spot the indicators - so I have the option of stopping or controlling the emotion is much higher and possible.” DM
Being mindful of the words we speak to ourselves and how I deserve nothing but love from myself. Creating the “I am” list gives me a visual representation of things I need to tell myself when self-doubt shows itself. DM
“Being mindful to me is paying attention to …. well paying attention. I didn’t realize that I’m not paying attention until I Payed attention. It is a practice.” TT
Giving Thanks; I am Grateful….
“Seeing my growth over this summer internship has me in shock but I’m very proud of myself for going through with this, sticking to it and to doing the work. I am very proud of the woman I am becoming, to see my transformation happen right before me. I never felt so great and all I know is that I want to continue feeling like this and doing these amazing things in my future. Now I know I can be great and now I can show up in the world and be awesome.” VG
“This summer I learned about gratitude, I am so grateful for ET and this internship experience.”
“I really liked the fact that this internship has allowed and helped me to understand things more, understand me more. It has enabled me to realize that I am really interested in finding out more about myself and becoming one with that great achiever that is still hiding behind them excuses.” TT
How Educate Tomorrow Began in 2003
In 2003 the Emmons sisters, transplants to the Miami area with a commitment to social justice, stumbled upon a piece of barely known Florida legislation. Florida Statute 1009.25 set forth that any Floridian who grew up in foster care, had spent time without a home or was adopted out of the foster care system, had the opportunity to attend any state college, university or vocational program tuition free. Yet at this point in time, nationally branded organizations founded on disadvantaged youth advocacy were unaware of this opportunity and not actively promoting it. Community colleges did not know how to process a state tuition waiver of this nature and of the thousands of kids who enter the Florida dependency system each year, just 8 were utilizing this lifesaving advantage, despite its having been law for almost a decade.
In an effort to end the cycle of delinquency, poverty, and dependence plaguing those who grow up in foster care, the sisters quickly founded Educate Tomorrow with an ethos of Independence Through Education. Education is proven to be a leading indicator of adult success and knowing this the sisters decided that every young person who has experienced abandonment, homelessness or abuse should have a professional mentor to help them realize their potential, and that this support should be a constant. There are a multitude of noble impactful charities which help vulnerable youth in incredible ways, but almost all these services conclude for young people after their 18th birthday or high school graduation, leaving them with the rug figuratively pulled out from under them. Educate Tomorrow is unique in our belief that we are a family to all our students who have never had the benefits of a nurturing family environment. You never age out of a family and Educate Tomorrow believes in creating a Continuum of Care staying engaged with our youth through graduation, college, graduate school, employment and beyond. As our students age, accrue degrees, become young professionals and even parents themselves, our programming continues to evolves in breadth and depth with a focus on meeting our population where they are, working with community partners to provide individually tailored wraparound services for each Educate Tomorrow student.