Program Goals

The Inner Strength Teen Program was established to empower young people with the tools to inquire, observe, and believe that they can discover meaning, purpose, and direction in Life. We aspire to give youth direct experience of the thrill of discovering the depth of human potential, and the liberating clarity of being able to see their experience in a large and integrated context. This frees them to experience all the inherent joy of being alive.

Learning Objectives

  • Ability to find stillness, focus, and refuge from the turmoil of thoughts and emotions.
  • Ability to access calm and awareness.
  • Ability to strengthen one’s care and compassion for self and other.
  • Increased curiosity about self, experience, and world.

“I learned that the adolescent mind develops. Sometimes when my friends are angry, now I know they seem worse than they really are.” Michael, 16 year-old

  • How our physiology and brain growth explains the confusing experience of being an adolescent.
  • Why cultural shifts over the last 600 years, from the modern period into the postmodern period, explain our experience of greater freedom and self-actualization, and greater insecurity and alienation.
  • Ability to practice techniques that change the culture between oneself and ones’ peers, creating a micro-culture of change, as an example for the world.

“I have learned to find peace within every situation and to try to separate unwanted thoughts so that they don’t provoke any further events of depression.” MaeLi, 17 year-old

Cultural Effect

The goal for our flagship program Inner Strength Teen Program is to reach a significant percent of Philadelphia high school students, training these youth to work with the powerful tools of mindful contemplation techniques and the perspective of cultural development. When these tools become shared currency between classmates, siblings, neighbors, and friends, teens self-reinforce positive habits of behavior. Peer groups reinforce depth, joy, compassion, responsibility, purpose, and vision.

“The discussion groups showed me that I felt similar stresses as my peers. i am able to relate to them more freely now. thank you.” Natalia, 16 year-old

Positive Change

This changes a student’s experience of the tumultuous time as a teen. It changes the classroom climate. It changes the pressures on parents and teachers. And it creates sensitive, self-assured, and proud young adults who will be responsible stewards of our shared future.

“I have come out of this program much wiser and more open-minded.” 16 year-old