“My home is really chaotic and I used to get stressed as soon as I stepped in the door. Thanks to the teachings, the minute I get home I can go into a small space I set up for myself and do the breathing. Then I can face the drama in my house in a calmer way.” — Ebony, age 16, Humanities Prep High School
Lineage Project’s unique teaching model fuses meditation, contemplative group discussion, and mindful movement, such as yoga and Tai Chi. We deliver this model to young people who are justice-involved, homeless, in school and suspended from school, or otherwise vulnerable. We also provide trainings and consultations for teachers and staff, helping to build trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and mindful organizations.
Lineage Project delivers programs to youth and staff at every point in the justice system. We work inside secure detention facilities, non-secure detention and non-secure placement sites, alternative-to-incarceration programs, and with youth on probation. We also create and manage a comprehensive arts and mindfulness after-school program at Horizon Juvenile Center (secure detention).
Research published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology shows that our program at an Alternative-to-Incarceration site helped justice-involved young men manage their anger, reduce reactivity, and cope with high levels of stress and anxiety, and therefore has the potential to reduce the likelihood of justice system re-involvement.
Read the full article: Mindfulness and Rehabilitation: Teaching Yoga and Meditation to Young Men in an Alternative to Incarceration Program
"Teaching kids about mindfulness and breathing techniques has really helped them to regulate their emotions. Oftentimes a lot of the aggression and poor decision-making are the result of poor impulse control. The Lineage instructors are very knowledgeable about our population and do an excellent job engaging the youth. Exposing kids and staff in our system helps create a safer environment and, hopefully, long lasting changes in the young people's ability to positively control their futures."
— Sandra Bryce, former Center Director, Ella McQueen Reception Center
“When I was upstate [referring her to time in a locked detention center] I didn’t have no patience. I just wanted to be out. But then when I was out, it was like I was still locked up, my mind was still locked up.”
— Youth participant, Horizon
“I think that I should listen to what my heart tells me instead of these negative thoughts that pop up.”
— Youth participant, Horizon
“I like the yoga poses. When I do the yoga poses I feel like someone who can overcome an obstacle.” — Youth participant, Ella McQueen
Lineage Project delivers programs to children and teens in a family homeless shelter. We also reach young people living in transitional housing through our work in high-needs public schools. Our program provides a safe space with caring adult role models, developing the resilience of young people facing myriad challenges such as trauma and family instability.
The Village Voice published a feature article and video about our work inside a family homeless shelter.
“It [mindfulness] makes me feel relaxed and calm and confident. It changes me." — Youth participant, Homes for the Homeless shelter
“It’s almost like I tapped into some part of my mind that I didn’t know I had. That’s what I like about yoga. That’s what yoga does for me.” — Youth participant, Homes for the Homeless shelter
Lineage Project delivers programs throughout the NYC school system, including high-needs public schools, and sites for suspended students. We strive to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline, reducing suspension and dropout rates, and course failures, by offering alternative models of behavior and consciousness for students, teachers, and staff. Our classes are offered as for-credit school courses, and in after-school programs.
Research on our work in a high-needs high school shows students developed increased self-awareness, self-knowledge, and a more compassionate response to themselves and others.
“Ever since I’ve done yoga my grades went up because I know how to sit in class and just take it all in.” — Student, Humanities Prep High School
“This class helps me look deeper inside myself especially when I meditate. I feel more relaxed and like I can get through the day in a different way.” — Student, Humanities Prep High School
“My students are often visibly stressed out at school and are very easily frustrated. They have a hard time sitting in class and concentrating on work. However, I notice that when given the time to practice yoga, they become much calmer and more able to focus for longer durations of time. They are able to feel, for a while, as the free children many of them never got to be.” — Giancinta Frisillo, Site Supervisor, DOE District 88 Alternative Learning Center for students in suspension
“As a transfer school for previously disengaged students who are now over age and under credited for high school, the social and emotional support this program provides is so important and I believe is one of the main contributing factors to the success of our students and our school.” — Principal Paul Rotondo, Cascades High School
We work in collaboration with city, state, and community-based organizations throughout the five NYC boroughs to deliver mindfulness to young people in need. We also offer professional trainings to teachers, staff, and clinicians who work with vulnerable youth. Contact us if your agency would like to integrate mindfulness and yoga into your programs.
Lineage Program Evaluation Surveys show our programs help 87% of participants become more aware of their body, 91% more aware of their thoughts, 84% feel more calm and relaxed, and 74% to discover better ways to manage stress.
“It [mindfulness] is beneficial because it relieves stress. You get a clearer mind and a better outlook on things.”
—Student, Brownsville Academy, Brooklyn
"I’ve learned how to be self-confident and to put all my effort into everything I do. I’ve learned that everyone around us can be inspiring, everyone has problems in life but we can all overcome them. Many things that I couldn’t handle, I learned to not get frustrated and to just keep moving forward. If I put my mind into my goal, I can succeed. Thank you for teaching me how to be independent and how to trust myself in everything I do and to always get up whenever I fail.”
– Jocelyn, age 11, participant at Little Sisters of the Assumption, Harlem