Description of Organization
Bodhi Academy is a subsidiary of Bodhi Youth of America. The academy offers after school homework support and teachings on mindfulness for K-12 students. Stress, peer pressure, bullying, as well as identity and self-esteem issues have been linked to the increase of mental health problems, suicide, and violence in youths. In an effort to provide solutions to counter this growing epidemic, The Integrated Mindfulness Afterschool Program (IMAP) was established.
The program implements mindfulness practice teachings from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh from Plum Village traditions, and from the academy’s core values of CARE, which stands for Compassion, Awareness, Respect, and Exploration. The Founder and Executive Director of The Bodhi Youth of America, Angela Vu, is a practitioner in the tradition of Plum Village. She is also a member of the Order of Interbeing, which promotes peace and serenity through ethical and conscientious living. The IMAP staff is trained by Angela Vu, dharma teachers, and mindfulness instructors on the practices and wisdom of mindfulness. The Academy integrates sessions of meditation, yoga, mindfulness lectures, and other mindful activities with academic support in an afterschool structure for K-8 students. These mindfulness teachings help improve students’ academic performance, cognitive development, and social-emotional skills.
In 2022, a grant in the amount of $14,000 was awarded to support Bodhi Youth of America’s two key programs. Mindfulness Summer Camp 2023 Scholarships: BYA has run integrated mindfulness summer camps for youth since 2009 called Teen Mindful Leadership Camp and Cool Kids Camp. The camp model blends dharma lessons and mindfulness practices with summer youth camp activities to provide a nourishing and easygoing environment for children and teenagers to learn about Buddha’s teachings and transformative practices. Activities are designed to tie mindfulness practice and dharma lessons to the five core competencies of Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making. Weekly Mindfulness Projects on YouTube: Campers suggested that it would be helpful to receive continued support during the school year to strengthen their mindfulness and meditation practice. In conjunction with teachers in the sister organization, Bodhi Academy, short videos for YouTubl and Tiktok will be offered weekly or bi-weekly to support campers and youth in the larger community with practice of mindfulness and meditation.
In 2019, a grant in the amount of $2,500 was awarded to Bodhi Youth of America to reach out to families and community to build the student base in the Integrated Mindfulness Afterschool Program which helped students in their academic performance, cognitive development, and social-emotional skills. Funding was utilized for additional supplies such as yoga mats and art supplies as well as additional books and posters about mindfulness. Books are used by students to read and learn about mindfulness, and are also for instructors and teachers to gain better insight into teaching mindfulness.