Description of Organization
Holistic Life Foundation (HLF) was founded in 2001 with the vision of changing the culture of violence in Baltimore, Maryland and nurturing the wellness of children and adults in under-served communities. Through a comprehensive approach which helps children develop their inner lives through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care Holistic Life Foundation expresses a deep commitment to learning, community, and stewardship of the environment. Holistic Life Foundation is also developing high-quality evidence-based programs and curriculum to improve community well-being. The core programs include trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness classes at Baltimore area public schools including serving Pre-K-12 students every week. Holistic Me serves Pre-K-5 students in after school and summer programs. Workforce Development trains future generations of Holistic Life Foundation instructors while providing job readiness skills, trauma-informed training, and career opportunities for under-served youth ages 18-25. Holistic offers mentor programs for students and a train-the-trainer program to teach their practices to school-based staff. Their signature program, Mindful Moment, responds to the challenges children from low-income community’s face in school. Negative interactions with fellow students can escalate to violence at school. These stressors severely impact children’s ability to thrive personally and academically, leaving them frustrated and prone to act out their aggression. Teachers and school administrators are also affected by their students’ high stress levels. Mindful Moment integrates mindfulness practice into the school day while providing a safe space for students to regain control of their emotions. The schools involved in the program practice trauma-informed yoga, meditation, breath work, and self-reflection. Students learn life skills for self-calming, negotiation, respect for self and others, and focus that can boost their scholastic performance and journey through life.
In 2021, a special COVID-19 Operational Grant of $8,000 was awarded to support the Holistic Life Foundations’ Staff Salaries. The COVID-19 Impact: Due to COVID-19, HLF had to transition their teachings to multiple online platforms. Due to reductions in funding to the Baltimore City Schools, HLF had to consider programming staff reductions, which would result in a higher student/mindfulness instructor ratio. Lenz Foundation and other funding sources enabled HLF to keep their mindfulness programming instructional staff/student ratio at a place that would have the best impact on students and the greater community.
In 2018, a grant in the amount of $10,000 was awarded to The Holistic Life Foundation for a multi-day teaching and lecturing visit to Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and for general operating expenses. While in Boulder, their three founders presented their work to Naropa University students and faculty. The main lecture was open to the entire Boulder Community yet was of interest to students Naropa’s K-6 Teacher Training Program. Time was also offered with smaller groups of faculty and students along with sharing their knowledge and experience while learning more about Naropa’s Contemplative Education practices.