BENEFITING: BODHISATTVA YOUTH OF AMERIC INC
Bodhi Youth of America is an organization that has been hosting mindfulness-based youth camps for 7 summers. Our campers regularly report that camp was "amazing," "life changing," and "the best camp ever." They say that they learn new ways of looking at the world, experience an environment that is both fun and non-judgmental, and leave with deep friendships. We believe it is time to open BYA camp to youth who would not ordinarily be able to have this experience- some of the youth who need mindfulness the most: foster youth. Young people who have lived in homes that require removal and placement in foster families or foster homes often have experienced traumas that prevent optimal social, emotional, and mental health. We all need to care for ourselves by stopping, breathing, and turning our attention to our inner experiences and the inner experiences of those around us (an ability called "mindsight.") All young people deserve to learn skills for social and emotional well-being, and many young people now have access to mindfulness practice. However, the residential camp experience remains primarily one that more privileged youth can access. Our desire is to offer a week of camp for Southern California foster teens for the first time in 2016. This money, which we are hoping to raise by the end of 2015, is our first and largest stage of fundraising. This is the absolute minimum we need to move forward with planning the mindfulness-based foster youth camp for July of 2016. If we don't raise the $14,500 by January 1st, we will move forward with groundwork for the camp- contacting foster family agencies in order to make connections and gauge interest, but we will have to delay the actual camp until summer of 2017 in order to raise more funds. Please open your heart and help us to make it happen soon!