Youth Resilience Training - Report on Our Inaugural Program
We completed our first Youth Resilience program in August, at the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, Spring Valley Branch. The program was a tremendous success, providing about 40 7th graders with resilience skills that are already helping them feel better and do better in school and in the rest of their lives.
As program developer and co-facilitator, this class renewed my passion for and belief in the power of Adaptiv’s resilience training to change the world, one young mind at a time. I’m thrilled to report on our experience and results.
With it’s focus on Mind, Body and Spirit, the YMCA was an ideal partner for this program. The Y is dedicated to providing programs and services for the entire family, but it has identified 7th graders as a target audience especially in need of guidance and support. So when we introduced the idea of a program designed to build resilience in middle school kids, the Spring Valley YMCA was eager to participate.
The 10 week YMCA Day Camp program turned out to be a great test bed for our program. Each week, we had 90 minutes to work with a group of mainly healthy, happy, typical 12 and 13 year-olds. I co-facilitated the program with a bright and energetic Y staffer (who is now qualified to facilitate the program solo). Here are some of our key observations from the experience:
- The children were remarkably willing to self-disclose and fully participate in the program.
- They quickly absorbed and internalized the key learnings of the program, as evidenced by homework reviews, quizzes and evaluations.
- They remained engaged and interested despite the many distractions inherent in the Day Camp environment.
- Even those that only participated in a few of the weekly sessions benefited from the experience
Based on the positive results of this pilot, we’ll be introducing the Youth Resilience to our 100+ 7th grade members as an after school program hosted at the Y. We’ll report on our progress and results as this new program takes shape.
Developing and delivering the Youth Resilience Program has been an incredibly profound and rewarding experience. Getting to observe first-hand how the Adaptiv Resilience Skills so quickly and positively impacted such young minds reaffirmed my belief in the power of our work. It’s reminded me that the best place to start building resilient mindsets is with our youth – before they’ve spent too many years developing non-resilient thinking habits that as adults are so much tougher to break. And it has strengthened my vision for a world in which we can equip every child with skills that will provide them a lifetime of resilience, success and happiness.