Dekalb Weekend Market Vendor Neelam’s Kitchen is a fundraiser for the YES! for Schools Programs, which teaches non-violence and stress management through breathing, yoga, and life skills to inner city high school students.
DM: Could you tell us a little about the YES! for Schools Programs?
NP: We have 2 model schools - one in Newark and the entire school district, Freeport Public Schools, in Freeport, Long Island. Both of these schools are places where the entire population has undergone our programs. I myself am a YES!teacher (Youth Empowerment Seminar), and have taught thousands of high school students how to have a say over negative emotions and stress- the two biggest causes of many teenage ills today.
I used to be a high school teacher and left the profession because I saw so many students being completely underserved by the current public education system. Eventually I was able to put my full force behind the YES! program, and am so absolutely grateful to be doing this work- teaching kids something I wish I had learned when I was in high school. I began studying meditation 12 years ago under the tutelage of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation(www.artofliving.org) and the International Association of Human Values (www.iahv.org). YES! is a project of the IAHV, which provides trauma relief and meditation programs to veterans, prisoners, and natural disaster victims
YES! is a non-profit, so we are fundraising to expand our programs into more schools and also looking to form a model school in Brooklyn.