We Are Building American Buddhism

Mindful Life Project

124 Washington Ave. Suite B
Richmond, CA 94801
Website: www.mindfullifeproject.org

Description of Organization

Founder and Director JG Larochette created Mindful Life Project on May 1, 2012 after working with South Richmond, CA youth and their families for a decade. As a teacher, JG realized that schools, like Mindful Life Project’s partner schools, that are in high poverty communities are overwhelmed with a need for prevention and intervention programs to support the most at-risk students. These schools are underfunded; creating a system that doesn’t have the necessary resources to improve the student’s mental and physical health and social-emotional development. This often leads to cyclical patterns of defiance, violence, and negative school learning environments. Mindful Life Project’s services began by targeting the most “at-risk” youth in each school through their Rise-Up program; a small group intervention, taught twice per week in 45-minute sessions, where an instructor uses yoga, expressive arts and mindful hip-hop to teach mindfulness-based social-emotional lessons to students who are referred (8 students per grade level, 2nd - 6th grade) to the program by principals and teachers based on discipline data and behavioral challenges. The focus changed when it became clear that classroom teachers did not understand the transformative experiences their students were going through in small groups. The Mindful Community program was then offered which consists of whole class mindfulness learning, taught once per week in 25-minute sessions, where an instructor teaches a mindfulness-based social-emotional lesson to every class in a given school. Subsequently, Mindful Life developed introductions to mindfulness to new schools, including their Mindful Educator Training (for principals and teachers) and Mindful Hip-Hop Assemblies (for students).

Grant(s) Awarded

In early 2018, Mindful Life Project received a $15,000 Pay It Forward Grant to build their core fundraising infrastructure and strengthen their major donor program including the hiring of a database consultant to oversee data migration.