How does your idea help cultivate empathy skills to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change?
Research indicates that stress and trauma impair healthy brain development of youth. This in turn compromises psychological health, empathy, and leadership competency. Our Quiet Time program is a meditation-based stress reduction and social-emotional development program that enhances the underlying brain functioning of students. As a result of more integrated brain function, students are more calm and alert and have greater self-awareness and other-awareness, the foundations of empathy and leadership capacity. The research indicates the program reduces student stress, anger, and depression and increases self-esteem, happiness, resilience, grit, kindness - important psychological dimensions that support pro-social behavior and positive community interaction.
“Since I started Quiet Time, I am less stressed, more friendly, and I don't bully people any more” –Student
Tell us about your partnerships
We have worked closely with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) over the last 7 years to develop effective implementation and evaluation. We collaborate closely with the SFUSD Research Planning and Accountability Department and WestEd Research. Major funding partners include Kaiser Permanente, 1440 Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, First Republic Bank, Sequoia Health District and the David Lynch Foundation.
We address these challenges by (i) emphasizing research and evaluation as part of the implementation so that the program is highly evidence-based; (ii) working closely and collaboratively with the teachers and administrators in a gradual roll out that is tailored to this school’s needs.
Does your project use any of the following approaches to cultivate community members as empathetic and collaborative leaders?
encouraging philanthropy, creating a safe space, developing emotional competency, building leadership skills, collective problem-solving, identifying shared values and differences, instilling courage, enabling action.