https://www.mindfulnesswithoutborders.org

Youth Education

The truth is, young people are mostly on their own to manage the emotional ups and downs of human development. Vulnerability and uncertainty with self-image, relationships, career prospects, outlook on community and the world can hamper preparedness for the demands of the real world. In some cases, when youth mental health plummets, there is a risk for more serious outcomes such as difficulty managing their emotions and behavior, depression, substance abuse, and social isolation. While the education system helps youth with cognitive development, once they step outside the classroom they face challenges where knowing the square root of pi cannot help. Our evidence-based curriculum for youth, The Mindfulness Ambassador program, changes that story.

From self awareness activities to mindfulness basics, our interactive programs and courses boost soft skill development and address the challenges and opportunities that youth face outside school walls. By creating space for personal reflection and the development of human potential, program participants forge deeper connections to themselves and everyone around them. Through active experiential learning, they are encouraged to ask questions, to explore their inherent wisdom and develop personal resources to help prepare them for a future as knowledgeable, responsible and caring citizens.

Global Edition

The Mindfulness Ambassador – Global edition is a series of 12 theme-based lessons for mainstream students that address the soft skills they need to regulate emotions, think critically, act compassionately and walk away as ambassadors for social change. Essentially, the program seeds cross-cultural conversations that establish a common language based on sharing, modeling and practicing 12 core competencies and secular mindfulness practices that help young people access the wisdom within themselves and within the group and grow as self-aware, articulate and caring citizens. Download our Global Curriculum Sampler here.

Interactive Edition

The Mindfulness Ambassador Program – Interactive edition is a series of 8- theme based lessons and secular mindfulness practices for young people with alternative learning styles. Through a shared learning environment, they develop more thoughtful speaking and listening skills, and build higher levels of self-acceptance. Shorter lesson plans, videos and interactive activities have been created to help program participants optimize learning while strengthening attention and goal-setting skills. In these lessons, participants also learn to deal with strong emotions through more effective communication, and find it easier and more enjoyable to connect with their communities. Download our Interactive Curriculum Sampler here.

How To Get Started

Take Mindful 365 an introductory

Invite our faculty to facilitate a customized workshop

Take our facilitator certification

Complete our in-school facilitator certification

Online courses & FAQ

Register for our online workshops

Have you heard?

Our Mindfulness Ambassador Program for Youth is now available in Spanish.

Research Findings

In 2012, the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work explored the benefits and limitations of the Mindfulness Ambassador program for secondary school students. This study examined the outcomes participation in the Mindfulness Ambassador program had on students’ academic motivation, self-management, levels of stress and anxiety and socio-emotional learning. Researchers used a mixed-method research design to gather qualitative data from focus groups, and quantitative data from pre-post questionnaires using standardized scales to gauge the program impact.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Build Focus and Concentration
  • Regulate Emotions and Behavior
  • Manage Stress and Anxiety
  • Build a Daily Breathing Practice
  • Strengthen Communication Skills
  • Foster Peer-to-Peer Connections
  • Build Empathy & Compassion
  • Develop Resilience

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

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Daniel Kharlas

The program itself is a masterpiece of distilling the often tough to describe concepts in mindfulness combined with the simplicity of social emotional learning activities. I am thankful for the work that Mindfulness Without Borders is doing and look forward to the good I will be able to do using their program.
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David Schlanger, Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

As a career teacher for 40 years who has taken part in so many professional development programs, I can honestly say that your professional competency is second to none. It is an incredible skill to be so clear, so in tune and so aware while role modelling superb facilitation and imparting such valuable material with such fluidity and insight.
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Level 2 Participant, Jesse’s Place Employee

"I really enjoyed the level 2 course! I liked how it really went into depth about how to facilitate the course, and how to create a welcoming and safe environment for participants to share within." 
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Tony Richard, Assistant Outdoor Centre Director & Jonathan Sacchitiello, Outdoor Educator, YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre

"In our fast paced lives, the mindfulness ambassador program taught us the importance of slowing down and being more present; it also taught us how to effectively lead structured group discussions. We enjoyed learning about some of the different mindfulness techniques, such as TUZA and the anchor breath. We find these techniques to be practical and easy to use in our daily life. During our staff training, we were able to introduce some of these concepts. For instance, when dealing with challenging individuals, the anchor breath can be used to help teach our front line staff to pause before reacting in emotional situations. TUZA was another technique we were able to use to debrief our training, as well as a technique for our staff to help children and youth reflect on their experience. We look forward to further incorporating these techniques in both our professional and personal lives."
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Jake Geale, Summer Camp Director, Camp Pine Crest

"The Mindfulness Facilitator Certification course was very helpful to me personally as well as in my role as a supervisor this summer.  I frequently found myself using the “Take 5” approach when switching between tasks to stay focused and present. In addition, I admit that I did not always practice Tuza, but when I did, I noticed that I slept much better, leaving any stressors from the day behind. As a supervisor I used much of what I learned to incorporate mindfulness into our staff training.  We held a “mindful moment” to start each day with our staff team, as well as discussing some of mindfulness’s basic components so that our staff could use it as a tool to work with kids.  Throughout the summer I heard amazing stories about our staff using mindfulness with their campers to help overcome homesickness, anxiety about camp programs, and conflicts with in the cabin as well as to help campers appreciate the beauty and learning experiences on their canoe trips." 
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Level 2 Participant, Covenant House Employee

"Even though I maintain my own personal practice (vipassana meditation), I did not feel competent to teach mindfulness to others; level 2 gave me tools and instructions [on] how to facilitate mindfulness council meetings and how to manage the group effectively when problems arise. Well organized booklets, I will most definitely use [them] to conduct meetings. Level 2 met my expectations and I am very satisfied and grateful for having the privilege to take the course. Thank you Leah and Theo!" 
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Studio Y Leadership Fellow, Toronto

“These are practices and mindsets that I will call on for the rest of my life. Thank you for what you do, who you are, and how you consistently affirm us!”
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Monica Godin, Secondary School Teacher, St. Joseph’s College School, Toronto

“As an educator, my energy and patience in class improved when I began each day with the MWB breathing practice.”
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Peter Block, Author, Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used

"Mindfulness Without Borders is creating miracles. The trainings, materials, support system and structure they have created are changing lives. Their work represents the best of what we can be to each other."
Theo Koffler

Wendy Novia, Vice President Sales, Polaris Pacific, San Francisco

“Thanks to the MWB workshop, it was the very first time that we had 65 high-energy sales associates in the same room, silent and ‘in the moment!’
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Mindfulness Ambassador Student Participant, Rwanda

“Since joining the MAC I have learned how … to make connections with different people, regardless of physical features, race or social status.”
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Ambassador Student Participant Canada

“Participating in the Mindfulness Ambassador Council was an eye-opening experience that helped me discover more about myself and others.
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Mindfulness Ambassador Student Participant, USA

“My friend and I connected on a whole new level and formed a stronger, more open and trusting relationship.”
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Mindfulness Ambassador, Student Participant Toronto

“You are amazing! Hands down my favourite leadership class. Thank you x100000!!”
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Emmanuel Ivorgba, founder of Creative Minds International Academy, Jos, Nigeria

“On the part of the students, to whom the future of our nation and the world belongs, MWB mindfulness skills and practices have developed a new standard of behavioral excellence. Our students have hopes to become agents of social change and role models to their peers in school, to their parents at home and to members of their communities.”
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Dianne Banasco, Toronto Catholic District School Board Guidance Counselor, Special Education and Student Success Teacher

“The Mindfulness Ambassador Council youth program speaks a universal language that engages students from all of our diverse school communities regardless of race, colour or gender, enriching the ethos of a classroom and school community.”
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Joan Halifax, PhD, Anthropologist, Ecologist and Civil Rights Activist

“Mindfulness Without Borders is an exceptional and wise initiative in bringing the heart/mind into the education of young people and those who support them, through mindfulness training and council process. This is a much needed project that will contribute to the positive social change that our world so needs today.”
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Richard Davidson, PhD., Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, founder Center for Healthy Minds

'The extraordinary work of Mindfulness Without Borders to bring mindfulness and positive character development to conflict and post-conflict communities is inspiring and so important in our world today where the capacity to cultivate compassion in our daily lives can help to bring about a more peaceful world."
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Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Medicine, HealthCare and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical School

"The Mindfulness Without Borders curriculum and resource team offers educators of every level a unique opportunity to raise students who are well-educated spiritually, intellectually, and with core skills to function in our ever-changing society."