2016-2017 Annual Program Report


RISE Yoga for Youth celebrates it's fifth year of operation in Bay Area public schools!


For Youth

2016 - 2017




A Message from

our Founder

Dear friends,

I am delighted to share our 2016-2017 annual report with you. It has been a year of

significant growth and change at RISE!

Your generous support has enabled us to further our mission to empower underserved

youth through the practices of yoga, wellness education and community building. In the

past 12 months we have expanded to five new schools, including one site in Oakland.

We now offer programming to over 1,400 youth in the San Francisco Bay Area at 17

school sites.

I invite you to learn more about our programs, read our student statements and teacher

interviews, and see how our program is impacting teens and paving the way for a

brighter future.

Thank you for making our work possible to transform the lives of underserved youth. I

can’t wait to continue the journey into our next year!


Erin Lila Singh

Founder & Executive Director

RISE Yoga for Youth

Where We

are Today

Our story began in 2012, when we started with a small pilot program in Mission High

School, offering yoga and wellness education as P.E credit to 20 students. Working with

the students at Mission, we saw the powerful impact of integrating yoga and mindfulness

into the school curriculum: students reported being better able to focus in class, feeling

more energized, motivated and confident in themselves, and being able to effectively

manage their stress and emotions. After our first program at Mission High School, we

set forth to share this transformational practice with more teens across the Bay Area.

Since then, RISE has expanded to 17 schools, serving students in San Francisco, Alameda,

San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

17 sites. 1,400 Students. Ages 12 - 19

2016 - 2017 Site Locations

• Mills High School

• Aragon High School

• Mission High School

• Carlmont High School

• San Mateo High School

• Burlingame High School

• Willie Brown Middle School

• Summit Public School: Prep

• Summit Public School: Denali

• Summit Public School: Rainier

• Palo Alto Medical Foundation

• June Jordan School for Equity

• George Washington High School

• Leadership Public School Oakland

• Immaculate Conception Academy

• St. Matthews Episcopal Day School

• Leadership Public School San Francisco




Say that yoga has given

them useful tools to

manage stress


Say that yoga has

helped them feel more



Say that they feel calmer

and more relaxed after

practicing yoga


Say that yoga has

helped them focus

better in academic


Say that they have learned

how to use their breath to

calm down when angry or


91% 65%

Say that they sleep

better at night after

practicing yoga


Say that yoga has

helped them gain

strength and flexibility


Say that yoga has

helped them improve

their relationships with

friends and family



• “I really enjoy yoga! It's really nice to be able to take time just for yourself and

focus on yourself. Also I like how it helps with self confidence and acceptance. I

think it helps me focus on my strengths and accept my weaknesses and

acknowledge that there's nothing I need to change about myself which I think is

truly amazing.” - Claire

• “Yoga at school has helped me so much throughout the semester. I always feel

so refreshed and energized after the sessions in PE and it helps me focus really

well in my next class. I look forward to the yoga here every Friday and after

getting exposed to it at school, I have done yoga on my own throughout the

semester to relax when I stress out from school.” – Jenna

• “Now when I go through problems or face challenges I just meditate and focus

on my breathing, which I learned from yoga.” - Anthony

• “My favorite part of yoga was the relaxation part because I found that it really

helped me make it through the day.” - Sam

• “Yoga has helped me discover who I am as a person. Now, I am more in touch

with my feelings. I listen to my body a lot more.” - Veronica



Stephanie Camoroda

Intervention Specialist

Leadership Public School Oakland

“It has truly been a pleasure partnering with RISE Yoga for

Youth. Our teacher Madoka was very kind, professional,

reliable, and creative. Our students enjoyed the opportunity to

learn something new and many students shared with me that

Yoga helped them to relax and de-stress. The class was

particularly helpful for some of our senior students who were

stressed about grades, college decisions, final exams, and

finishing up their high school careers. Other students who

experience anxiety shared that the class helped with their

anxiety symptoms. We started with one class and are now

getting ready to offer our third yoga class through RISE during

Summer School. Thank you RISE for your amazing work and for

bringing yoga to our school!”

“In the past three years that ICA has partnered with RISE, our

students (and adults on campus!) have benefitted from the yoga

practice. Whether it be at 7:00am with Sunrise Yoga, or in the

afternoon on our sun-drenched rooftop, our RISE instructors -

Regina and Maria - celebrate our students as they share time

among them. We are now at a point when some students can

lead in class, which helps to create an even more collaborative

and engaging environment. Students from different grade levels

get to know one another and create friendships and connections

that strengthen our school community. Our students experience

an incredible amount of stress and anxiety in their daily lives. In

wholeheartedly integrating RISE on our campus four times per

week and at community wellness celebrations, we are grateful to

RISE and the special donors to the program who make this

access to skilled, compassionate, and celebratory yoga available

to all our students.”

Carolyn Sideco

Athletic Director

Immaculate Conception Academy


LPS Oakland

About Leadership Public School Oakland

Leadership Public School (LPS) Oakland, located in East Oakland, is part of a tuition free public charter

high school network in the Bay Area. Their mission is to create educational equity by empowering and

preparing students for college, career and community leadership. 87% of LPS students will be firstgeneration

college graduates, and 47% of their students will be the first in their families to graduate

from High School.

RISE PROGAM AT Leadership Public School Oakland

The partnership between RISE and LPS Oakland started this past fall, with a small pilot yoga class

taking place once a week with the juniors and seniors. After seeing tremendous success in the

program, LPS Oakland decided to expand the yoga classes to twice a week, opening it up to students

in other grade levels. RISE works closely with the social workers and principal at LPS Oakland, regularly

checking in about student progress and growth in our yoga and mindfulness program. Classes focus

on building self confidence, learning stress management skills, and finding new, healthy ways to

connect to the body and mind. Relaxation and mindfulness exercises are also an integral part of our

classes. Our goal is to create an environment and culture where students can be fully present with

themselves and build the inner resources to face life’s many challenges in constructive ways. We help

students learn compassionate self-care through the building of healthy physical and mental habits, so

that these young scholars can enter college with confidence and become the next mindful leaders of

our world.






Hispanic or



English Learners


Students with




9% 87%

First Generation College


Teacher Spotlight:

Regina Garcia

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a teen yoga teacher?

The most rewarding aspect of being a teen yoga teacher is witnessing a student resonate with an

element of the practice that will potentially change the entire course of their life - whether it’s a

meditation or breathing technique, connecting with their own body in a certain posture, or deeply

understanding themes like kindness, abundance, and truthfulness.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a teen yoga teacher?

For me, it's managing the classroom. Most of their other classes have a desk and computer setup,

so being in a circle on yoga mats can be quite distracting for them. On some days there

might be a pair of students chatting about their weekend, while a few others beg to play a game,

while someone else sneaks an iPhone out of their backpack, and then a sock flies across the

room... all in the duration of one sun salutation - which is also the special beauty of these


What are some ‘big wins’ from this year?

A big win this year was when a group of 5 girls shared that they liked yoga because it's one of the

only opportunities they get to think about what they’re interested in, what they want to do in the

future, and how they truly feel about the things happening in their life - as they feel that they’re

being told what to do in many other areas. I am so grateful to RISE for creating these spaces for

teens to take time for themselves. Another win was when a student shared that instead of yelling

at her little sister when she was annoyed, she took a deep breath before talking to her and

eventually she started teaching her some of the yoga poses we did in class. The ripple effect of

these practices are so evident, and I love knowing that every single one of these teens may share

these practices with someone in their life, and so on.

What is the biggest difference between teaching an adult yoga class and a RISE teen yoga class?

The biggest difference for me between teaching a regular adult yoga class and a RISE teen yoga

class is the way everyone shows up on their mat. Teens show up as they are, no apologies, no

filter, few expectations. In teen classes we play games to connect deeper with one another and as

a group, while in adult classes it’s more of a personal practice. RISE teen classes go far beyond

the physical practice of yoga - we sit in circles to discuss how we may practice yoga off the mat.

I’m constantly fascinated by their openness to share and with the authenticity of their words.





Our work goes far beyond teaching yoga poses and providing students with an opportunity to relax. Our

skillful teachers and innovative curriculum help students connect with their authentic selves and

inherent self worth. We give students the space to realize their unique personal gifts and what brings

them joy. We empower teens to know their inner strength and capacity to be powerful agents of change

in the world.

Thanks to your support, we were able to start our very first East Bay chapter in East Oakland. We also

partnered with schools in Oakland and the Peninsula to lead our very first summer intensive yoga

programs this year!

We are grateful for our donors, volunteers and partners who invest in our mission. Because of your

support, we can continue strengthening our existing programs while expanding to new schools. Because

of you, we can bring this transformative practice to more teens in the Bay Area. It takes an entire

community working together to make lasting positive change in the world.

Thank you for being a part of our community.


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