Transform communities by interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline and empower individuals to be catalysts for change.

In-Powered is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that creates life-changing opportunities for those impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline through the transformative practice of yoga. We are committed to offering individualized yoga programs in schools, juvenile justice centers and prisons to create a powerful shift for individuals and their communities.

IN-POWERED IN ACTION

Where we make the  most impact

SCHOOLS

In-Powered (INP) offers training and development opportunities for in-house yoga teachers serving low-income schools and communities. Rather than recruiting external instructors to lead programs, INP’s innovative approach focuses on building deep partnerships with schools to train and develop in-house teachers to integrate yoga and mindfulness electives into their daily school program.

Our approach focuses on nourishing and training school teachers to grow as yoga instructors and mindfulness ambassadors. We believe that supporting teachers and administrators to integrate tools and practices of yoga and mindfulness will result in less reactive, more responsive school environments for all.

The following INP-sponsored programs offer students daily yoga and mindfulness classes as a regular component of their school schedule:

Yes Prep Public Schools – North Central
Instructor: Stacy Cash
Students Served: 55

KIPP Houston High School
Instructor: Anna Elisa
Students Served: 32

Royal ISD High School
Instructor: Benita Freelon
Students Served: 13

In addition to programs for students, INP partners with school districts to train and develop in-house instructors lead teacher- and staff-centered wellness initiatives. Once again, these initiatives hinge on the certification of yoga instructors and training of site-based Mindfulness Ambassadors to lead yoga sessions and mindfulness sessions for fellow teachers, administrators and school staff.

INP’s current teacher wellness programs include:

KIPP CONNECT (Regional Services Team) Yoga Program
Instructor: Nadia Pinto

KIPP Houston High School Yoga Program
Instructor: Dan Houston

KIPP Courage Yoga Program
Instructor: Michelle Baum

KIPP Legacy Yoga Program
Instructor: Lauren Simon

KIPP Liberation College Prep Yoga Program
Instructor: Dr. Bradley Smith

Short-Term Programs

SHARP International High School – Parent Yoga Program
Instructor: Elizabeth Mudlong

*Mindfulness Ambassador programs coming in Fall 2016.

PRISON

INP has partnered with and will continue to work with inmates currently serving sentences at the Cleveland Correctional Facility in Cleveland, Texas. Located approximately an hour north of Houston, this facility and program operates in partnership with another impressive not-for-profit organization, Prison Entrepreneurship Program. In partnership with The Prison Entrepreneurship Program, and the support of the prison unit staff, INP offers periodic 5-session yoga programs for inmates who have graduated from the PEP program.

RETREATS

In addition to INP’s support and training role, our staff offers our teachers and students we serve opportunities for powerful three-day immersion experiences. Our retreats take place in a remote location which allows participants step out of the pressures of their daily environment. The goal of our retreats is two-fold. We leave participants (students and teachers) feeling refreshed, empowered, and committed to creating powerful shifts in their lives. To date, our retreats have included juvenile justice programs, addiction recovery programs, student-athletes, high school students and yoga teachers.

In the summer of 2012, Dan and Cristina Houston shared their vision of a non-profit they titled In-Powered with their good friend and fellow yogi, Roger Rippy. Unbeknownst the them, Roger had already started a his own project, called One Significant Act, that was already spreading yoga throughout Houston. With a shared vision and purpose, we knew we had to collaborate and create magic. Soon after, we merged our organizations to create In-Powered by One Significant Act. The merge represented how singular, passionate actions create incremental and impactful changes.

Today, In-Powered serves as Houston’s hub for school-based yoga and mindfulness trainings and professional development.

Dan Houston

Dan Houston, Co-Founder & Executive Director

Dan is passionate about empowering teachers and students to realize their fullest potential in the areas that matter most: yoga, work, school, goal setting, and family.

His scope of experience spans over multiple countries, a kinesiology and movement studies degree, a masters of education, an experienced designation in yoga (E-RYT 200), and an in-depth study of Eastern practices (meditation, yoga, martial arts). Dan’s driving mission is to apply his depth of knowledge and experience to make a significant impact in the daily lives of the teachers and students he trains and serves.

Dan is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of In-Powered, and the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of a for-profit yoga enterprise called Mind Tribes.

Cristina Houston

Cristina Houston, Co-Founder & Director

Cristina’s heart lies with empowering others to be of service in all ares of their lives. On and off of the mat, she strives to inspire those around her to realize the limitless potential in their “One Significant Act”. Her mission is to enroll more people in the world to take on their practices of yoga and mindfulness in their daily lives.

Cristina is the Co-Founder and a lead Director of In-Powered, and the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of a for-profit yoga enterprise called Mind Tribes.

Roger Rippy

Roger Rippy, Co-Founder & Board Chair

Roger serves because he believes that everyone is worthy of love and respect, and he firmly believes that by serving others, we become better ourselves. One of the greatest gifts is the feeling he gets empowering others to see the power within themselves.

Roger is the co-owner (along with his wife) of YogaOne Studios in Houston, Texas. Roger was born and raised in Texas and spent 15 years as a transactional lawyer in the energy industry, serving
as in-house counsel for an emerging markets power company before leaving to teach yoga on a full time basis. He serves on the boards of several non-profit entities and has helped many others on a pro-bono basis. He is currently a board member of Yoga Alliance.

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Steven Busch, Ed.D.

Associate Professor of Education
Houston Baptist University

 

Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, Ed.D.

Chief Academic Officer
Spring Independent School District

 

Christopher Knapp

Executive Director & Co-Founder
Chilton Capital Management

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Stacy Cash

Teacher (Social Studies and INP Yoga)
Yes Prep – North Central

 

Dan Houston, M.Ed., E-RYT 200

Co-founder & Executive Director
In-Powered by One Significant Act
Co-Founder & Owner
Mind Tribes Yoga Lab

 

Alicia Janecke

Education Pioneers Fellow & KIPP Accountant
KIPP Houston Public Schools

 

Mike Lyons, Ph.D.

Post Doctorate Fellow, Department of Educational Psychology
University of Houston

 

Julie Norton

Director of Community Initiatives
University of Houston – Downtown

 

Kendra Penry

Community Engagement Coordinator
Heifer International

 

Bradley H. Smith, Ph.D.

Professor & Co-Director, School Psychology Ph.D. Program
University of Houston

 

Roger Rippy, E-RYT 500

Co-founder & Director
In-Powered by One Significant Act
Co-Founder & Co-Owner
YogaOne Studios, OneLove Juice & Smoothie Co., Blue Sky Retreat Center, Mat2Mat

Description of Outputs and Outcomes

What we are committed to accomplishing through this grant project.

Our “Be A Yes” Teacher Training Program project is committed to empowering 40-50 at-risk youth with a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training certification and teaching opportunities in and beyond Houston. This project centers on enhancing and developing students’ health and wellbeing through the physical practice (asana) of yoga, meditation, and self-inquiry.

To assist students in making connections with new possibilities, we are also committed to offering them goal setting practices in alignment with the lululemon’s culture. Finally, the ultimate goal of this project is to empower students to lead events and classes in their larger community to deepen their experiential learning.

Our training program aims to imbue pupils with a sense of personal ownership of their yoga on and off the mat. We believe that when students experience the responsibilities, challenges and rewards inherent in assuming the role of teacher and leader, they will be better able to internalize their practice as a whole. In short, we strive to inspire students to be empowered citizens of their school community, rather than passive tourists.

These interventions, we believe, will improve conditions in high schools by leading to greater academic, health, and socio-emotional gains for the student body. More importantly, we believe our student trainees w ill be able to utilize the life and employment skills they gain to become agents of change within their own lives, their schools, their families, and their local communities.

What progress was made toward realizing the outputs of this project.

  • 11 Young Women from Yes Prep Public Schools – North Central Completed Training. We are elated to share that 11 trainees registered, participated in, and completed their 200-Hour training over the Summer of 2015. Training sessions were held over 3 weekends and an immersion of 10 days, and concluded with a community class hosted at the University of Houston’s College of Education.
  • 3-Day Yoga Retreat. As a component of the 200-Hour Teacher Training, our students participated in a 2-tiered weekend retreat program. The first program tier catered to the trainee pupils themselves, while the second tier focused on enrolling additional Yes Prep yogis to participate in the upcoming Summer 2016 Teacher Training. This retreat model allowed teen trainees to lead their fellow peers through a yoga practice, to solicit feedback to develop and grow, and to engage in a “dress rehearsal” in preparation for their final UH community class.
  • University of Houston (UH) Community Class. Upon the culmination of their summer training program, our trainees led an inspiring yoga practice to over 50 students, consisting of their parents, general yoga practitioners, Yes Prep teachers & students, and UH faculty. Upon its conclusion, program facilitators presented graduation certificates and celebrated the students’ accomplishments.
  • Symposium Community Class. Our Yes Prep-In-Powered yoga instructor partnered with 2 of our exceptional summer trainees to lead a community class to over 50 attendees of our 2nd Annual Symposium on School-Based Yoga and Mindfulness.
  • Symposium Discussion Panel & Breakout Presentation. A group of 5 student graduates led a breakout session as a part of our official symposium agenda. Two other training graduates also participated on a discussion panel during the conference’s general session. The students used this forum to share their personal yoga training experiences, and to inform teachers and community members how their school’s program might be modeled to empower other youth.
  • Launched After-School Middle School Program. One of our most innovative and unpredicted accomplishments was that, after graduating from our training and moving on to college, one of our trainees developed a partnership with the Yes Prep – North Central middle school to launch her own yoga program. This outcome was a complete fulfillment of our long-term project goal in that the school paid our graduate a small stipend for her teaching.
  • In-School Friday Classes. Student trainees who have yet to graduate, and have re-enrolled in the yoga course, are now teaching Friday sessions to their peers and receiving mentorship & feedback from In-Powered’s in-house teacher.

Anticipated changes to future outputs, expected outcomes, timelines or budget items for the next Reporting Period.

  • The In-Powered Institute. In-Powered is currently searching for a physical location that will, ideally, serve as our organization headquarters and the container for our Summer 2016 Student Teacher Training. If this space is acquired prior to the Summer 2016 training, our facilitators will relocate all training sessions to the institute.
  • Additional Support/Resources: In-Powered Website. In-Powered is building a new website format to empower a broader range of stakeholders, including school teachers, volunteers and contributors, donors, and others (see Appendix A). Since our timeline for completion is February 2016, we will use our new site to begin to shift more toward a global, online community. One of the key aspects of our new site will be the integration of an online teacher portal designed to share and disseminate curricula and information. This portal will also be opened to our “Be A Yes” Teacher Training graduates as a way to keep them connected, inspired, empowered, and engaged.
  • Increased Trainee Participant Pool. Our facilitators will be increasing our potential trainee participant pool by enrolling students from our newest high school yoga programs, KIPP Houston High School and Royal High School. In combination with our 7 current Yes Prep – North Central classes, increasing our pool will empower us to exponentially increase our output efforts.
  • 2016 Grant Completion. Our program coordinators also anticipate the enrollment and registration of at least 30 student teacher trainees, which would allow In-Powered to complete and fulfill on its m etta grant commitment.

Lessons Learned

The primary lessons our team learned from this project during this Reporting Period about our organization and/or the clients we serve.

  • Family & School Responsibilities. Our facilitators learned that maintaining participant consistency through the 10-Day training program was a major challenge, particularly in terms of attendance. Because most of our trainees are from Latino communities, we discovered that our training curriculum and modules must account for students’ non-negotiable family and community activities. Moving forward, our facilitators will experiment with adding some remote and/or online components that might reduce the overall face-to-face time commitment, as well as create more space for students’ school and family commitments.
  • Student Learning, Acquisition & Learning Habits. Our facilitators also bumped up against significant challenges related to students’ willingness/ability to complete homework and practice teaching assignment. As mentioned above, students’ home and family context may have served as a contributing factor in their inability to keep pace with the training program expectations. Moving forward, we intend to identify our student training cohort early (in February) in order to integrate components of the training into their regular in-school yoga sessions. This approach will then allow facilitators to present, guide, and account for the experiential, practical elements of the program (homework and practice teaching) with more integrity. Lastly, we believe that this approach will significantly reduce student stress related to “falling behind” in training benchmarks.
  • Building Positive Eating & Nutrition Habits. Our team also learned that providing whole, nutritious foods throughout the program was not enough. For instance, we noticed that students required specific coaching and direct instruction on when and what to eat/drink in order to adequately meet the physical demands of the program. A large number of students were not in communication about not eating breakfast, not drinking the required amount of water, or about eating foods not conducive to athletic performance. In a few instances this led to students becoming ill and/or having to be temporarily removed from the physical aspects of the program in order to recover, rehydrate, and/or recover through healthy foods. Moving forward, our facilitators will supervise and directly lead student through eating and hydration practices via structured program modules.
  • Creating Leaders. Perhaps our greatest learning was that empowering student leaders could be exponentially more effective than through adult efforts and intentions. One of the most inspiring byproducts of the training was to witness trainees motivate and inspire their fellow general yoga program participants. Moving forward, we intend to enroll our 2015 graduates to recruit future participants, and to assist during our Summer 2016 training program.
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In short, we strive to inspire students to be empowered citizens of their school community, rather than passive tourists.

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