Empowerment Through Peace
Project Peaceful Warriors
Who We Are & What We Do
Who We Are
Resilient Warriors of Peace and Catalysts for Change...
Project Peaceful Warriors is a non-profit organization located in New Orleans, LA. Our mission is to provide trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness programming to schools —
empowering students and educators with tools they can use to reduce stress and anxiety, combat burnout, and lead happier and healthier lives. To accomplish this goal, we partner with schools, community centers, local yoga studios, and other organizations.
We are a team of highly experienced educators, social workers, eduction policy makers, and much more. We are a community committed to changing the scope of education to meet the needs of all students and teachers through the tools of trauma informed yoga and mindfulness.
What We Do
Integrating Yoga and Mindfulness in Education ...
Since launching in February of 2016, we have served 9 schools and 5 community-based organizations, reaching over 700 students, and 250 educators.
Project Peaceful Warriors’ school programming utilizes a collaborative curriculum to integrate trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness education into academic environments. Our program is distinguished by the simultaneous implementation of student yoga classes, staff yoga classes, and professional development workshops. These core components work together to sustainably improve overall school climate, with a focus on the mind-body wellness of students and educators.
In addition to helping heal youth trauma through small group classes, we provide educators and schools with tangible yoga and mindfulness tools that decrease classroom distractions and bullying and increase focus, engagement, peer relationships, and academic performance.
Why We Do It
...to Empower Minds and Communities Through Peace
In New Orleans (NOLA), our students experience trauma at a shockingly disproportionate rate compared the rest of the country. According to the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) “In That Number” Campaign (2015) which surveyed New Orleans youth ages 11-15, 54 percent of youth in New Orleans have lost someone close to them, to murder; 40 percent have seen someone shot, stabbed, or beaten; and 29 percent worry about not being loved. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rate among NOLA youth is four times the rate of the national average (IWES, 2015). As their educators, we cannot change the circumstances or violent communities that they live in, but we can give them tools so they can change how they handle them. Our job is to give them the tools to grow as impactful members of the community so we can all find empowerment through peace.
Founder, Executive Director, Chief of Inspiration
Chelsea Hylton is a New Orleans based educator and Founder of Project Peaceful Warriors, an organization bringing Trauma Informed Yoga and Mindfulness to students and educators. Chelsea is a registered 500 hour E-RYT, RCYT, and YACEP through the Yoga Alliance and a Yoga Ed. Trainer. Chelsea completed her RYT trainings with Marianne Wells Yoga School in 2011 and Charleston Power Yoga in 2013. with Chelsea has been serving students and schools through Yoga and Mindfulness since 2009 starting in Charleston, SC where she received her B.S. in Physical Education at the College of Charleston and began her work with Empowered Minds. Chelsea began her work in New Orleans Charter Schools in the Fall of 2013. Chelsea aims to empower schools and communities in New Orleans with the tools of yoga and mindfulness so students can grow academically and as impactful members of their community. Her vision is that one day there will be an integration and collaboration of education and mindfulness in all schools to empower minds and change communities.
Director of Development, Team Cheerleader
Kirsten is a 2016 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Education Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Her goal, and her passion, is to engage with others around issues of policy and practice in education so that we can develop co-constructed, innovative solutions to the challenges we face in improving our schools. She believes that we have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of the world—a notion that is often forgotten in spaces like schools. She teaches kids yoga because she believes in its power to create happier, healthier, and more mindful and empowered students. One day she hope to integrate the principles of yoga and wellness into all aspects of our education system so we that we can peacefully fight for the positive changes that our education systems desperately need without compromising our own health (and sanity).
Director of Community Engagement, Creative Genius
Cindy has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She has been teaching for six years in both the charter and private school sectors in New Orleans.
She has restarted her yoga journey by joining Project Peaceful Warriors to work not only with the academic minds of children, but the whole child through their mind, body, and spirit. Cindy completed her 95-hour yoga certification with Yoga Ed, and is in the process of completing her 200 hour RYT training.
Cindy is very excited to be a part of Project Peaceful Warriors family. Her goal is to connect with youth to teach them different mindfulness tools so they can learn to work through the rigor, stress, and anxiety in their lives. Cindy has endless enthusiasm to teach yoga. She loves to explore yoga and art together to orchestrate a fun, creative and playful lesson. Through all of these experiences, children are
able to explore the movements with their minds and bodies, as well as reflect on their experiences in an inspired and open-ended way.
Jess Wilkes is a certified yoga instructor with special training in mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and trauma-informed yoga. She teaches with music and movement to engage coordination, concentration, confidence, and compassion. She is excited to release a fun and educational children's yoga music album this winter so young students and their friends can practice yoga and mindfulness at home!
For years, Margaux supplemented running with yoga as a way to prevent injuries. It wasn't until her move to New Orleans in 2013 that she tried power vinyasa for the first time, and was hooked. As she delved further into her own practice, Margaux's excitement around the mental and physical benefits of kids yoga is what ultimately inspired her to pursue teaching. Having recently completed her 200-hour training in the Baptiste Methodology through Free To Be Power Yoga in New Orleans, Margaux is has also completed Yoga Ed's Professional Institute 1-3 trainings to teach kids yoga in schools.
Caroline is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and also holds additional certifications in kids and pre-natal yoga. Originally from Washington, D.C., she has completed yoga trainings in her home city as well as Asheville, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, two Masters in Education and is a former school teacher. Alongside her yoga teaching, she continues to work in the field of education supporting new teachers. Her yoga teaching instructional goals are to expose students to the variety of tools yoga offers and assist them in cultivating personal growth within the mind and body to promote self-discovery and inspire self-confidence within a fun and motivating environment.