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 —
equipping 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.
Why We Do It
...to Inspire 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 inspire them to use the tools they need to grow as impactful members of our community.
Founder, Executive Director
Chelsea Hylton is a New Orleans based educator and Founder of Project Peaceful Warriors, a non-profit organization developed to bring the tools of Trauma-Informed Yoga and Mindfulness to students and educators. Originally from Alexandria Virginia, 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. Upon moving to New Orleans in 2014, Chelsea began working with charter schools within the Recovery School District where she served as both an K-6 enrichment and middle school english teacher. As a teacher, she gained invaluable communication skills and learned pedagogical practices that continue to influence the way she trains and approaches her work with youth today.
As Founding Director of Project Peaceful Warriors, she has taught over 6,000 hours of yoga in the classroom, trained over 500 teachers, and taught over 3,000 students in the City of New Orleans. Her work with Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine was published in March of 2018 in the Journal of Psychology Research and Behavior Management. Chelsea has is a 500 hour ERYT, RCYT, and YACEP.
Chelsea aims to create community minded and user centered programming that creates safe and healthy learning environments in schools and all students have equitable access to the tools that they need for success. Her vision is to see a shift in the focus of education beyond academic success to address the social emotional needs and success of young people.
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.
Programs and Community Outreach Coordinator, Public Ally
Lauryn Young is a New Orleans native and 2018 Edna Karr High School graduate. She studied pre-pharmacy at Louisiana State University of Eunice. She is our Program and Community Engagement Coordinator and newest team member through Public Allies. While attending Edna Karr she was introduced to practicing mindfulness. There she witnessed the power of mindfulness and how important it is that students use it . Her passion is defending human rights and spreading peace all over the globe. Lauryn believes we all have a role in bettering the future for our children and we are responsible for their success. She is excited to be apart of an amazing organization and spread awareness about the impact mindfulness and yoga possesses.