Signature 3-month
Teen Mindfulness Program

In-school mindfulness training for high school students

12-lesson training available to Philadelphia-based schools.

The Inner Strength Teen Program is the only school mindfulness program in Philadelphia developed specifically for high school students.

Educator Amy Edelstein created the program with adolescents in mind, an age group that is facing important life-decisions.

The goal of the program is to provide essential support and to foster the insight, creativity and emerging selfhood of our city’s adolescents.

The program’s mission is to provide aspiring youth with tools to self reflect, develop interpersonal skills, and gain perspective on how our culture and physiology affect us.

This self-development creates inner strength, providing resources for teens to manage challenges and succeed as they move on to higher education and enter the workforce.

Through age-appropriate lessons on the development of the brain and on cultural shifts, students become archaeologists of themselves. They learn to see their experience in a much bigger context. Able to excavate layers of influence, adolescents learn the invaluable skill of systems thinking, being able to see large-scale influence on their personal experience. Most report feeling a sense of ease and relief, understanding that their personal challenges are not theirs alone.

Program Areas

mindfulness in schools

Mind & Awareness


Students explore the nature of mind, thought, and awareness. They learn and practice 7 essential evidence-based mindfulness techniques. These tools are shown to have a demonstrable effect on classroom climate and on individual student emotional well-being. Students learn to manage stress, anxiety, and anger. By practicing these simple tools together and on their own with free audio supports, students cultivate focus, relaxation, and calm.


The program is interactive and fun. Our pedagogical design fosters curiosity and ease. Respecting teens’ experience while holding high expectations of them builds a stable and strong foundation of self. Creative and experiential teaching techniques makes the classes engaged, transformative, and fun, inspiring students to make the joy of mindful awareness a lifelong practice.

mindfulness in schools

Brain & Science


Students love learning about the brain and, more specifically, their brains. How deeply are we conditioned by 300 million years of brain development? What reptilian survival instincts are buried deep within us, no matter how hip and sophisticated we may be? Learning about these influences–why we panic and want to disappear or lash out in the ways we do validates an adolescents’ inner experience. It demystifies and depersonalizes those reactions, weeding out self-recrimination while building in self-regulation.


What’s happening in the adolescent brain? Learning about the unique and critical role of adolescent brain growth gives students positive pride in the often confusing stage of development they find themselves in the midst of. Most importantly, understanding the physiological conditioning they are propelled by gives adolescents the wherewithal to build in safety mechanisms and become responsible for themselves.

mindfulness in schools

Culture & Me


Students experience the power of transformative learning through participatory lessons showing the influence of history. They discover how major shifts over the last 800 years have significantly changed our experience of life. We’ve gained individual freedoms and responsibilities, as well as stresses. As students come to appreciate the interplay between their personal experience and the culture around them they also discover a greater purpose for their struggle: the solutions they find for their concerns are cultural solutions. We need to develop new social structures for the level of freedom we now have, and this generation discovers they have crucial role to play.


Learning to think systemically, integrating personal experience, emotional responses, cultural factors, historical trajectory, and neurological impulses creates flexibility and stimulates a student’s interest in themselves and in life. This multi-dimensional approach creates plasticity and resilience, helping students develop cognitive and emotional skills necessary to excel in our rapidly changing world.

mindfulness in schools

The Art of Relationship


Adolescence is characterized by the increased importance of peer-to-peer relationships. Yet teens are rarely taught how to cultivate positive relationships. Mindfulness trains students to be able to pause before drawing strong conclusions about themselves or others, allowing them to find more wholesome ways of interacting and connecting. As they cultivate objectivity on their thoughts and feelings, they develop the space to connect and engage with others.


Students often say the compassion exercises are their favorite (after of course the chocolate meditation). Perhaps surprisingly, they love to learn the art of caring and extending generosity of spirit. Some of the latest neuroscience research studies show that within a remarkably short period of time, kids as young as 4 years old, show change from these exercises. Adolescents regularly report that compassion meditation helps them feel connected and happier.

"It taught me to be more aware of my physical mental and emotional states and to be aware of the world around me. Mindfulness helped me to harness little common factors in my everyday life, like eating and breathing and use them to calm myself down and regulate my states. I now use it during stressful times and during lacrosse games to keep myself from becoming too nervous."

–Hashim, 11th Grade

"Mindfulness is the fundamental human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re performing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily comprehensible to us when we practice on a daily basis. Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research revealing that when you discipline your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain."

– Yize, 11th Grade

"In the classroom you always felt welcomed to answer a question and never afraid of being wrong. Having that type of environment made you want to learn because you were more at peace."

– Olivia, 10th Grade

Empower Our Future Leaders

The teens of today are stewards of our shared future. The Inner Strength Teen Program gives them tools to be responsible, innovative, and open-hearted.

mindfulness programs in schools
"Many students who took part in the program learned to relax, gain perspective on their thoughts, and reclaim patience in times of stress. Many seemed eager to practice at home during periods of frustration, during exam time, or when work piled up. They expressed that they had learned a way to calm down and think first instead of reacting."
Kate Reber
IB English, Psychology Teacher, Bodine High School
"Students are often times bombarded with many stressful decisions and placed into stressful situations without any resources to help support them. Inner strength provides them with a toolbox full of skills that is helpful to manage stress."
Girls High, Philadelphia
Colleen Pugliese
English Teacher, Philadelphia High School for Girls
"My 10th graders found the time, space, and skills taught to be very useful in dealing with stress. It was great how each lesson taught them how to center themselves in various ways. I especially thought that the lesson teaching them with how to cope with the world events to be particular helpful."
GAMP High School
Luke Holtje
History Teacher, Girard Academic Music Program

“I learned how to get rid of some of my deepest darkest thoughts. I discovered that I do not need to feel anxious or scared of a huge event like a test. Instead, I should just calm down and take things slow and that actually helps me do better.”

– Louise, 10th Grade

“I really appreciated the program. At the beginning, I was suffering from insomnia. I couldn’t sleep at all. This program really helped me learn to fall asleep at night. I learned ways to calm my anxiety, relax, and fall asleep.”

– Lin, 11th Grade

"Mindfulness meditation is a workout for the brain and helps to expand it. I personally enjoyed wrapping my thoughts in bubbles and letting them float away. This technique will help you become the observer of your life and be able to control your thoughts."

– Masul, 11th Grade

Scroll to Top