Power, Action & Change for Teens (PACT)
PACT students write down forms of violence they would like to eliminate on boards before breaking them.
A unique and dynamic ongoing after-school program for teen women and transyouth ages 12 – 19; PACT offers physical training in martial arts and self-defense, verbal safety strategies, discussions, and the opportunity to participate in youth community projects.
Each class begins with a question of the day so the group can get to know each other, and moves into a brief meditation to help students center and focus. Through warm-ups, games, and voice activities students get the opportunity to vent, have fun, and practice basic safety and awareness skills.
Karate techniques, kicks and strikes help students of all levels of athletic ability strengthen their bodies and build confidence. Role-plays and other activities help students practice exploring and asserting their boundaries. Discussions have included personal safety and prevention issues – bullying, sexual harassment, and dating violence, and issues that affect all of us – body image, racism, heterosexism, and gender discrimination.
PACT students are encouraged to speak out against violence, while developing communication and leadership skills. Each year, students become involved in a community project of their choosing and have the opportunity to participate in anti-violence events such as marches, community fairs, and meetings.
Teens who train with us for a year have the opportunity be trained as paid Peer Educators who teach violence prevention and self-defense at schools and youth organizations throughout New York City.
PACT highlights the link between personal empowerment and creating safer communities, as young people grow their voices, minds, bodies, and self-esteem in a supportive and respectful environment.