In addition to creating Psychology-Fitness™ Experiences (PFX™) for adults, CliffHanger Academy has had the honor of working with various child and adolescent development groups around the world. For these Experiences, we use the same scientifically-proven methods from our Psy-Fi System™ and B3 Methodology™ to help at-risk and underserved children feel understood, accepted and empowered while having fun. Below are snapshots of the work we have done.
Our first opportunity to combine Psychology and Fitness for children was in Surry Hills, NSW, where the CliffHanger Academy team worked with a community center that was home to various at-risk aboriginal children ages 11 to 17. Here, we used Muay Thai to give the children a cathartic outlet for their daily struggles. (The majority of these children had alcohol- or drug-addicted parents and were known for causing trouble in their respective neighborhoods due to the lack of healthy role models.) We found that our work allowed the children to feel safe and understood while engaging with someone who cared about and could relate to them.
The CliffHanger Academy team was invited by the founder and director of Azul Wasi orphanage in Oropesa, Peru to conduct a weeklong workshop for the children. We used Muay Thai to teach the children (ages 6 to 18, most of who were abandoned by their parents on the streets of Cusco) the importance of self-defense, protecting others, and how to have fun with fitness. We used this as an empowerment tool to help the children take back control of their lives and found that this increased their abilities while leading them to feeling safe, motivated and invincible.
In NYC, the CliffHanger Academy team has worked hand-in-hand with the staff of Stoked, a nationally-known mentoring program for underserved children ages 13 to 18, and served on the board of Stokers. Over the years, we have not only worked with children in surf and snowboard Experiences, but also educated staff and mentors on the importance of being a role model and how psychology plays a pivotal role in connecting with kids who come from a variety of (and often different) socioeconomic backgrounds. Here, we have found that our work has vastly improved the relationship between mentors and mentees and led the children to feeling safe, understood and uplifted.