Yes Plus Workshop at Carnegie Mellon University
YesPlus is an international wellness & leadership program organized in universities by student-led groups and powered by a non-profit educational organization called the International Association for Human Values (IAHV). IAHV's mission is to create a stress-free, violence free society through personal development programs and humanitarian initiatives. YesPlus Programs teach students to thrive in life and lead with clarity of mind, resilience, purpose, and belongingness. We propose to bring the Yesplus Retreat onto CMU campus because it integrates well-being, personal resilience, and authentic connection with success and leadership. This innovative life-skills training program combines empirically-validated breathing and meditation practices with interactive discussions and experiential processes so students gain valuable skills to better navigate the personal, social, and academic landscape and pressures of college.
Through YesPlus we have learned how to manage stress, deal with situations and people, and be a compassionate and dynamic leader. We are inspired by YesPlus having personally gone through a YesPlus workshop and the fact that it is a very successful initiative and has had a great impact at approxmately 44 universities in the U.S. We believe we can make a difference on our campus. The mission of our YesPlus student group is to bring about a wellness culture in Carnegie Mellon University. Our group has been offering free relaxation sessions on campus for the last semester in an effort to spread awareness about wellness resources on campus and our new initiative.
We are organizing a YesPlus retreat for all students,staff, and faculty at Carnegie Mellon University during Spring 2016. Students learn unique life skills in a fun and light environment that integrates practical wisdom and leadership principles with practices that foster a relaxed mind, an energized body, clarity, focus, and personal responsibility. We are partnering with the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) to bring the YesPlus retreat program to the CMU campus through the Heinz- YesPlus club.
The YesPlus retreat is facilitated by 1000-hr trained faculty from IAHV. The YesPlus retreat is a 15 -20 hour intensive workshop that integrates somatic, emotional, cognitive, social, and action-oriented modalities:
1. Practices for Peace & Mental Clarity: Breathing and meditation allow students to connect with themselves, manage stress, increase personal resilience and capacity. The cornerstone of the YesPlus Retreat Workshop is the Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) practice, an empirically-validated powerful technique that research suggests: improves emotional regulation; increases mental focus and heightened awareness; reduces psychological and physiological markers of stress and reduces anxiety and depression among other benefits. More on SKY meditation: http://skymeditation.org/research.php.
2. New Perspectives - Frameworks for Happiness and Success: YesPlus offers simple universal principles to help students navigate relationships, opportunities, and challenges throughout their lives.
3. Positive Community: YesPlus builds positive communities rooted in belonging, naturalness, and trust. Students learn to build authentic trusting relationships, find strength in vulnerability, better handle criticism and mistakes, and value co-operation and conflict resolution.
4. Service & Leadership: YesPlus views service as a readiness to take responsibility to improve the world around us. The programs build skills to address campus needs, including soft skills in leadership and teamwork. An in-class service project cultivates a service mindset and helps shape students’ sense of fulfillment, purpose, and meaning.
The YesPlus Retreat has impacted over 7000 undergraduate and graduate students on 43 campuses across the country, with programs organized by inspired student leaders. In student surveys administered post-workshop:
- 93% of participants reported that their focus and concentration improved
- 90% of participants reported increased self-awareness of their emotional triggers
- 95% of participants reported being inspired to use the techniques learned
We believe YesPlus will impact the participants in these areas as well have a ripple-effect through the service module of the program. This will benefit the rest of the CMU/Pittsburgh community indirectly through the service initiatives taken up by the participants.
The cost of the program per participant is $295. We would like to offer the YesPlus program to the campus community at no cost or at a subsidized cost to 5$0 or less exclusively for the CMU community. This fundraising effort will make this program accessible to everyone on campus. Your contribution can transform someone's life at CMU for the better.
You can access the experiences of Yes Plus participants at ASU here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sty5lVUsqsA