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Volunteer gains job skills through Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts program

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“I enjoy helping youth build resilience through meditation, yoga and martial arts training.” – Tiffany Bayliss, volunteer

Each week, Tiffany Bayliss spends her Wednesday evenings volunteering with the Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts (MMA) program, helping introduce participants to the fundamentals of martial arts. With over eight years of training in jiu jitsu, Tiffany’s experience has been a huge asset to the team. “I really enjoy helping the students learn grappling and sparring techniques,” she says. “I try to make the lessons as fun and accessible as possible.”

Integra MMA is a 20-week group program designed to address self regulation difficulties in youth ages 12 to 18 years who have learning disabilities and mental health challenges (LDMH) such as anxiety, depression and/or disruptive behaviors. The program combines martial arts training with mindfulness meditation, yoga, cognitive behaviour therapy and behavioral principles.

“Volunteering with the MMA program has been a great way for me to gain job skills in a really positive and supportive environment,” Tiffany says. She begins her Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in September 2017, and began volunteering in the MMA program as a way to blend her love of martial arts with an opportunity to gain pedagogical experience.

“Through MMA, I’ve gained more confidence in my ability to work with youth, which will make a big difference when I start my teaching career,” she says.

Thank you, Tiffany, for your many contributions to CDI!

To learn more about the Integra MMA program, click here

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