Monthly Archives: December 2008

Yaich Brings Respect Through Running

Melissa Yaich has developed a new program to help young girls achieve self respect through running and physical fitness. Working through the national Girls on the Run nonprofit organization, Yaich and Geogie Koch developed a 12 week training program culminating in a 5 kilometre run. The Mountain Mail of Salida, Colorado wrote a story about the programme.

‘Girls on the Run’ to found local program

Two local runners are working to found a new program as part of an existing council of Girls On The Run, a non-profit development program for pre-teen girls.

Melissa Yaich is starting the program along with Geogie Koch.

The program is for girls 8-13 years old and combines a 12-week, 24-lesson curriculum with running training. The curriculum emphasize importance of healthy choices, avoiding peer pressure, and physical activity.

Classes will be delivered by volunteers who serve as role models and take place in after-school programs, recreation centers and other non-profit settings.

The group will begin to meet this spring, and their mission is to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living through running and physical fitness.

Participants will meet two days per week and prepare for a 5k run to culminate the program. Each session will combine elements of classroom discussion and physical activity will be a part of every meeting.

The run will not be competitive, and participants are encouraged to walk or run the five kilometers.

Yaich was introduced to the program while training for the New York Marathon with her sister, who raised money for the group.

Koch is also a long-distance runner, currently training with Yaich for an upcoming marathon.

Colorado chapters currently exist in the Denver area as well as Grand Junction and the western slope.

Girls On The Run is an international parent organization, responsible for more than 160 local chapters across the United States and Canada.

Yaich and Koch are looking for coaches and volunteers to help get things started.

For more information about the program, visit:

Yaich can be contacted at, or at 539-5078 for more information.

Yoga Day Benefits City of Joy

Allison Osborn’s Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program project aimed to aid women in the Congo, many of whom have been the rargets of violence during Congo’s long running civil war. To do this, Osborn raised money for City of Joy, a refugee center that provides shelter and services to these women. The fundraiser took the form of a Yoga day, where instructors came together to teach yoga classes for attendees. There was also a raffle held for various wellness services.

The event was previewed by ABC’s Channel 13 in Rochester, which wrote this report.

Yoga Fundraiser Benefits Women of the Congo

Dr. Joanne Wu talked about “Warriors for Peace,” a yoga fundraiser taking place Saturday November 8, from 1 to 8pm at Physickos Yoga studio in the Village Gate Plaza on Goodman Street.

A dozen women in the Rochester area, including six yoga instructors, are donating their time and energy to create a day of peace through yoga to gather donations for the Women of the Republic of Congo.

There will be many classes to attend throughout the day. Each class costs $15, with a $5 additional charge for more classes.

All proceeds will go towards the City of Joy, a refuge center/hospital for women and children the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been feed from what social experts are calling the “worst crimes against humanity in history.”

Sather Forms Madison Lights Out

madison-lights-out.gifThis December marks the first month of the new Madison Lights Out (MLO) energy conservation and awareness campaign, which asks residents of Madison Wisconsin to cut back on their energy consumption. The campaign, started by Jennifer Sather in her Landmark Education SELP program, was the subject of an article in the Madison Times. Here is how Sather’s Light’s Out website describes the project.

MLO is a citywide energy conservation and awareness campaign, which will run every December and July. The sole purpose is to encourage behavior change in Madison residents resulting in turning OFF all non-essential lighting/energy products. Imagine how contagious this could be, if we as a community are successful in achieving measurable results.

Today, we have a choice in how we utilize energy. If we act now, we may be able to keep that choice. Everyone and every switch can help. You can. You count.

We are asking you, the community members of Madison to
participate in the MLO awareness campaign by:

  1. Being an example! Turn off non-essential lighting/energy products
  2. Download, print, and hang a poster
  3. Planting a yard sign in December (and July)
  4. Be a yard-sign distribution center in your neighborhood
  5. Passing the word and emailing this announcement to your friends

The Madison Lights Out project is also holding a mid-December, and has been featured on other websites, such as the Madison Peak Oil Group.

Leading Light Combats Social Anxiety Disorder

leading-light.jpgOn November 22, Steve Light held the first event for , a non-profit organization designed to educate and aid people with social anxiety disorder. The event, which was Light’s project in the Landmark Education self-expression and leadership programme, took place over the course of a full day at the Westminster Academy in London. It was conference style event with various workshop, expert speakers and other fun activities.

According to Light, most people don’t realize that social anxiety disorder is highly treatable and clinical studies have proven several therapeutic techniques to be successful in overcoming the problem long term.

The November event was hosted by group of leading psychologists and therapists who packaged some of these techniques into a series of mini workshops attendees took part in throughout the day. Each workshop gave an overview of the technique, how it works, what’s involved and what the success rates are, giving each participant a practical understanding of each therapy and enough information to make a choice about what’s right for them.

Light’s passion for making a difference with this disorder comes from personal experience.

“I had what’s known as social anxiety all of my life, growing up painfully shy and then worsening in my late teens and early 20’s,” he recalls. “I felt like I didn’t have a life at the time, it was near impossible for me to go into a job agency to look for work, I would stand outside looking through to see what the people looked like, my logic at the time was looking for ‘safe”‘people to speak to and the mostly good-looking female recruitment consultants were unsafe and terrifying for me.”

“I found my self being totally jumbled talking over the phone, trying to get my point across but feeling totally restricted and then of course beating myself up mentally afterwards.”

Now Light says that he is committed to support anyone who has to deal with what he went through.

Originally planned as one event, Leading Light is now an ongoing organisation. The next event is taking place Saturday, April 11, again at the Westminster Academy. Advanced booking costs £10. A June 6 event is also scheduled for Manchester. For more information, visit the Leading Light website.

Saving Our Girls: Mentoring Program Aids Chicago Teens

The Chicago Defender recently ran a piece about the landmark SELP project of April Preyar, which is designed to impact the lives of female African American teenagers in Chicago through a “Li’l S.I.S.” mentoring Expo event being held in December. Here’s how it appeared.

Saving Our Girls

Cheryl Burton, ABC 7 Chicago newscaster, and Bionce Foxx, WGCI-FM/107.5 Radio’s “on-air” personality, will each receive high honor and peacock praise at the inaugural “Li’l S.I.S. (Sisters Inspiring Sisters) Expo Chicago,” a two-day event this Saturday and Sunday at Paul Robeson High School. The free, city-wide non-profit expo for African American teen girls, ages 13-18, will feature an open-mic poetry cafe, public speaking competition, entertainment and computer giveaways in addition to intensive workshops on life skills in four areas: my body, my future, my world and my relationships. Both professionals and girl peer groups will lead seminars.

The expo is designed, says April D. Preyar, a criminal defense attorney who created this event as a result of her participation in the Self Expression Leadership Program in Landmark Education, to tackle the challenge of turning around the trend of failure currently facing this demographic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50 percent of African American teen girls have at least one sexually transmitted disease, and the Ill. Dept. of Health lists Illinois as having the third highest rate of teen pregnancy.

Li’l S.I.S. Expo has partnered with the Chicago Public Schools, Cook County Juvenile Disproportionate Minority Contact Initiative, Cook County Juvenile Probation Department (girls division), Englewood Difference-Makers Coalition, Girl Scouts of America and Metropolitan Family Services to promote this program. For more info and or/to register, call Attorney Preyar at (773) 648- 1285.

Stachler Raises Funds For College Scholarships for Cerebral Palsy Students

cabin-dogs.jpgLisa Stachler’s project in the Landmark Education SELP program was a benefit to raise money for college scholarships for those afflicted with cerebral palsy. The Benefit, named “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” took place on Sunday, November 2 at Cafe Live in Philadelphia, and featured top-end entertainment, as well as a mention in Philadelphia Weekly.

Oh the Places You’ll Go Benefit

by Brian MCManus

It’s not often you get to take in three top-notch standup comedians and three high-caliber bands in one evening and do good at the same time. Hell, it’s not ever. But that dry streak ends Sunday when some of Philadelphia’s apex of funny (Chip Chantry, Doogie Homber, Brian Cichocki) team up with some of its finest bands (Cabin Dogs, the Scott Silipigni Band, Transistor Rodeo) for a night to raise money to give college scholarships to kids living with cerebral palsy. The event is being thrown in association with the CP Center of New Jersey, and is the perfect soup for your sinful soul that’ll need a fix of something pure after a debauched Halloween weekend.

UPDATE: For those who have enquired, this link may give more ideas about college scholarships for those with cerebral palsy.