Name: Jennifer (Jen) Kuo
Job Title: Social Media Engagement Specialist
Tomorrows Project: Yoga for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Kids
Tagline: A wellness yoga program for kids to practice their listening/language skills while staying physically active & maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is your Tomorrows Project?
My Tomorrows Project is to bring an educational yoga program to a non-profit called No Limits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. The program will use the kid-friendly, Chi Universe Phresh Mats. The mats utilize fun shapes and colors to help the kids with body alignment and serve as visual cues for the different yoga positions while practicing their language skills. Additionally, I am a certified children’s yoga instructor and will be volunteering my time to teach the curriculum to their students and families.
Why did you decide to partner with this organization?
No Limits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children is headquartered in Southern California and they offer a national theater program and after-school educational centers that teaches children ages 3-18 the skills to succeed in school and in life. No Limits breaks the cycle of dependency, as 100% of their alumni are in college or have graduated from college. I was impressed by their success stories and felt a connection with their staff and students. They were seeking a health-related program and really excited when I approached them with my Tomorrows Project idea. It’s a great privilege for me to partner with No Limits to develop assessments and metrics in hopes that this yoga program can serve as a case study in the future.
What inspired you to create your Tomorrow?
My personal condition has inspired me to help children who are deaf and hard of hearing. I have an inner ear condition known as delayed endolymphatic hydrops (similar to Meniere’s Disease) and sensorineural hearing loss in my right ear. I was curious as to how yoga could be shared with kids with certain needs as I believe that all kids can benefit from the practice. Yoga supports the health and wellness of the whole child – with physical, mental, emotional, social and academic benefits that will serve them for life.
90% of children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents who have no prior experience with hearing loss, and these parents are often paralyzed with heartbreak as they struggle to communicate with their child. This yoga program will help to achieve the culture they are trying to create for the children and families from all aspects: the physical, language, emotional, and social.