The Barb Schmidt Fellowship at FAU

The Barb Schmidt Fellowship at FAU

How can you really take your passions,
and your dreams, and all of the things that you desire to do in your life and
make it work, but also stay strong and firm, and not get too anxious, and not
get too stressed, or not get disappointed and give up? So the mindfulness/meditation
piece of this fellowship really lays the foundation for the work that these kids
are trying to do. One of the most exciting pieces of the Barb Scmidt
Fellowship that I’m so thrilled about is just how diverse our program is. We have
16 different high schools represented through all of Palm Beach and Broward
counties, and we have 28 students who have all chosen a topic that they are
really passionate about and that they really want to change in their communities. Right now we’re learning all the key
skills we need to be activists and social organizers and a lot of mindfulness and meditation practices to help us take care of ourselves. Everyone here is really enabling us to pursue our passions in a way that’s going to translate into real change. It has really inspired me to join and to gain more knowledge. The faculty of our program are
demonstrating that the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences are vital for
solving today’s problems and for preparing our youth to meet the
challenges of the future. So what we’re really hoping to build here at Florida
Atlantic University is a center for activism and civic engagement. Students will learn key technical and professional skills that are essential for driving social change. I try to merge together that traditional practice and contemporary themes and advocacies for the students to help combine them. One of the unique components of this
fellowship is that these high school students will get 6 credit hours at
Florida Atlantic University, so it’s really a dual enrollment program, and then they will get a thousand dollar stipend at the end of the semester to do whatever
it is they wish to do with it, and a lot of them have said that they might want
to use it to launch their project into the community. I know what I’m passionate
about, but the important part is learning how to mobilize your passion. If we want society to be the way we want it in a couple years, then we are going to need to take action. Before this fellowship I didn’t really
know what mindfulness thinking was and how to like deal with your thoughts. Mindfulness is an incredibly important practice for the students so that they don’t burn out on their journey to changing the world. I’ve applied mindfulness to my school life already. Its helping me improve my grades and
focus my classes and I can already see the potential of it in activism and in my movement. I think Barb’s mindfulness practice has
really, you know, changed my life in a way. As we say at Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life,
outer peace begins with inner peace and so these students will be taking their
projects into the world and being that change that they wish to see.

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