Founded in January 2014, Calm Clarity provides a neuroscience-based leadership and resilience training that helps people (ages 14 and up) develop self-mastery and build resistance to toxic stress. The Calm Clarity Program is designed to strengthen areas of the brain related to executive functioning, learning, and emotional regulation and to address social-emotional skill gaps and self-limiting beliefs that are common among low-income communities.
The Calm Clarity Program consists of ten modules which emphasize interactive, experiential learning using a cross-disciplinary curriculum that integrates findings from neuroscience, trauma research, behavioral economics, psychoneuroimmunology, mindfulness research, positive psychology, cognitive behavior therapy, sociology, and leadership development.
Calm Clarity is a self-sustaining social enterprise that provides a world-class leadership development program to professionals and invests the profits to close the education divide. We achieve our social justice mission through programs that aim to:
1) increase the college graduation rate and well-being of low-income first-generation college students.
2) provide a trauma-informed social emotional learning curriculum that addresses the conditions of inner city schools and reduces teacher and student burn-out.
By training under-privileged students to build resilience and leadership skills, Calm Clarity can help end the trans-generational transmission of toxic stress and poverty in low-income communities.
Calm Clarity was created by a social entrepreneur who rose from poverty, overcame complex PTSD, graduated from Harvard College and the Wharton School of Business, and built a successful international business career. She has skillfully integrated these experiences into a social enterprise model where business clients “pay it forward” to support the social justice mission.
Calm Clarity is a pioneer in directing neuroplasticity to support positive behavior change. The innovative trauma-informed curriculum empowers people with essential knowledge and tools that facilitate healing and self-development in a way that does not pathologize people. We created original frameworks and teaching methods to explain scientific concepts and demystify mindfulness in a way that a teenager can grasp and apply to daily life. Our “distilled” 5 and 10 minute contemplative exercises are easy to learn and practice to strengthen brain circuits associated with executive functioning and positive engagement. Participants find the program very powerful.
Calm Clarity is a leader in bringing neuroscience into workplace and educational settings to help professionals and students enhance self-leadership, resilience, and inter-personal skills. We proactively undertake program evaluation to monitor impact and collect feedback for continuous improvement. We openly share our progress and collaborate with schools, colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and researchers. We also actively engage with the mindfulness community.
Calm Clarity presented at the Friends Association for Higher Education (FAHE) and Friends Council on Education (FCE) Conference in 2014 and was invited to contribute to the Spring 2015 edition of the FAHE Quaker Higher Education Journal. Calm Clarity also provided pro-bono training for Leadership Philadelphia’s Core Class and its Nonprofit Collaborative Breakfast.
We plan to develop a train-the-trainer system so the Calm Clarity Program can be widely offered through certified instructors. We are also exploring options to deliver the program through a web-enabled platform.
Calm Clarity operates as a project under the fiscal sponsorship of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia. The social enterprise business model has two arms:
1. Calm Clarity Institute (CCI): provides leadership development training to businesses and professionals. Our clients include consulting firms and technology companies. The profits are re-invested to support our social justice mission through CCES.
2. Calm Clarity Educational Services (CCES): collaborates with educational institutions and nonprofit organizations to help close the education divide and reduce toxic stress. Our clients include Cabrini College and Villanova University. Central, KIPP and Mastery are exploring implementing the program.
We will raise social impact capital to develop capacity and leverage technology to support scaling. A number of social impact investors have already expressed interest. We are consulting with technology advisors to design and develop a web-enabled platform that can provide a robust interactive learning experience and support instructor training.
The Calm Clarity modules are designed as a series of interactive "TED talk" style workshops using PowerPoint slides, and thus can be easily replicated and scaled through a train-the-trainer certification program. Eventually, we also aim to make the Calm Clarity Program available through a web-enabled interactive learning platform, which will also provide educators with tools that support classroom instruction.
The target audience includes educational institutions, counselors, therapists, and social workers, as well as corporate trainers and leadership coaches. To design the train-the-trainer system, we plan to run focus groups to gain further insights into the needs and requirements of our audience and develop effective teaching materials for certified instructors.
Leaders from the Mindful Nation Foundation, Mindful Schools, the Mindfulness Institute at Jefferson University Hospitals, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and Minds Incorporated are sharing lessons learned and providing guidance around scaling and designing the train-the-trainer system.
Our logic model and program evaluation tools were designed with guidance from experts such as Dr. Martin Seligman at the Penn Positive Psychology Center and Geri Summerville at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice. At present, the primary evaluation method involves pre- and post-surveys consisting of these validated assessment instruments: the Brief Resilience Scale, the General Self-Efficacy Scale, the PERMA-Profiler (for adults aged 18 and up) or the EPOCH Measure of Adolescent Well-being, and a stress assessment instrument.
In a small preliminary pilot at Cabrini College (n=15), statistically significant changes were seen in the mean scores for resilience (up 13%), self-efficacy (up 10%), positive emotions (up 15%), meaning and purpose (up 11%), negative emotions (down 20%), and loneliness (down 24%). There were also significant reductions in peak stress levels (down 14%) and frequency of toxic stress (down 24%). These changes were reinforced by the students’ qualitative responses.