Jaccii Farris - The Samurai Games help disadvantaged students

The Samurai Games help disadvantaged students


Author: Jaccii Farris



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Brandon WilliamsCraig
60560 icon Brandon WilliamsCraig, Ph.D. is co-founder and CEO of the Bay Area nonprofit Association Building Community, or ABC ( ...





The Samurai Games help disadvantaged students

Published On: Jul 15 2012 08:00:00 PM EDT  Updated On: Jul 17 2012 05:58:00 AM EDT


The Samurai Games help disadvantaged students overcome



As if getting through high school isn't difficult enough, being the first in your family to go to college can complicate things.


But now East Stroudsburg University's Upward Bound program is using an ancient art form to better students' odds for success.


It's the ancient art of Aikido or the "way of harmony".


But for these Upward Bound students it's a way for them to sharpen their skills in preparation for college.


"We provide support services for low income students whose parents do not have the benefit of a bachelors degree," said Upward Bound director Uriel Trujillo.

The students come from high schools across Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe counties.  The lesson is about character and life skills using "The Samurai Game."

"Placing them in the mindset of a Japanese samurai we are hoping enhance their ability to recognize the values like honor, dignity and integrity and bring that into their lives in the decisions that they make," said Trujillo.

"They are transferring the movement and the principles of the art over into things like 'how am I communicating with my boyfriends, girlfriends, classmates?  How am I at taking a stand for myself?'," said Lance Giroux of Allied Ronin Leadership Training.

Giroux usually takes business leaders and their employees through the Samurai Game but says it's perfect to help teens identify and conquer goals in their academic and personal lives.

"Maybe I shouldn't get angry about my situation but look for a different way to solve my situation," said Austin Rios.

"Be here now. Don't think about other stuff. Think about what situation you are in. Know how you are going to stop it," said Grace Zawadi.

The students say they'll continue to apply what they have learned.

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