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Description of the program, including the goals, expected outcome:

Between Pre & Post surveys the participants engage in team reflective surveys, after each exercise. Where they take turns being a team leader and are responsible for extracting inquiry from their team and reporting to the entire group their findings. How would this activity help you in your day life in school or out, and why? This engages the participants in a whole-brain thinking process of the creative activities they just experienced. Also introduces them to teamwork, listening skills and the confidence of public speaking. At the end of the 3-day workshop, as the culmination and pinnacle of their experiences drawn from the program, participants create a group painting to present to the public; an expression created by persons from multiple perspectives can be harmonious and unifying. Thus, this is not only a healing experience for the group but also a community awareness campaign, sharing a message of decreased violence of all types. Our findings from Pre & Post results, majority realize that they are not alone in their fears and that their dreams can become reality. By introducing new and fresh perspectives through the power of the creative process, our participants learn to embrace life and fully realize its endless possibilities. Shifting awareness turns Pain into the means of Bridging their Possibilities, so participants can become enlightened about their Purpose and lead a productive life.

Mikayla’s story is one of many successes to create a “rippling effect” through RTF: “I was into drugs, and into gangs. I was on a destructive path and didn’t care--about anything. I happened to be in the class when Release the Fear was presented, only because I needed the credit. I didn’t want to be there. In fact, when I first met Robert and RJ, I didn’t like them. I didn’t like what they were saying. I didn’t like the program. I didn’t want to have anything to do with any of it. But a few days later, those feelings began to change. It was like my eyes were taken out. And the program gave me new eyes--eyes that allowed me to see the world in a different way. And I began to imagine a person I might be. If I had not taken the Release the Fear workshop, I would be in jail today, or worse. Instead, I just graduated with my Bachelors’ degree in Science. Thanks to this program”.

Mikayla has been identified as becoming one of Release the Fear new program trainers in 2009.

“In the seminars something happens for the participants, which leads them to move forward from living in their own personal world to sharing a world and their views with others.”

There are no other programs with similar methodology of teaching valuable life skills, enhance participants’ sense of self and surroundings, and allow them to experience alternative ways of dealing with conflict and anger.

Release the Fear is about unblocking previous personal barriers and becoming open for new possibilities, ones which have not been possible in the past. Participants gain new tools from RTF insights and as a result enter their future from a different perspective. As the participants move through the seminar, a release of energy occurs. From my experiences there is a heaviness lifted off from many. The kids seem to move from understanding their world as an individual to becoming part of a group of their peers. RTF is different than a typical therapeutic setting. The exercises of RTF walk the students through their personal world and lead them to distinguish insights as only they would understand. This is where the release occurs. The kids share their insights and become the stimulus for change for themselves and the others in the group. Participants leave RTF as different individuals then when they had entered.
Michael A. Halpert,
Doctorial Candidate/ RTF Facilitator

The need for our program & popular demand; each potential participant is required to read and fill out a form that details the program and why they feel they deserve to participate. Due to class size restraints only 20 of 60 that applied were selected by the staff at The Durango Facility, as well as SEF. As you can see, the program and its life changing experience and results are becoming very popular amongst the kids at both facilities, through word of mouth.

2005 RTF instituted the first “Inside Out – Bridging Possibilities” Workshops at  Durango and SEF Detention Centers.  Workshops at these Detention Centers confirmed that 25% of the participants had no further problems with breaking the law. Detention staff attributed this to the Workshop, reduce the recidivism rate, a tremendous fiscal savings & new beginnings for the youth.
















“Art is a great tool in controlling anger and aggression and by having this program, we have helped many youth see they can vent in positive ways. They also see that they can add to their community. Our youth were trained in dealing with emotion and fear through art…”

Dr. Derrick Platt, Former SEF Detention Manager, MCJP, AZ

“We had a detainee that was very quiet and reserved. He was also on suicide watch. I didn’t believe he was going to complete the first day. After the first project he became more engaged and more self-confident. As the program went on he became more assertive and comfortable in expressing himself. This is an excellent program for the kids. It allows them to express themselves, to become more self-confident.”

Lisa Frey, JPO Program Coordinator

"This expresses our support and interest in working with Release the Fear (RTF) on the Bridging Possibilities project for participants at the Durango and Mesa SEF Juvenile Detention Centers. We have been impressed with the work of RTF in the past, as our youth are taught new ways of dealing with conflict and anger – healthy ways of expressing themselves such that they do not re-offend, and can lead productive lives, contributing to their communities. Through the creative process, our youth have seen that art can be wonderful tool for them, and they have gained a better understanding of themselves and their peers. We are eager to continue work with RTF so that our youth can turn their pain into possibilities and purpose!"

Amna Gilmore, JPO Supervisor, SEF & Sarah Murillo, Durango Programming Managers

Program Narrative quantitative measures:

Release the Fear (RTF) feels the 4 most important outputs listed below reflect the shift and changes that participants experience due to the workshops. The reason why we think these are important to these children’s future; The average curriculum time that participants engage in is approx. 2 hrs/day, in the case of Inside Out - Bridging Possibilities Workshops, (IO-BP) over 3 days. With take away reflective assignments given to participants to enable them to engage life outside of workshop and share its relevance with each other. As seen listed below in track record and the growth of RTF’s audience. Why is this important? Scientific studies prove that children are incapable of learning, let alone retaining, any new knowledge given to them if they are in an environment which presents itself as frightening. A student must first know that they are in an atmosphere of support and caring before they can begin to take in any new concepts, context and knowledge. To be complacent about our future, our goals, and our dreams makes us complacent about our present, for the present is the stepping stone of all that is to come. That first step gives the hope and courage to believe that our dreams, our goals are possible. Children must have the courage and wisdom instilled in them to take that first step. After that they become one measure closer to what will fill them with utter joy, pride and self worth. Statistics from 2005 to date 2008 of youth from Maricopa County Detention Facilities who participated in RTF workshops: Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Release the Fear Program helps to effectively reduce the recidivism rate.

RELEASE THE FEAR 2009 Served 615
2009 RTF Pre/Post Results
36% Female – 64% Male – Youth Ages 10 – 17 and 15 Adults
95% discovered something new about themselves.
93% discovered something new about their classmates and friends.
Pre 58% compared to Post 76% realized that they are not alone in their fears.
Pre 54% compared to Post 71% realized their dreams can be a part of their reality.

RELEASE THE FEAR 2008 Served 488
2008 RTF Pre/Post Survey Results
53% Female - 47% Males -Youth Ages 10 - 21
89% Discovered something new about themselves
90% Discovered something new about their classmates and friends.
Pre 53% compared to Post 70 % Realized that they are not alone in their fears.
Pre 44 % compared to Post 75 % Participants realize their dreams are part of their reality.

RELEASE THE FEAR 2007 Served 400
2007 RTF Pre/Post Survey Results
63% Female - 37% Males -Youth Ages10 - 21
78% Discovered something new in the workshop.
81% Discovered something new about classmates/friends.
Pre 44.9% compared to Post 75.1% Realized that they are not alone in their fears.
Pre 64 % compared to Post 97.1% Participants realize their dreams are part of their reality.

2005 RTF instituted the first “Inside Out – Bridging Possibilities” Workshops at  Durango and SEF Detention Centers.  Workshops at these Detention Centers confirmed that 25% of the participants had no further problems with breaking the law. Detention staff attributed this to the Workshop, reduce the recidivism rate, a tremendous fiscal savings & new beginnings for the youth.

The program participants, including the age range and number of the people participating:

Durango and SEF, the 2 juvenile correction facilities dedicated to housing children who have no other alternative, from through out all of Maricopa County. These at risk incarcerated ages from 12- 17 or grade 6 – 12, they are minority children, mostly from low-income geographic regions, and children whose lives are paralyzed and dictated by the fear and pathological issues that they face on a daily basis. The eight months of programs will impact over 320 youth, their families and Maricopa Community as a whole.


Release The Fear

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Please visit Release the Fearís new space at Grace Chapel, 302 W. Monroe, in the downtown Phoenix Arts District.
Mailing ~ P.O. Box 3815 Phoenix, Arizona 85030

Release The Fear

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