We bring self-care tools to as many students as possible. We work in the classroom to help them cope with stress and express their emotions in healthy, and productive ways.
The "I Am" Project is committed to teaching accessible self-care practices to middle and high school kids. We bring these tools to as many students as possible, to as many schools as possible. The program gives a free introductory program for every school.
BREATHING, MINDFUL MOVEMENT, AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION PRACTICES TEACH STUDENTS TO CARE FOR THEMSELVES BY CONNECTING WITH THEIR BODY AND MIND.
By teaching each child how to integrate these practices into their daily routine, The "I Am" Project helps children learn how to feel better about themselves, release stress, and calm their emotions - all of which makes them feel stronger, healthier, and happier. We believe that emotionally healthy kids learn better and grow into emotionally healthy and productive adults.
The "I Am" Project was founded in 2012 when a sixth grade teacher invited her former student to present her work to her class. Yali Szulanski, who had been working as a private tutor and teaching healing through breathing and energy work, brought her tools to a presentation in Mary Beth Hegeman's 6th grade class at Bala Cynwyd Middle School. The students loved the class - yet Yali could not imagine the impact. That summer, she received letters and emails from both students and parents expressing how just one class had changed their perspective on ways to manage stress. They met right away and decided to pilot a year-long curriculum.The first "I AM" Curriculum launched for the 2012-2013 school year, and the success was palpable. Students in the program reported feeling calmer, more centered, and more academically capable. Bala Cynwyd Middle School has since contracted 4 full year curriculums so that The "I Am" Project can be taught for all of 6th grade. Word has spread quickly, with Yali running workshops in 7 schools, and reaching over 1000 students. With each school year, new schools are signing on for the full-year curriculum.
EMOTION IS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE - WE ARE ALL HUMAN, AND WE LEARN BY COMMUNICATING EMPATHY, COMPASSION, AND CONNECTION.
The "I Am" Project now has international reach with its new partnership with PRODEV HAITI, an organization committed to building schools and bringing sustainable education to underserved communities in Haiti. The "I Am" Project upholds the mission that if we learn how to access our emotions by accepting and understanding ourselves, we can foster generations that work towards community and social justice.
Yali Szulanski - Founder
Yali Szulanski founded The "I Am" Project in 2012 as a way to provide students with tools and techniques to help them think about and tend to stress in a productive and helpful manner. She is a writer, speaker, teacher, and consultant who lives to uncover strength and healing within herself and others. She has combined her studies in psychology, energy healing (Reiki), physical fitness instruction (Boxing, Diving, Zumba, and Yoga), and creative therapy (art, writing, drama) into a way to allow students to access their innate ability to express themselves in healthy ways. Yali has worked with various communities to share the tools that help access the strength and safety within to fuel and sustain long-term healing. She has taught in classrooms in Haiti, Singapore, Israel, Paris, New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey and hopes to reach as many communities as she can. Yali also speaks to students about her journey in healing and recovery and her current work and offers insight and motivation.
Danielle Szulanski - Teacher
Danielle graduated with a B.M. in Music Therapy from Nazareth College of Rochester. While at Nazareth College, she became apart of and led the Center for Spirituality club. The club focused on open dialogue and respect between all religions and spiritualities. Through the club she grew more aware of her understanding of other people and the importance of listening and open communication. This helped her during her Internship with Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care. She recently became a board certified music therapist. During a difficult period in her life she was reintroduced to her passion for dance. She became a certified Zumba instructor. Movement and music has brought an emotional outlet, freedom, and overall peace in her life. Danielle is looking forward to being a Music Consultant for the “I AM” project. It is a true honor to be apart of this fantastic and ever growing team of expressive and open people who want to help kids find their voice utilizing creative means of expression. Danielle is excited to make music with “I AM”!
Amanda Adamczyk - Teacher
Amanda (Anya) graduated with a B.A. in Dance from James Madison University. While at JMU, she performed with and toured Virginia as a member of the Virginia Repertory Dance Company.. Amanda continues to choreograph, train in ballet and modern, teach teens and kids ages 2-5, and explore this wonderful world of movement. She found a deep connection to yoga and completed a 200 Hour Level 1 Asana and Pranayama Teacher Training through Integral Yoga Institute of New York. She currently teaches Hatha at IYI in NY and at BEYOGA in NJ. Amanda recently completed her training for kids yoga through Kidding Around Yoga and now teaches kids classes throughout NJ. Yoga has brought clarity, peace, and openheartedness into Amanda’s life. She is eager to continue on this journey growing as a teacher, as a Yogini, in her career as a dancer, and to bring all of her experiences to the “I AM” project. She is extremely excited and thankful to be a part of this amazing and inspiring team and to give kids the tools to connect with their creative selves. Amanda is ready to move and groove with “I AM”!