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Upworthy featured SAF in their video Finding Meaning After Incarceration!

About Spirit Awakening

Spirit Awakening Foundation (SAF), recipient of a number of prestigious recognitions, awards and accolades, including the 2018 Best of Santa Monica Nonprofits award, the Southern California Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Leadership Award, is an arts-based nonprofit organization. Since its inception in 1995, SAF has been a pioneer in developing and offering restorative, trauma-informed work, programs and support to underserved, incarcerated and previously incarcerated youth in Los Angeles County. Using the tools of meditation, self-reflection, creative writing, visual arts, mentorship, service, and leadership training, all of which have been guided by field-based research, SAF is able to accomplish our mission to help underserved youth build character and raise self-esteem.



SAF greatly thanks our donors for the impact they make on the lives of the youth we serve.

Spirit Awakening's Tuesday Mentorship Program Update
The Tuesday Mentorship Program will be taking a short break from Tuesday, August 19, 2019 and will be reconvening on Tuesday, September 10, 2019! For questions and more information, please email or call (866) 456-8002.

SPirit Awakening’s SOLUTION

An annual performance of the written and spoken word of child detainees, as well as a published compilation of their essays, poems, and metaphysical musings. SAF advocates for and celebrates the unedited voices of our most vulnerable citizens.

A series of programs, conducted both in and outside detainment camps, that teach underserved and incarcerated youth to express themselves through creative writing and visual arts— helping them build a foundation for communication and success.

An annual retreat for advanced Spirit Awakening students at the beautiful Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Here, students gain insight into themselves and each other through the peace and stillness of nature.

Angels of Redemption is our bi-annual outreach trip to Ghana in which students explore culture, history and the impact it has on them. Spirit Awakeners also visit St. Anne's Orphanage to provide the children with food, friendship, toys and tutelage. 


Jamie Socci
Board Chair

Akuyoe Graham
Founder & Executive Director

Lynn Kitchen
Board Member

Spirit Awakening’s youth leaders

Shirley Garcia
Alumni, Peer Mentor /
Board Mentor

Florence Bannout
Alumni /
SAF Facilitator

Aarron Wilson
Peer Mentor /
Teacher's Assistant


Makeva Tasby
Alumni /
SAF Facilitator Trainee

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