Evolution Youth Services was founded in 2016 by a small group of mental health professionals passionate about sharing the remarkably transformative power of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
We provide innovative, evidence-driven, trauma-informed interventions to youth at-risk of or currently involved in the Juvenile Justice System. For angry aggressive adolescents who need therapy or treatment and won't sit in an office and engage with a therapist - We are an innovative, out-of-the-box option.
Our interventions are informed by research and delivered by highly qualified and intentionally recruited staff. We seek to give youth an accepting, self-correcting community that encourages and models healthy peer relationships.
At present, we use the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as the vehicle to engage difficult to reach youth. Through our intentionally designed program youth learn emotional regulation skills that they can practice in real-time. The social and emotional skills taught on the mat, coupled with our philosophical guidance, create for our students an internal moral compass designed to help them successfully navigate a world that, at times, can feel absolutely crazy.
We offer jiu Jitsu as a movement-based therapeutic intervention. Our program focuses on the development of prosocial behaviors through our unique cooperative/ competitive environment. We provide routine, structure, instill discipline, and help youth build identity and self-worth. Our program is designed to increase youths’ capacity for emotional regulation (thus decreasing aggressive behaviors). Perseverance, resiliency, and problem solving are built through exposure to difficult and uncomfortable positions. It seems easy to learn anger management skills in a safe office without any real confrontation. Learning these skills on the mat is difficult. For some it proves to be a nearly overwhelming threat to their ego. We work with that. Our youth leave with the self-confidence that they don't need to fight. They leave after having been praised, encouraged, and inspired that they can be good and successful. It is my belief, that our students receive more praise on our mats, than anywhere else in their lives.
We may be the only program nationally that can provide an on-site, on-the-mat, mental health clinician who not only specializes in trauma work with youth but is also a jiu jitsu practitioner. Our in-house, on-the-mat clinicians can provide both individual and group therapy to program participants.
SEVA: Selfless service on behalf of, and for the betterment of the community.