Coastal Self Defense Academy works with young children and teens to provide them with practical strategies to recognize and avoid dangerous situations, as well as how to respond if they are put in a situation that requires self defense. The young people are empowered to tap into their personal strengths and apply them to the world around them. Given the instances of assault and rape that occur on college campuses nationwide, and the widespread media coverage of these occurrences, this self defense and personal power program is especially vital for young people. Through the CSDA programs, the students discover that they are capable of farm more than they ever thought possible.

Coastal Self Defense Academy is proud to work with the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Eureka! program. Read on to learn about Maria, a young girl who went through the CSDA self-empowerment program as part of the Eureka! program:

Maria joined the Eureka! program as a potential first generation college student during her 7th grade year. She comes from a family that has consistently struggled to make ends meet. According to Maria, she never had an academic role model and college was always a foreign concept to her, as she had no one in her family who could share their experiences or encourage her to pursue higher education. Her Eureka! experience has been transformative, particularly her time in the self defense portion of the program. She was always a timid girl, scared to step out of her comfort zone and jump into new and exciting experiences. Time spent practicing self defense and empowerment with the Coastal Self Defense Academy has definitely contributed to Maria becoming strong, smart and bold. In a recent scholarship essay, Maria spoke to her experience.

“During the first week of school my sophomore year, I was very overwhelmed with all my activities. I thought I would not be able to keep up with the demands and considered dropping some of my commitments even though I knew they would help me get into a good college. As I was struggling with what to do, I stumbled upon my wooden board that I had broken during a self defense workshop in the Eureka! program. We had to title our boards with an obstacle we wanted to overcome and our friends wrote words of encouragement on it. One comment said, “I admire your strength.” Looking back on that board and how I was able to break through it even though it seemed impossible, I decided not to drop any of my activities. I knew I could do it!”