Youth Program: Build My Spirit

Build My Spirit before/after-school program and summer camp

What is Build My Spirit?

Build My Spirit is an after-school program and summer camp for BIPOC children aged 5-17 years that come from low-income families in order to expose them to the regular activities that bring understanding of protecting and preserving the Earth’s human and natural resources so we might thrive and lead more productive, healthy lives.

Why Build My Spirit?

We live in challenging times.

A pandemic, racial injustices, disparities, threats to women's rights, environmental challenges. History teaches us that whenever things of these proportions happen, the most vulnerable members of the society are the ones that suffer the most and carry the heaviest burden. Having that in mind, ASCENDtials develops programs that ease these challenges through critical cosmic consciousness, representing ancient black thought on keeping balance, and strives to create actionable change by using thoughtful, holistic, educative tools, resources and programs that prepare, are preventative, and instill and reinforce a deeper appreciation for self and community towards oneness, respect for human rights and environmental care.

Our Program

Our Build My Spirit program is for low-income BIPOC youth that offers a summer camp and a Before/After-school program for children aged 5-17 years old in San Diego. We designed this program to promote wellness, connection to nature, healthy coping skills, and resiliency. Our authentic Build My Spirit curriculum covers 7 topics and is customized for every age and experience level and will also educate on the concept of natural elements, water, fire, air, earth, the current condition they are in, and how we should nurture and use them in a sustainable manner. Moreover, the participants will learn about the five senses and how to tune into the "sixth one" through practical activities: yoga, art, music, hiking, swimming, observing our community garden, healthy meals, djembe drumming, museum visits and activities focused on imagination, critical thinking, building intuition and consciousness, tapping into humanity and achieving alignment, gaining higher level problem-solving skills, social-emotional learning, practicing balance and harmony according to the life cycles and laws of nature.

We at ASCENDtials believe that a just and fair society is possible.

Our idea behind the Build My Spirit program is to support our youth and their families  by offering activities that would equip them with knowledge about nature, themselves, their place in the natural and the societal realms. It would also provide tools for wellness, coping strategies, creative and critical thinking, individual problem-solving skills, creative thinking and overall quality of life. 

Through our before/after school program and summer camp, we also support the families by unburdening them of childcare that can be a strain for many families. They will be relieved to know that their children are cared for, that they are learning in a safe and nourishing environment, gaining skills that will last them a lifetime and will practice/use them in every aspect of their lives.

By supporting our project, together we will maximize our impact, which is to offer opportunities and lay a foundation for success where children can tap into their true potential and be healthy, happy, productive and fulfilled.

Over the course of one year

This program will offer:

Yoga Sessions

Three times a week

Art Session


Swimming Lessons


Drumming Lessons


Observational Hiking Sessions


Local Museum Visits

Once a quarter

Socio-emotional skills, coping skills, higher-level problem-solving skills activities


ASCENDtials has an established team and pool of instructors that consists of:

Name Role Responsibilities
Mika Marzette Program Director Oversees the budget operations, ensures compliance with contractual obligations, and conducts payroll for employees' wages, managing all aspects of the program.
TBD Program Manager Provides the implementation of programming and customer services, such as taking phone calls, providing correspondence, solicitations, mailings, and the creation of promotional materials.
Symone Farmer A Certified Child Life Specialist Provides subject matter expertise on best engagement practices. Facilitates implementation of educational programming.
Tonia Ferguson Subject Matter Expert Facilitates Kemetic Yoga sessions. Offers expertise on most current style and practices.
Dr. Keisha Clark Subject Matter Expert on DEI Facilitates sessions with the element of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. A specialist in this area of wellness and morale.
Kamilah Brown Camp Instructor/Child Activities Specialist Provides expertise on holistic content for engagement activities. Facilitates implementation of educational programming.
Jill Minard Yoga Instructor Provides instruction for the Yoga program. Offers 10 years of experience and expertise on ARSTYA style and practices in relation to emotional,physical, and spiritual healing
TBD Visual Arts Program Instructor Facilitates visual arts program that focuses on community engagement and contributions for beautification efforts.
Nigel Zuniga Performing Arts Program Instructor Facilitates performance arts program that focuses on self expression that fosters connection and non-verbal engagement amongst community participants

The "Build My Spirit" program helps reach our socio-economically disadvantaged youth around the world, particularly in East and West Africa, through Ascendtials programming.

It started as the foundation of the organization. It’s critical to empower youth by exploring growth opportunities through discussions of issues surrounding them. The education they receive regarding the science of sciences is a critical base for knowing thyself and their purpose here on Earth. We also believe it vital to instill boundaries and principles that prepare, aid in protecting them from the gaping holes placed before them. Ascendtials want to ensure our children are properly equipped to thrive under systems until they are able to dismantle them with the knowledge learned. Teaching children through a process of creative learning is how we begin to set them on the path to success.

The expected outcomes of the Build My Spirit Program are as follows:

This program is planned for a group of up to 20 children per activity.


Build My Spirit Summer Camp

During the summer months, this program will offer a summer camp for the duration of up to one week, where the students will be able to do all these activities.

The choice of the activities is intentional, as yoga, art, music, swimming, hiking are proven to promote healing, resiliency, while reducing stress and anxiety and enabling the children to reach their full potential.