NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, the nonprofit organization called the Reciprocity Foundation launched the first-ever Holistic Center for Homeless, runaway and LGBT-identified youth in America. Located in the Fashion District in New York City, the center will house yoga classes, meditation, massage, nutrition and integrative counseling alongside the organization's award-winning filmmaking, employment training and college preparation programs.
"The Reciprocity Foundation has a long legacy of innovation," says co-founder Taz Tagore. "Since 2004 we have helped homeless youth break the cycle of poverty using our integrated, holistic approach."
Some homeless shelters offer acupuncture or yoga classes but not a single homeless organization has created a holistic center for homeless or LGBT-identified youth. Echoing Green awarded the Reciprocity founders a prestigious fellowship in 2007 for their groundbreaking social innovation.
"There is simply no doubt in my mind that Adam Bucko and Taz are doing some of the most innovative and important work today. They are co-creating a powerful vision that leads to large-scale action with powerful results," says Cheryl Dorsey, Executive Director of Echoing Green.
Since it's inception in 2004, the Reciprocity Foundation has helped homeless youth compose and record music, create films, create photography exhibits, design clothing, and model on Tyra Banks' hit show America's Next Top Model. But Reciprocity graduates are unique in their ability to manage stress (using meditation and yoga) and their strong desire to give back at every stage of their growth.
Prior to collaborating with the Reciprocity Foundation for an episode in Cycle 5 (2008), Tyra Banks said, "Homelessness is an issue close to my heart." Afterwards, Reciprocity graduate Isis King became the first transgender contestant on America's Next Top Model.
"Reciprocity opened up many doors for me. They provided the foundation for who I am today," said King. Isis King is now developing a clothing line in collaboration with business leaders from the Reciprocity community in New York while stepping into the role of leader to millions of young women.
Another important project involved WNBC news reporter Chris Glorioso—who worked with seven Reciprocity students on creating the film INVISIBLE: Diaries of New York's Homeless Youth. The documentary was nominated for an Emmy award in 2011.
"I've watched New York's most broken youth transform their entire lives through the Reciprocity Foundation's programs ... what Reciprocity does is nothing short of a miracle," says Glorioso.
"Now that we've seen the life changing results of our program, we're ready to transform the sector," said Reciprocity co-founder Adam Bucko. "We're teaching leaders from the Department of Youth and Children (DYCD) and the Texas Homeless Network (THN.org) to employ our Whole Person, integrated approach.
ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE RECIPROCITY FOUNDATION
"[The Reciprocity Foundation is] helping...in a unique way."
"[With the Reciprocity Foundation] there are results...success stories...[they are] inspiring..."
"What better way for social entrepreneurs to invest in the future of the world."
"[The Reciprocity founders are] sharing the love."
—New York Times
"Reciprocity builds a unique bridge between the talents and gifts of homeless kids and the expression of youth culture."
—Author, Sacred Activist, Andrew Harvey
"Reciprocity Foundation...shepherds [homeless] youths into creative-sector jobs."
—New York Magazine
"[Reciprocity] demonstrates the love, care and compassion that has the power to transform the fabric of our society."
"What is remarkable is how much of the creative world the youth at The Reciprocity Foundation are exposed to..."
"[America's Next Top Model] did a commendable job of raising awareness of the Reciprocity Foundation—a program that helps homeless youths enroll in college, start careers, and outshine Top Model contestants."
—Entertainment Weekly, 2008
ABOUT US: Reciprocity Foundation (www.reciprocityfoundation.org), is 501c3 nonprofit organization co-founded by Adam Bucko and Taz Tagore. Since it's inception, the Reciprocity Foundation has helped nearly a thousand homeless youth become successful entrepreneurs, community leaders, educators and media activists.
SOURCE Reciprocity Foundation