Holistic Education

Holistic education is based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to spiritual values such as compassion and peace. Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning. It instills an ethical balance between the heart, mind, and soul.

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Throughout the two-hundred-year history of public schooling, a widely scattered group of critics have pointed out that education should strive for more than to mold students into future citizens and workers, but to develop latent potential and creativity in all areas of life. The Swiss humanitarian, Johann Pestalozzi; the American Transcendentalists: Thoreau, Emerson and Alcott; the founders of “progressive education”: Francis Parker and John Dewey; and pioneers like Maria Montessori and Rudolph Steiner, all insisted that education should be understood as the ‘art of cultivating the moral, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of the developing child.’ During the 1970s, a growing body of literature in science, philosophy and cultural history provided an overarching conceptual framework to describe this increasingly popular form of education, generically termed holistic. The holistic way of thinking seeks to encompass and integrate multiple layers of experience and meaning, rather than narrowly defining human possibilities quantitatively. Every child is more than a future employee; every person’s intelligence and abilities are far more complex than his or her scores on standardized tests.

Education, itself, is universally recognized as a fundamental building block for human development and a great advantage in reducing poverty. NNF believes that education is a powerful driver for the development of the individual and society as a whole, expanding the psyche, improving intelligence, health, gender equality, peace, and stability.

Empower Her Network
Golestan Center for Language Immersion and Cultural Education
MAP U.S. Nutrition Outreach Program
The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Empower Her Network collaborates with ready survivors of human trafficking who find themselves in the same vulnerable circumstance that led to their initial exploitation by removing housing barriers, financing education, and uncovering employment opportunities. Empower Her Network collaborated with her on an 18 month Empowerment Plan that will remove the obstacles in her way and clear the path for independence. Because we were established to address a gap in services, demand is high and we work carefully with our partners to collaborate and create a plan forward.

The key to EHN’s early and ongoing success is the determined and hardworking survivors in the program. Not everyone can rise above extreme trauma and chart their own course to a new, empowered future. But some can. Our process is rooted in its strong partnerships with residential shelters and program that nominate ready survivors. Empower Her Network’s local, trauma-informed Advocates collaborate with nominees on a self-determined Empowerment Plan that spans 12 to 18 months and focuses on housing solutions, financing education, and establishing steady wage employment. In line with best practices working with domestic violence survivors and homeless persons, EHN supports a permanent housing model and employment paths that focus on the individual’s unique needs and plans.

This is not a Band-Aid charity or a handout. EHN’s innovative approach leans into existing services to eliminate overlapping resources while putting each survivor in the driver’s seat, often for the first time. It is true empowerment, with clinical support and guidance. The women we work with are motivated and ambitious. Our unique approach puts each survivor at the center of service, determining her own success.


Golestan is committed to teaching Iranian Language and Culture to children while helping other communities in their efforts to raise curious, confident, generous, kind, compassionate, dignified, and altruistic children. Located in Berkeley, CA, Golestan Kids school provides an education that rivals the best progressive programs in the United States, while offering a fully immersed environment where children do not feel self-conscious about speaking Persian/Farsi.

The mission of the organization is multifold.

Golestan strives to cultivate young people with knowledge of and respect for Iranian language and culture to foster their development as active members of a diverse multicultural community.  Equally critical is the goal to encourage student development of reasoning and creative abilities through a dynamic and progressive program that draws from a diverse set of educational philosophies. The school serves as a model and resource for other communities (of all backgrounds), so that they may have the opportunity to create an enriching and idyllic school in their very own community.


Launched in 2010, Inspire-Tech is a Davis, CA based non-profit organization working to bring equity in the technology sector. Our mission is to educate and inspire girls in primary, middle, and high school to become tech-savvy and confident. The projected growth for the technology field through 2040 is tremendous. Encouraging our girls to learn about technology will maximize equity, innovation and creativity.



In Inspire-Tech workshops, art meets science, girls meet role models, education, fun, collaboration and creativity happens.


MAP Nutrition Outreach Program is developed to serve impoverished children and families within your community. The goal of the program is to fulfill the emergency and vital food needs of these children and families. MAP works with schools, community centers and shelters to identify hard working families who are facing difficulties in their lives. Often, parents have to make the hard choice between paying their bills and providing food for their children.

Research has shown that hunger impairs a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well in school and that children who struggle with hunger are more likely to experience headaches, stomach aches, colds, ear infections, and fatigue. According to the USDA, 15.3 million children live in food-insecure households. Many of these families want to make healthy meals at home for their kids bur are unable due to the cost of healthy groceries.

Our program provides children with healthy and nutritious protein and vegetables, which is not easily accessible through food pantries. The food is delivered to schools, community center or shelters on a regular basis, kept in a freezer and distributed by the school or center liaison to the families based on demand.


Since 2007, MISSSEY has devoted its energy to the heartbreaking epidemic of commercial sexual exploitation by supporting and advocating for youth who are victimized by or vulnerable to child sex trafficking. We are a survivor-centered, trauma-informed organization confronting the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Oakland, in Alameda County, and throughout California.

MISSSEY’s prevention program was established in 2016 in response to a growing community need for holistic, gender responsive preventative education specifically aimed at young women in Oakland who are vulnerable to sex trafficking. We believe information is power in the hands of young people. Our goal is to equip youth with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves and each other from exploitation and abuse.


Relationship abuse is often complex and dangerous, making it difficult for someone to evaluate their situation while juggling competing priorities. Safety planning is the cornerstone of intimate partner violence interventions and is ideally an individualized process, taking into account each survivor’s unique situation. Safety planning is most frequently accessed through traditional support services (e.g. hotlines, shelters, domestic violence programs). Yet the vast majority of abuse survivors report never accessing these services, representing missed opportunities to reduce violence and its negative consequences.

Designed through a series of multi-year research studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, myPlan is the first interactive safety decision aid. The tool is accessible via a mobile app and website, and designed to assist intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors in identifying and navigating their own safe path forward. The myPlan app is currently developing a version for Persian speaking immigrant women (experiencing IPV).

Decision aids in health care settings have been shown to be effective in assisting patients to make difficult decisions about treatment options. By providing information and helping to clarify personal values, decision aids can assist someone to weigh risks and benefits to make informed decisions that impact their safety.

myPlan is led by Dr. Nancy Glass PhD, MPH, RN, a Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, with a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the Associate Dean of Research for the School of Nursing, as well as the Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. Dr. Glass has over 20 years of intimate partner violence (IPV) experience across clinical and research settings, both domestically and globally. Her expertise is in developing and evaluating the effectiveness of innovative community-based interventions to prevent and address IPV, and its consequences, with diverse populations.