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Yoga changemaker bringing calm to teens with Townsville’s iActivate initiative

Published:15 June 2021

Townsville yoga entrepreneur and iActivate student Jasmine Healy-Pagán.

For more than a decade, Townsville yoga teacher Jasmine Healy-Pagán has helped thousands of young people grow well-being and calm in an increasingly noisy world.

Now the social entrepreneur aims to make her biggest impact yet, as she builds her Youth RESET resilience program with support from iActivate, CQUniversity’s online social enterprise course.

Jasmine is one of eight North Queensland business owners taking on the 12-week course with face-to-face support, thanks to a partnership between CQUniversity and Smart Precinct NQ.

The Australian-first initiative launched in April 2021, and Jasmine said the course is helping her to get clear, stay on track and think big.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my life and made things up as I went, and looking back, there’s always things you would do differently, she said.

“iActivate has come at the perfect time helping me to clarify and design what I want to achieve with Youth RESET, with social impact and making it work as a sustainable business."

Jasmine started her Youth RESET pilot in 2019, a five-week program supporting teenagers to develop emotional regulation, focus, resilience, intuition, compassion, optimism, confidence and healthy relationships.

She’s delivered these classes with the support of organisations including headspace Townsville, North Townsville Community Centre, and other local businesses.

“I love working with young people, and through my work and my parenting, I’ve seen teenagers become increasingly disconnected from themselves and the world because they’re so tuned into their phones” she explained.

“Youth RESET offers free community classes which requests feedback from participants at the start and end of each session, asking how they feel on a scale. I’m finding more than 80 per cent feel better at the end of a single session, and it’s a 30 to 50 per cent improvement.”

Jasmine hopes her Youth RESET social enterprise will grow income through community, school and business partnerships, and eventually sponsor young adults to become paid facilitators in the program.

The initiative builds on Jasmine’s experience starting Yoga Tools for Schools Inc., Australia’s first not-for-profit yoga in education organisation. Jasmine wrote and facilitated professional training for educators to learn simple and effective self-care tools to enhance their own wellbeing and the students they teach.

She also founded Townsville’s holistic wellness community Sundalah, running events across a decade and raising $30,000 for local causes.

Jasmine said iActivate has connected her with other passionate community-minded people.

“Finding people that understand their ‘why’ and are working to create positive change, has been a huge benefit for me,” she said.

“There’s so much for me to learn in this space, and it’s so heartwarming to connect with people who have been working in this way for so long.”

iActivate launched in 2020, and is a collaboration between CQUniversity and for-good Brisbane-based business Impact Boom.

Jasmine’s Townsville cohort meets weekly with local and online facilitators, and she said the chance to connect was a great motivator.

With video, audio and written content, iActivate’s 12 modules are curated to give students clear and actionable steps in defining goals and impacts, understanding business for good ecosystems, applying sustainable and innovative business models, and prototyping, pitching, scaling and measuring impacts.

The content builds on Impact Boom’s successful Elevate+ Accelerator Program for emerging social entrepreneurs, and CQUniversity’s range of social innovation courses and initiatives, from entry-level to postgraduate, that have kickstarted thousands of changemaker journeys for students since 2015.

CQUniversity is Australia’s only Changemaker University, accredited by global network for social innovation in education Ashoka U.

For more information visit cqu.edu.au/iactivate, and enrol to start iActivate now.