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Jennifer E. Jones, MSW (pictured at left) is the Owner/Director of Growing Minds of New York, Inc. is. Raised in New York City has given her the ability to get along with just about anyone and has spurred empathic responses. She is not only a true advocate for diversity but a culturally well-rounded individual. While attending to the full-time responsibility of parenting, Jones earned a Masters degree from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work, with a specialization in Children and Families. She believes in possibilities and that if given an opportunity, people can achieve their full potential.

Applying theory to practice, Mrs. Jones has opened Growing Minds of New York Inc. Growing Minds brings to life leadership, education and creative skills, continually in exciting environments. The program focuses on the arts and humanities and will run all year. Her advanced degrees and interest in child development and families is the driving force behind all Growing Minds’ developing programs!

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Desiree Pansarella (pictured at left)Yoga journey started, in 2008, when she was pregnant with my daughter. She believes that Yoga has always been a part of her path in life. In 2011 she became certified in family yoga, kid’s yoga, prenatal, postnatal and mommy and me instruction. “I feel the connection much stronger to yoga now that I am a mom of 2. The mind body spirit connection is a powerful thing and I am honored to help others feel what I once felt” (Desiree Pansarella).

Desiree also has a dance background with all ages, as well as fitness and Zumba. She is always trying to keep up with the trends to help her students grow and continue on to a healthy lifestyle.

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Acevedo, Victor (Pictured on left) began training with Jack Hoban in 1985 and was fortunate enough to meet his teacher Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi in 1986 at the first US Taikai in San Fansisco. His training was not limited to any one instructor but influenced by many, including Shoto Tanemura sensei, Fumio Manaks sensei, Stephen Hayes, Bud Malmstrom, Pedro Flietas, Joe Svaral and may more. Acevedo teaches Budo Taijutsu Self Defense. The Samurai were highly trained warriors and considered the protectors of feudal Japan. They were masters of the martial arts (Budo), especially the sword (Katana) which they believed held their spirit.

Samurai training began as soon as you were old enough to walk. Children were sent to Samurai schools and taught martial arts, calligraphy, poetry, literature, painting, archery, meditation and philosophy. The word “samurai” in Japanese means “those who serve”. Today, the Samurai are still considered the greatest warriors of all time. Their dedication to martial arts is legendary. Although the Samurai no longer exist, their martial arts has been handed down from master to student for many generations.

“Our Samurai Budo training will develop confidence, patience and discipline in a safe environment while having fun. Your child will begin his/her training just like the Samurai except with padded training swords. Training includes kata/forms, drills, stretching, rolling and then progress to self-defense (striking, kicking and throws)”(Acevedo, Victor). Dedicated to the spirit of Takamatsu Sensei.