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A place for teens to de-stress, just be themselves, and feel like they belong.

Sunday, December 3, 2:00 - 5 PM

Fusion Academy, 19300 Promenade Dr Suite 200, Leesburg, VA

Belonging and connectedness are fundamental parts of being human. When  we feel we belong, have support and are not alone, we are more resilient, often coping more effectively with difficult times in our lives.


The FORT offers a safe, healing community space for teens where they can feel that sense of connection and belonging because they are accepted, supported and heard. Games, discussions, creative and fun interactive workshops help them:  


  • Develop a growth mindset from exposure to new modalities for learning stress management = “I can try this the next time I get upset.”

  • Practice healthy ways of communicating when life is challenging = “I am good at communicating how I feel.”

  • Establish connections with peers and adults in a safe, healing, inclusive community = “I belong here.”

  • Develop self-awareness of existing strengths = “I have worth.”


Check out the choice of fun workshops at this upcoming FORT:

Gingerbread Dream House Challenge

Team up and show your holiday spirit and creativity by decorating your own gingerbread house based on a theme. Teamwork builds community and friendship while the act of decorating can be a delightful and therapeutic activity that nurtures both mindfulness and well-being. As your gingerbread house takes shape, you’re sure to get a sense of accomplishment and joy!

Knit & Unwind: Knitting for Peaceful Reflection

We’re back exploring the positive impact of knitting at the FORT. When we pick up needles and yarn, we enter a tranquil zone where the world's noise fades into the background. This mindful engagement has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and even lower heart rates. As we watch the patterns emerge and feel the texture of the yarn in our hands, knitting offers a profound sense of accomplishment (no prior knitting experience needed).

Namaste in my PJS: In the Flow of Giving & Receiving

Get ready to find your zen in the coziest way possible with a comforting twist on your yoga practice! Our “Namaste in My PJs” workshop invites you to slip into your favorite pajamas—the funnier or fuzzier, the better—and unwind on your softest blanket in place of a yoga mat. This is your chance to experience a unique yoga session that prioritizes comfort, warmth, and lighthearted fun. Join us for this special session embracing the joyful spirit of giving and receiving, ending with a relaxing cup of hot cocoa.

“The FORT means community to me because everybody is accepting and compassionate.” 
- Teen Participant

FORT Providers

Lauren Katz.jpeg

Lauren Katz Sherwood

Chef and teacher

My name is Lauren Katz, and I am the executive chef at The Difference Baker in Ashburn. I am looking forward to leading you in the Build a Ginger Bread House workshop!

My goal is for participants to express themselves creatively and socialize with each other to make edible art that represents their personal style and maybe form connections with others over the shared activity. 


I hold a BFA in Painting and printmaking from VCU, and have been using my artistic skill in cooking and baking for over 20 years. I have won many televised, online, and in-person baking competitions and recipe contests. I was also an art teacher in Fairfax County prior to having my 3 children.

Meg McCarthy Photo - Meg McCarthy_edited.jpg

Project Knitwell

Meg McCarthy

Hi! My name is Meg McCarthy, and I am looking forward to showing you the fun of knitting at this month’s FORT.  

I am a Project Knitwell volunteer who will be introducing you to knitting. Learning how to knit will provide you with a lifelong skill for wellness, comfort and community. I along with four other Project Knitwell volunteers will be instructing you in small groups the basics of learning the "knit stitch" by using a starter kit that will be given to you to learn.  

I hold a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Wheelock College, a master's degree in human resource development and have been knitting since I was 10 years old.

In my spare time, I enjoy walking my dog, spending time with my family, gardening and relaxing watching movies, reading and knitting.


Corner of the Sky

Nancy McGovern, RYT-500, C-IAYT

Hi, I’m Nancy and I’m so excited about this workshop because it combines three of my very favorite things…yoga, pj’s, & hot chocolate. I can’t wait to share my favorites with you!

My intention for this workshop is that we take time to relax, renew, and get cozy during our time together. And, of course, hot chocolate, YUM!!

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy from Maryland University of Integrative Health. My company is called Corner of the Sky.

I spent many years as a performing artist. I danced and acted professionally and have been a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild for over 25 years. I taught creative movement in area preschools for 30 years. I love spending time with my husband and grown children. The beach in St. Augustine, Florida is my happy place.

Also available for teens:

Teen Hangout and Teen Mental Wellness Series

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