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Turtle Mountain Team Starts their Journey to Becoming an IMPACT Program

January 24, 2019

"Impact International officially approves your entry into the process of becoming a certified chapter."


~ IMPACT International Chapter Development Committee



Since attending ESD Global’s very first instructor training in 2017, Shanda Poitra and Sara Rae Davis have been offering empowerment self-defense workshops for girls and women on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota.


But now, thanks to ongoing support from IMPACT Boston and ESD Global, they’ll also be offering IMPACT training, a personal safety, assertiveness, and self-defense program.


From the moment they discovered IMPACT, Shanda and Sara knew they wanted to teach it and help the women in their community connect with their inner and outer strength.


Having access to IMPACT training with a curriculum specifically designed to meet the needs of their community will be life-changing for the women of Turtle Mountain. From eye strikes to learning how to set a verbal boundary, having self-defense skills will help them play a larger role in preventing violence and reducing the number of cases of missing and murdered indigenous women (#MMIW).  


Becoming a certified IMPACT chapter is a long process, but a recent visit to IMPACT Boston, where the Turtle Mountain team received training from and taught under the supervision of executive director Meg Stone and program coordinator Adrianna Li, brought them one giant step closer to their goal.


Teaching IMPACT for the 1st Time


“I’m not beating myself up over what was missed, only taking note; that’s the wonderful thing about empowerment self-defense, you also learn self-care!  I’m allowing myself the time it takes to get this right.”


~ Shanda Poitra


During their time in Boston, Shanda and Sara taught two groups, and loved every second they spent with each.


The first group was made up of brand new students who had never taken a self-defense class, let alone an IMPACT workshop, and teaching beginners felt natural and fun.  


However, the second group, which included representatives from ESD Global, was a bit more stressful. Teaching powerful women whom they admired and looked up to was intimidating.


But they were determined, and they knew they had to step up their game and connect all the pieces of the curriculum, and deliver it a timely, articulate manner.  


Another challenge they faced was expressing their enthusiasm even when concentrating on the material, the moves, and the flow of the classes.


Both women were worried about their ability to teach to the level of the experienced instructors from IMPACT Boston, and over the course of the workshops, they lay awake at night thinking about what they could have done differently.

But when faced with doubts, Meg and Adrianna were quick to boost their confidence and helped them get on track without stepping in.