Welcome to Kidpower
North Carolina

Kidpower North Carolina is the local center of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International, The North Carolina Center was established 2007 by Author and Educator Amy Tiemann, PhD. Joined in 2012 by Senior Instructor Maryjane Hayes, who now serves as Center Director and by Account Executive, Jared Hayes, one of our senior instructors. We have taught thousands of children, parents and teachers in public and private workshops. We have been making progress in our outreach program to let as many organizations as possible know about Kidpower.

Our wish is for every child, teen, and adult everywhere to be confident and safe.

Our Team

Amy Tiemann, Founding Center Director of Kidpower North Carolina, currently a Kidpower Senior Program Leader.

Amy Tiemann, Ph.D has more than two decades of experience as an educator and mentor, working with kids of all ages as well as adults.  As the founder of SPARK Seminars, she wrote her own curriculum to teach parents the information and skills they need to become their children’s most powerful safety advocates.  When she wanted to extend outreach to kids themselves, she trained as a Kidpower® instructor, and brought the program to North Carolina in 2006. An award-winning author and teacher, Amy is a sought-after speaker and commentator. She is a frequent guest expert on parenting websites, national radio tours, magazines from Redbook to Glamour, and TV including ABC News, the CBS Early Show, and NBC’s Today Show. Amy Tiemann received her PhD in Neurosciences from Stanford University in 1996, and she continues to apply her extensive research expertise to all her work. Her combination of perspectives and roles as a scientist, educator, author and parent gives her a unique ability to make an impact on individuals, families, and cultural standards and to create positive social change. Dr. Tiemann has advised schools on safety issues and she served on the statewide North Carolina Council for Women, the Title IX Task Force that recommended policy changes for the University of North Carolina, as well an Orange County-wide coalition to end sexual abuse.

In addition to teaching personal safety through Kidpower® North Carolina, Amy is collaborating with Kidpower® Founder and Executive Director Irene van der Zande on an independent research project and forthcoming book, Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels of Society. This project looks at organizational change and best practices in addition to steps that individual people and families can take to stay safe.  Learn more about this work and new resources it is generating at the website

I was on the playground during a school social event when an 8-year-old girl and boy were playing nearby. Their game had got too rough, and the girl was running away and telling him to stop, but he kept pursuing her aggressively. As the kids ran by me, the boy reached out to hit or grab the girl, and I caught his arm and said calmly and firmly, ‘She said no.’ In just a few seconds, this totally defused the situation and the kids went on their way without any more trouble. Think of how much better our world would be if everybody learned and lived out the power of ‘she said no’ all the time. We can work toward this, thanks to Kidpower.

Maryjane “MJ” Hayes, Center Director

MJ started as a volunteer for Kidpower® of Colorado in 2002 and was invited that same year to begin her training toward a certified instructor. She completed her Kidpower® certification training in February 2004. She has helped teach over 40,000 parents and children in Colorado. Her family has recently re-located to the Triangle area of North Carolina and she is excited to be a part of the center here. She is involved with Kidpower® because she believes all parents, children and teens should have access to everyday safety and physical self-defense skills that will help keep them safe.

Kidpower has changed my life for the better. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I wish I would have learned these skills when I was young. Finding Kidpower gave me hope that I could do something to make this world a better place by teaching everyone I can to keep themselves emotionally, mentally and physically safe. I have a special place in my heart for working with children with special needs and their families. I grew up watching my brother struggle with bullying because of his epilepsy and developmental delays. He taught me it is what is in a person’s heart that matters, that is who they are, not outward physical appearances. I am honored to have worked with so many families and their exceptional children in Colorado and North Carolina. My favorite quote from a child in one of our parent child workshops is when he came up to me after the class and said, “I want to do Kidpower everyday! And now I have found something that I can volunteer for.

Jared Hayes, Senior Instructor

Jared Hayes also started as a volunteer for Kidpower® of Colorado in 2003 and began training as a padded instructor later that year and completed the certification in February of 2004. He has been trained to wear the padded suit and teach the Kidpower® physical self-defense skills. He is an integral part of the Kidpower® family and has helped train over 40,000 kids, teens and adults in Colorado, California and North Carolina. Jared believes strongly in the Kidpower® mission and does this work because he believes these skills will teach kids how to keep themselves safe in all areas of their life.

One of the best Kidpower memories comes from being a parent of two amazing Kidpower kids. In June of 2015 both of my kids attended the Weekend Family Workshop in Colorado Springs. This is a class I have taught myself countless times and I was so thrilled and proud to be sending my kids to this class knowing that they would be learning common sense safety and boundary setting skills. One of the best parts of the program is the last hour of class they let all the parents and family in and the kids get to show their family all the skills they have learned in a safe and empowering environment. Between watching my own kids using the skills and reflecting back on the hundreds of kids I have personally taught at that same workshop. I was so proud to be a part of the program that cares so much and has helped so many kids stay safe.

Our Program

Parent Child Programs

Our instructor leads children together with their parents/caregivers in practicing age-appropriate People Safety skills together. Concepts are introduced through stories, games, and role-plays, then adults and children are coached in practicing on their own. Age ranges can be 4-8 or 6-12. Sessions can be after school, weekend, or evening.

Adult Programs

This workshop gives adults the opportunity to practice protecting themselves from confrontations and from assaults in realistic scenarios. The head-to-toe padded instructor provides an opportunity for safe, effective practice of self-defense techniques.

Teen Programs

This workshop gives teens focused practice in using boundary-setting, conflict resolution, self-protection, and self-defense skills to prevent and stop most attacks, bullying, and harassment. Opportunity for full-force practice of self-defense skills with the head-to-toe padded instructor. We encourage parents and caregivers to attend the last half hour of our Teenpower Workshops to observe their teens demonstrating the skills they learned!

Exceptional Children, Teens, and Adults Programs

We work with participants and their supporters to identify their strengths and then to work with those strengths to stay safe. Thousands of students of all cognitive and physical abilities have found our services to be relevant, interesting, and well-suited for their own ways of moving, thinking, perceiving, and communicating. Our workshops offer a safe and secure environment for “learning by doing” through role-play and positive examples. We focus on what people have the power to do, not on what they can’t do, and we have fun while developing powerful and practical skills.

Community Collaborations

We Appreciate Your Support!

Kidpower’s partners include schools, businesses, foundations, government agencies, and individuals who care about safety for their communities and loved ones.

MANY THANKS to our donors and volunteers. Your generosity is making a big difference in our ability to help others and make it possible to never turn away a family for lack of funds.

We would like to thank our Parent Child Workshop Co-Sponsors in the greater triangle and surrounding areas.
• SoDu Parents Posse
• ERUUF Parents Group
• Solterra Co-Housing Community
• Holly Springs Cultural Center

Featured Partnership:
Davie County Domestic Violence Services & Rape Crisis Center (A United Way Partner)

Kidpower North Carolina and DDVS&RCC have teamed up to bring Safety, Self Confidence and Positive Peer Interaction skills to students in Davie County schools. They are leading the way in setting the standard for how local government and members of the local community can work together to make safety a priority for everyone.

Outreach & Prevention Coordinator, Linda Coplin has worked with Kidpower NC Center Director, MJ Hayes to incorporate Kidpower skills into the safety programs within the school system. They have provided community training for professionals, including school counselors, teachers, therapists, county social workers and law enforcement. This training brings valuable Kidpower everyday safety skills to those working in the community for prevention and support. By working collaboratively with Lead School Counselor, Kelly Crosby, local schools in the county have implemented Kidpower’s School Curriculum for the students. Linda will join the core Kidpower NC team as a certified instructor in 2017 and be the local lead instructor for the Kidpower Curriculum in Davie County

Special thanks to the Oak Foundation for their support with the Exception Children in Chapel Hill High School Fullpower Safety Program. More than 100 students and staff participated in the program.

“They all really liked what they called “the practice” or opportunity to role play the targeted behaviors. They also appreciated the repetition and affirmation they received. It was all done so very well!” ~ Susan Lombardo, Transition Facilitator at East Chapel Hill High School

“I just wanted to share with you that the very last day you presented, my two very shy girls asserted themselves when another student in our group was exhibiting scary behaviors. They spoke up, said how they felt and asked him to stop. And he did! WOW! What a powerful testimonial to the work you are doing.
Thank you!!” ~ Kathleen Laufer, Exceptional Children’s Teacher East Chapel Hill High School

Kidpower North Carolina and the Friendship Circle of Cary/Raleigh have worked together for two years to bring safety skills to those children with special needs, their families and their teen buddies. The Friendship Circle of Wake County was founded on the idea that within each person is a soul, regardless of any limitations that may surround it, regardless of whatever natural gifts we may have or lack, regardless of what obstacles and challenges we may confront, our souls are sacred and worthy of boundless love.

North Carolina Center Founder Dr. Amy Tiemann has shared Kidpower skills and strategies with the community through presentations to many community organizations, including the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, the Orange County Partnership for Young Children, and Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts. She has given conference presentations to the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) Conference in Asheville NC, and the statewide conference of NAMI North Carolina.

There are many organizations that serve children and their families and when we work together, we make our communities safer to live in.

north-carolina-kidpower-outlineContact Us
Kidpower North Carolina
P.O. Box 455
Holly Springs, NC 27540
Phone: (919) 586-7061
Email: [email protected]


A student practicing setting boundaries with Kidpower NC co-director, Amy Tiemann, PhD

Student setting boundaries.

Maryjane Teaching
Senior Instructor, Jared Hayes, with students

Traveling Instructors for Private Group Workshops

Kidpower instructors lead comprehensive learning experiences with skill, compassion, and humor. If you live far from a Center but want Kidpower training for a group, please email [email protected]! We look forward to exploring what arrangement could work for your group and for Kidpower.

If you are not able to organize a private group workshop, please consider traveling to an existing center for a workshop or contacting us for long-distance consultations via video conference. You might also consider starting a center in your community!

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