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.

Amy Tiemann, Kidpower North Carolina Founding Director

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!

~ Amy Tiemann, Kidpower North Carolina Founding Director

MJ Hayes, Kidpower North Carolina Director

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 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!”

~ MJ Hayes, Kidpower North Carolina Director

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

Senior Instructor, Jared Hayes, with students
A student practicing setting boundaries with Kidpower NC co-director, Amy Tiemann, PhD
Maryjane Teaching
Maryjane Teaching

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.

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 kick pads. We encourage parents and caregivers to attend the last half hour of our Teenpower Workshops to observe their teens demonstrating the skills they learned!

Adult Programs

This workshop gives adults the opportunity to practice protecting themselves from confrontations and from assaults in realistic scenarios. Kick pads provide an opportunity for safe, effective practice of self-defense techniques.

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.

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

Maryjane “MJ” Hayes, Center Director

Raccoon puppet helps teach Trash Can Power to throw away mean words rather than take them into our heart.

Maryjane (MJ) Hayes has been working with Kidpower since 2001 when she began volunteering with the Colorado Kidpower Center. Later that year, she was invited to train as an instructor and got certified in 2002. In Colorado, MJ helped teach over 40,000 kids and adults including those with special needs. In 2012, her family relocated to North Carolina and joined that Center and is currently the Center Director in North Carolina. MJ is part of Kidpower International as a Senior Program Leader and trainer. She also travels to locations in the United States where there is not a local center to provide Kidpower training and services. Kidpower North Carolina offers programs for kids, teens, adults, seniors and those with special needs. These programs have taught thousands of children, parents and teachers in public and private workshops.

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 am honored to have worked with so many families and their exceptional children in Colorado and North Carolina. One memorable moment came from a student in one of our Special Needs Transition program in a school district in Colorado Springs. She came up to me after our class and said, I am so glad you taught me today, now I won’t get tricked anymore!

~ MJ Hayes, Kidpower North Carolina Center Director

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. 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 am so proud to be a part of the program that cares so much and has helped so many kids stay safe.

Jodi Province

Jodi Province is a licensed professional counselor with a focus on working with children who have experienced trauma. As a professional therapist since 2006, she attended a conference and learned about the successes of Kidpower with a strong impression and desire to join the Kidpower safety family. Jodi strives to promote safety for children as well as all ages. Jodi is a member of the Wilkes counties Safe Spot child advocacy center as a multidisciplinary team member. This effort has proven great as Jodi advocates for more prevention in the communities she serves. These communities include Wilkes, Surry, Alexander, Iredell, and Ashe counties.

Kenneth Province

Kenneth Province is a licensed professional counselor with a focus on adult and adolescent substance abuse patients, as well as, working with adolescents and children with disruptive behaviors. I am also a distance credentialed counselor. He attended a conference and learned about Kidpower and decided he wanted to join the North Carolina team and work to bring safety and prevention program to those in the communities he serves. These communities include Wilkes, Surry, Alexander, Iredell, and Ashe counties.

Linda Coplin

Linda Coplin is the Outreach & Prevention Coordinator with Davie Domestic Violence Services & Rape Crisis Center A lifetime of working with kids has come full circle for me as a Certified Kidpower Instructor. In the early days of my career teaching a small group of kids weekly Bible stories, I had no idea such a small beginning would eventually expand to teaching safety skills to hundreds of kids in our community! My greatest challenge teaching safety skills to kids of all ages is to create lessons that are fun, interactive and empowering. While searching the internet for ideas, I found Kidpower. As I read the articles and watched the videos, I was determined to know more. I signed up for a 3-day training in October, 2015 and then invested in the Core Training Program in January, 2017. After returning to the classroom, I was amazed how the kids responded to my new training techniques, but more importantly, how confident they seemed by the end of the week. I am convinced we can improve the effectiveness of our prevention program by teaching Kidpower skills.

Susan Lombardo

Susan Lombardo has a master’s degree (M.S.) in Rehabilitation Counseling and certification to teach special education. She has helped adolescents with disabilities and their families and adults with disabilities for over 30 years as a counselor, educator, career coach, and job developer. Ms. Lombardo was introduced to Kidpower in 2016 when she observed MJ Hayes teach personal safety strategies to her students with disabilities. Ms. Lombardo was immediately impressed with the students’ enthusiastic response to the material and eagerness to engage in the practice. At that moment Ms. Lombardo decided she wanted to also teach Kidpower because it truly is empowering and essential to self-determined behavior.

Icela Trujillo

Icela Trujillo is the Outreach & Education Director for Family Crisis Council in Rowan County and joined Kidpower North Carolina as an Instructor in 2018. She works with teens in middle schools and high schools on how to stay safe with safety skills learned from Kidpower.

Icela recalls,

The training that I have received from Kidpower has brought memories of my childhood. I was very lucky because a friend of my father tried to abducted me from school, she tried to pick me up from school and I know my Mother would never approve for her to pick me up. I ran to the office and asked for my Mother to come and get me and she did. I still think of that day and wonder what would have had happened if I had left with her. It is important for adults to give children skills they can use every day and what to do in case of an emergency. Sometimes we are just trying to survive day to day that we do not think about learning safety skill to be more alert in dangerous situations. I believe that we can all improve by taking the extra step to learn and to teach our children how to live violence-free and save lives.

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
• Parkwood United Methodist Church
• Herbert Young Community Center in Cary

Featured Partnerships

Wilkes County Schools

Kidpower North Carolina and Wilkes County Schools have been working together to create a coordinated community response to safety and abuse prevention in Wilkes County. Jodi and Kenneth Province, of Jodi Province Counseling Services, PLLC became certified Kidpower Instructors in 2017 and have been working diligently to bring Kidpower’s child abuse prevention program to all Wilkes County schools. Through Professional training and the support of multiple community organizations and businesses, children in Wilkes County have a greater understanding of what it means to believe in yourself, make good choices about their safety and how to get support from their grownups if they have a safety problem.

In 2018, Jodi and Kenneth had an innovative idea to purchase a school bus and convert it to the “Kidpower Safety Bus.” The mobile bus will provide a unique and fun hands-on experience for children to learn Kidpower safety skills. The bus is scheduled to visit schools and local community events, reaching children of all ages.

Senior Instructor, Jared Hayes, with students
Senior Instructor, Jared Hayes, with students
Senior Instructor, Jared Hayes, with students


April Marr, Director of Student Services for Wilkes County has been instrumental in securing funding for this program. A 3-day Child Protection Institute training was conducted for school counselors and behavioral support staff so they can implement the Kidpower Curriculum in all the elementary schools in Wilkes County.

Our district wanted a social-emotional curriculum that specifically focused on keeping our children and youth safe in all types of situations. We have found Kidpower to be an excellent way to teach safety and self-advocacy skills to all ages of people without creating any additional anxiety or trauma about the world around us. We have been very pleased with the practicality and affordability of the curriculum, which has allowed us to incorporate Kidpower into our core preventative SEL instruction for all students in our district. We are very excited to continue making our community 

a place where all children are safe, healthy, and able to thrive.

~ April Marr, Director of Student Services Wilkes County Schools

In addition, April assisted in bringing the Kidpower Safety Bus to elementary school summer reading camps. The kids enjoyed the interactive activities on the bus: writing kind words about themselves and throwing away any hurtful words others had said to them as well as creating their own powers. Learning to be safe does not have to be scary, it can be FUN when you use the Kidpower success-based experiential style of learning in a safe and fun environment.

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, Positive Peer Interaction and Parent Education skills to families 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 become a certified instructor with Kidpower and has garnered the expertise and support of Kidpower NC Director, MJ Hayes to incorporate Kidpower skills into the agency’s child abuse prevention program.  They have also provided training for school counselors, teachers, therapists, county social workers and law enforcement.  Linda had taught Kidpower Safety skills to hundreds of children in Davie County and continues to work for innovative ways to teach kids of all ages how to stay safe in all types of relationships and situations.

Special thanks to the Oak Foundation for their support with the Exception Children in Chapel Hill High School Fullpower Safety Program for three years, more than 300 students and staff participated in the program. Students learned how to use their awareness to navigate their daily lives and practiced role plays for skills to handle being bothered on the city bus by a stranger, how to set boundaries on touch and teasing, dealing with bullying behaviors and how to deescalate their own triggers to be safe.

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

The Mayor of Holly Springs, Dick Sears, started a program to help address the bullying issues kids in the community face. He brought together a board of educators, parents, mayors from other towns and key community members to bring prevention programs and awareness to the problem. In 2017 Kidpower North Carolina joined this board it’s dedication to maintaining Holly Springs, North Carolina as a safe, happy, and healthy town built on respect and kind behavior towards all. Kidpower in partnership with James Johnson from Life Solutions will visit schools and community events to talk to students and adults about what bullying is and how it can be addressed with Kidpower skills and adult support.

At the Holly Springs 4th of July celebration, members of the board taught kids the Kidpower Trash Can skill
of throwing away hurtful words and taking in compliments

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.

<< Back to our US & International Locations list.