Create Social Impact

Pay It Forward

Help us go further together

Help us deliver high quality programs to under-served groups who would benefit most from learning effective tools to break the transmission of toxic stress and trauma.

Our chief priority: 

Supporting and empowering low-income first-generation (LIFG) college students to succeed in college and beyond

3 key issues facing LIFG students

1. Severe trauma and toxic stress

Living in low-income communities predisposes LIFG college students to severe trauma and toxic stress.[1]

According to the Centers for Disease  Control, severe experiences of trauma are associated with: lower educational  attainment, higher substance abuse,  addiction, depression, and suicide rates  higher incidence of asthma, diabetes,  cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory  diseases, higher incarceration rates.[2]

“Philadelphia Trauma Map”[1] 

Percentage of Population with Four or More Adverse Childhood Experiences by Zipcode, 2013

Out of 100 Philadelphia high school students: 24 enroll in college; six out of ten, or 14 drop out of college, with debt, but no degree; only 10% or 10 of these students earn a college degree.


This means that of those who make it to college, more than half will not graduate.[3]

2. High barriers to college  graduation

2. High barriers to college  graduation

Out of 100 Philadelphia high school students: 24 enroll in college; six out of ten, or 14 drop out of college, with debt, but no degree; only 10% or 10 of these students earn a college degree.


This means that of those who make it to college, more than half will not graduate.[3]

3. Poor mental health

Mental health is a leading cause of high drop-out rates in students.

64% of young adults no longer attend  college because of mental health related  reasons (depression and post-traumatic  stress disorder are primary diagnoses).[4]

Furthermore, first-generation college students report greater levels of depression and stress, lower ratings of belonging, and lower use of services, compared to continuing-generation students.

They often find adjusting to middle-class norms and college culture disorienting, and lack the life skills and social support to navigate the transition.[5]


  1. PHMC, “Findings from the Philadelphia  Urban ACE Survey,” Sept 18, 2013.

  2. CDC Study, “Adverse Childhood Experiences Reported by Adults― Five States, 2009.”

  3. Philadelphia Public School Notebook, “New data: only 10% of  Philly students earn a degree,” 2010.

  4. National Alliance on Mental Illness, “College Students Speak: A Survey on Mental Health,” 2012

  5. Michael Stebleton,  “First-Generation Students’ Sense of Belonging, Mental Health, and Use  of Counseling Services at Public Research Universities,” 2014; The Hamilton Project (Thirteen Economic Facts about  Social Mobility and the Role of Education, June 2013).

We help LIFG students overcome great odds to succeed

To help LIFG students overcome these challenges, Due Quach developed the Calm Clarity Program, a neuroscience-based  leadership training that rewires the brain to break self-limiting patterns linked to trauma, toxic stress, and poverty, and enables people to learn new skills and habits that support resilience,  academic success, well-being, and forming healthy relationships. The training draws from Due’s personal experience with healing PTSD as a LIFG student at Harvard University.

To raise funds to grow this non-profit initiative, Calm Clarity is pioneering a social enterprise business model by offering this training to professionals and companies.

In addition, Calm Clarity helped found the Collective Success Network to rally professionals  to support and mentor LIFG students to successfully navigate college and enter professional careers, and to de-stigmatize the LIFG identity.

To learn more, read Due’s article “Poor and Traumatized at Harvard” and her book Calm Clarity.

See a summary of our social mission and college pilot here.


If you are a university, a nonprofit organization or a school, there are many ways to collaborate with Calm Clarity to help low-income communities affected by toxic stress.



We would like to collaborate with you to expand the College Scholar Program to reach more low-income first-generation college students across the country.  


To do this cost-effectively, we are looking for university collaborators to host Calm Clarity Weekend Workshops. In return, 50% of the seats would be offered to low-income first-gen college students at your university and 10% to your guests. We would cover our staffing costs by selling at least 20% of the seats via public registration, and offer the remaining seats to low-income first-gen college students at other universities and to collaboration partners to create a positive impact on disadvantaged students in the surrounding community.

We are looking to collaborate with about 10 universities located in or near major cities across the country to host about 1 or 2 Calm Clarity Weekend Workshops in each geographic region annually. Ideally, the university should be within 1-hour driving distance from a major metropolitan area (population of 500,000 or more people)

Are you interested in collaborating?
Please contact us at to start a conversation.

Here’s how the model works:

  • University hosts Weekend Workshop, providing venue with capacity of at least 100 seats

  • University commits to providing food and printing for the workshop and travel & accomodation costs for facilitator(s).

  • Seats would be allocated as follows:

    • 60% to be distributed by the University: 

      • at least 50% of the total seats to be given to low-income and/or first-generation college students at the host university

      • remainder can be given by University to all other guests 

    • 40% to be distributed by Calm Clarity:

      • at least half (20% of total seats) to be sold via public registration to cover Calm Clarity expenses*

      • remainder may be offered to low-income first-generation college students at other universities and to collaboration partners 

Note: *A minimum of 20 tickets would have to be sold to make this collaboration sustainable.  A special discount can be arranged for the host university to share with alumni, faculty, students, and other affiliates.

Due's talks for college students help them understand how to better take care of themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically, and how to embody and express the highest version of who they can be. 

This photo shows Due explaining how the brain works at an intercollegiate talk for first-generation college students hosted by the University of Pennsylvania

University Testimonials

"I appreciated how accessible and understandable this program is to both people who are new to meditation and long-time practitioners in the way it explains the science behind what happens in our bodies when we engage in contemplative practices. The workshop offers time for individuals to name their own triggers and create a plan for practical ways to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives to move away from fear-based reactions and towards collaboration, creativity, empathy, and compassion. This program would be immensely helpful for staff and students to meet the reality of full schedules from a place which is centered and open." 

~Michelle Sherman, Campus Minister for Retreats and Post-Grad Service, Villanova University

"I work very closely with many of the students who were able to attend the [Calm Clarity] talk and workshop and can testify firsthand that they are dealing with incredible challenges in their home life and in their transition to college at an elite institution... Several students have already commented on how inspirational, informative and accessible [this experience] was.  I truly feel like the impact was real, deep and lasting for so many of the students, particularly those contending with challenging circumstances. I can honestly say that the opportunity to engage [with Calm Clarity] was life changing for several of the students."  

~Kelly Wilcox, Director, Office of Academic Resources and Associate Dean, Haverford College

"Due presented to a standing room only crowd at New York University... Her expertise is of value no matter your field or role. She was able to move people with her own personal story, convey the complex brain science behind her methods and enable people to experience the power of mindfulness. We see that our students are busier than ever these days, juggling academic, professional and personal commitments. The practices Due shared can be easily applied in any life – no matter how busy you are – to increase focus, reduce stress and achieve high performance."

~Bethany Godsoe, Associate Vice President, Student Leadership Initiatives, New York University

Nonprofits and Schools

Does your nonprofit organization or school serve low-income communities affected by toxic stress and trauma?​

Train your staff: Calm Clarity training can enable your staff to more effectively serve your beneficiaries and practice self-care to prevent burn-out.

Train your beneficiaries: Through our social impact initiatives, we aim to work with effective, like-minded organizations to develop and implement sustainable approaches to deliver Calm Clarity training to under-served communities.

Due's talks empower high school students with insights and tools to navigate challenging situations ​and manage stress, anxiety, and negativity. 

This photo shows Due guiding the students at Liguori Academy in the Kensington section of Philadelphia through a mindful listening exercise to quiet the default mode network.


There are many ways to give. Contributing your time and skills will help us make a much larger impact on under-served communities. 

Different paths to pay it forward


Calm Clarity Alumni

Would you like to learn how to Catalyze Brain 3.0 to support groups facing adversity and financial hardship? Do you work in education, youth development, workforce development, or another social justice area?
Become a Volunteer Catalyst to learn how to facilitate Calm Clarity exercises in your organization and/or community.  

More ways to volunteer

To provide in-kind services, please fill out this form to let us know your location, availability, and how you would like to get involved.
Join the Collective Success Network (CSN) to support and mentor low-income first-generation college students to achieve their aspirations

Take Action

Let's keep the conversation going

Please contact us at to discuss how to create impact together


Sponsors Calm Clarity to collaborate with a school or nonprofit organization to run the Essential Life Skills Program (10 modules) for an economically disadvantaged group.


Become a sponsor of Calm Clarity. Your donation will go a long way to help us to continue to bring calm and clarity to people who need it most

Sponsorship Levels

What your donation enables us to do



Sponsors Calm Clarity to collaborate with a school or nonprofit organization to run the 
Lead With Authenticity Program
(4 modules) for an economically disadvantaged group.


Sponsors Calm Clarity to run a two-hour workshop (1 module) for a group of low-income college students (depending on venue capacity, this event could serve over 100 students)


Sponsors 4 scholarships for low-income college students to attend a Calm Clarity Weekend Workshop or helps subsidize a program for a nonprofit organization.


Sponsors 2 scholarships for low-income college students to attend a Calm Clarity Weekend Workshop or helps subsidize a program for a nonprofit organization.

Take Action

To donate by check, please write & mail checks to:

Calm Clarity of CultureTrust

Attn: Trust Director
1315 Walnut Street, Suite 320
Philadelphia, PA 19107

If you have any questions or would like to talk to our team, please email us at

Contact us

Calm Clarity

c/o CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia

1315 Walnut St, Suite 320

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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