Via Potentia Foundation
Providing Training and Education as a Public Service
Via Potentia is a non-profit partnership that carefully researches physical conditioning and how to avoid and overcome violent assault. This research led to the development of a unique curriculum for ages seven and above to help them develop good health habits, personal responsibility, self discipline and confidence, and to be able to identify, avoid and escape from violent, abusive situations. This curriculum is offered through in-person classes on an ongoing basis.
In our study we discovered that the type and order of exercises in many martial art and self defense programs both restricts progress and leads to avoidable injuries. In addition, the exercises are generally less useful for self defense. In Via Potentia the selection and order of exercises is designed to get the best possible progress with less risk of self-inflicted injury. As part of the program we specifically and objectively measure several variables that indicate the participants' strength, flexibility and endurance. We track these over time and assist the participants in their efforts to improve their condition and address specific areas of weakness. We simultaneously teach principles of conflict avoidance, de-escalation and escape. In addition to self defense and physical conditioning, participants have the option of learning CPR and First Aid skills. The long-term outcomes of these efforts can be measured through follow-up interviews/questionnaires at five and ten year intervals, and comparison to general public health and crime statistics.
Shortly after developing the curriculum and offering training to the public we were faced by many people who wanted to participate and could benefit from the training, but declined to do so due to personal financial constraints. For several years the founder of Via Potentia personally covered or discounted students' tuition at his own expense. But being only one person with very limited funds, himself, he could only support so many, for so long. We explored various options and the best one appeared to be forming a separate, formal non-profit public charity specifically for the purpose of helping pay tuition for people in need. Such an organization could then apply for grants from companies that specifically support health and fitness education.
Enter the Via Potentia Foundation
So the Via Potentia Foundation (VPF) was formed. It is distinct from the Via Potentia partnership. VPF is a separate, 501c3 tax exempt public charity that exists for the sole purpose of providing need-based tuition assistance to children and families so that they may attend VP-compatible physical conditioning and personal safety training programs. Assistance is not limited only to attendees of Via Potentia, but extends to other programs that share our philosophy of physical development, self defense, ethics and pedagogy. Because VPF does not have any paid staff or overhead expenses -- these are all donated -- nearly 100% of all funds are distributed for the benefit of the students.
VPF generally provides partial assistance. In our experience, recipients of full grants do not have the same sense of personal commitment and investment in their exercise programs, and so don't put forth as much effort. Consequently, recipients of the tuition assistance are generally required to pay for at least one quarter of the tuition. The balance is paid by VPF. Eligibility is based on a personal verbal or written statement of need. Eligible persons include children, teens and their parents. Provision of assistance cannot be guaranteed, but depends on the availability of funds.
In keeping with the state and federal requirements for public charities, Via Potentia Foundation is registered with the Oregon Secretary of State (registry 650670-93), the Oregon Department of Justice (registry number forthcoming) and the Internal Revenue Service (EIN 27-1490378). The IRS qualifies VPF as a 501c3 public charity, exempt from determination letter requirements given our stated mission, operations and the small size of the organization. Donations to VPF are tax deductible in keeping with normal charitable giving for individuals and organizations.
Donations and inquiries should be addressed to:
Via Potentia Foundation
Tuition Assistance Program
805 NW Alder St
McMinnville, OR 97128
We welcome comments, questions and suggestions for improvement.
Via Potentia, 1788 NE 18th St, McMinnville OR 97128 (in the Dr. HVAC building off of Lafayette Avenue)
Open most weekday evenings after 6:00 PM -- visitors are welcome
Copyright Via Potentia. All Rights Reserved. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program; consult a lawyer before making a legal decision. All information provided on this web site or otherwise by Via Potentia is provided for educational/informative purposes only, is subject to correction, and should not be considered legal, medical or other professional advice. Use at your own risk.