Founder & Executive Director

Stephanie is an educator with 20+ years of experience teaching elementary, middle school, high school and college students. She has been a meditator and mindfulness practitioner for more than 15 years. In 2013, seeking to bring others the same benefits she was experiencing, Stephanie was trained in the Path of Freedom Mindfulness Curriculum, which she delivered through the HOPE pre-release program in the Allegheny County Jail. Stephanie’s dissertation was the culmination of three years of research into mindfulness in education. She is a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Mindfulness and Consciousness Studies.

Program Deliverer

Trinley has a professional background in mental health and harm reduction. In Vancouver, Canada’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), she worked as a frontline service provider in shelters, transitional and permanent housing serving those experiencing homelessness and struggling with concurrent mental health and substance abuse challenges. She also worked with community-based groups in the DTES to address poverty and housing injustices and as an advocate and ally to those engaged in survival sex-trade. Trinley has studied and practiced meditation extensively for the past 15+ years. She became an authorized meditation instructor and teacher in 2011 and has led numerous beginner and advanced meditation workshops and retreats in the Canada, USA, Mexico and Europe.

Program Deliverer

In 2011, Britt made a deep resolve to take an active part in her healing process. Since then she has been a dedicated practitioner and facilitator
living at the intersection of inner space exploration and creative expression. She believes that working with the languages of the arts, the body, and the breath, together, in community, has the compassionate power to bring us back home to ourselves, each other, and the land. Britt received her meditation certification from Sarvaguna Yoga Institute in Dharamshala, India. She received her social emotional arts certification from UCLA’s Arts & Healing School. Britt has dedicated many hours of training in nervous system regulation, non-judgmental facilitation, and anti-violence in education. Britt works with a wide range of communities. Currently, she works most closely with youth and folks with autism, intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. This work has expanded her heart in ways she never imagined. In her free time, Britt loves nothing more than communing with the Earth and drinking tea with her loved ones.

Meditation Instructor

Veronica is owner of In The Moment, A Center of Well-Being. She has been an advocate of helping people participate in their own wellness journey for the past 25 years. Veronica is a licensed massage therapist, a meditation instructor, a whole food plant based nutrition cooking coach and a Reiki practitioner. As a meditation instructor, Veronica has experience working with individuals who would like to learn more about meditation as well as providing meditation instruction and support to small and large groups at her Center as well as in the corporate setting. Veronica continues to practice meditation and is a life long student on the Vajrayana Buddhist path.

Program Deliverer

Shannon has had two life events that have placed her squarely in the experience of life-before and life-after: cancer and the loss of mobility as-she-knew-it at age twelve, and the death of her brother when she was 27. Both carved the paths she would take to working with neurodivergent learners and the gravitation to mindfulness practice. Shannon began teaching neurodivergent learners in 1999, and has worked as a caseworker for non-profits and government agencies as well. She has been in relationship with meditation and mindfulness practice for 11 years. Shannon finds putting hands in soil, petting animals, laughter, silliness, movement, and deep hugs to be an important part of this practice. She believes learning to love where you are is a radical act.

Program Coordinator

Dawn has trained countless people to mediate conflicts has conducted over 100 restorative dialogues ranging from minor school infractions to violent felonies. She is a Professional Coach, helping people live in alignment with their ideals, and enjoys engaging others to think about how organizations and communities can best represent shared values. Dawn has practiced mindfulness in the tradition of Thich Naht Hanh for twenty years and holds a B.A. in Social Work and an M.A. in Conflict Transformation.

Meditation Instructor

Deb has more than 30 years’ experience providing training and leadership consultation to healthcare organizations and businesses in western PA. Her areas of expertise include Workplace Civility, Resiliency in the Workplace, Emotionally Intelligent Leadership, Self-Care for Nurses/Healthcare Providers, and Mindfulness in the Workplace. Deb has over 25 years’ experience as a mindfulness practitioner and has been teaching mindfulness for the past 6 years. She created the ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace” program for UPMC HealthPlan EAP and initiated mindfulness and self-care retreats for UPMC nurses. Deb is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Pittsburgh.

Program Deliverer

Tanisha Ramsey is a Licensed Professional Counselor who completed her undergraduate studies at Penn State University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She also attended Carlow University where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling. She has experience working with young to middle aged adults, individuals in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, and with individuals who have experienced abuse and trauma. Tanisha participated in the Mindful Connections program and has seen the value and benefit mindfulness has brought to her personal and professional life. She is excited to share the skills and knowledge with others as a program facilitator.

Program Deliverer

Yvette’s life’s work in justice and transformative change embodies a social practice of creativity towards healing and spiritual growth. As a trained mediator and facilitator, Yvette moves through the world with integrity and ease; honoring folks where they are. She works to build generative spaces with individuals and organizations to bring about individual, collective, and societal transformation. Yvette feels most connected to herself and her ancestors when practicing the artistry of tea and tisane blending and conversation. Yvette has a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Social and Public Policy with a focus on Conflict Mediation and Peace Studies.

Marketing and Communications Manager

An advocate for faith, justice, and compassion, Eddy Paul Thomas serves those around him with heart. His entrepreneurship revolves around growing organizations through organizational development, digital transformation, and authentic storytelling. His gift is strategic as he identifies problems, engages in consulting, listening, and offers solutions. With his master’s in organizational management (MAOM), Eddy’s business expertise aids his nonprofit experience. He brings a diverse perspective to the executive table and challenges leaders to move beyond their comfort zones. Eddy’s life’s work is at the intersection of organizational growth, faith, social justice, and racial progress.

Program Deliverer

Kalen tenderness Tierney or tender is person navigating the world in a trans non-binary white body, working at the intersection of somatics, meditation and social justice. tender is a facilitator, teacher, ceramicist, and builder for social change. They are currently studying the history of bodies, critical phenomenology, polyvagal theory, the Dzogchen meditation tradition and somatic practices. tender has been living in the Pittsburgh area since the early 2000’s when they moved here to pursue a degree in philosophy with a focus on queer and gender theory. Over the last decade tender has worked with various groups to combat social injustice, including their work with Braddock Tiles and as a core member of WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh. They live with their canine companion in a 1960 Airstream camper. tender lives for wild blueberries, the ocean, rocks, trees, sky, animals and being in the forest.

Research Associate

Michael is a Ph.D. student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. In his research he utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine how mindfulness meditation training can support positive youth development from adolescence to young adulthood.

Program Deliverer

Kristy Weidner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Co-Owner of the Village Center for Holistic Therapy. She completed her master’s in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. She is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and has extensive experience in working with Deaf and hard of hearing clients, family members and within the culture of the Deaf Community. She has also taken an active role within our First Responders Community and continues to offer events and workshops to this population. She became a 200 hour certified yoga instructor in 2018, and studied with Max Strom, global speaker, teacher, actor, and founder of Inner Axis yoga. She also completed her mindfulness meditation teacher training with Lodro Rinzler, author and Buddhist meditation teacher based in New York City.

Program Deliverer

Mark is a father, partner, educator, gardener, musician, and mindfulness practitioner. More importantly, Mark is a human. Most importantly, we all are! Mark is a certified Pre K – 4th grade teacher with a masters in foundations of education and mindfulness for educators from Antioch University. He works to build bridges between the branches of our human family tree that have forgotten we share the same roots. It’s Mark’s hope that by remembering our shared identity we can be free to celebrate our uniqueness and work together to create a kinder world.