The Awaken Pittsburgh Story

So how did Awaken Pittsburgh come to be?

It all began with Stephanie. In 2015, Dr. Stephanie Romero, Ed.D., an educator and meditation practitioner, founded Awaken Pittsburgh after experiencing two profound “awakenings”.

From Chicago Streets to Pittsburgh Schools

The first was in 2013, when Stephanie learned that her teacher, Dr. Adam Lobel, had participated in a peace conference in Chicago where mindfulness and meditative practices were taught to help prevent violence and extract young people from lives of violence.

The news that mindfulness could help at-risk youth had a profound impact on Stephanie, who was then developing a dissertation proposal in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. It affirmed the importance of incorporating her own personal practice of mindfulness into her professional life as a scholar, teacher, colleague, and educator and moved her to revise her dissertation to focus on the topic of mindfulness in education.

We-PEACE Comes into Being

Stephanie’s second awakening grew out of a 3-day conference she attended in May 2014 entitled “Being Brave: Is Enlightened Society Possible?”. Stephanie returned to Pittsburgh and worked with another educator, Michelle King, at the Pittsburgh Shambhala Center, to create We-PEACE (Western Pennsylvania Educators for Awareness, Compassion and Empathy). For four years, We-PEACE hosted monthly meetings for interested educators, administrators and support staff to bring the transformational power of mindfulness to education systems in Western Pennsylvania.

Awaken Pittsburgh is the perfect convergence of people, places and methodologies for the world we live in today.