Delivery of our programs to the community has expanded rapidly since our first pilot programs began during the 2016-17 school year.

From four programs in 2016-17, we delivered 17 programs in 2017-18, 20 in 2018-19 and (although several were postponed due to the Covid-19 epidemic) we still delivered 10 programs over the 2019-20 school year. These included our Mindful Connections™ and youth programs, train-the-trainer models and ongoing support to previous participants.

Over these years, we have delivered programs to 305 educators, 37 school support staff, 174 youth, 33 people in recovery, seven people recently released from prison, 93 helping professionals and 25 public-facing workers.


During the 2018-2019 school year, Awaken Pittsburgh delivered courses to schools and organizations across the region.

11 program sitesWe worked in 8 schools, 1 non-profit, 1 family center, and 1 out-of-school program
20 programs deliveredWe delivered 5 x Mindful Connections™ for Educators, 4 x Mindful Connections™ for Classrooms, 2 x Mindful Connections™ for Helping Professionals, 3 x Path of Freedom (youth) and two brand new train-the-trainer programs, as well as ongoing support to previous participants.
208 participants reachedWe trained 112 educators, 37 school support staff, 45 adolescent students, and 14 helping professionals.
343 hours of programmingOur programs delivered between 12 and 25 hours of guidance spread over 4 to 35 weeks

We conducted before-and-after surveys with participants of each program, alongside focus groups and other methods for students. Feedback was consistently positive and we were able to identify significant changes in mindfulness and quality of life in our participants.

Stress Reduction

17.4% average decrease in perceived stress amongst teachers and helping professionals

Quality of Life

Up to 10% increase in quality of working life indicators

  • 10.5% average decrease in burnout
  • 8.1% average decrease in secondary traumatic stress


6-13% increase in mindfulness among teachers and helping professionals

  • 9.1% average increase in observing their feelings
  • 6.5% average increase in describing their emotions
  • 11.4% average increase in acting in awareness
  • 9.3% average increase in non-judgment of themselves
  • 13.2% average increase in non-reactivity to inner experience

Classroom Impacts

Elementary school children taught by one of our educator participants were asked what mindfulness means.

  • 64% responded feeling “calm”, “peaceful” or “relaxed”
  • 45% responded “fun”, “cool”, “happy”, “great”
  • 36% responded feeling “comfortable”

Adolescent youth participants were asked how their program had helped them.

  • “I am more patient”
  • “I calm down a lot easier”
  • “I learned to get help”
  • “I have grown to view others perspective”
  • “Me coming to school”

Community Impact

Our participants reported:

  • Being better able to tackle difficult conversations with parents
  • Improved conflict resolution at work and home
  • Doing a better job of listening to their students
  • Helping students see that the school cares about them as a whole person
  • More compassion towards students and clients