K-12 Training Expansion

Mindful Schools Expands Trainings to Serve
K-12 Educators and Youth Service Providers

Over the years, we’ve received many requests to expand our training offerings to include adolescents, and it’s something we’ve carefully considered time and time again. We are thrilled to announce that we are finally taking that big step forward, adding two very highly experienced mindfulness practitioners who have worked with adolescents of all backgrounds: Chris McKenna and Vinny Ferraro.

This expansion is the culmination of our 3-year transition from providing mainly in-school programs to primarily offering training for educators and youth service providers working with children and adolescents from K-12.

Please stay tuned for additional offerings, including a deeper Year-Long Certification, which is another step we’ve been considering for years and will soon be ready to announce (click here to join our notification list).

Our Team

The Mindful Schools program team of Megan Cowan, Chris McKenna, and Vinny Ferraro brings together over 44 years of personal mindfulness practice, several years’ worth of silent retreat time, and deep experience teaching mindfulness to adults and children of all ages and backgrounds.

Megan Cowan has taught more than 3,500 youth of all ages and trained more than 2,000 educators, mental health professionals, and parents in mindfulness practices and applications for youth. She is featured in the new mindfulness & education documentary “Room to Breathe,” and is the primary author of Mindful Schools’ evidence-based elementary school curriculum.
Chris McKenna directed the main organization in the U.S. delivering mindfulness programming to at-risk adolescents and co-developed one of the first mindfulness training programs targeting the needs of staff in locked facilities serving youth with histories of substance abuse and violence. Click here for some of Chris’s thoughts on his transition.
Vinny Ferraro is a former homeless youth, a long-time mindfulness instructor, and a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents.  He has taught over 110,000 youth on four continents as Challenge Day’s Director of Training, and was the subject of the MTV series “If You Really Knew Me….” Click here for some of Vinny’s thoughts on his transition.

Mindful Schools uniquely combines this broad teaching experience with mindfully applied Silicon Valley product management, brought by Executive Director Randima Fernando, and program support from Training Coordinator Christina Costelo.

Randima (Randy) Fernando was a product manager for several award-winning projects over 7 years at NVIDIA Corporation (Forbes Magazine’s 2007 Company of the Year), where he also served as an inaugural NVIDIA Foundation board member. He has successfully managed large projects and has worked on all aspects of product development, from technical aspects to public relations and marketing.
Christina Costelo Christina Costelo has worked in education for 9 years in a variety of settings, including as a Program Director, Camp Director, and program quality assessor. She has managed academic programming and written curricula for elementary and middle school students in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Mountain View.

Please click here for full staff bios.

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