Path of Freedom Grad Develops Mindfulness Programs for Youth & Teachers

Updated: May 26, 2020

Newly armed with a doctorate in education, Stephanie Romero, executive director of the new nonprofit Awaken Pittsburgh, is developing curriculum for mindfulness with projects in various sites in the Pittsburgh area.

During her studies — with a focus on mindfulness as a teacher — she discovered efforts to use meditative practices to help at-risk youth. Ms. Romero said she found a compelling curriculum called Path of Freedom, designed for at-risk and incarcerated youth and adult prisoners and developed by Kate Crisp and Fleet Maull.

The program goal is to give participants greater self-awareness, improved impulse control and greater social awareness.

Ms. Romero has delivered the Path of Freedom program to prisoners in the Allegheny County Jail.

“It changed the way I worked with kids,” she said. “It changed me deeply.”

She had been a teacher at South Fayette Middle School and enjoys that age group, she said.

“They’re really malleable. That 12- to 16-year-old age is when they are doing identity formation. There’s a different way to interact with the world. …”

Click here to continue reading this article by Jill Daly in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

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