Explorers Gratitude

Grateful Mindful Explorers (ME) Members

Hear what some of our members have shared about our Mindful Explorers program!

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” – Lionel Hampton

The science and research is confirming the powerful and transformational benefits of mindfulness and social-emotional learning for youth! Through my own experiences in working with youth, I have had the privilege of seeing or hearing about the positive impact it has made in their lives. I have taught mindfulness in a variety of ways with youth: our newest virtual “Mindful Explorers” program, as well as in-school programs, after school programs, community programs, and one-to-one coaching for youth of all ages from preschool through high school, including special needs students. Here are just a few of the ways the Mindful Explorers program has been helpful.

As a full-time working mom of two young children (ages 5 and 10 yrs.) I’ve always placed a special importance and focus on both mindfulness and the social-emotional health of our youth and myself and my own self-care as a caregiver and role-model.  Now more than ever, mental health and mindfulness are so important.  I have used Dee’s programs in both my professional life (she came in and presented a full day mindfulness workshop to my staff) and now we have brought her into our “home” (virtually) with the mindful explorers program. I love that the program was created by a local community education and resource teacher (Dee) based out of San Luis Obispo but that it is also available online so it can be used by youth and grownups anywhere (‘think globally, act locally) and this program is a true example of that. I enjoy living a life and working for a company whom’ s corporate culture promotes overall wellness and well-being. The below quote on the YOUniversity’s website pretty much sums it up: “Well-being is a skill and all skills require practice! Your well-being is the most important education you will ever receive! Learn, practice, and grow skillfully with us!” The mindful explorers program is  affordable and self-paced and can make a lifetime of difference. That to me, is priceless. It is my hope that every family, youth and adult that wants to, has the opportunity to experience the benefits of this program.” ~ Parent, Kristen McKiernan


“I recommend every grandparent subscribe to these most calming and inspiring nature-based Mindfulness modules. Do it not just for the practical guidance  provided for grandchildren, but, for yourself, too, in order to gain dominion over chaos in these challenging times!  Dee is the most gentle, powerful, genuine and compassionate storyteller. I felt soooo loved and you will, too. We may not feel comfortable taking the grandkids to the library or to other activities during these Covid times, but, we can certainly share valuable moments of peace as Dee helps us discover our true nature TOGETHER!  Dee’s vital instruction has inspired me with the skills I need to practice as a more kindful and mindful family member!  I appreciate the decades of insights Dee has created in these fun-loving tutorials from utilizing her post graduate education to the experiences as a professional educator in public and private school settings. She gets YOU – all of you!!! ~ Grateful Grandparent, N.H.


“After attending MKY Explorer program’s virtual open house, I knew it was just the thing to supplement our online school regimen. While we feel so “zoomed out,” the virtual program, which was so clearly thoughtfully curated and put together, is actually very well served and honored by the online format. The exercises are wonderfully guided with thoughtful images, videos, and music, which aid tremendously in engaging with the exercises. We are thrilled to be taking part in a program that allows us to pace ourselves, and have the freedom to return to lessons as needed, or desired.” ~ Parent, Annabelle Ioannides Healy


“I’m looking forward to the program as I’ve always wanted to expose my kids to your classes but never been able to make it to Los Osos or any other location. Thank you for expanding your wisdom via online classes.” With gratitude, Parent PS

“I just wanted to personally thank you Dee for all of the time, energy and thoughtfulness that goes into each module. I know I am and will be forever grateful for the changes it will make in myself, my family, and my children to develop the tools, the skills and the mindfulness to do and be a better human. Our family has really been loving the “Fire” module! My son D– is really into Fire so this was a great module to begin and engage him. I have been incorporating the “Seeds of peace” in our morning and evening routines. We talk during breakfast about one of the seeds and then we follow up at dinner time with the seed we are working on. Today with “Appreciation” as a family we each thought of 3 things we appreciate about ourselves and then we held a superhero pose stating the 3 things for example my 5yo came up with his own and he stood tall with chest out and raising fist said “ I am –, I am strong, I am loud, I am fierce” it was very powerful. We followed it up with the story about Desmond and the mean words and related how he can react to mean words of others, not only to forgive others and be kind but to stand up for himself in a peaceful way and use the things that he appreciates about himself -be “Strong, loud, and fierce.” – Name withheld by request


“Haley’s helped me do some of your breathing exercises a few times when I have gotten overwhelmed. I’m excited I will be able to practice this with her now because I’ve been wanting to since she’s started with you!” ~ Parent Kathleen Janzen (and a video from her daughter below who wanted to share one of her projects with me)


“With all the unrest in our world right now, I feel like this is the best thing our family can choose to focus our energy on for the summer and upcoming school year. Dee DiGioia has created this awesome program to teach us tools for dealing with emotions. We are facing an unprecedented school year… Working with our kids (and ourselves) through these emotions is so important! Seriously consider doing this with your family!  It’s all virtual and there are just the right amount of resources. It’s SUPER affordable…” ~ Parent, MS


“We are doing this AMAZING program to teach mindfulness to our family… Dee DiGioia is awesome at finding interesting ways to get all of us to think, ponder, digest and reflect on different ways to increase our emotional intelligence and awareness (we all know this is the most important thing our families need right now!), especially to children! She is calm, patient and thoughtful…So glad to have the opportunity to learn from her…” ~ Parent, Elaine Elmore


“I met Dee DiGioia through Peace Academy SLO this year. (She was a fellow teacher). And my kids loved her mindfulness rotations. Indeed, they were among Ivy’s favorite parts of Peace Academy this summer. They helped her gain valuable insights into her personality and Lily’s. So I signed the whole family up for Dee’s Mindful Kindful Youniversity just four days ago. And I can’t even tell you exactly why or how; but the kids and I have been more calm, motivated, and focused ever since. Maybe it’s just knowing we have Dee and all of her calming tools and techniques available to us at any time. My kids enjoy doing one Summer Sensations online activity every day so far. And I am looking forward to this new grounding module as well as the future modules which will surely help us through an academic year certain to be fraught with uncertainty. Thank you, Dee.” ~ Parent, Lata Murti

“Oh my goodness!  I just watched your intro video and am already blown away!!! You have gone beyond expectations with all the details, material, graphics, and ideas, Dee.  Pat yourself on the back!!!!” ~ JR

“Dee, this is one of my new favorites (RAIN practice) and I know we will be going back to it again and again! The girls have watched, but I am going to go back and watch it specifically with them again, and then try it out next time they are upset. I watched it for myself while doing dishes day before yesterday and showed it to my husband  (Wesley watched too!) this morning (before 7:30am whew)! It has such great reminders even (or especially) for grown-ups (my favorite ‘this is how it is right now’) Thanks so much, I really needed this video!” ~ Megan S


“We opted to take {our daughter} out of {public school} and pursue homeschool on our own. I wanted to let you know that we are using Mindful Explorers as one of her electives and will be making our way through the modules little by little for the rest of the year.” ~ Parent, JR

“We went on the path by the creek. We hadn’t walked down that path in a while. It’s my favorite path, and I enjoyed walking on it again, taking in familiar sights. I did not count the things I saw that I appreciated or enjoyed. It was all delightful and healing on an otherwise too-hectic Sunday.” ~ parent

Not just for Kids!

“I just wanted you to know my 5yo son and I have been enjoying Mindful Kindful Youniversity. This last Saturday I had an extreme panic attack/ emotional and mental breakdown. It was kind of an out of body experience actually and really scared me because I was triggered and reacted to a stressful situation/ argument with my husband screaming and crying and just completely out of control… but to get back into control and calm down I started doing the rainbow exercise, looking for different colors of the rainbow in the room I was in and it helped to anchor me at the time. I was so glad I remembered and implemented a mindful Kindful tool to help with my anxiety etc. it really helped a lot. Thank you.” ~ Parent, Haley Bingham



Hear what some students have shared about our previous programs and services!

What are students saying about our school programs?


“I am really grateful for you taking the time to create such useful modules for us. I think the lesson, “Gr’attitude” really made me feel warm and sunny. The idea of being grateful for everyday you have alive really resonated with me.” ~ a Mindful Explorer

“I just like how all of the videos are very calming, and include breathing. I’m also really excited for what’s in the next module, “Fire”.” ~ a Mindful Explorer

“I wanted to say thank you for a great class today. It was definitely my favorite so far… so many things I didn’t notice before and, with the lessons learned today, I will strive to improve my character. I especially loved the video about perspective and appreciating everyone around us, as well as things that we often take for granted, like the skies or plants, etc. Really makes you think. I’m so glad to have taken this class, because it’s making me see things so differently than before: it’s wonderful! So thanks for that…Look forward to seeing you next session!” Your mindful student, CM ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ high school

“Mindful walking was the most impactful to me. It’s helped me significantly  in realizing the natural beauty  around me that I don’t always acknowledge as much as I should. I now feel more able to tackle stressful days, anxiety attacks, and sadness.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ high school

“Take it [the class]! We as teenanagers are experiencing too much stress at such a young age. Learning these skills young can help you navigate through tougher times in the future. I think it should be required that students are educated in emotional aspects, not only academics. We should be knowledgeable of life skills such as mindfulness! I thought it was a beautiful program, and I will never forget the skills I’ve developed as a habit through this course. It’s helped me significantly in school and soccer.“ ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ high school

“Even if you don’t think you need or would necessarily like this class, you should still try it. I’d highly recommend it because mindfulness class [helps] us to set aside time that we otherwise might not take to take care of our minds.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ high school

“I think the most useful thing I learned was to take some breaths when in hard times or stress. I really liked [this class] even though I didn’t want to come at first but then I thought well this is going to be a safe place. I think this class [would be beneficial in schools] because some people can’t control their stress or anger and they need to get taught how to do that. I feel this class is very strong and can help people in the future.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“I appreciate Ms Dee for being nice and teaching. I learned many tools like breathing, eliminating negative thoughts, and the STOP method. Take it! The course helps relieve stress and makes you grow more sure about yourself! This program raises self-esteem and eliminates stress.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“Mindful walking was the most impactful to me. It’s helped me significantly  in realizing the natural beauty  around me that I don’t always acknowledge as much as I should. I now feel more able to tackle stressful days, anxiety attacks, and sadness. I liked the [OYOPS- On Your Own Practices] and I bought a gratitude journal and tried my best to write in it regularly. Thank you so much.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ high school

“I think this class is beneficial for everyone because it teaches real things that you can actually use in life.”  ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“I liked getting to know my inner self!” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“I enjoyed the moments we take to relax.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

I think everyone should participate because it helps people who are stressed.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“The most useful thing I learned was the STOP method.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“The most useful thing I learned from this class was how to recognize what I’m feeling.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

A program like this is important “because it can help kids realize what they’re feeling and why.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“OYOP’s helped me work through things on my own.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“I liked using the peaceful guided things to go to sleep.” ~Spring 2019 Mindful Teen YOUniversity participant ~ middle school

“Dragonfly Circles” (now called “Peace Pals”) is a great place and they have a lot of activities to calm yourself. I feel really good when I go there.” ~ Presleigh S. ~ elementary school


“I love mindfulness class!”

“Is it our turn today?”

“I practiced right before bedtime.”

“I practice when my sister gets me really mad.”

“I practice when I come in second in a game (mad).”

“Breathing is my Superpower!”

“I loved the science and research behind mindfulness. I can currently think of 6 students who need this! I love this.” ~ Amber W, Shell Beach Elementary Teacher

Variety of Programs:

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