Teen YOUniversity

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens

Do you have a teen/tween who is…

Struggling with the pressures of teen life? Stressed? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Distracted? Unfocused?

In an increasingly disconnected world, our in-class group experience helps teens know they are not alone in their struggles with the pressures of life as a teen, while offering gentle support and opportunities to address personal challenges and questions.  Of course, it’s not just youth with social-emotional or mental health challenges who can benefit from this program. Our practices and principles can benefit all students because our Teen YOUniversity program equips and teaches students HOW to cultivate the inner resources, or “superpowers” for reducing stress and experiencing more balance, resilience, overall well-being. Learn the science and psychology of stress and emotions and how to feel more in control.

Calming & relaxation practices * Mindful awareness training * Movement * Journaling through writing and art * Games * and more!

These positive experiences will transform, not only inner peace and happiness, but also social dynamics at school, at home, and in the community! These are skills for life!

Give your teen the edge for responding more skillfully to life in the 21st Century!

Mindful * Kindful * Peaceful


Cuesta “College for Kids” SUMMER program is now enrolling!


SUMMER program is now enrolling ~ drop-in or attend all 8.

Locations vary around Los Osos and Morro Bay parks and beaches!


Cuesta Community Programs ~ South Campus AG High School


This class ended in May ~ Check back for “Fall” program or see summer program on the campus of Cuesta College for Kids.


Can’t make it? Watch for our Fall Programs or consider Personal Coaching.

We also offer YOUth programs for ages 7-11!  

The Mindful Teen Program is currently being offered at

Atascadero Choices in Education Academy (ACE) for middle and high school level.




About The Mindful Teen Program

A personal video message (above) to teens from Dee

According to the World Health Organization, stress/anxiety is the health epidemic of the 21st century and teens are under more pressure and experiencing higher levels of stress than ever before whether from academic pressures, sensory overload, social media, cyberbullying, and so much more. Stress can often show up as irritability, anxiety, and depression. The good news is that mindfulness and social-emotional learning programs can be a life-line. Dr. Daniel Siegel, Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute says that “Research has proven that mindfulness training integrates the brain and strengthens the important executive functions that support emotional and social intelligence as well as academic success. Offering mindfulness (training) for teens is a natural way to set them on the right course not only now, but for the rest of their lives!”

This course is based upon the evidence based program “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens”.  This program has been modeled and adapted from the world renowned Jon Kabat-Zinn’s adult MBSR program and is life changing for teens. (See objectives below.)

Join our YOUniversity program! The word university is derived from the Latin word universus, meaning “whole, entire.” Teen YOUniversity is the study of YOU and your whole-being: your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviors, relationships, and how you can respond to life moment to moment in a healthy, balanced, and positive way to support you in school, at home, and in life.

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

See more testimonies from this class!

The science and research is confirming

the powerful and transformational benefits of mindfulness and social-emotional learning for teens!

Research has demonstrated over and over that those who practice these skills will benefit! These are the core competencies of social-emotional intelligence, and the major predictors of overall well-being, success, and happiness in life. 

We create a safe, supportive, and accepting “community” within our classroom to help each student feel confident to try new things, while discovering their gifts, reaching new heights in physical, mental and emotional well-being!

>>> Learn more Benefits and Research on Mindfulness  <<<

The following objectives will be demonstrated via group-discussions and/or via journaling. Students will learn and practice the fundamentals of:

  • the science of stress and recognizing it in self;
  • positive coping strategies to get through difficult thoughts, behaviors, and emotions with less emotional reactivity;
  • healthy choices for self-care;
  • compassion and kindness for self and others;
  • cultivating positive experiences;
  • relationships with self and with others;
  • improving focus and paying attention;
  • improving decision making;
  • setting intentions on how to integrate mindfulness into all aspects of life moving forward (after course completion).

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! 

What college students wish their parents had taught them:

Source: Amy Morin, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201708/the-1-skill-college-students-wish-their-parents

Parents, teachers, and coaches dedicate their days to preparing kids for the challenges of life after high school. They devote countless hours to ensuring kids can score high and perform well in today’s cutting-edge world.

But there’s one set of valuable skills adults aren’t teaching kids—emotional skills. And perhaps those are the most important skills of all, because no matter how smart or athletic a child is, that child will never succeed without mental strength.

A 2015 nationwide survey of 1,502 college students revealed that 60 percent wished they had gotten more help with emotional preparation for college.

Emotional preparedness includes the ability to:

  • Take care of oneself;
  • Adapt to new environments;
  • Control negative emotions or behavior; and
  • Build positive relationships.

The students also revealed they felt too much emphasis was placed on academic preparation for college. Despite all of the effort that went into ensuring they had appealing transcripts, their lack of emotional skills impaired their academic achievement.

If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. 
If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. 
If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. 
If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. 
If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.
~Lao Tzu 


The video (above) is representative of the challenges of being a teen and giving teens the resources to approach life in a whole new way!
The video (above) is one of my favorite Ted Talks: “Why aren’t we teaching you mindfulness?” It asks some great questions and what she speaks to addresses exactly why I believe mindfulness should be taught in every classroom and flourish in programs across our communities.

The video (above), “Into Light”, features four teens who successfully use mindfulness to help battle depression.

Who can you tell about this course? Share the link to this page!


>>> What is Mindfulness? <<<

>>> Wellbeing & Mindfulness for Youth <<<

>>> Mindfulness Skills for the 21st Century <<<

>>> Research and Benefits <<< 

>>> Resources: Why Mindfulness in Education? <<<


Dee DiGioia

Dee DiGioia (di JOY uh) is a Certified Mindfulness, Yoga, & Life Skills Coach, Consultant, and published author. After working with youth for over 35 years, Dee founded Mindful Kindful YOUniversity to offer Mindfulness-based Social-Emotional Learning Enrichment Programs intentionally designed to address the challenges youth face in school, and in life, which interfere with learning, relationships, and mental well-being. MK YOU programs provide a rich experience through learning and engaging in practices of mindfulness and movement grounded in science and backed by research  to support mental and physical health and well-being while developing the essential life skills of emotional intelligence, or “Sm’Heart skills” – the essential education for responding more skillfully to life in the 21st Century! Having worked in the public school setting over the years, Dee believes mindfulness is the missing piece/peace in education. MK YOU offers community programs, in-school programs, consulting, professional development, personal coaching, and mini-retreats across San Luis Obispo County. Learn more about Dee.


Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or inquiries!

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