Empowering Education

We enable learning through curriculum that furthers the
social & emotional wellness of students, families, and educators.

Our Parent Organization

Empowering Education is part of a broader network of non-profits that support healthy schools and elevated education experiences for students, teachers, and families. Learn more about our parent organization, Generation Schools Network.

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Discover innovative strategies to improve school ecosystems and meet the needs of the whole student.

Our Core Beliefs

Social Emotional Learning is as critical to a child’s education as reading, writing, math, science, and the arts.

Every child deserves a high-quality Social Emotional Learning education.

Classroom teachers are the most effective source for teaching Social Emotional Learning.

Every teacher with a sincere, positive intention is capable of teaching and modeling SEL.

Effective SEL is a schoolwide effort and is inherent in every personal interaction in the building.

SEL programs and trainings should be affordable and accessible to all.

Our Story

Empowering Education was founded in 2009 by Andreas “Andy” Wilfong, a successful entrepreneur in Colorado Springs. As Andy became actively involved in helping his son with social-emotional challenges, he realized most students were struggling with similar issues.

Like most children, Andy's son made vast academic improvements after participating in social and emotional learning (SEL). Inspired by the results, Andy created Empowering Minds.

Empowering Minds is a mindfulness-based and trauma-informed SEL curriculum. With easy and fun lessons, Empowering Minds makes the life-changing benefits of SEL available to all students.

In its first 10 years, Empowering Education has benefited over 10,000 students. The evidence indicates that our curriculum improves social measures such as persistence, self-control, and social competence, in addition to traditional measures of academic performance.

In 2021, Empowering Education joined a network of like-minded non-profits called Generation Schools Network. Together with Generation Schools Network, Empowering Education continues to bring transformative professional development and inclusive content to schools.

For more information about our program or our parent organization, Generation Schools Network, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Our Program Developers

To view the complete list of staff members, please check out our parent organization, Generation Schools Network

Will A. Eaton. Jr.

Will A. Eaton. Jr.

Education Technology Consultant

[email protected]

Anthony Dilorenzo, MSW

Anthony Dilorenzo, MSW

Program Developer

Anthony started his career in social work and education as a supervisor for youth treatment counselors in both residential and day treatment programs. He now runs a company in which he trains, coaches, and supports the implementation of restorative practice programs. Anthony also works as a therapist primarily with youth struggling with suicidal and homicidal ideation. He believes that our response to school violence and adverse behaviors needs to be a response that focuses on the root causes of peer isolation and lagging social emotional skills.

MJ Roberts-Gibson, EdS, MA

MJ Roberts-Gibson, EdS, MA

Program Developer

MJ is the assistant principal at Morey Middle School in Denver. She started her work in education as a special educator while also serving as team specialist and senior team lead for the special education department. MJ is passionate about educational equity and creating school-wide impact through community building. She is a 2014 Teach For America alumna who earned her BS in Art History at Barnard College, MA in Critical Pedagogy and EdS in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado-Denver, and is an EdD student studying Educational Equity.

Katherine Pivoda, MA

Katherine Pivoda, MA

Program Developer

Katherine Pivoda has been teaching reading and composition at the University of Colorado Denver for nearly a decade. After earning her MA in literature, she taught at International College Beijing for two years, overseeing writing center operations and working intensively with ESL students and English instructors. Now, she works primarily with first-year college students. She is a Pushcart Prize nominated essayist and a PhD student studying Education. 

Laurie LaComb

Laurie LaComb

Program Developer

Laurie LaComb has been working in the public-school arena for over 25 years and currently serves as the Healthy Schools Coordinator for the Douglas County School District in Colorado where she teaches SEL and mindfulness to students and staff. Laurie received her 200-yoga certification, completed the ambassador program with Mindful Life, as well as taken courses through the Institute for Mindful Leadership, Kristin Neff, Mindful Schools, and Mindful Education. Her passions include social-emotional learning, working with children/teens/teachers, staff wellness, self-compassion, family, yoga, meditation, and chocolate.   

Chloe Knowling

Chloe Knowling

Program Developer

Chloe is an elementary special education teacher in Denver. She has served on Rocky Mountain Prep’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board and was a member of the Colorado League of Charter’s Fellowship for Special Education Leadership Cohort for Underrepresented Staff Populations. She has previously worked as a middle school special education teacher and was a founding special education teacher abroad. Chloe graduated from University of Tampa with a BA in Communications and minors in Government and History.