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.
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.
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.
Anthony Dilorenzo, MSW
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 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 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 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.