E-NEWSLETEER – February 2015
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Our end of the year Empowering Youth Campaign was by far the most successful in the history of the Sean O’Shea Foundation. We are bursting with gratitude to all our donors, supporters and campaigners who dedicated and sacrificed their time, effort and funds to support our hard work.
Friends of the foundation have supported our work for the past 8 years and allowed us to bring yoga and nutrition to over 13,000 children thus far. Although the Empowering Youth Campaign is our largest campaign to raise funds we do have many more ways the community and friends support our work.
The Ambassador program is a new program we started last year where yoga studios and teachers can offer classes and workshops to their yoga community and proceeds will benefit SOSF.  See the article “Sean O’Shea Foundation Ambassadors Supporting Their Local At-Risk Youth”.
We are proud of our captains and campaigners who worked so hard and are excited we made many more friends. I hope you consider joining us in our upcoming events. Stay tuned.
There were 27 million results in .77 seconds – that’s what happened when I Googled “mindfulness” on February 10th.  Last year my search produced only 6 million results. I would say that mindfulness is having something of a “moment”.
As Youth Program Coordinator for the Sean O’Shea Foundation, I think about mindfulness a lot. It’s the first “Word of the Week” in our semester and full-year mat yoga and nutrition programs, and over the past year it has been the key concept in our CALM Kids program – Chair-based Activities for Learning Mindfulness – C.A.L.M.
CALM Kids is a short-format program – just 15 minutes – designed to be used in the classroom and taught by non-yoga teachers. It grew out of the popular chair yoga workshops SOSF has done for school teachers and a chair yoga program at Julian Charter School taught by Joy Bennett, the busy owner of Joyous Soul Yoga in Ramona and one of our amazing teachers. In September 2013, Gloria O’Shea organized a workshop on Transformative Life Skills with B.K. Bose, founder of the Niroga Institute, and we incorporated his insights to create CALM Kids. (The acronym C.A.L.M. was the result of a brainstorming session at one of our board meetings – thanks everyone!)
The impact of the Julian program was so positive that in the spring of 2014, Joy and I got together and developed a training for school teachers that would help them to teach these chair yoga sessions themselves. This way, they could do the practice whenever it fit into the school day – before a test, for example, or when the energy level was too rowdy. 
Last fall, we began teaching CALM Kids at two San Diego schools – Tubman Village Charter, where 14 classes, grades 1-8 received the program; and Aseltine School, an alternative school in San Diego, where elementary, middle school and high school students participated.  The kids learn that mindfulness means, “Paying attention, here and now, with kindness and curiosity, so I can choose my behavior,” a definition developed by Amy Saltzman, MD, Director of the Association for Mindfulness in Education. They also learn the “Hand Model of the Brain”  - a quick, visually simple way (developed by Dr. Daniel Siegel) to understand how the pre-frontal cortex helps us regulate our behavior.

A CALM session begins with a chime and a minute or two of breathing and tuning in to what’s happening with body, breath and mind. Ten minutes of chair yoga poses  - done seated or sometimes standing, using the chair as a prop – allow students to stretch and release tension. The session ends with a brief centering practice that gives students an opportunity to become aware of the changes in body, breath and quality and tone of thoughts that result from just a few minutes of practice.
Teachers have reported seeing significant changes in students following a CALM Kids session. One teacher wrote, “This workshop opened my eyes to fixing and helping the root of students’ behavior problems instead of just temporarily silencing them.”
Together with Dr. Brandon Eggleston of National University and former board member Ashley Fisher, we are conducting pre- and post-surveys to measure the impact of CALM Kids. We hope to be able to report results next year.
In the meantime, Gloria and I are both attending UCSD’s upcoming conference on “Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth” which focuses on mindfulness research and practice for youth.  Last year’s conference was informative and inspiring and helped us shape our own programs. We’ll keep you posted about this year!
Last year the Sean O’Shea Foundation contacted some local studio owners and yoga teachers to invite them to become a SOSF Ambassador. SOSF Ambassadors become supporters for the Sean O’Shea Foundation by offering classes or workshops throughout the year and donating the proceeds to the SOSF kids programs for the at-risk youth in our communities. Special thanks to our 2014 Ambassadors:
  • Vinyasa Arts Yoga, Cardiff - with yoga guides: Tamara Lafferty-Totman & Andy Totman
  • Ashtanga Yoga Center, Carlsbad  - SOSF 8TH Annual 108 Sun Salutations with yoga guides: Peter Hurley, Holly Gastil, Miho Gilles, and Natasha Teran and Music by: Paul Abbott
  • Azul Wellness, Vista – Vinyasa Flow and Brunch with Jamie and Karissa Isaac
  • Ashtanga Yoga Center, Carlsbad- Tim Miller -– Annual spring workshop.
  • Yoga Tropics West, Encinitas- Janice Motley and Sylvi Harwin - Yin Yoga and sacred soul of singing bowls workshop
  • MidSummer Nights, San Diego- with Renee Gauthier, Paloma Neuman and Sasha Cherry -
So what’s happening for 2015? Presently we are working with YOGA 80, Tim Miller of the ASHTANGA YOGA CENTER and DANG GOOD YOGA and we will be posting their classes and workshops soon.
If you are interested in becoming a SOSF Ambassador, contact Gloria O’Shea at or or (760) 453-9924. I am looking forward to talking to you and sharing more about our Ambassador programs.

The Sean O'Shea Foundation has been selected for the 2014 Best of Oceanside Award in the Community & Social Services category by the Oceanside Award Program.
Each year, the Oceanside Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Oceanside area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Oceanside Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Oceanside Award Program and data provided by third parties.
The Oceanside Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Oceanside area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.


San Diego Organization Ranked "Top-Rated Non-Profit"  By For The 2nd Year In A Row

Oceanside-based Sean O'Shea Foundation teaches at-risk youth yoga and nutrition throughout Southern California
-- A non-profit named in honor of a beloved yoga teacher who donated his time by teaching yoga to at-risk youth in Oceanside was recently named as a "Top Rated Non-Profit 2014" by for the second year in a row.
Sean O'Shea passed away in a freak highway accident in December of 2006. An Encinitas resident, O'Shea was the owner of the Four Seasons yoga studio in La Jolla. Sean's mother, Gloria O'Shea founded the foundation shortly after his death. To date, the foundation has introduced yoga, nutrition and environmental stewardship to over 12,000 at-risk and/or low-income students in 85 schools throughout San Diego and Los Angeles County, ranging from 8-18 years old (3rd through 12th graders).
The Sean O'Shea Foundation, which also completed a very successful second year in Los Angeles County, embedded in its gang-ridden communities, was ranked as a top-rated nonprofit, based on the large number of positive reviews that the Foundation received, including reviews written by volunteers, donors, participants and clients.  "Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever," said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, "Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization. The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit. This award is a form of recognition by the community. People with direct experience with the Sean O'Shea Foundation have voted that the organization is making a real difference."


This past year the Sean O’Shea Foundation collected over 2,800 volunteer hours. To recognize and appreciate the dedication from each of our volunteers we celebrated with a fun luncheon at the Buca de Beppo in Carlsbad.
It was a great social event with some fabulous people from around San Diego. School yoga teachers, Board of Directors, Committee members, administrative assistants, volunteer classroom aids, teen volunteers, SOSF project volunteers and our special volunteer group of yoga teachers from Rady’s children’s Hospital all came and participated in the celebration.  Special thanks goes to Debra Bomar, volunteer coordinator, who helped to make this event so special.
We hope to reach over 3,000 volunteer hours come 2015! PLEASE JOIN US! Presently we are looking for more volunteers to join our event committee, grant writing committee, fundraising committee and bi-weekly project volunteers.
Dr. Brandon M Eggleston, Associate Professor, School of Health and Human Services, Community Health, Technology and Health Sciences Center at National University and attended the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans and presented their findings from the Sean O’Shea Foundation.
Our recent research is showing a restoration of confidence, emotional stability, low anxiety levels, and a more peaceful attitude as a result of the Sean O'Shea Foundation program. When we look only at the post–program scores of the high school aged children, the improvements were so significant for each factor analyzed that the numbers were astonishing.
Dr. Eggleston will look to write a paper based upon this early data later this summer and submit it to a journal for publication thanks to the research and data from Ashley Fisher in Berkeley.
Meanwhile, we are administering pre and post surveys at 6 schools and over 1000 students to further the study of Yoga in schools. To Dr. Eggleston’s knowledge, this is one of the largest research projects of its kind. Follow our Facebook, where we will post new and updated findings.

Susan is a certified Yoga teacher and practices Ashtanga Yoga regularly. Her expertise in yoga is already shining in the classrooms.
Susan is a marketing and business professional with 20 years of experience driving brand strategy and marketing communications at Fortune 500 companies. Susan holds an MBA in Marketing from USC. She currently works for Intuit and is responsible for TurboTax brand strategy.
Her expertise for the Sean O’Shea Foundation will be in developing ideas to execute marketing initiatives that will raise the foundations’ profile and affinity within the local community.
We are already experiencing how Susan’s expertise and passion is helping to take the foundation to a higher level. Welcome to the Sean O’Shea Foundation family Susan!


Tim Miller Spring Workshop to benefit the Sean O’Shea Foundation  - April 11, 2015 Keep this date open! More information will be posted on our website and Facebook soon.