I first became acquainted with the Sean O'Shea Foundation when I received a flyer for a free chair yoga training for educators from a school nurse I worked with. The training was phenomenal, and quite exceeded my expectations. As a Licensed Mental Health Clinician working in a day treatment high school in San Diego, I learned that I could apply to have the SOSF work with the students in weekly yoga classes....for free! I jumped on the opportunity to bring a great resource to the at-risk, high-need population that I worked with. Many of the students were up against challenges such as mental illness, severe behavior issues, gang pressures, trauma, learning disabilities, teen parenting, violent neighborhoods, and chronic socioeconomic stressors. The Sean O'Shea Foundation ended up working with the students at the school for not just 7 weeks, but several years, and in the process changed a student body and the staff supervising them with their positive message of health, resilience, and taking control over one's circumstances through strength of mind and body. Through the discipline of yoga and nutrition classes, students learned skills to move through life, and in doing so also were surprised to see significant amounts of emotional and physical pain lift. They now had a skill and a hobby to feel good about and mentors that believed in them and demonstrated kind and gentle consistency in their words and actions. Through this process the students developed mental and physical strength and resilience. The staff that participated (myself included) benefited from weight loss, calmer work days, and a nice camaraderie with one another and the students participating. In addition to being a licensed marriage and family therapist, I am also a facilitator of mind-body skills groups developed by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and the SOSF message strengthened and reinforced the group curriculum I was teaching to the students, and led to a synergistic process in their journey of self-care. The story of the tragic loss of Sean O'Shea, a man of many virtues, is one the students can identify with, as the lives of many of them have been peppered with loss. They get to experience something beautiful that grew out of the O'Shea family's loss, and develop hope for their own beauty to grow out of their own losses. I can't say enough about how authentic, inspiring, effective, and professional the Sean O'Shea Foundation Non-Profit Yoga Programs are. It is a direct correlation to the staff who run them. I am proud to be serving on the board of directors of this amazing foundation.
I attendees yoga classes with Sean O'Shea. He was an extraordinary presence on earth who spirit continues to touch the lives of our youth through this foundation. In teaching for this organization I was moved at how valuable it was to offer this to high risk and high need children. I highly recommend any participation in helping fulfill their mission!
The Sean O'Shea Foundation is a phenomenal organization and the work they do is truly miraculous! I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner caring for children with cancer and their families here in San Diego. Thankfully cure rates have increased dramatically; today a child with cancer has over an 80% chance of cure! Although the treatments are highly effective they come with numerous side effects including nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain and disruption in sleep patterns. This is where the gifted Sean O Shea yoga volunteers come in. Over the last 8 years these dedicated volunteers visit our patients and their families three times per week offering private individualized yoga sessions tailored to the specific needs of the patient and family. The volunteers provide a very relaxed mindful environment enabling the families to fully benefit from the yoga practice. Families report a sense of calm and peace that lasts long after the yoga session is complete. Many of the troubling side effects of treatment are greatly alleviated. Patients consistently report less pain and anxiety along with less nausea. They report better sleep quality and overall improved quality of life. The volunteers equip the families with these tools to continue their yoga practice in between the sessions thereby empowering them in their fight against this disease. It is my deepest hope that these special patients grow up to be Yogi's for life! My heart is filled with deep gratitude for all of the special Sean O Shea volunteers who have touched our families at the most difficult part of their lives
The Sean O'Shea Foundation is one of those rare non-profits which benefits the children it was intended to serve beyond the financial contributions that it receives. This is possible because the men and women who serve give of themselves in a selfless way that exemplifies the person the foundation was created to memorialize. Sean O'shea was a kind, compassionate and giving person who lived with his heart and was a brilliant connector and communicator. Although there are many great causes, the Sean O'Shea Foundation brings something to children that they all need - A opportunity to learn self-worth and self-respect through mindfulness and nutrition education. I highly recommended other who want to be part of something bigger than themselves and a trusted community organization, to support the Sean O'Shea Foundation.
The Sean O'Shea Foundation exemplifies a nonprofit dedicated to the cause of helping children breakdown barriers in there lives and strive for their best potential. The Foundation uses yoga, nutrition education and mindfulness practices which can effectively be taught to groups of children in a cost-efficient class setting and have the big impact that so many of us have experienced in our own lives. This education is life-changing for many children and the foundation goes to the schools that need it the most. I have personally seen the passion and dedication that the members of this foundation have put forth, to make this a hugely successful endeavor and a wonderful testimony to the good life Sean O'Shea lived.
It has been a great pleasure & truly rewarding to serve the children of our future in a positive way through yoga, mindfulness, & nutrition. To witnesss their transformation through the practice is a priceless gift - they are learning how to center & take care of themselves in a more loving way. I am excited for our future when I look into their eyes & know they have received the right tools through the Sean O'Shea Foundation to get through the rollercoaster that is life.
The Sean O'Shea Foundation exceeds all expectations by partnering with our school, SOAR Academy. Our school is located within Kearny Mesa's Juvenile Hall. The Sean O'Shea Foundation provides yoga class with an amazing yoga teacher to incarcerated, juvenile boys twice weekly, year-round. All of the boys in our unit of Juvenile Hall are experiencing PTSD symptoms and they have extreme stress responses including anger, suicidal behaviors, cutting behaviors, withdrawal, and many other symptoms of trauma. Our unit is actually called the Trauma Response Unit or TRU. Yoga is one of the only ways the students can calm down and reduce their stress. The Sean O'Shea Foundation (SOSF) is unique in that they provide a teacher that can adapt to our unique, and challenging, environment. There are days when the intercom rings twenty times during class. There are days when students are resistant. Yet, Marie, our teacher, that is provided by SOSF, persists and she is flexible to our students' exceptional needs. By serving the hundreds of students that move through our unit each year, SOSF, is affecting change in the lives of incarcerated juveniles that are often underserved and undervalued in our society. SOSF makes a lasting impact on our San Diego community because students will always be able to take the yoga and mindfulness skills that they learn in school with them as they exit our program. Thank you SOSF.
The SOF program has helped bring peace and wellness to our 4th and 5th grade students now for the past 6 years. Many of our students often experience stressful life situations such as poverty, immigration issues, sharing small apartments with other families or others, learning how to navigate an academic curriculum that does not match their linguistic or cultural backgrounds. Our students love it! They are learning to be more in tune with their breathing, be in the moment, practice mindfulness, and learn how to eat healthy. We are so grateful to have them work with a group of our students each year! The staff are so dedicated to this practice and to service--we are so appreciative of their dedication!
There is nothing like the benefits of yoga in helping "at risk" students experience the magic of a meditative practice that affects their mind, body and soul. Recent research show the great need for reflection is in enhancing learning and in addressing brain trauma as a result of a destructive past. Our students are labeled "at risk" because of being in a probationary or expelled status or are either a pregnant or parenting teen. The one hour yoga practice combined with nutrition classes is absolutely our weekly treat! Thank you Gloria for your vision to make this possible. And, thank you to all of you who have contributed with your support and donations to unfold Sean O' Shea Foundation's vision and legacy of love -Dr. Caroline Fernandez
In a world filled with stress, anxiety, pressure and challenges children are growing confused, stressed and uncertain of who they are, what they want and where they are going.
Kids need to center and balance their life. They need a moment to STOP, think, breathe and care for themselves. Self-love, self-care, self-value are things that we forget and replace with the necessity to please others.
The Sean O'Shea Foundation provides children with the opportunity to make a much necessary STOP in their day. To break away from the pressure and gift themselves with a safe space to think.
The Sean O'Shea foundation offer classes that allow kids to carve one hour of their day to breath, meditate, think, and re-evaluate. It promotes friendship and values such as respect, honor, self-love, harmony and gratitude among others. I admire what they do because without SOSF some of these kids would not have the opportunity to sit on a yoga mat and practice this beautiful discipline.
The best part of this is that the children attending the SOSF classes are more likely to pass on that love, that gratitude and respect they learn to others. How amazing it would be that we could reach more children, teach more and more of them to love and respect others and themselves. That is exactly what our children need... Love and respect. Let's give them the opportunity to receive it and give it back.
Let's support the Sean O'Shea Foundation!
I have been a volunteer with the SOSF "Yoga for Kids with Cancer Program" since the fall of 2011. We have worked at Rady's Children's Hospital's Hematology/Oncology wing, with countless kids, their siblings and parents. The gratitude and smiles we get, even in the midst of extremely challenging situations for these families, are instant proof that we are making a positive difference. We have kids that are there for many weeks clamoring to do yoga, to moo and mieow, or simply to take some slow breaths and fall asleep even as they start the session feeling cranky or anxious. Kids from ages 3 to 18 learn and benefit from yoga and breathing techniques, which they also use during their procedures and care.