Sarah Cruse is a Certified Sound Voice and Music Healer from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has worked as a Behavioral Therapist with the Los Angeles School District, and as an Educational Specialist with the Foster Care department of Los Angeles Trade Tech College. She had the fortune of partnering with the Reverence Project in Watts CA, a non-profit organization that was modeled after the Truth and Reconciliation work of South Africa’s Apartheid. There she served as a Truth and Restorative Justice Advocate, leading workshops and conversations around forgiveness and accessing our inherent gifts. Sarah has worked as a Curriculum Developer and Workshop Facilitator for the Transformational Art Therapy (TAT) Center in Santa Monica CA, and Currently as a Special Curriculum Educator for the Santa Cruz School District.
Sarah has over 10 years of experience as a Singer/Songwriter, Poet, Performing Artist and Public Speaker. She believes in the power of sound, voice and freedom of expression. It is her desire to participate in the discovery, awakening and sharing of the individual and communal gift. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a Mindful Educator for Mission Be as and to be able to share the gifts of Mindful Education.
Meghan Lambert embodies a combination of professional school counseling experience, community mindfulness activism, and a deep commitment to yoga practice and wellness. Co-creator and organizer of Be the Peace Long Island, Meghan initiated and organized a meditation event that took place on the Fire Island National Seashore on the International Day of Peace this past September. Academically, Meghan holds a degree in Communications from Fairfield University and a Master of Science in school counseling from Long Island University where she graduated with high honors. Passionate about health, wellness and education, Meghan has studied and practices mindfulness. She is enthusiastic about Mission Be, and committed to its vision.
As a counselor Meghan provided academic, emotional and social guidance for students at the middle and high school levels. Her focus and specialty is social emotional literacy (SEL), a course of action aligned with the vision of Mission Be, which empowers young people to be able to handle emotions in a way that increases their personal power and improves the quality of life around them as they move through the toils and triumphs of adolescence.
Part of Meghan’s creative side finds its outlet in designing and creating jewelry inspired by the shells and other natural materials that surface on her beach combing expeditions. The most fulfilling creative aspect of Meghan’s life lies in the daily nurture and care of her two young children, and the delight she and her husband derive from bearing privileged witness to the miracle of young minds blossoming.
Meghan is a Mission Be Mindful Educator and editor of our written materials.
Tracy Zizza holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, a Masters degree in Secondary Education, a Professional Certificate in School Administration. She began her career as a science teacher in the West Babylon Junior High School. After the birth of her first child, she took a leave of absence to raise her children. She returned to the working world as an employee of BioProtection Services
She has a great passion for health and wellness and practices it in every way throughout her daily life. She feels extremely blessed that she is able to use her passion in her career each day. She is passionate about educating herself and her family in the healthiest lifestyle possible and implement it their daily lives.
Tracy is happily married to Jason Zizza and together they have three beautiful children. She strives to educate her family be lifelong learners in all the goodness that our world has to offer.
Tracy is a Mindful Educator with Mission Be.
Heather Simonson, LMSW, ERYT-200, RPYT, RCYT, LSW, and AASECT-Certified Sexuality Educator, is the founder of Sexuality Education and Counseling Services, an organization that empowers others to help build the foundation needed to embrace sexuality with pride and in a positive light. She is also the Founder and Director of The Yoga Womb, Long Island’s first Yoga Alliance-approved prenatal yoga center.
Previously, Heather was the Director of Training and Education, where she established the agency’s first parent education program. She also oversaw their award-winning prevention-through-the-arts program, as well as their male Latino outreach. She has since created Long Island’s leading parent education program.
Heather is nationally known as a trainer and counselor, and she provides educational workshops in schools and for community-based organizations, works as a corporate consultant, and shares her services with other professionals. Heather will be coordinating the mindful education implementation and will assist in writing the curriculum for other classroom workshops.
Erin McManus earned her Body Centered/Somatic Psychology master’s degree from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and her undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from Arizona State University. She specializes in promoting body-centered practices that integrate awareness and mindfulness, as well as intrapersonal and interpersonal connections. Erin taught Mindful Movement and Mediation at Cornell University. She is a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Erin received her yoga certification from Shoshoni Eldorado Mountain Ashram and adores teaching yoga for the last 10 years to all ages.
Erin is a Mindful Educator with Mission Be.
Stephanie Tolino received her Masters degree in School Counseling and her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. Upon receiving the Masters in Education in 2013, Stephanie completed the Mindful Educator training and began educating students in Long Island school districts. She has taught in Islip, Fire Island, West Islip, Herricks, as well as the Bronx.
Since joining the Mission Be team, Stephanie became a certified yoga teacher and a holistic health coach. She regularly visits office buildings and yoga studios teaching yoga and mindful meditation. In the early mornings, you can find Stephanie at home teaching one-on-one virtual English lessons to students in China.
Some of Stephanie’s personal interests include singing, playing the guitar, and cooking vegan food. Stephanie is passionate about Mission Be, its curriculum, and its impact. She sees through student feedback and participation both the need and desire for this work. Not only does it benefit the children, but Stephanie says it also serves as her own personal reminder and daily inspiration to live mindfully.
Makana is a singer/songwriter based in the Santa Cruz area. She is currently working on her debut album which is set to be released in the summer of 2017. Her music is about personal growth and the strength of the human spirit. She is also a member of Mission Be’s mindful music program and will be bringing original music to schools throughout Northern California in 2017.
She has danced semi-professionally in Santa Cruz for the last five years and helps to coordinate events at reputable venues such as the Mah Museum, The Tannery World Arts Center and The Kumbwa Jazz Center. She is currently study theater arts at UCSC in the Fall of 2017. Makana is passionate about children, music, and meditation which are the reasons why Mission Be is the perfect avenue for her to share her gifts and to be of service in the world.
John is a multiracial New Yorker who has been practicing mindfulness for years, and savors the unique opportunity to share what he is learning with Mission Be’s students. He practices with the New York Insight Meditation Center’s people of color meditation group in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and has received training in the Lineage Project’s trauma-sensitive, resiliency-based mindfulness program. John gained invaluable experience in group facilitation by volunteering at Rikers Island. There, John taught inmates and corrections officers meditation using awareness-of-breath, visualization, and breath-counting exercises, and facilitated open discussions where participants were safe to explore the challenges of being at Rikers. John has a Dual B.A. in Clinical Psychology & Child Development from Tufts University, as well as an MA in Politics & Education from Columbia University Teachers College.
As a P.S. 279 (Brooklyn) alumni, he especially enjoys working with children and teenagers in the NYC public schools, and looks forward to spreading our programming – and its benefits – throughout the city. John has already taught Mission Be’s program from Kindergarten through High School around the Tri-State area, and has already seen the powerful impact of teaching mindfulness to young people.