CLC is a  501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization

 

Our Mission

Helping individuals in high-trauma communities live happier healthier lives.

Our Vision

We strive to help high-trauma communities while contributing valuable research in the field of contemplative science and mentoring individuals dedicated to teaching cognitive and contemplative practices.

Our Directive Team

Robyn Winters, Executive Director

Robyn@cl-center.org

Robyn is a trauma survivor and has been a mindfulness practitioner since 1999. She became interested in teaching others cognitive practices after she saw significant changes in her personal and professional life. She became a mindfulness instructor in 2004 and started a nonprofit to teach the practice in 2010. Robyn has a passion for working with youth and adults in high trauma communities. She is certified in Attachment and Trauma (AT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), First Aid Mental health and Associate Lecturer with Ki-Aikido International. She is trained in Mindful Schools, MindUp and In Focus curricula. She has a BS in Environmental Design and Minor in Art from the University of Missouri, Columbia and has a background in marketing, design, sales, project management, and teaching. Robyn is devoted to helping trauma survivors, contributing to valuable research in mindfulness and supporting individuals that aspire to teach the practice. She resides in the Denver area with her husband and two children.

Laido Romero, Director of Operations

Laido@cl-center.org

Laido discovered the power of mindfulness through his own experience and practice of nearly 20 years.  His practice has enabled him to find healing and clarity in his life and pass on this experience to his family while incorporating techniques in all areas of his life.  Laido has owned and operated his own business since 1985 and has extensive experience in marketing, sales, management, supervisory positions, and human resources. He served for 4 years as a supervisor of security at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. He holds an Associate Degree in business from the University of Phoenix, is a certified Reiki instructor, trained in Mindful Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Be Mindful instructor training. He has taught thousands of youth from ages 6-22 through schools, shelters, and behavioral health centers. He has a background of working with professionals in high-trauma communities and has a passion for helping individuals with occupational stress and secondary trauma. Laido goal is to have a positive impact on the planet and society.

Sharon Tessier,M.A.

Director of Women's Leadership & Certification Training

Sharon@cl-center.org

Sharon has been a mover and a shaker in her community and in her personal life. She earned her Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education and she has 3 years postgraduate studies in psychology with an emphasis on transformational leadership. She is an internationally certified wellness coach. She is currently working on her PhD. She worked at Metropolitan State University of Denver for 15 years in the integrative healthcare program where she taught mindfulness, psychoneuroendoimmunology, advanced wellness coaching, paradigms of holism, and complementary and alternative medical therapies. Additionally, she won a local election in 2013 and is serving on the Broomfield City Council where she focuses on relationship building within her community and across Colorado as well as focuses on policymaking in the following areas: affordable housing, youth advocacy, and public health. Her biggest accomplishments are her two children and a wonderful husband of 20 years.

Valerie Langston Brettillo, M.Div.,

Advising Director of Spiritual Leadership

Valerie@cl-center.org

A natural people-person, Valerie strives to inspire others into their own processes of discovery and self-care through grounded and safe learning environments via story, personal experience, and expressive arts, such as music and dance. She has a Master of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology, where she also served as adjunct faculty of Sacred Dance and Embodied Ministries. She is a certified instructor of Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance for senior populations, and has a Green Belt in NIA Techniques, which combines dance, martial arts and mindfulness to create holistic fitness practices for the many aspects of our lives - body, mind, and emotions. Through her experience of teaching multi-age sessions, she has a passion to companion participants in journeys of sensation-awareness and movement proven to increase happiness, health, and wholeness. Classes with Valerie have been described as “sprinkled with laughter, wrapped in encouragement, peppered with enticing challenges, and rich in droplets of wisdom from many world cultures”. She resides in Thornton, CO with her husband and two daughters.

William Nash

Advisory Director of Research and Data Analysis

William@cl-center.org

Our Instructors

Robyn Burrows,  M.A.,

Adolescent Behavioral Health & Mindful Kinesthetics Instructor

Burrows@cl-center.org

Robyn comes to the Cognitive Learning Center after twelve years of mindfulness practice—specifically through the modality of yoga. She was initially attracted to the athletic component of movement-based mindfulness practices, but over time, has found yoga far more beneficial in helping her reduce anxiety and empathize with others. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh and has been a middle school teacher for five years at a Denver Public School with a large population of at-risk students.  Robyn discovered her passion for aiding others when she served in Armenia with the Peace Corps for over two years. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification through Floating Yoga School in Bend, Reiki Level 1 through Communities in Denver, CO and . Robyn hopes she can inspire others to establish a mind-body connection in order to ultimately lower stress, regulate emotions, and be more kind.

Amy Au

Writer's Workshop for Trauma Instructor

Amy@cl-center.org

Amy believes the space where mindfulness and narrative therapy intersect is the secret in addressing secondary trauma. After 20 years with Cru, 17 of which were in Asia,  she settled in Denver in 2013, seeking to help professionals working with traumatized populations receive the self-care they need to labor social justice movements for a lifetime. Over the past few years, she’s worked with several non-profits in the Denver area conducting secondary trauma assessments, teaching about the power of knowing our own stories and how it’s led us to the word we do, and educating about trauma exposures responses. With a teaching degree from TCU, 2 levels of certificate training in narrative therapy for trauma care from The Allender Center in Seattle and her own coaching practice, Untold to Rewritten, Amy is excited to join the work of the CLC to empower helpers to continue to heal themselves. She is passionate about all things related to story, whether it’s working on her first book, watching Oscar nominated movies or reading Tolkien out loud to her kids. She and her husband of 20 years reside in Littleton with their two children. 

 

Kisty Stephens, M.A., Instructor

Kisty@cl-center.org

Kisty has a BS from Metropolitan University in Counseling & Mental Health, a Certified Addiction Certification III in Colorado, Kisty also studied Public Administration at the University of Denver as well as Leadership in Social Work at San Diego State. She is a published author, powerful motivational speaker, and successful entrepreneur. She has multiple coaching certifications including Mindfulness and Heal Your Life.  Kisty's unique life experiences shine through in all she does! She has taught women all over the world the art of successful living and has empowered thousands through her workshops. She has rolled her talents into creating and founding the SEEDS Project, Wings & Things Salon, Fearless Females Business School for Women and her Ebook "Bold Moves". Her 15 plus years as a Social Worker combined with her decades as a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur make her a powerful, compassionate force on stage and off. 

Julian Royce, M.A. LPCC, Instructor

Julian@cl-center.org

Julian earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in mindfulness-based approaches to counseling as well as a Master of Arts in Religious & Buddhist Studies. He has developed and taught courses on mindfulness for addicts, students and teenagers, run a successful tutoring and life coaching company, taught yoga and workshops on connection, relating and mindfulness. He has worked with individuals, couples, and groups over the last 4 years as a coach and therapist. A life-long student of meditation, he has a background in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist teachings, yoga and philosophy using these in his work as a therapist and coach. Julian has been a student of the meditation master Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche since meeting him in 2005 in Both Gaya, India. He has personally studied with many other meditation masters as well as the wonderful faculty at Naropa University. He is a certified haha yoga instructor, a certified Life, and Relationship coach, certified OM teacher (Coaching Program and Mastery Level 1 and 2), as well as Integral Circling and authentic relating.

Anne Heerdt, M.A., Instructor

Anne Heerdt started practicing mindfulness at 19 while in college. She maintains a daily practice with regular longer practice periods. She earned her BA in Humanities with a minor in Philosophy from CU Boulder and a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix. She has been studying with Amma Thanansanti Bikkhuni in the Theravadan tradition for 3 years. She completed the Mindful Schools curriculum and uses that in her school in Denver Public Schools. She has been working in out of school time programs for 8 years now. She runs a Neighborhood Center in DPS providing before and after school care and enrichment clubs. She works with students and staff on mindfulness in her programs and has started training for staff to develop their own mindfulness practice as they work with youth in after-school programs. One of the biggest rewards and challenges has been raising her own children while practicing mindfulness.

Mentor Support

Tameka Barrett

Women Inspiring Women (WIW) Mentor

Tameka@cl-center.org

Tameka Barrett was adopted at 3 months old. She has 6 children from 23 to 13. She has overcome all forms of abuse, from the age of 6 or 7 until 2019 until she decided to stop the cycle and take her life back. She has suffered the loss of her mother to murder and the incarceration of her oldest child who was accused and later cleared of her mother's murder. Her son is still incarcerated for his role in the crimes. Tameka witnessed the murder of a fiance. She spiraled into an addiction to cope with her PTSD and had to give 4 of her children up for adoption due to substance abuse. Tameka is now in recovery and rebuilding her relationship with those children. She is a survivor and she wants to help other victims of trauma and abuse to overcome what they have endured and are enduring to have hope and faith that they can be survivors too. 

Lynsey Christiansonson

Women Inspiring Women (WIW) Mentor

Lynsey@cl-center.org

 

Adolescent Peer Review Board

Ranjani Koushik

Adolescent Peer Review Advisor

Ranjani is a sophomore in Colorado, and extremely passionate about sustainability and the environment. So much so that runs a nonprofit called TryGreener that has decreased plastic consumption in many Denver schools. She believes that being mindful of nature and of your community is the responsible way to care for the environment.

Sheila Barrett (Green),

Adolescent Peer Review Advisor

Sheila is a 13-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, who has suffered the loss of 3 very important people in her life, her grandmother, her father, and her stepfather whom she shared the same birthday with. Despite her loss, she still has a beautiful smile like sunshine, a sense of humor and likes to pull pranks, and make jewelry. Sheila is an entrepreneur and is starting a business designing her own line of products (lip gloss, body lava, and body scrub, necklace bracelets, and key chains). She has not lost her love of life and purpose. As a peer in this program, Sheila hopes to learn skills that will help with her own PTSD and empower her to inspire other young individuals that are suffering from trauma.   

Ileana Hills

Adolescent Peer Review Advisor

Ileana is a 16-year-old who loves to learn, draw, and build things. She can be found clutching a sketchbook, listening to her music playlist, or buried nose deep in a fantasy novel. She finds the world around her very important and is an activist for environmentalism, mental health, and social justice. She likes to act and put herself in a character's shoes and is therefore at home in the theater department of her high school. She is also active in the theater tech crew and loves the hands-on experience of designing, engineering, and building stage sets. Singing is also something she enjoys, and she has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York with her choir. She sees art everywhere, in her friends, in the way people talk, in song, in movement, and in all the little things both ugly and beautiful.

Our Board

Walden Hills

Adolescent Peer Review Advisor

Walden is an animal-loving web designer with a background in coding, gaming, and graphic design. He has been doing computer designing since the age of 7 when he created his first computer game. When he's not gaming, he likes handing out at the skatepark with friends. Walden is passionate about social responsibility and sustainability in the world and spends his time striving to support coexistence, inclusion, and social justice. Walden believes the first step to any change is awareness and that the world would be a better place if everyone understood a little more about the science of mind and body.

Sharon Tessier, M.A.,  Board Member

Sharon has been a mover and a shaker in her community and in her personal life. She earned her Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education and she has 3 years postgraduate studies in psychology with an emphasis on transformational leadership. She is an internationally certified wellness coach. She is currently working on her PhD. She worked at Metropolitan State University of Denver for 15 years in the integrative healthcare program where she taught mindfulness, psychoneuroendoimmunology, advanced wellness coaching, paradigms of holism, and complementary and alternative medical therapies. Additionally, she won a local election in 2013 and is serving on the Broomfield City Council where she focuses on relationship building within her community and across Colorado as well as focuses on policymaking in the following areas: affordable housing, youth advocacy, and public health. Her biggest accomplishments are her two children and a wonderful husband of 20 years.

Robyn Winters, Chairman of the Board

Robyn@cl-center.org

David Hills, Board Member

David has a background in teaching mindfulness and meditation via his 24 years of experience with Ki-Aikido.  He has served on the board of directors of Midland Ki Federation for over 10 years. His academic background is in Asian Philosophy and is currently finishing his masters in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. He has served as a professional position is data warehouse technical lead at AT&T for over 30 years.  It is David’s belief that the root of long-term health for communities, countries, and cultures depends on the education of social-emotional well-being for all.

Our Board

CLC programs operate on a "buy one give one" model.

For every CLC program purchased, a percentage of the proceeds will go to helping a high-trauma community.

Call Us: (720) 480 -9764