Marc Alter, Grandview Heights Schools

“Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several workshops that Brandi designed for our school district.  Brandi has the rare ability to lead an entire group while remaining sensitive and responsive to the needs and comfort level of each individual. Her expertise as a teacher and facilitator is built upon a solid foundation of research and personal experience. Her spirit of joy, empathy, and creativity always shines through during her workshops and reflects her genuine desire to help each person find their path to personal balance and well-being.

The impact of Brandi’s workshops, on individual staff members and our collective school culture, has been profound. Brandi has given us actionable tools for stepping back from the day to reflect, regroup, and gain perspective. I’ve seen measurable shifts in the ways our staff conscientiously practices care of the self and of each other. This is important for teachers and it ultimately benefits the children we work with every day.”

– Marc Alter, Director of 21st Century Learning

Mandy Bruney, Pickerington Local School District

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“When I decided to take the Mindful Growth course, I never expected how drastically it would change both my personal and professional life.  I learned to value silence and appreciate curiosity, and it felt really powerful to realize I had control over my own feelings, emotions, and especially my reactions.  I started meditating and journaling regularly, and this gave me more overall peace in my life.  My brain began to reside in a calmer state more often, giving me more time and awareness to decide how I wanted to react to stressors.  I’ve learned how to be a better listener and communicator, how to stick with a task even when it’s frustrating, how to get outside of my comfort zone in order to make connections with colleagues, and how to take risks professionally.

All of this learning has enabled me to be much more effective in my work.  Once I realized how much of an impact the idea and practice of mindfulness had on me, I couldn’t help but share it with teachers, and eventually with their students, too.  These teachers, and others throughout the district, plan to begin next school year by introducing students to mindfulness and other ideas from the course: valuing silence, having a growth mindset, using grit, building resilience, and taking risks.”

– Mandy Bruney, Instructional Coach

Kelly Capatosto, The Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

“Brandi came to the Kirwan Institute to present on how mindfulness practice can help reduce the stress associated with doing social justice work. She helped us identify moments of quietness in our own lives as a means to help us recharge to do the work and equipped us with skills to help encourage self-regulation and promote creative thought.

Brandi was an inviting and engaging speaker who made everyone feel comfortable by sharing personal experiences and anecdotes. She is truly talented at making connections with people and encouraging gifts in others.”

– Kelly Capatosto, Research Associate

Sean Noe, AmeriCorps

“Our AmeriCorps Members and program staff have greatly benefited from Brandi’s sessions on mindfulness and on strategies for building strong relationships with students. These trainings are vital components of our 3-week orientation, and we hope to continue to be able to offer such important information to our group each fall. Our members have been able to easily incorporate a great deal of the information into their daily tutoring routine.

Brandi offers a welcoming, friendly presentation style which our team always enjoys. She has a great ability to connect with the audience and to tailor the information to meet their interests.

We always look forward to Brandi’s trainings, and we always find them interesting, timely, and salient. She is one of the first presenters we try to land on our calendar each year!”

– Sean Noe, Program Coordinator for Ohio Reading and Ohio Math Corps

Joy Sullivan, Pages Program at the Wexner Center for the Arts

Joy jpeg“Brandi is an intuitive thinker, creative risk-taker, and marvelously capable leader.  She creates thoughtful and intentional spaces to explore, write, discuss, and observe, leaving participants with resources that enable continuous growth and stretch.  As an organized presenter and a practiced rhetorician, she not only facilitates focused learning, but she also radiates kindness and support. On many occasions, Brandi offered me and others insight and encouragement. Furthermore, I watched her, time and again, adeptly form and nurture communal spaces that fostered authentic relationships.”

Joy Sullivan, Wexner Center Fellow, Pages Artist-in-Residence, Poet, and Educator

Verónica E. Betancourt, The Wexner Center for the Arts

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“Brandi is an energetic and curious professional who is able to ground her knowledge of mindfulness in the practice of classroom teachers, making her an exceptional choice of facilitator for a teacher professional development work. She deftly combines critical reflection to improve mindfulness and self-awareness with a range of arts activities from writing and discussion to hands-on practices.  She is also responsive, creative, and an easy collaborator whose love of learning enlivens her teaching.  It was a pleasure to work with her on the 2015 Capital Day workshop.”

– Verónica E. Betancourt, Museum Educator

Maggie Buckley, Pickerington Local School District

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“Pickerington Local Schools has included the idea of instilling a growth mindset in students and staff in our strategic plan, and we are thrilled to have Brandi be a part of this work in the district.  Brandi has helped us to survey current needs and establish professional development to address the concept of mindfulness and growth. The staff that has been involved in Brandi’s sessions: workshops, in-classroom work, and job-embedded coaching, have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have found it to be transformative and rejuvenating. This work has never been needed more in the field of education!”

– Maggie Buckley, Teaching and Learning Coordinator

Aaron Sherman, Arts and College Preparatory Academy

Aaron“I have some experience with using mindfulness in class with students, but Brandi facilitated a much deeper appreciation for, and understanding of, mindfulness practice. Brandi’s facilitation of this work led to epiphanies in my classroom. She fostered a greater awareness in students who can now seek solace from the stressors of life productively and constructively. Many of the students now use mindfulness practices weekly and in some cases daily, not to escape from the challenges of school and their lives, but to reenergize and come back fresh and ready to grow further and faster than they would be able to otherwise. None of this was possible for them before.

After over a decade plus of teaching and management experience, I can enthusiastically say that having Brandi Lust can help your team feel and perform better, not to mention the added value that inevitably will come to the stakeholders your institution serves.”

Aaron Sherman, Teacher

Rachel Lang, The Educational Service Center of Central Ohio

Rachel Lang jpeg“Brandi’s ability to connect with participants, her true dedication to personal growth, her kind spirit, and her thoughtful listening skills, all contribute to her ability to create and support rich learning environments. I initially supported Brandi in her role as an instructional coach through my work with school districts. From our first encounter, I could sense her deep dedication to learning and her desire to evolve personally and professionally. It has been a pleasure to watch her continue to grow. And most importantly, it has been a privilege to call on Brandi to share her knowledge and passion for mindfulness and growth through professional development opportunities here at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.”

Rachel Lang, Literacy Specialist

Josh Culbertson, West Ohio AIDS Task Force Weekend

Josh Photo“Brandi’s awareness, empathy and engagement with participants are strengths she embodies as a facilitator.  I had the honor of co-facilitating with Brandi a communications workshop for a group of adult men whose lives have been affected by HIV during the West Ohio AIDS Task Force Healing Weekend. Her contributions were phenomenal.

Her awareness of others, which I assume comes with being a mindfulness practitioner, allowed her monitor and respond to the moods of the group, while also focusing in on individual needs.  She brought empathy to her interactions by meeting participants where they were and encouraging them to engage in their own process and story.  Even when some were a bit hesitant, with her gentle encouragement, she was able to re-engage them in the process with success.  Her experience as both an educator and a mindfulness practitioner were both evident in the work she was able to facilitate. I would be pleased to work with her on other collaborations!”

– Josh Culbertson, Activist

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