A for Athlete


  • A nonprofit organization getting established by Richard King, Ph.D., since 2014. 

Founder, Richard King, Ph.D. Leader of a seminar for Pittsburgh Public Schools physical education teachers in January 2015.



Seeking Collaborators to Develop an Educational Website: “Mindful Mentoring”

April 18th, 2016

Seeking collaborators to develop web based learning support for a “Mindful Mentoring” digital badge. The goal for this web based project is to help pilot a life and career skills training program for Pittsburgh urban youth in the 2016-2017 school year. The “Mindful Mentoring” project will provide on-line learning experiences, as well as in-person workshops, for Pittsburgh area high school students from September 2016 through May 2017. These skills will support their stress management, academic performance, community involvement, and career development. Mindful Mentoring Project development will begin in June, 2016 pending the winning of funding for the project in May, 2016.

The digital project will build a web based learning support to help students develop their personal tool box of skills including: Mindfulness training, time management, mentor seeking, relationship building, intentional habit change, goal setting and achievement, risk and resource management, positive social media making, resume building and conflict resolution. Students will engage STEM concepts fundamental to physiology, health, psychology, sustainable systems, and corporate planning. Learning modules will survey the relevance of homeostasis, resilience and goal directed systems across domains of physiology, psychology, ecology, and corporate planning. The goal of the program is to develop academic, job, and career readiness skills that will unlock economic opportunities while building skills for maintaining health, wellness, cognitive performance, and social networks in the local community.

If interested in learning more and possibly collaborating, please contact:

Richard King, PhD, kinggaines@comcast.net

Mindful Mentoring Skills Digital Badge Playlist Proposal for Youth

If funded, "Mindful Mentoring," will provide in-person training at a variety of venues in Pittsburgh over the course of the school year that will blend mindfulness training with job readiness training and career seeking skills. In person training opportunities will be supplemented with on-line educational resources (Video, audio, text, email prompts) to support the mindfulness training curriculum by Mindful Pittsburgh. The on-line videos would also support the 7 other topic areas, including some background STEM concepts addressing: Health and wellness, stress management, neurophysiology, and executive functions. Social sciences will also be included: Positive psychology, goal achievement, intentional networking and conflict resolution skills training.

The Mentoring Partnership of SWPA, as a community partner in the proposal, will teach the “mentor seeking skills” workshops. A key feature of resilience and career growth is having the skills to intentionally cultivate the positive relationships within one’s social network. Mr. Taili Thomson of Youth Opportunity Development will teach a goal planning and achievement system modified from the “Corporate Plan” process. Mr. Neil Greibling, the “Pittsburgh Career Coach” has been invited to teach career finding and career thriving skills.

The primary goal of the playlist is for youth to acquire a routine daily personal practice of mindfulness exercises. The program is designed to develop these habits and skills over the school year along with an understanding of the background STEM concepts involved in the physiology, psychology, and social science of stress and wellness. Acquisition of these wellness and goal and growth skills can become life changing in their support of educational, professional, and personal life goals.

The vision for the program is to have youth visit some of the beautiful and enriching Pittsburgh venues like the Aviary, Phipps, the Carnegie, and others to engage in mindfulness training workshops throughout the school year. Some STEM learning will support a deeper understanding of how routine practice of these skills impacts health, wellness, and decision making. To achieve the “Mindful Mentoring” badge, youth will attend learning experiences in workshops, document their work through web based interaction, keep a journal of mindfulness and their goals, and build a resume which lists their digital badge, their references, and their goals. Badge achievement will also be documented publicly on the web as well as recognized within their resume.

The Sprout Fund's Digital Playlist grant application has a ceiling of $40K. The average sized grant, of about $25K, will support learning experiences in the "badge playlist" over the course of the 2016-2017 school year. There are 8 different mindfulness workshops, called "learning experiences," or "XPs." Each in-person XP would be offered at least a couple times within a month, to increase accessibility and achievability. Web based support will cover the same basic didactic information.

There are 8 "mindfulness XPs" that are the core mindfulness curriculum:

  1. Overview of mindfulness training
  2. Body Scan
  3. Focused Attention Mindful Breathing
  4. Mindful Listening
  5. Mindful Walking
  6. Mindful Eating
  7. Yoga
  8. Loving Kindness Meditation

There are 7 Related XP topics that will be included in the workshops:

  1. Physiology of stress and relaxation responses
  2. Psychology of Wellness and Resilience
  3. Habit Change
  4. Goal Setting, Planning, Achievement
  5. Seeking Social Support Networks and Mentors
  6. Conflict Resolution
  7. RC21X and Executive Functioning of the Pre-frontal Cortex