PROUD MEMBERS OF
Renee Jain is one of the nation’s most respected childhood happiness and resilience experts, and the founder of GoZen! She uses her many talents, specialized education, and business acumen in pursuit of her life’s mission: To provide whole-brain education to all children, regardless of where they live or of their families’ socioeconomic background.
Renee is recognized as a pioneer in marrying technology and child psychology in a unique approach that nurtures the hearts and minds of kids. Through her writing, product invention and development, masterclasses for parents, and children’s advocacy, she works to build the emotional intelligence of kids, including resilience, empathy, kindness, and critical thinking.
Renee earned her Master’s degree in Positive Psychology – the scientific study of optimal human functioning – from the University of Pennsylvania. She is one of fewer than 400 people to attain that degree. She also has been mentored by – and regularly collaborates with – some of the top depression prevention experts in the world.
Emiliya is the CEO and founder of The Flourishing Center, a New York City-based, Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) that is dedicated to increasing the flourishing of individuals, organizations and communities worldwide. She is the creator of the acclaimed Certification in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) program offered in 11 cities across the U.S., Canada and online worldwide which has trained over 700 practitioners to date. She is the creator of the Bounce Back BetterTM (B3) Program, Positive Psychology Coaching Certification, Flourishing Skills Group® (FSG®) Program, creator of the iMMi Program, creator of the PERMA-V Model and the 5i Change Agent Model.
Emiliya holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Positive Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine from Saybrook University, where she also an adjunct faculty member. Emiliya holds a PCC credential with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), as well as over a dozen certifications in modalities ranging from coaching to yoga, motivational interviewing and more.
MAPP, MCC, ERYT
Erin Nichole Smith
MAPP, CPC, RYT
Erin Nichole is a positive psychology based coach, facilitator, and healer who is passionate about supporting the growth and transformation of individuals and organizations. She holds certifications in coaching, yoga, and reiki, and works at the intersection of Western science and Eastern wisdom to help individuals and organizations flourish.
Erin’s thesis research at the University of East London focused on the relationship between coaching, transformational learning, and flourishing; she continues to be profoundly interested in understanding how actively engaging in personal growth influences wellbeing.
Erin has been on faculty with The Flourishing Center since 2013, and currently facilitates the Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology programs as well as the Positive Education Certification program. She loves her work, and is honored to share, play, learn, grow, and love with the people that positive psychology brings together.
Tamara Lechner is the Director of our Center. She is committed to improving proactive well-being on a global scale. This has led to her involvement with world leaders in contextual well-being measurement, Positive Psychology and Positive Education. She spent 18 months with the Institute of Positive Education (Geelong Grammar School).
Tamara has a passion for mindfulness, the science of habit formation and disrupting thought patterns to promote growth. She has been a staff writer and happiness expert for Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center for many years.
When Tamara is not speaking, writing or learning, she can be found fueling her zest by throwing epic parties, spending time with her husband and four children, and planning travel. Her deep belief is that happiness happens by choice, not chance.
Our Certified Trainers
Erin Nichole Smith
MAPP, CPC, RYT
MAPP, MCC, ERYT
Lina Maria Aristizabal
Over 1500 schools positively impacted to date
The Center for Positive Education (formerly PositiveEducator.org) was founded by Emiliya Zhivtoyovska (The Flourishing Center) and Renee Jain (GoZen!). Both of these entrepreneurial psychology pioneers have their Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from UPenn. Emiliya was part of the team who, under Martin Seligman, innovated the science of Positive Education at Geelong Grammar School (GGS). In 2017, after seeing a need to help educators and students be more proactive about their wellbeing, they began certifying educators. Tamara was the inaugural Canadian Regional director for GGS's Institute of Positive Education and has spent the past few years working with schools and teachers across Canada, USA and Australia.
When the three of us came together we recognized that there was a need to create policy and standards for the science and application of Positive Education. With that in mind we have recently launched the Center for Positive Education whose mission will be to educate and certify teachers but on a grander scale, we will offer a designation of “Positive Education Certified School” to schools who meet a standard. This standard in a work in progress- we are creating an advisory board of researchers, experts in each domain of Positive Education as well as flagship schools. Together we will attempt to wrap a North American standard around the recommendations from the World Government Summit on how to implement Positive Education. Their recommendations include:
- Contextual and cultural immersion an understanding
- Multi-stakeholder engagement
- Needs and goals assessment
- Quantitative baseline measurement
- Curricular development and adaptation
- Training of educators
- Curriculum implementation
- Ongoing training and embedding
- Post-intervention measurement and ongoing impact evaluation
- Evidence-based policy design and legal institutional embeddedness
- Large scale policy implementation
- Ongoing evidence-based evaluation adaptation and evolution
Our certifications are one of many ways to meet the 6th criterion. The differentiating factor between our certification and most others is the action plan that answers the question “now what?”. We have heard from many educators who complete a training that they still don’t understand what to do in their classroom. Our goal is to ensure our grads have all the training and tools they need accessible online as well as a tribe of like-minded educators sharing similar goals. We don’t want grads to “reinvent the wheel”. We have worksheets, books and a video library as well as extensive bonus material designed to help a teacher make sure the work is unique for their context and school.
Why You Should Have a Certified Positive Educator on Your Team
- To promote whole-school wellbeing literacy.
- To ensure SEL initiatives are cohesive & integrated.
- To promote character development.
- To provide a foundation for diversity & inclusion.
- To show your community mental health is a priority.
- To transform school stress into resilience.