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Meet Emily Meeks and Taneesha Thomas of Focused Minds Education Group in Jonesboro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Meeks and Taneesha Thomas.

Emily and Taneesha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The mission and vision of Focused Minds Education Group, is to build resiliency in educators and children. Founded in 2017 we set out to provide professional learning for teachers across Georgia.

In 2013, we met while teaching at a Metro Atlanta high school, and it was clear we shared the same compassion and care for our students. We both became affectionately known as “Auntie” because we made sure to treat our students as people first. Teaching is a true calling, not an alternative, and we both knew how important our roles were to the success and overall achievement of the children we served. As veteran educators, we felt compelled to share our love of connecting with the youth and knew it was important to encourage our colleagues to do the same.

In 2016, Focused Minds Education Group was founded, with the mission and vision of facilitating professional learning workshops for educators on various instructional practices. Over the next year, we would collaborate on various projects aimed at engaging not only the students but the adults as well.

However, after Taneesha experienced a series of traumatic events, Emily realized that her friend was suffering from something that required the attention of a professional. It was through this experience, that Focused Minds Education Group, began to focus on advocating for mental health awareness.

In 2018, Focused Minds Education Group became official, and since that time we have been on a campaign to advocate for adolescents and adults with mental health conditions.

Currently, we are focused on bringing mental health awareness training to students, educators, and leaders to ensure that we erase the stigma associated with mental illness.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We have encountered some struggles along the way as we transition outside of the classroom. The reality is, we both have made connections with students that will last a lifetime, however, we know that our mission will help all educators become more aware of the impact trauma and mental illness affects our children.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
We specialize in providing professional learning workshops to educators on various topics. Currently, we are focusing on ensuring educators are knowledgable of the resources available in the event a student has a mental health crisis.

As veteran educators, we know the struggles many of our students face daily; poverty, implicit biases, unresolved trauma, which can be a catalyst for the onset of mental illness.

Our unique workshops are engaging and educators are encouraged to also employ the interventions for their own self-care regimen. We’ve taught in some of the most challenging Metro Atlanta schools, and these research-based interventions have been effective.

We are proud to serve our fellow educators in making sure we are teaching the WHOLE child.

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