WE ARE S.T.E.M STUDENTS: SIMPLE TEENS ENABLING MINDFULNESS
Aayush Goel is a senior at Fremont Union High School District in Cupertino, CA. Aayush initiated the idea for Apart But Not Alone to ensure psychological safety and mental wellbeing for fellow students. Aayush has been practicing mindfulness since 6th grade, which helps him respond with intentional calm during challenging situations.
Aayush is a 2022 recipient of The Diana Award for his global impact on improving the mental wellbeing of youth.
Aayush raised $3700 (after a 100% corporate match) for his school's students fund within three days of his school closing due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
An avid water polo player, Aayush loves anime and losing to his three-year old cousin in arm wrestling.
Riyana Goel is a freshman from Cupertino, CA. Riyana started a campaign, #beautifulthewayiam, in 4th grade for kids dealing with Alopecia Areata and has been an active voice for them. Riyana has practiced mindfulness since she was eight and has attended several overnight Vipassana camps. Riyana uses mindfulness techniques to deal with social dynamics at school and focus on her opponent when she is competing in debate tournaments and fencing duels.
Riyana won the 2021 New York Times Podcast contest where she shares her journey with Alopecia Areata.
Riyana secretly sorts you into a Harry Potter house within the first sixty seconds of meeting you. She is a collector of memorabilia and stories from around the world.
Mindfulness & YOGA COACHES
Monica Kamran is a mindfulness & stress management coach, Emotion Code practitioner, and a Reiki healer in San Ramon, CA. Her experience includes working with teens and children with a focus on depression, anxiety, & insomnia. Her workshops have benefitted many on their spiritual journey and others dealing with everyday stress. She is actively involved in serving the community by volunteering for Scouts, SEWA, and The National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse. She truly believes that each individual has the ability to tap into their inner guidance for the highest good. She has also launched a program specializing in working with children with special needs using Holistic Healing and Assistive Technology.
Katie is a 500-hour trained and certified Yoga Guide based in San Jose, CA. Having taught over 1500 hours of yoga collectively, she is passionate about expanding its reach and growing a community of connected, mindful individuals. She works with ages ranging from 10-75 years young and roots her lessons in accessibility and limitless potential. Katie is grateful to guide her students through these experiences as well as coach aspiring instructors through yoga teacher training programs. When she is not teaching, coaching, or taking class, she can be found partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank and the Health Trust hosting local events that advocate for poverty alleviation and social justice.
MANDALA ART DIRECTOR
Paul Heussenstamm’s art was greatly influenced by growing up in a home where both parents and siblings were artists, and conversations about spirituality surrounded his everyday life with guests including Sufi master Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and health guru Gypsy Boots. While in his 30’s Paul began to paint and discovered his love for painting mandalas. When Paul painted his first mandala, he knew he had found his life path. The mandala has become his signature motif reflecting its mystical symbolism, wholeness and unified energy. He incorporates principles from many religious traditions, among them, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. Heussenstamm’s work has been featured in numerous religious and spiritual centers including healing centers of Deepak Chopra’s in La Jolla, California, Unity in Chicago, and Oglethorpe University Museum. Paul has authored the book, “Divine Forces: Art that Awakens the Soul,” as well as co-authored several coloring books.
Ruchika Sikri describes her life's purpose and mission to create a better world by supporting globally accessible mindfulness, compassion and wellness offerings. She is doing this by activating communities of wellness and mindfulness learning and practice in workplaces; by accelerating the growth of wellness innovation and technologies that enable human connection and compassion.
Ruchika's inspiration comes from leading Well Being and Mindfulness Learning Programs & Strategy for 8+ years at Google. Ruchika has successfully architected, facilitated, and curated several well-being and mindfulness programs for over 120,000 employees at Google. She helped establish a self-sustaining culture where tens of thousands of Googlers regularly practice mindfulness for better well-being, healthier interpersonal relationships, and sustainable high performance.
Golden Fingers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in 2017. The foundation benefits Parkinson's patients, has raised money to support meal services for families affected due to COVID-19, and provides a platform to build mental wellbeing among teens and young adults through its Apart But Not Alone initiative.