The Story of Brain Power Wellness
In September 2002, Dave Beal began teaching 5th grade at Public School 375 in Brooklyn as a NYC Teaching Fellow. While he was drawn to teaching in the wake of 9/11 as a way of empowering future leaders to create a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable world, it became clear that Dave needed help managing the stress of teaching in this high-needs environment.
To manage his own stress and energy levels, Dave began practicing yoga, tai chi and mindfulness and experienced great changes in his health and in his ability to connect with his students. Dave began incorporating regular mind-body and brain exercises into his classroom with great success and was asked by administrators at PS 375 and Bayview Elementary (in Freeport, Long Island) to develop school-wide mindfulness/SEL programs at both schools.
After helping his principals in Brooklyn and Freeport design school-wide wellness programs for three years Dave made the difficult decision to leave the classroom to share mindfulness and wellness with more school communities. He accepted a position with a wellness company named Power Brain Education, which was owned by one of Ilchi Lee’s companies. Over the next two years with PBE Dave shared mindfulness and wellness techniques with around fifty schools in NYC. In 2009, Ilchi Lee was the subject of a lawsuit filed in Arizona from former Body & Brain employees who alleged undue influence and unfair business practices. All claims in the lawsuit were either dismissed by the Court or dropped by the plaintiffs in 2013.
However, several media outlets picked up the story. The NY Post ran a misleading article, which they immediately retracted, inaccurately connecting PBE’s work in NYC to the lawsuits. Because of this negative publicity the DOE understandably suspended PBE from working in NYC schools. Because Dave had dedicated the last five years of his professional life to sharing wellness and mindfulness with schools this was obviously a crushing blow. While he was extremely grateful for the wellness methods he had learned from Ilchi Lee, Dave felt it was time to move on. In 2010 he resigned from PBE and began running private teaching and consulting practice for students and families. However, Dave never gave up on his dream of sharing wellness with schools and being part of a principled movement for systemic change within our educational system. After briefly returning to PBE in 2015, Dave realized it was time to start a new school-based wellness company. In 2016, Dave and his team created Brain Power Wellness (BPW) and BPW has worked with more than 25,000 teachers and 500,000 students in 500 schools around the world.
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