After nearly 11 years in service to Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts region, Calmer Choice’s CEO, Fiona Jensen, will retire on December 23, 2021. Ms. Jensen leaves behind a legacy of kindness, compassion, and an unparalleled commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of the communities she and Calmer Choice have served.
In 2008, in response to the substance abuse and mental health crisis plaguing the Cape Cod region, a group of concerned parents – led by now Founder and CEO, Fiona Jensen – sought to find help for their high school-aged children who were crippled by grief, trauma, substance use concerns, anxiety and depression in the wake of a series of tragic deaths of several classmates. In the midst of this crisis, Fiona leaned into her own mindfulness practice and set out to create a non-profit that provides a school-based model to support kids where they spent most of their time – in the school buildings. Mobilizing a small but mighty network of mental health professionals, mindfulness experts, concerned parents and community members, Fiona and her team created the first-ever school-based Calmer Choice program in 2010, reaching 64 high-school students in two local high schools.
Now, nearly 11 years later, Calmer Choice has grown to serve more than 36,000 children and adults across the Cape and Southeastern Massachusetts. In the past 11 years, Calmer Choice has:
- Become an evidence-based, award-winning pioneer in the field of secular mindfulness in schools and community centers
- Has specialized programs across all grade levels from pre-school through high school as well as a teacher training program for those that wish to teach in their own schools
- Runs adult programs that fill a community-wide need for tools and resources to increase resilience and wellbeing.
In their second decade of service, Calmer Choice was called again to lean on their crisis-based origin and serve as a leader in the response to the greatest crisis this generation has ever seen – the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Fiona’s expert guidance, Calmer Choice expanded its offerings to provide an extensive menu of school and community-based virtual programs, much of it at no cost to participants. With this pivot and expansion of services, Calmer Choice is now poised to be a sustainable, financially sound and highly-impactful organization for years to come.
"My commitment is to lean into the leadership of ‘letting go’ for the next 10 months, leaving the organization in its strongest position to thrive." Fiona Jensen
“Powerfully and with courage, integrity, and purpose, I look forward to guiding our amazing board of directors and staff to find the leadership team that will support and carry this organization into its next decade,” Jensen says.