Driven to make a difference
Clinicians came together in 2015 from different but complementary specialties intent on creating a more effective way to deliver mental health services to young people. They had all experienced the limitations of current approaches and witnessed a gap in Tier 2 support services. They spent three-years developing a bold new approach, weaving together evidence-based strategies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and a wellness focus with therapeutic coaching methodology.
EmpowerU launched in Minnesota schools in 2018 and is now being used by thousands of students across the country. EmpowerU curriculum and coaching methods are aligned with CASEL and National Health and Wellness standards, which allows high school students to earn discretionary elective credit through site-licensed schools. College students can earn a career-enhancing micro-certification in resilience training.
Co-Founder Katie Dorn talks about how the idea of embedded coaching + SEL skills sparked EmpowerU
To provide transformational student support with an abundance of care, helping students replace anxiety and depression with confidence and resilience.
To help millions of students transform from anxiety and doubt into more self-directed and confident human beings who can thrive and succeed, even in the face of difficult circumstances.
What We Believe
- Empathy has transformative power and ensures that every EmpowerU student feels seen, heard, valued and respected each day.
- A student-coaching relationship rooted in trust creates the psychological safety required for students to face and overcome their obstacles.
- Making lasting personal change takes daily intention, time and support.
- Evidence-based strategies coupled with daily support by a caring, consistent coach can fuel student growth.
- Support coupled with accountability is the foundation for motivation and resilience.
- Every student, despite their difficult and uncontrollable circumstances, can find hope by unlocking the power of change within them.
- Change happens one step at a time, one day at a time. By celebrating each small step, students create their own momentum toward positive change.
Clinicians with business brains who deliver evidence-based strategies with heart.
Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder
Katie Dorn is CEO and co-Founder of EmpowerU, a tech-enabled solution that has re-imagined the delivery of mental health supports to schools across the country. By combining skill building content with embedded 1:1 coaching by trained mental health experts, EmpowerU allows districts to deliver effective support to more students, driving measurable improvements in wellbeing and academic motivation without a heavy lift on their staff. Katie, a licensed school counselor and LMFT, is a social-impact entrepreneur with a focus on helping students, families and educators build resilience. After serving as a high school counselor, Katie opened a private practice as a therapist and worked as a program director a school counseling graduate program. The gaps in serving student and educator mental health support fueled Katie’s passion for founding EmpowerU to deliver transformational student and educator mental health support that had measurable impact. Katie is a dynamic leader and who has published several books and appeared on the Today Show. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and is the mother of seven grown children. She weaves her personal stories of resilience with humor and grace into her work as school partners focus on their improving their own wellbeing, as well as that of their students.
Chief Product Officer/Co-Founder
Abby received her Master of Science degree for communication sciences and disorders at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. She later received her clinical training certificate from Social Thinking™ fueling her work with young people struggling with anxiety and nuanced social challenges. She understands that we are social beings that crave connection and meaningful relationships and has vast knowledge in helping students build a network of supports and fulfilling peer- relationships that are vital to their wellbeing. Abby is a natural leader and team player, stemming back from her competitive volleyball career. She is motivated and inspires others, effectively leading our growing team of instructor coaches. She also has a knack at creating content for our course video—you may recognize her distinct voice on our video voice-overs.