Be Part of the Solution!

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Campuses everywhere are suffering from an epidemic of

Violence and Suicide

Be a part of the solution!

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Welcome to Wise Wishes!

Here we offer the opportunity to embark on a rewarding journey of personal development through three exciting retreats in self-esteem/emotional intelligence, anger management, and relationships. Let us help you get the most out of life.  Wise Wishes is offering students a free three-day educational retreat designed to strengthen people’s skills and abilities. In groups of 12-16 of your fellow SFSU students, you will learn new ways to tackle life’s challenges and how to help others do the same.  We utilize the latest research in the fields of nutrition, exercise, health, sleep, creativity, and meditation, and our objective is that you will be enlightened and inspired by our visiting professionals in those fields.  We are studying the hypothesis that these retreats will help you have a positive impact on your peers, setting an example that will steer them away from violence and suicide.

Each three-day retreat will empower and inspire you:

Go to the core of your goodness.

Discover the wisdom with you.

Experience the power of telling your own story.

Celebrate the company of others.

Wise Wishes is a organization created to promote self-worth, self-reliance, and affirmative living. The underlying premise of our philosophy is that self-esteem and emotional intelligence are central to good mental and physical health, while self-dislike diminishes health and performance. We are offering to catalyze personal growth through a series of three, three-day retreats focusing on self-esteem/emotional intelligence, anger management, and relationships.  Our greatest hope is to promote the health and well-being of youth. However, we approach this through a model that includes adults. Young women and men are encouraged to attend the retreat with a same-sex adult who, over time, continues as a mentor/friend.  Researchers find that alienation, isolation, and a lack of deep personal relationships are at the core of numerous issues, including poor school performance, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression and suicide. Interestingly, these issues strike youth and older adults from all economic levels, not just people struggling with economic challenges. By addressing the core issues around self-esteem/emotional intelligence, anger management, and relationships, participants gain insights, skills, and support to improve in school, at work, and among family and friends. By developing a greater sense of self-awareness, self-worth, and self-management, people are empowered to discover more joy, resiliency, and greater effectiveness in their lives.

Delight in a weekend of deep reflection, healthy food, inspiring lessons and physical exercise. Each retreat will touch and strengthen unique aspects of your life as you help others to grow alongside you. Experience the profound joy of seeing the world in a whole new light.  This retreat is a special integration of activities for the mind, body, emotions, and spirit. In a relaxed, yet structured environment, you will be able to:

re-examine your core wishes

learn how to turn wishes into reality

deepen self-knowledge

learn from the wisdom of others

Leave refreshed, rejuvenated, and with restored energy to manifest your own wise wishes.

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Dear SFSU Students,

With so many horrific episodes of violence continuing to take place in schools across the country, from Columbine to Virginia Tech to the recent shootings at Northern Illinois University, it is abundantly clear that something needs to be done to prevent this from happening.

We would like to invite you to become part of the solution by participating in a study being conducted by Wise Wishes in collaboration with SFSU. We have developed an educational three day retreat that strengthens the skills and abilities people already have, making it possible to meet all of life’s challenges, both big and small, whenever they happen to come around.

We utilize the latest research in the fields of nutrition, exercise, health, sleep, creativity and meditation. The retreat, consisting of 12-16 students, is conducted over a three day period with participants living together in a residential setting. It is educational in nature, run by a facilitator, with several guest speakers — all professionals in their fields — visiting to enlighten and inspire. This is a retreat that has already been provided to the public in a successful pilot study. We have seen strong results in the form of participants’ increased overall happiness and ability to handle small and large life challenges. SFSU is joining with Wise Wishes to offer this retreat to the student population for free.

You will be asked, but not required, to fill out three before- and after-retreat questionnaires that will allow us to measure the benefits of the various segments of the retreat. As the retreats are given over the next five years, we propose that the overall statistics for violence and suicide for the University will go down. Not because any of you may be suicidal or tend towards violence, but because of your own improved well being, and therefore your positive influence on the surrounding student body, as well as your training to meet such states of mind should they ever befall you or your peers.

In order to show our gratitude for your participation, we are offering a $50 incentive, and the University has approved the granting of class credit (at your professor’s discretion).

We hope you are as excited about this opportunity as we are and that you will take full advantage of it.

Are you ready to be a part of the solution?


Kindest regards,

Kenneth P. Monteiro, Ph.D.  with  Brenda Reyes, Ph.D.

Principal Investigators, Initiative for Advancing Non-Violence and Peace

College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University


Cherie R. Safapou, Ph.D.

Founder and Project Director, Wise Wishes


Please contact us if you are interested.

All retreats begin at 8:00 am on Friday and end at 3:00 pm on Sunday. Retreats are held in the San Francisco Bay Area; location information and directions will be provided upon acceptance.




Wise Wishes Institute

Support violence and suicide prevention

with a contribution to SFSU’s College of Ethnic Studies!


We are extremely excited to announce that we have recently initiated a five-year research collaboration with San Francisco State University on violence and suicide prevention, and as part of that relationship, we will be providing our retreats to hundreds of students per year at no cost to them. If you are interested in participating, please see our enrollment information. Thank you for your interest, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  Click here for a downloadable flyer:  Wise Wishes 


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