• Mentor Spotlight: Kelli

    Kelli MaxwellHow long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    6 months

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    New moms are pulled in a million different directions and relationships often suffer just when new moms need support the most. The nurture program allows them to get support and advice on their schedule when it’s convenient for them to reach out. Rather than worry about what they’ve seen online or wonder about what they haven’t had time to research, moms are able to chat with someone who has been there and has their best interest at heart.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I think the connection I’ve formed with some of “my moms” is the best part. It is incredibly rewarding to help them think through an issue, celebrate their successes, or simply listen to them describe how cute their baby is. My participation as a volunteer mentor has also allowed me not only the opportunity to give back, but the opportunity to reflect on my own parenting and how I might provide the most nurturing home for my daughters.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    I’ve been working with a second-time mom who bottle-fed her first son but was interested in breast-feeding her second. She didn’t think it would last too long, but we’ve been chatting and thinking through all of the challenges. She intended to stop at 6 weeks, then 3 months, then 6 months…. and just recently decided to keep going! She thanked me for the support and said she would have stopped long ago without it; I was grinning for days.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I am a mom to three incredible, inquisitive, high-spirited little girls, ages 6, 4, and 18 months and also juggle a full-time job as a dean at a local college. In my free time (what very little I have!), I enjoy listening to audio books, playing board games, and dreaming up my next travel adventure.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Kelly

    Kelly Conaway

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I’ve been a mentor since April 2015. The very first moms I supported in NurturePA now have toddlers!

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    The program addresses an important need in a simple way that is both impactful and convenient. It is one-of-a-kind and innovative, and the people behind it are incredibly knowledgeable about the significance of a child’s earliest years.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I was first drawn to NurturePA because because mentorship had been a positive experience for me in the past. My little sister from Big Brother Big Sisters is all grown up and is still very dear to me. When I became a parent, I struggled to find meaningful opportunities to volunteer while staying at home with my children.  With NurturePA, mentoring can happen from any location on a flexible schedule. My favorite part of being a mentor is the genuine connection with new parents that develops over time by offering encouragement and information as their children grow. I especially enjoy sharing early literacy ideas. I also love learning about their baby’s milestones and discovering commonalities. Parenting is rewarding, difficult, humbling, and unifying!

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    A family that I support was going through a challenging time, so the mother asked for suggestions that could help her child understand it. In addition to sharing some local resources, I suggested a picture book to read that could help her child feel less frightened by the difficult situation.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I am a teacher and school librarian and enjoyed the ten years I spent in public schools. After my second child was born, I decided to step away from teaching to take care of my family full time. My husband and I have three children who are 4, 7, and 9.  As a family, we are often at soccer, baseball, gymnastics, and other activities, but we probably have the most fun when we are exploring our area and its amazing museums and resources. When time allows, I like to read, travel, and help in my children’s schools.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Lisa

    mentor-photo_lisa

     

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Since May 2015

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    I feel lucky to have had a lot of support from local moms’ groups and friends and family after both of my sons were born. NurturePA is an easy way for me to pay my fortunes forward.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I love that I can use technology to help new moms feel informed and maybe connected even though I have such little free time as a mom of two young boys.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    Several of my moms seem genuinely appreciative and interested in the links I send them, especially ones with information about developmental milestones and tips on sleeping and feeding their babies.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    Before having children I worked as a physical therapist and yoga teacher. My capstone project for my doctorate degree was on prevention and wellness for postpartum women. I am excited to start teaching yoga again in January!

     

  • Mentor Spotlight: Emily

     

    mentor-photo_emily

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Since March 2013.

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    To me, the program is unique for several reasons. One, I think new moms appreciate having someone to confide in or ask questions who is not their significant other, mother, friend, pediatrician, etc. The anonymity gives them a completely safe space to discuss topics that perhaps they may not feel comfortable doing so otherwise. I also think the text-based platform is convenient for these women (as well as for mentors) who are already incredibly busy; it’s feels more intimate that email, yet is still an easy way to stay connected. Finally, the NuturePA managers have done a wonderful job creating a sense of community among the mentors through things such as the Round Tables, Facebook page, and community engagement (like participating together in two local walks this past year to raise awareness of maternal mental illnesses).

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    My favorite part is feeling like I have in some way helped another mom, even if it is in a very small way. I vividly remember the feeling (or feelings!) of being a new mom, and I undoubtedly relied on family and friends for their support and advice. I feel flattered that these women, who haven’t even met me in person, trust me in talking about such a personal facet of their life. And I love when they, unprompted, share something exciting with me, like a new milestone their baby just reached!

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    One of my moms had a tough year. I pointed her toward several local resources, which she seemed appreciative of, but I felt like I simply was most helpful in providing her with an outlet to vent about her fears and frustrations. I tried to give her as much encouragement as I could– I was just so impressed with how strong she seemed and how much she fought to protect her children.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I’m a stay at home mom to a just-turned one year old girl and three and a half year old boy. They are very busy little toddlers and keep me on my toes!! It’s hard to fit in hobbies, but when I have time I like to cook, decorate, and spend time with my extended family. I also love karaoke, board games, and dancing at weddings. Prior to kids, I did consulting work and then ran a small craft-beer related business, but I’m still figuring out what I want to do when I grow up. 🙂

     

  • Mentor Spotlight: Carey

    careyp

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Two years.

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    The program is supported by real moms, many of them early childhood specialists, who are always available to answer questions and lend support that is specifically tailored for each mom.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    It’s rare to find a volunteer opportunity that is so convenient. I can participate from home on my own time. And it’s really fun and rewarding! I love chatting with my moms; they are all so different. Some moms need guidance and resources, some desperately need to be listened to, and some just enjoy talking about their kid with another mom.
    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby?
    I check in with my “moms” about once a week. Some of them respond often and some remain pretty quiet. One day, one of my “moms” who was previously quiet contacted me. She told me that she was dealing with some personal problems and that my regular text messages meant so much to her because she knew that someone cared and supported her. Even though she wasn’t responding, it did not mean she wasn’t listening.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I am a computer scientist turned chef turned stay-at-home mother of two boys. In my “free time,” I enjoy gardening, cooking, photography, playing the piano, organizing my life, and keeping in touch with my friends.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Ashley

    mentor-photo_ashley2

     

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I’ve been a mentor since September of 2014. The babies of my first parents are almost 2!

     

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    I love this program because it’s a quick and easy way for new parents to connect with someone who has either been through the parenting process or is knowledgeable about child development. I would have LOVED to be a part of this as a new mom instead of trying to find answers on the internet and worrying I was doing things “wrong.” I especially like all the activity suggestions we offer to stimulate interaction and development in different areas.

     

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    My favorite part is being able to reassure new parents that they know what’s best for their children and that it’s a learning process for all of us. I love being able to tell them about different things that have worked for me (or failed miserably) so they can benefit from my experiences. I also love the content we provide about different phases of physical and cognitive development so they can see whether their little ones are on track or what they can expect in the future. This is the type of information I would have loved to have as a new mom.

     

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby?
    One of the parents I feel like I’ve made the most positive impact on is actually a dad! He was one of my first participants and one of the most involved and active, which I love! As a young dad, this was all new to him, and he had lots of questions about what was normal and how to handle different situations. Without NurturePA, he might not have felt comfortable asking these questions, or even had anyone available to ask. I’ve loved hearing about his baby’s development and finding the info to help him be a great dad.

     

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I’m a stay at home mom to two crazy boys. In my (infrequent) spare time, I love reading, traveling and hanging out with other tired moms. 🙂

  • Mentor Spotlight: Amber

    Mentor Photo_Amber

     

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    14 months

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    I have a deep passion for connecting in meaningful ways with new families. My early days of parenthood were overwhelmed by the feeling of being alone. I found ways to connect with other new families and with experts using technology and they were so meaningful in my growth as a mother. With NurturePA, I  love that I am literally a text away if one of the families I am supporting needs help. While I believe that face to face connection is essential, I love that NurturePA is using technology to build meaningful relationships and I love being a part of it.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I can be a mentor in “real-parent-time.” I can write my weekly texts at a time that is convenient for me and then schedule them to send at a time when I know that the families I support will need to see them. Also, those I mentor can message me at their own “best times” — or moments of crisis! — and I can respond in a way that meets their needs. Mentoring fits beautifully into my life in this way.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    I had one mother who was deeply struggling with a particular issue. My own mom has long said I am a “connector of people.” In this situation, the exact expert that this mother needed was a dear colleague of mine. I was able to connect them and get this mom the help she really needed. It was one of those moments where I was so grateful  to have been able to help make the connection.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I’m the mom to three teenagers and almost teenagers, so life has a chaotic quality to it at times. I enjoy being a parent to this age group more than I ever dreamed. It’s wonderful to watch them find out more about who they are. I’m a lactation consultant and work mostly in communication within the field, primarily doing social media and marketing consulting for birth and breastfeeding related organizations. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Three Rivers Mothers Milk Bank. I’m a fairly recent transplant to Pittsburgh and we couldn’t love living here more. When my husband and I aren’t eating our way through the many fantastic restaurants in Pittsburgh, you can find us binge watching documentaries on Netflix or sitting on our porch.