Moms and Mentors program changes lives

Nursing career made possible through program

Rick Stiebel

News staff

Moms and Mentors is playing the role of a guiding parent to perfection by helping Brittany Hildahl achieve her nursing degree.

Hildahl first got involved with Moms and Mentors in 2017 when her daughter, Maya was four months old and she saw a posting about scholarships at the Westshore Public Health Unit on Wale Road, where Maya receives her immunizations. “I was entering my third year of nursing at the time and gave Maureen Hobbs (the founder of Moms and Mentors) a call,” Hildahl said. “Maureen came to my place and delivered a beautiful care package for my baby.”

Hildahl reeived a $1,000 scholarship from Moms and Mentors in September, which has been a huge help. “Student loans only go so far, and unforeseen expenses always come up. Moms and Mentors also offered great support with tutoring for my statistics courses.They have been so supportive. Maureen is someone I look up to, an inspiration in public health nursing,” Hildahl said, adding that she looks forward to the monthly meetings at the health unit or Belmont Secondary.

The Langford resident is in her fourth year of the Bachelor in Science in Nursing program at the University of Victoria. Although she wasn’t initially sure of what path to follow, the answer is clear now. “I know I want to be a part of advocating for marginalized people and work with people suffering from mental illness and substance abuse,” she noted. “I also have a passion for public and global health. The great thing about nursing is that there’s so many options. I’ve always had compassion and empathy for people. I know I’m in the right career. No matter how tired I am or how hard my shift was, I still feel energized and uplifted.”

Moms and Mentors supports mothers by helping them face the challenges of motherhood and parenting by connecting them to resources in the community, explained Maureen Hobbs, who launched the organization in at Belmont Secondary School in 1995.

“We do that in many ways, including food security, mentoring, and providing scholarship opportunities,” said Hobbs, a former public health nurse who teaches nursing at the University of Victoria. ”The mentors are the pillars of our organization. It wouldn’t be a success without those people in the community who volunteer their time by mentoring and supporting what we do. As a mom, nurse, educator and Rotarian, I believe in serving the community. Moms and Mentors is the engine that keeps me on track because I believe education and support are pivotal for our community’s health. Over the past 20 years I’ve seen how it transforms lives and provides a route out of social isolation, disadvantage and poverty. Building a safer community is not only rewarding, it’s a lot of fun. I feel privileged to partner with volunteer mentors, other service groups, businesses and individuals who enable us to promote positive parenting, mentorship, and educational and career advancement.”

Hildahl agrees that education is key. “Moms and Mentors understands and supports that,” she said. Although balancing schooling and parenting can be challenging, Hildahl stresses the importance of being organized. “Simple things such as preparing a lunch or selecting an outfit the day before can make a difference. Having reliable childcare is important, and I am forever grateful for that. It’s the biggest challenge for parents studying. Most importantly, taking care of yourself so that you can effectively care for your children and in my case, my patients as well.”

For more on Moms and Mentors, visit momsandmentorssociety.ca, or email hobbs at maureenhobbs@shaw.ca.

rick.stiebel@goldstream gazette.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Bulk or boxed candy? Trick-or-treat maps help Canadian families prepare for Halloween

Census Mapper uses 2016 census data to predict busiest neighbourhoods

Black Press Media celebrates women who are making a difference

Helping others is the cornerstone of the work Shannon Drew does in… Continue reading

Goldstream Food Bank on the search to fill Christmas Hampers with toys

Volunteers are looking for new toys for infants to 11-year-olds

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read