Moms and Mentors program changes lives

Nursing career made possible through program

Moms and Mentors program changes lives

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Most Read