Superfriend of the Month: Parenthesis Family Center

April 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

Each Month, we’re putting a Spotlight on a Superfriend. this month we are thrilled to sit down with Kathy Kern, Executive Director of Parenthesis Family Center for an exclusive SQ1 interview!  Parenthesis Family Center provides a wide range of parenting education and coaching, counseling, respite, and case management services focused on building strong families.  We even got to talk with Kathy about the big fundraiser coming up!  On Saturday, April 28, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., rain or shine, groupings of dedicated kitchen design buffs will be shuttling themselves to and from homes to participate in Parenthesis Family Center’s 27th Annual Kitchen Walk.

Kathy, tell us a little bit about Kitchen walk and how this exciting event came about.
Parenthesis needed a fundraiser.  So, in 1985 one of the Board members suggested that a few members, who had just had their kitchens remodeled, open their homes for a tour.  Thus began a 27 old year event that has become the largest fundraiser Parenthesis has ever had.  Today, the event includes 10 amazing kitchens, special events in houses, and tons of information for those who are researching their own kitchen renovation.

1 day, 10 Kitchens, Endless Inspiration. Parenthesis Kitchen Walk.
Buy tickets at http://www.parenthesis-info.org.

How and why did you come to your current position at Parenthesis Family Center?
In 1982, I was working in a suburb north of Oak Park when my Director asked me to visit Parenthesis to learn about their drop-in program.  20 years later I found a job posting for Parenthesis, applied and was hired.

 How has working with Parenthesis Family Center impacted your life and what about your job brings you the most joy?
I have always been a positive person, but working at Parenthesis has shown me what hope and joy can mean in the lives of persons who are working toward sustaining their families.  It’s truly amazing what happens at Parenthesis.  My most joyful moments are looking back over several years and seeing the positive growth in so many of our parents and children.

 What’s the one thing that you now know that you wish you knew when you were growing up?
As a young child I was encouraged to take risks and that anything I wanted to do in life was possible.  I now know how that thinking impacts a child for the rest of their lives.  Never give up!

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Finish your education.  It took me ten years to get my BA and six more to get my first MA.  The road was long, but so worth it!

What is your biggest accomplishment?
My family; they amaze me everyday.

If you could say something to the next generation what would it be?
Believe in the possibility and potential that is within all of us.  Grow every day, learn something new.  Be curious!  Be joyful!   The rest will fall into place.

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