Welcome to Parenthesis Family Center
Who Do We Help?
Parenthesis Family Center (a 501c3 organization) offers just the right resource to meet your family's needs. Whether you are a single parent, a teen parent, new to the community, new to parenthood or just overwhelmed by the demands of your busy family the information or service you might need is just a phone call or email away!
Stephanie has been Board President for the last 3 years. She has dedicated an incredible amount of time and energy to the growth of our grass-roots agency with her great collaborative spirit, hard work, a sense of humor, a positive "get it done" approach and her incredible network of friends. Get to know our outgoing Board President...
Tell us about your background/family life and what led you to Parenthesis ?
I grew up in a college town, the daughter of two civically minded parents. My father was a Professor of Economics with an interest in public policy and social justice issues. My mom was a stay at home mom but not really—she was a professional volunteer turned elected local official—and still is today. So I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Living one’s values to help others and volunteering your time, talent, and treasure was just what you did.
My decision to pursue a Masters in Social Work led me to the University of Chicago. There I was fortunate enough to be part of a Maternal and Child Health clinical program and an internship with pregnant and parenting adolescents solidified my interest in working with parents and families. My knowledge of how difficult it is to be an effective parent multiplied by thousands when my husband and I had children of our own. I was a person who had many advantages and supports but still found parenting difficult and isolating. With the encouragement of my spouse and friends, I eventually sought treatment for post partum depression. It was the friends, family, support systems that got my husband and I through those first rough years of being a new family.
We moved to Oak Park in 2002 and I started hearing about the Parenthesis sales and programming for teens and single parents. I now wish I would have known about their programming for all parents. Friends were on the board, my children were in school and I was looking for a project. The more I learned about Parenthesis, the more I wanted to be a part of it, so I joined the board to help spread the word about our mission to help strengthen families.