Three recent additions to the Parenting Network’s staff have brought a breath of fresh air into the FYI family with their shared love of God and hearts for service.
“We are very grateful to have these ladies as part of the Parenting Network. They have a heart for our mission and purpose,” said Parenting Network Director Amy Brown, who has herself just joined the FYI family last year.
Anna Kennedy, the new Fairborn Coordinator, is not new to FYI’s mission. She joined our team in August but had been with us as part of the Women’s Network from 1997-2009, starting as a volunteer and rising to Network Coordinator.
“I love mentoring and I love organization,” Anna said when asked why she returned. “I feel both are gifts God has given me and I am able to utilize them here. There is nothing more rewarding than doing a job that makes a difference.”
Anna knows FYI has a lasting impact on its clients.
“It has been great to return to such a wonderful organization,” Anna said. “I love being a part of something that leaves a lasting impact on not just the lives of the children but also the lives of the women (and men) that come to see us.”
Anna shared a recent example of this service. A young lady was ordered to take parenting classes in the hopes of getting her child back.
“On the phone she told me she already knew everything and didn’t really need the classes but they were making her take them,” said Anna. “By her third visit, her case was dismissed and she received her child back from Child Protective Services. She then informed me she was learning so much and really enjoyed the mentoring and wanted to continue coming. She never misses an appointment and takes the full time each week. Sometimes she doesn’t want to leave when her appointment time is over. I am seeing so much growth in her and she is eager to learn more.”
“I believe God has called me to do this to glorify Him,” Anna said. “I have already enjoyed being a part of a community with the same goals in mind. I just want to do my ‘God Job.’”
Tiffany Olwin has been with the Fairborn office as its assistant for two months. For Tiffany, being a part of FYI was an answer to a longing that God had placed within her.
“The atmosphere and mission of FYI caught my attention and I just had to learn more,” Tiffany said, who is also training to be a peer counselor. “For years I felt God was leading me in a certain direction but was unsure where … until a position at FYI came available. I was able to use my life experience along with my passion for uplifting others to serve not only our communities, but our Lord alongside many other incredible people who make it all possible.”
Tiffany has already felt the impact of being in a serving environment.
“I have seen my faith grow each day, not just within myself, but in our clients and my co- workers,” she said. “I feel that FYI will continue to help me grow as a person in more ways than one.”
Tiffany has already seen the effects of her work at FYI.
“We had a male client coming in for an appointment with his son (who is around 2 months old), and he was having a very hard day,” she recalled. “We offered him support and spoke with him until he felt more at ease.
“You can see how hard he is trying to be a good father, and how much he wants to learn and change,” she continued. “He has voiced that FYI is one of the only support systems he has. When he left that day, I felt a sense of hope and joy. Being an outlet for him and a place he could turn to as a new father, with no judgment, he walked away calm and more confident in his parenting abilities. A simple act of being there for someone is the difference between hope and hopelessness.”
“I hope to gain growth - within myself, my family, the clients and FYI,” Tiffany said. “I hope to gain lasting relationships with my co-workers and clients. I hope to see our clients achieve great things in their lives. Most of all, I am excited to see the many ways God will work in all of this!”
Sean Mercer joined us as the assistant in our Springfield office. Sean also was introduced to FYI as a volunteer.
“I did volunteer work at the Parenting Network in 2018 and I fell in love with the network, Nikki (Stefanow, FYI’s Executive Director) and the mission,” she said.
Sean is in love with the service aspects of the position as well as the Parenting Network’s hand-up not hand-out approach.
“I enjoy helping our clients and giving back to the community,” Sean said. “It’s an amazing feeling to work with the community and watch the ladies and gents earn supplies for their babies/children and earn while they learn.”
“I hope to continue on the mission of selfless service and commitment,” Sean said.