Ella wants to be a good mother to her two boys. It’s an uphill battle because she had a traumatic childhood that led to addiction and mental health challenges. Ella is relying on The Family Center for help.

“I want to give my kids the best; tell me what to do,” she told Jessica Prior, the lead teacher and facilitator for The Family Center’s Nurturing Home, a program that supports families who are living below the poverty line.

Ella grew up in a home where talking about painful experiences was discouraged. She learned to bury hurt and shame deep inside to please her mother. It bubbled to the surface years later, manifesting in a failed marriage and drug use. But Ella has turned her life around. She successfully completed drug rehabilitation, has a good job and is planning for the future.

The Family Center classes are helping her understand how her past affects her parenting skills. “I do not want to make the same mistakes my mother made,” Ella said. She is eager to learn how to form healthy, nurturing bonds with her boys.

Ella has completed the six-week, group-based classroom phase of Nurturing Home, where she learned about child development, effective communication, understanding and managing children’s behavior, stress management, child safety and developing healthy self-esteem. To practice what she learned in class, she’s now receiving in-home coaching from Prior.

“We are working on developing her parenting skills so she can help her children grow to be the best adults they can possibly be,” said Prior. “The kids of today will be our neighbors, firefighters, employees and politicians tomorrow. Parents like Ella are raising our future.”

Ella understands the important role she plays. “I want to do everything I can to make sure my boys have a healthy future — that they are happy, confident men.”

Learn more about The Family Center’s Nurturing Home program by clicking here.