Staff Spotlight: Christine Tucker
This month, we are excited to spotlight one of the newest YWRC staff members, Christine Tucker! Christine joined the team in April of 2021 as part of our Young Moms Program. While she hasn’t been here long, Christine has already made a meaningful impact in the lives of many participants.
“I am the Young Moms Specialist for Postpartum and Parenting. My job responsibilities include planning and facilitating groups for pregnant and parenting individuals at the YWRC and within local schools, and providing individualized support to parents we serve.
Prior to working at the YWRC, I had always been impressed with the programming offered, the dedication shown by staff helping their clients, and the commitment the organization had to diversity and inclusion. I witnessed the strengths of the organization from the outside while working at another nonprofit, and was so excited to get the opportunity to join the team this spring. There are so many passionate individuals working towards a better world here, which creates a great environment for both staff and participants!”
Christine has a background in education and throughout her professional career has been drawn to help others grow and learn. She continues to further her knowledge in response to identifying gaps in the services we provide.
“I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in English for Secondary Education from the University of Northern Iowa with the goal of sharing my love of writing and reading with students. Growing up, I always felt like the English classroom was a great place for students from all walks of life to have the opportunity to express themselves, which is what drew me to teaching.
My education and career path have always been shaped by wanting to help others have a safe space to learn and grow, and in the last few years I have been particularly interested in helping young children and their parents specifically. After college, I completed additional certifications in financial coaching, safe infant sleep, CPR, first aid, and mandatory reporting. I am currently enrolled in courses to become certified as a Community Health Worker and a Child Passenger Safety Technician. Reproductive justice and breast/chestfeeding are other subjects I hope to educate myself further on in the future.”
Seeing participants succeed and support each other is part of what motivates Christine to do the work that she does.
“I love connecting with our participants, helping them overcome barriers, and celebrating their successes. Facilitating groups is so rewarding because you can see the village growing between parents as they support each other. And the children that come along to group make everything even more fun.”
As with most direct-service roles, there are also challenges and hardships. When asked what the most challenging part of her job is, Christine said, “Knowing that there are systemic barriers and injustices that clients will face outside of the YWRC that will take a lot of time to overcome as a society can be frustrating.”
Advice Christine would like to share with others:
“My advice is to never settle. It is so easy to decide a job is “good enough”, that your life is “good enough”, but seeking out your passions and learning more about yourself every day is so worth it.”
This advice is inspired in part by one of Christine’s most influential role models, her grandmother:
“Growing up, one of my main role models was my grandmother. She was loving and kind, always encouraging me to learn something new. My grandmother was a great mediator, and helped everyone in the family get along. I also took a lot of inspiration from strong characters in books that weren’t afraid to stand up to others and follow their dreams. Today, I find myself inspired by real people who do the same- people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Mari Copeny (Little Miss Flint) who aren’t afraid to name and address the problems that so many are quick to push under the rug.”
In her free time, Christine enjoys growing houseplants, gardening, hiking, reading books, and going to concerts (when it’s not a pandemic!).
Three things you may not know about Christine:
- She has played the piano since she was seven years old.
- She is a cat person.
- She once got lost in Paris after her tour group abandoned her!
Christine’s passion for empowering participants to learn, grow and succeed is clear to all of us at the YWRC. Thank you, Christine, for all the work you do. We are so fortunate to work alongside you.