By Rachel Hoeing
Welcome to another edition of Main Street Moms on the Move. This is a monthly blog we compile by featuring moms in our community who are making a difference in their own lives or the lives of others. To see all previous Moms on the Move features, click here. To nominate a local mom who we can feature, email Rachel@triadmomsonmain.com.
Now we introduce you to today’s moms: Jen, Courtney, and Becky …
Jen de Ridder
When Jen de Ridder began her YMCA camping experience in 1989 in Ohio she could not foresee how wonderfully it would impact her life. She met her husband at camp when he came over as an international counselor from New Zealand and they have lived and worked at five different YMCA Camps in Ohio, Alabama, Michigan and Kentucky! Since 2003 Jen, her husband and two boys have called YMCA Camp Hanes home. She has served a variety of roles at camp but now is the Senior Program Director and oversees all the camp programs. Jen says, “Working at camp is definitely a way of life. You never know what adventures will be coming your way: late night campfires, early morning flag poles, or helping folks on the zip-line.” She loves hearing all the stories of how camp helps folks be their best self and creating an atmosphere of a second home to guests.
Jen’s husband works as a fire fighter for the City of King. Juggling their work schedules can be interesting, but living at camp with the amazing view of Sauratown Mountain, and helping serve the community makes up for it. Her two boys have grown up living at YMCA Camps which is a unique lifestyle and has taught them many skills. They know lots of camp songs, can identify all the critters in the creek, and have helped wash dishes in the dining hall.
During the year you will often catch Jen outside reading and spending time with her boys. She loves visiting her New Zealand family and recently she has become a runner and ran her first half marathon. She and her family feel very blessed by her job and their life in camping.
“I will not exist beneath my potential. Instead I’ll live the full life God designed for me.” This is the way Courtney Moore now approaches life. After this full-time Banker and mother of three: Jomo (21), Jimaree (18) and Jaree (14), faced the end of what was an emotionally abusive marriage, depression, and the desire to die, she made a decision….she was going to live and never again just exist! She made a decision that her daughter would see RESILIENCY. Her sons would see her FIGHT BACK. Most important, God had PRESERVED her for a purpose, and she was going to LIVE HER PURPOSE. So under the care of an awesome psychiatrist and counselor, God empowered Courtney to fight her way to LIFE.
Courtney says, “For me to be able to get better, I had to be on some medication and in counseling. I had to DO THE WORK and the meds helped me do that. ” After 3 months of being fully committed, she had a breakthrough. And the breakthroughs just kept coming. Before she knew it, she was LIVING…all while still being a working single mom. Then God allowed her to meet her true soul mate…the one He saved just for her. But he didn’t come until the work to make her a whole person was complete. For over 10 years, Courtney survived through helping other people. he was a group exercise instructor teaching 4-5 classes per week all while being a full-time working mom and wife. But after she found her LIFE, she found she didn’t have to just “survive” anymore.
So she doesn’t teach group exercise anymore. Now she is enjoying being a mother, thriving in her career, working out, planning her wedding and working in ministry with her fiancé. Her LIFE is just beginning.
With two teenage boys, a 1 st grader, a husband, and a full-time job, Becky Medlin is constantly on the move. Becky’s been a working Mom for over 17 years. While expecting her first son, Becky became the Marketing Director for a local Winston Salem healthcare financial services company. After the arrival of her second son, a divorce, and working as a one-woman marketing department for nine years, Becky took a career detour to become a middle school English teacher. “I wanted to make a difference,” Becky explains. While teaching, Becky married her husband, Jim, and gave birth to her third son. She also began freelance writing and editing (you may have read her articles on Triad Moms on Main).
Teaching middle school is an endless job. With three children and a husband who often traveled for work, Becky struggled to find balance between the needs of her family and those of her students. After a few years, Becky returned to marketing as a Product Marketing Manager with InterAct, a local tech company specializing in public safety software. After her oldest son entered Mt. Tabor High School, Becky volunteered with his soccer team and also joined the Mt. Tabor PTSA’s Academic Board. Today, she manages the PTSA’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and continues to support the soccer program at Tabor.
Last year brought more changes for Becky’s career. After InterAct was acquired by N. Harris Computer Systems, she started a new role as a Software Release Manager for Caliber Public Safety, one of Harris’ business units. Change is one constant in Becky’s professional and personal life. “Change brings an opportunity to grow. While many resist change, I try to enjoy the ride. I feel driven to learn and to do my best every day. With three active, athletic boys and a hard-working husband, my days are filled with new challenges and, of course, homework and sports schedules.”
Thanks to these amazing moms for allowing us to feature them today! Tune in next month for more fabulous Moms on the Move!