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July 16, 2021

Mind in the Making Stories

Abby Rolland, TPF Fellow 2020/21

What outcomes and impact can a program have? 

We wanted to share other facilitators’ and participants’ perspectives on what Mind in the Making (MITM) means to them and how it can benefit people in this region. 

So, we went to them, and we asked. They answered how MITM made an impact on them, their communities, and with regards to the facilitators, the people in the class whom they engaged. 

Special thanks to facilitators Pam Parmenter, Shalia Moore-Hayes, Kelli Karen Smith, Holly Brody, and Cindy Wentzel, and participants Kuniko Yamamoto, Sam Rivera, and Amanda Horne for sharing their thoughts with us.


What is your fondest Mind in the Making memory? 

Pam Parmenter (PP): “When one of the first participants looked up after our discussion on modeling for your children what you expect of them and said, “Oh I yell. That might be why my boys yell.”

Kelli Karen Smith (KKS): “My fondest is meeting a participant that sat at my table. We had a wonderful connection, and we became friends and had the opportunity to work together.” 

Shalia Moore-Hayes (SMH): “Besides being one of the first in our region to be trained in MITM, my most recent fondest memories are with the staff and administration at Solve Maternity Homes.” 

Holly Brody (HB): “Connecting families.” 

Cindy Wentzel (CW): “Taking the MITM facilitator training with my husband and together getting excited to facilitate MITM in our community.” 

Kuniko Yamamoto (KY): “In the breakout rooms and after the breakout room chats, we shared ideas. It was filled with aha moments.” 

Sam Rivera (SR): “I enjoyed our team of people attending and our wonderful instructors!” 

Amanda Horne (AH): “The aha moments and the laughter and joy in the participants’ faces! I made some wonderful friends.”


What is one word you would use to describe your experiences?

PP: “Moving and fun”

SMH: “Inspiring”

KKS: “Invigorating” 

HB:: “Empowering”

CW: “Rewarding”

KY: “Inspiring”

SR: “Engaging”

AH: “Enlightening”


What difference has 1) Mind in the Making knowledge about executive functions, WOOP, life skills, etc., or 2) Connections with others made via MITM, made in your own life?

PP: “It has helped me to focus on the perspective of others.”

SMH: “I truly use these skills in my life as a professional, parent, and individual.”

HB: “Understanding child development through the lens of executive function was powerful for me as an educator. It allowed me to look at children and families in an even more empathetic light. Learning is an ongoing process. Giving people (adults and children alike) experiences that help them reflect on their own abilities and responses to life was an incredible privilege. Reflection is such an important skill in life. Mind in the Making afforded people the opportunity to look at their life and their behaviors objectively. It gave them, and myself included, the mental space and safety to be honest with oneself and set meaningful goals.”

KY: “I do WOOP, and it works! I’m achieving my goals. I also made new friends and feel much closer to the others who were there.” 

SR: “Since attending Mind in the Making, we definitely have been more intentional with the goals we have for our family! We take time to value and understand each and every one of our family’s needs and uniquenesses in order to achieve our goals.” 

AH: “The lessons I learned in MITM we transferred to our Dive Into Reading program…incorporating aspects of it into our volunteer mentor training. The feedback was so positive from our mentors, and we are so grateful to The Patterson Foundation for aiding this as I believe it has helped hundreds of children in our program and will continue to.”


Please share how the Mind in the Making workshops strengthened you. (for participants)

KY: “I learned open-ended goal setting, my new horizon!!” 

SR: “Mind in the Making provided a safe place where we could transparently share and learn about both our strengths and weaknesses when it came to our parenting.” 

AH: “MITM gave me a great understanding of how we ALL work, not just children. It made me more patient and understanding.”


Do you have any strong memories of how Mind in the Making impacted others? (for facilitators) 

CW: “The excitement and feelings of empowerment when a parent realizes they have the power to make a difference in their child’s life by strengthening their child’s essential life skills.” 

SMH: “I have been fortunate to connect with so many people in the community who come from all walks of life. I may not have been able to grow and learn as a facilitator, presenter, or person without the knowledge and experiences of those I have met through MITM workshops.”

What else would you like to share?

PP: “It is life-changing for those who take it.” 

KKS: “MITM has given hundreds of individuals the tools they can use at home and work on in the community.” 

To find how you can participate in a Mind in the Making workshop, visit 


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