Letter From the President: A Reflection of 10 Years
I recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary serving as the President and CEO at New Moms. As I reflect on a decade of leading New Moms, I’m filled with a profound sense of gratitude for the journey. Our core values of love, grit, possibility, connection, and equity are the guiding force behind our work with the remarkable young mothers and their children we have the privilege to support. And over the last decade, I’ve watched New Moms become an even more distinctive and special place, with a nationally recognized model. Serving in this role has been the biggest privilege of my professional life. The New Moms community is full of grace, goodwill, and a relentless push toward excellence, and I’m grateful to be part of this unique and wonderful team.
Perhaps the question I’m often asked in my role is: “How do you know if New Moms is making a difference for the young families you serve?”
While I often find myself sharing data about our impact — our exceptional results on family well-being, economic mobility, and family stability measures — that presents an incomplete picture. Sometimes I give an example of a recent young family we served through a story about how their life changed as the result of accomplishing their goals. But that too, just tells part of the story.
The real answer is I can’t tell you…yet.
Because things, especially big, hard life transitions, take time. Getting a degree can lead to better job opportunities. Better financial options can ensure that you stay housed and have enough money for the essentials. And the stability of all these factors increases the emotional resources parents have for their children. But all these things take hard work, goal-driven persistence, and time.
We know that we’re just part of the story of a young family at New Moms. Our participants do the hard work and we come alongside them during a chapter on their journey — supporting, coaching, and cheering them on as they work to build strong families. And the result of their hard work? The impact of New Moms? That we will more fully know in a generation.
What I do know is that because of the support of New Moms, we are privileged to witness the beginning of this generational change. Dominique is now living in her own apartment and is beginning her career in her first job. Latoya refers back to the skills she learned at New Moms seven years ago which helped her weather job transitions during COVID and persist to pursue a career where she finds great opportunity — she’s even saving for a down payment on a home for her and her three boys! I do know that moms in our programs consistently express an increased confidence in their ability to lead their families and navigate the very real challenges that life brings their way. And I know that New Moms’ outcomes consistently surpass national averages compared to programs doing similar work. I know, because of each story, and the robust data that we collect, that New Moms is making a significant impact in this critical time in the life of a young family. It is this community of support that gives a young mom the space that she needs to build a foundation that will give her stability when she moves past her time with us.
New Moms celebrated our 40th anniversary last year, a natural moment to look back. Stories like Eliza’s, who was a young mom in our programs in 1995 and now provides leadership to New Moms as a member of our board of directors, show us that only when we look back can we really see the lasting impact of our work. We can see how an entire family was changed by their interaction with New Moms, and the children that were part of our community 25 years ago are now thriving adults. Multi-generational change is the long-game, and we’re here for it.
So, while 10 years feels like a long time, it’s not long enough to know the full impact. I’m going to stick around for a while longer because I want in on the impact — I want to be part of ensuring that every young family thrives.
Thank you for being part of this journey with me. Stick around and be part of the change!
With gratitude & hope,
Laura Zumdahl, Ph.D.
President & CEO