When we think of a Super Mom, a lot of images come to mind; it’s the mom who juggles taking care of her children with her career, the mom who volunteers her time to community groups and sports teams, and the mom who is inspiring her children to make a difference in their neighborhood and the world.
In last month’s edition, we asked our readers to nominate Super Moms that are positively impacting our community and we were happy to see nominations roll in from husbands, daughters, neighbors and friends! While it was hard to pick our list of honorees this year, we were able to narrow it down to four local moms. They are all featured for different reasons, but they all embody what it means to be a Super Mom!
To all the Super Moms out there, and we know our community is full of them, Happy Mother’s Day!
Dr. Michele Cooley-Strickland
Michele Cooley-Strickland is the mother of two beautiful girls, a Playa del Rey resident and the new chair of the Education Committee for the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa. In this position, Michele has breathed new life into the committee. She has not only provided leadership so that the committee members are unified with a shared vision and purpose, but has successfully brought together other community education groups and stakeholders so they can all work collaboratively to support local education. When she is not actively volunteering in the community or at her kids’ schools, Michele somehow finds time to work as a research psychologist at UCLA and adjunct associate professor at Johns Hopkins University.
Diane Lynch is a Westchester mom who serves as an inspiration to mothers everywhere. Diane has three daughters and a month after her youngest was born, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She is currently undergoing radiation therapy and is fighting to beat the cancer. Not one to want to slow down, Diane, who works as an environmental scientist, continues to be active as a Brownie Troop Leader. She is grateful for the support of her extended Girl Scout family for helping her through her health issues and she looks forward to “paying it forward” in the years to come.
Fiona Godschalk is an area super mom! Fiona’s husband tragically and suddenly passed away last April, leaving Fiona to provide for herself and her three children for the first time.
She’s been a source of strength not only for her children, but for many in the community. She grieves, but she shares her journey with her friends and family, her challenges and victories alike! Fiona is a super mom: fun, creative & crafty, hopeful, and courageous.
Dr. Lori Baudino
Lori Baudino is a wonderful mother of two amazing children. Hearing things like ‘how do you have the energy to do everything you do?’ is not uncommon. She is always up for a challenge and enjoys doing as many fun things with the family as possible, whether it’s hosting play dates, going to every local zoo, museum and science center, or traveling to foreign countries. She understands that being a mother was a choice, and she gives all she can to make sure our children have the love and dedication they deserve.
When she is not caring for the kids, she has dedicated her life to supporting other families and their children and giving seminars to increase the awareness of her life’s work.
As a child psychologist and dance movement therapist, she has started programs at UCLA Mattel and Children’s Hospital LA for the Andrea Rizzo Foundation, where she provides bedside dance movement therapy to children with cancer and terminal illness. In addition, she has her own private practice, is working with Coach Derek to provide support for coaches and parents to keep their children motivated through “Sports Parents R Us,” and is working with pregnant mothers to better connect with their babies and understand what to expect after pregnancy.
All photos by Ballerini Cooley Studios. Posted May 2015.