Council Member Spotlight: Meg Akabas
Meg Akabas was drawn to the field of parenting education as a second career while raising her own children. With an MBA in nonprofit management, she worked as a consultant for many of New York City’s arts institutions and parks. In her role as a mother of four, Meg says she wanted “to parent intentionally” and made it a priority to learn all she could about the topic, attending relevant workshops and studying child development. Since she entered motherhood “early in life, by New York standards at least,” she found that her friends who started later would come to her for advice. So she became an informal mentor to these new parents and found that her interest in helping other parents grew.
Today, as the founder of Parenting Solutions, Meg presents workshops for parents and teachers, leads trainings for other professionals in the field, and gives talks on her book, “52 Weeks of Parenting Wisdom.” She is a New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) Certified Parenting Educator and Chair-Elect of the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) Council. In her fourth year as a NPEN Council member, she chairs the Policy and Advocacy Committee, serves on the Financial Resource Development Committee and is planning NPEN’s 2017 annual Council meeting.
Asked about the benefits of serving on the NPEN Council, Meg explains that the role allows her to bring more attention to the field of parenting education as well as enhance her own practice. Judy Wolf, a colleague on the NY State Parenting Education Partnership invited her to join NPEN and, Meg says, “It was a perfect fit with my interests.” As an NPEN Council member, “I have a networking opportunities, access to key contacts and resources, and a steady source of new ideas from Council members with different viewpoints and unique backgrounds, who come from various parts of the country and have experiences with diverse populations.”
In Meg’s view, bringing increased national attention to parenting education and making it universally accessible are among the NPEN Council’s top current priorities. A tireless advocate for parenting educators and their work, Meg wants policymakers to know that we are establishing national standards and developing recognized core competencies for practitioners. She would like to see a national campaign with a parenting education message showing “why parenting education is for everyone and is vital for the wellbeing of our families and for society in general”.
In addition to her work advancing parenting competency through education, Meg is a classical pianist, hip-hop dance teacher and Pilates group fitness instructor. She is an avid player of board games, a resolute solver of crossword puzzles and a trivia buff. Fun fact: She appeared on TV’s “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” and won $64,000 for the benefit of several NYC schools! She lives in Manhattan with her husband where they raised their four children.