MEF Parent Conference: Parenting in the 21st Century

The 13th Annual MEF Parent Conference addressed the following topics to help support parents in their roles as primary educators of their children. 

Parenting in the 21st Century: The Most Valuable & Needed Profession of our Times

Keynote: Gladys Davis, mother of six children and Director of Embers Elementary

Gladys Davis is a mother of six and the director of Embers Elementary, a private, independent grade school, feeder to The Willows Academy and Northridge Prep. Mrs. Davis attended Loyola University of Chicago, including their Rome campus. She did postgrad work in linguistics at the University of Chicago. This year, Mrs. Davis and her family will celebrate over 50 years of having left their native Cuba.

Workshop Topics:

Helping your Children 

Discover Their Talents & Build Self-Worth
by Maria Rodriguez, author and Village President of Long Grove

Maria Rodriguez is currently serving a second term as Village President of Long Grove and ran as a Congressional candidate in the 2010 primary. Maria is presently writing a book, entitled "The Motherhood First Project," on the impact and influence of motherhood throughout history and why that influence is so important today. She has a degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She and her husband, Ray, have lived in Long Grove for over 25 years where they have raised three children.

Helping your Children Balance 

Freedom with Responsibility
by Brian Enright, business consultant and father of nine children

Brian Enright is a recent advocate and supporter of Midtown and Metro Achievement Center. While he works as a consultant in Chicago, his greatest achievement is raising 9 children, 2 boys and 7 girls, with his wife Meg Enright. As a parent in the 21st century, Brian is aware of what families face in issues of balancing freedom and responsibility.

Building Healthy Relationships:

How Unhealthy Behaviors Affect the Teen Brain
by Emily Warpinski, B.A. Psychology

Emily Warpinski is a Chicagoland native.  She served four years in the Air Force, including two combat tours in Iraq, and has her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago.  Emily frequently speaks on the topics of Love, Chastity, and Women's Health to youth, college students and parents all around the Chicago area. When she isn't volunteering at Metro, you will usually find her playing volleyball on the beach.

About the Parent Program

The principal goal of the Parent Program is to help parents at Midtown and Metro to understand that they are the most important educators of their children! Our programs help children to excel as students and as individuals, and our programs empower them to become better parents.

Parents of children in our programs hear guest speakers and have roundtable discussions on family life, scholarship opportunities, how to apply for high school and college, and how to be better parents together. Parents also meet one-on-one with their child's personal advisor and learn what their children are learning from their character education classes in order to help inspire total family development. Families are also invited to special events, such as annual Family Picnics, Mother-Daughter/Son and Father-Daughter/Son Days. 
Parent volunteers foster a spirit of unity and mutual support among participants. A parent library is also provided for additional resources. 

For more information, contact Parent Program Directors Petra Jaime at Metro for girls or Arturo Baranda at Midtown for boys.