Athena got her first job at age 12, delivering newspapers after school. Studying mass communications in college led Athena to radio and eventually into publishing. She spent her early 20's in retail, at Younkers at Duck Creek Mall in Bettendorf until it's closure supporting herself and her daughter as a single parent. At the age of 25, Athena began her career in print at a monthly, glossy women's magazine. First as Operations Manager, producing ads for local Quad City businesses, then as Editor, Account Executive and Operations management all at the same time. Athena spent over a decade in the magazine business working one on one with company CEO's, owners, and marketing executives directly in the Quad Cities as well as all over the United States.
In the middle of Athena's tenure as Editor, she became a single mom. After giving birth to her son, the country went into a recession. While working in three different positions at the magazine, she had no choice but to bring her infant son to work just two weeks after giving birth. Not only did the small company lack a maternity leave program, but the cost of childcare was quickly adding up.
Finding dependable, cost-effective childcare was a struggle for nearly ten years. Sometimes, Athena needed to borrow more time to pay her childcare provider. Eventually, Athena met and married the love of her life and became a Bonus Mom to her fourth child. Daycare eventually became unaffordable altogether, and Athena got an idea: her own cost-effective, preschool-focused childcare.
Leaving the corporate world behind six years ago was difficult at first, but it gave Athena more time to connect with her community. Running a business is not an easy feat either, but her clients and the experience of affecting the lives of little ones for good keep her going. Finding time for activism and politics is how Athena stays connected to her passion for change. And Athena has the energy, persistence, and drive to do it all. Just as she's always done.