Moms Who Do

“Institute alumnae Carol Greenstein pursues twin passions, raising her three children and helping homeless youth succeed in the world.”

Carol with one of the many projects that help her students get in touch with and regulate emotions, express themselves, and learn to find their own wings. 

The usual path to an institute education is pretty straightforward. Attend one of our required intro classes. Make application before September and get your admission interview not so for Carol Greenstein, who recently sent a letter about her experiences that she has allowed us to share here.
 
Dear Judith,
I first learned of the institute when I was 44, a former elementary school art teacher and stay at home mom of three. I always envisioned myself going back to work when my children were older but I didn’t know how to make this vision a reality. When I took the introductory weekend at the institute, using the arts for healing really spoke to me. I knew right away I wanted to do the program but it seemed impossible. MA students spend three weeks in Switzerland, and I had a young daughter with Down Syndrome. I decided to get my MA elsewhere so I could be available to my family. Still, the dream of attending the institute never died.
 
Three years after that first intro class, with an MA behind me, I finally enrolled in the institute’s professional training for Expressive Arts Therapists and Educators.
 
Under Carol’s facilitation, young artists work together, learning patience, cooperation and aesthetic appreciation for their work and each other’s.
 
It was the start of a journey that went beyond my highest hopes.
The one weekend per month courses were life changing, magical and intense. I was creating art, writing poetry, dancing, being a clown, and even creating music.
 
These weekends were challenging, not only for me, but also for my changed role in the family. After 15 years of full time motherhood, I knew I needed to attend my own life path and forge my own ambitions as a professional, not only for myself but to model for my daughters what is possible. The classmates I met at the institute are now my wonderful colleagues and some of my dearest friends.
Carol and her classmates in their “nest” a few months before graduation. 
Carol definitely found her wings- Photo Wes Chester

This education gave me confidence in myself, the skills to use the arts for expression, and the connections that I vitally needed to find a job in my new career. Through the institute internship program, I began a gentle reentry into the workplace. For the past three years, I worked at TRACE, creating a program in Expressive Arts for students 18-22 who have mental health challenges. That job has now passed on to another capable mother returning to career and institute student Joy Raab. 

As for me, my internship at The Monarch School, for K-12 students impacted by homelessness felt like the perfect fusion of all my worlds. I can use my background as an art educator and combine that with the principles of expressive arts. I am happy to say, after my concluding my internship, I was hired! I have now become a working Expressive Arts Therapist, with an incredible team, all graduates of the institute, including my boss, Rachelle Archer. Work at the Monarch School is a dream come true. 

 
Students work is proudly displayed at Monarch School, giving respect to young artists work and making them visible in the school community.
 
At age 44 I knew it was time to go back to work; at 50 I feel I am at the right place doing work that feeds my soul.
 

My family is proud of me and I hope to inspire other people to find the work that they love at any stage of life. My classmates and the other institute alumni have become close friends and colleagues;  a community that nurtures and values the arts, creativity and growth. This community offers opportunities to continue working, learning, and growing. I am forever grateful to the Institute, and I marvel at how the stars aligned for me at the right time in my life.

Love, Carol

Thanks to Carol for sharing her experiences, and for all our students doing world changing work both at home and in the workplace. Here’s to Mothers and Others that do!
— Judith