MEET THE TEAM

ASHLEY HANSEN

Senior Team Leader

From the time my daughter was born until she turned three and I went back to school, I was a full-time stay-at-home single mom. My journey through motherhood has been a rewarding one but the isolation was challenging, so I quickly developed a passion for building community connections which landed me as the Board Chair of my daughter’s non-profit preschool and now Co-Chair of her elementary school PAC. Though we are still living in Vancouver, I am currently in 4th year of the online Bachelor of Health Sciences program at Queen’s University and hope to soon pursue a career in pediatric medicine. I spend a lot of my free time involved in local medical research but I can also be found taking on different community leadership roles. Through my years of online learning and joining Facebook groups comprising local parents – many of whom I have never met but now consider good friends – I have become an 'expert' in making strong virtual connections. Many of us are anxious and feeling extremely isolated as a result of this pandemic, so I wanted to build a virtual community to support my fellow families through these tough times. I’m definitely no expert in home-schooling a child and I will say that as much as I love Pinterest and laminating things, my Kindergartener thrives more in the classroom and is not doing very well with virtual learning. With a lot of iPad time, we’re making it work – though I often find myself locked in the bathroom eating chocolate and watching Netflix. I thought I was used to being alone but this pandemic has taken isolation to a whole new level. While I managed to successfully finish this semester with my daughter at home unexpectedly, I did it by hiring my TV as the new babysitter. The idea to create Vancouver Virtual Families came to me out of the blue when I was in the middle of writing up a research proposal and I was so compelled to do this that I stopped what I was doing and immediately started putting together our website. In less than a week, we were ready for our official launch and now I get to see things unfold – hopefully in a positive way! Thank you so much for supporting this initiative and we hope we are able to support each and every one of you in some way.

AMIRA ABOUD

Senior Team Leader

I’m a first generation Canadian of immigrant parents from whom I’ve inherited a passion for community involvement. In nearly 17 years of raising my own children I’ve been a single parent, co-parent, step parent, working parent, a full time student and stay-at-home parent. Through my work in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, I have learned to be very resourceful. Prior to the pandemic, I was just wrapping up on maternity leave for my youngest daughter who is 15 months old, so my life hasn’t changed much. Since the COVID-19 pandemic first began, I’ve received daily questions from friends and family asking for help and resources. I found myself sharing and sourcing information for people in various Facebook groups and even founded a small group to support our children academically. With a 6 year old step-beauty and a 16 year old in French immersion, the idea of homeschooling even one of them was overwhelming. While I am currently only needing to oversee my teenager's schooling, it is proving to be the biggest struggle. When Ashley approached me with this idea I was all in. I have a background in community capacity building and was stoked about the opportunity to really be a part of something bigger. My excitement has me staying up late searching for and vetting new resources and I can’t wait to see where this will take us!

 

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