Posted by: ACFE Inc | January 13, 2012

Calling Amazing Moms: Mom Congress 2012!

Are you the mom the other moms call to get things done? Are you passionate about education? A mom who strives to make a difference in the lives of children, not only her own, but all children?  This would qualify  you as an amazing mom!  If these characteristics describe you or a mom you know, why not nominate yourself or someone else, for a delegate position in Parenting Magazine’s Mom Congress 2012. For the past two years, I have had the opportunity to serve in Mom Congress, and I can tell you that it is an incredible experience.

In 2010, I was selected as a delegate to the first ever Mom Congress in Washington, D.C.  At this inaugural conference, I had the chance to participate in a Town Hall with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and hundreds of local education and community leaders to discuss parental engagement in education. We also worked with Parenting editors, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies faculty and the Mom Congress advisory board to create the “Lesson Plan for Change.” This was a guide to help empower parents like us to become more involved in their children’s education, and it appeared in Parenting: School Years as well as in a companion guide to one of my favorite documentaries, Waiting for Superman. I met so many inspiring women at this conference, and made some great connections. Most of all, however, I saw–and still see–the tremendous ability of this group of women to effect change in education as it stands in our country today. Later that year, I was honored to receive a Congressional Citation from former Congressman Joe Sestak for my work advocating on behalf of children and parents, and for my efforts in conjunction with Mom Congress. On this citation, he shared:

“I am proud to honor Melissa Bilash for her work with the most vulnerable members of our society.  Her steadfast passion for assisting others is reflected through her continued pursuit of rigorous training; her leadership in her consulting firm, Advocacy and Consulting for Education; and her participation in the “Mom’s Congress” with Parenting Magazine and Georgetown University.  Over the course of her illustrious career, Ms. Bilash has served gifted and special children by working with their families and school districts to enhance these individual’s experiences in the present and to build stronger foundations for their future.  As John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”  On behalf of the good people of the 7th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, I would like to congratulate Ms. Bilash as she creates a better nation through her tireless and compassionate advocacy.”

When my term ended, I was asked to remain on as Parenting’s Mom Congress Special and Gifted Education Mentor. As the year went on, I was able to work with more amazing women around the country learning what is best practice in the parts that matter like bullying, common core standards and STEM.

In April 2011, I attended the Mom Congress conference for the second time, where I presented a break out session on curriculum for gifted kids alongside Nancy Greene, executive director of the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC). As a huge fan of NAGC and their invaluable resources, I was both humbled and delighted by this experience.

In June, NBC News’s Education Nation stopped by Philly and I was thrilled to be able to attend many of the events they had to offer. Being around other people who care as deeply as I do about education gives me great hope for the future of education. Then when Education Nation hosted their summit in September in NYC, I had the privilege of sitting down with Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, to interview him about what we can learn from the PISA Survey. What a thrilling experience!

In November, I met with officials from the US Department of Education (DOE) along with a few other Mom Congress delegates to discuss our thoughts on the the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as well as the TALENT Act, introduced by our own Senator Casey. The next day, I attended a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to discuss this reauthorization, and was honored to be able to contribute testimony for the record for both the ESEA and the Talent Act.

Most recently, I was in D.C. on January 10 for another meeting with the DOE and Mom Congress. As part of this visit I also had the chance to meet with First Focus; this is an organization I am excited about working more with in the future. First Focus is a bipartisan organization that brings together leaders in child advocacy with traditional and non-traditional partners (such as private-sector groups) to work toward how to make children and families more of a priority in federal funding. In addition I had the chance to meet with Nancy Green and Jane Clarenbach, of the National Association for Gifted Children, and discuss gifted education.

As you can see, my experiences with Mom Congress have opened up a world of possibilities for me to directly affect the standards by which are children are educated. I hope you will take the time to nominate yourself or someone you know for Mom Congress. One outstanding mom from each state will be selected and they will attend the Parenting’s 2012 Mom Congress on Education and Learning Conference April 29 through May 1st. The deadline for entries is February 15, 2012; you will need to summit a 300-word essay along with a photo of your amazing mom.  For official rules and to submit a nomination, go here. to


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: