“If I was applying for the job right now I don’t think I would get it — there were such great applicants!” Amanda Steel said of the search for a new director of the Alpha Pregnancy Center/My Choice Clinic nonprofit.
“So that was reassuring. I thought, ‘Okay, they’ve got this’.”
Steel will officially end her time as director of the nonprofit following the organization’s annual fundraiser, the Cherish Life Gala, set for November 14.
New director Danielle Adams has already begun familiarizing with her new role at the helm.
“This position is really close to home for me,” Adams explained of her desire to work in this field. “I was a teen mom. January of my senior year of high school I got a surprise I was never expecting, and it took a lot of community and a lot of encouragement and a lot of support to do what I did: I chose to parent.”
Adams went on to graduate high school and complete college, all while being a mom. She says it was not easy, and that has made her want to help others who face challenges due to parenthood.
“I got my degree, but there were times when I was exhausted and at my wits end,” she recalls. “He (her son) turned 16 last month, and he’s been my greatest blessing, but it was not without hardships along the way — many hardships that I needed my ‘people’, my ‘village’, to look to. So I was thankful for my community — when I went through that, it was my parents — and I’ve had so many people (provide support) along the way.”
Adams served as a Spanish teacher at Batesville High School for 8 years until an illness of her newborn daughter sent her home for several months during the recovery.
She said when the position came along, it was an answered prayer, but also something that fit so well into her own experiences.
“What drew me to the Alpha Center was: not everyone has the family that I had, or they don’t have it around them close by. And so the Alpha Center has many, many women making up the village it takes to raise a baby. They’re a support system, amazing women, strong in their faith, that can pray you through, and be there for you with practical help and advice.”
“My goal coming into the Alpha Center is to help provide that community for others that are in my situation. An unplanned pregnancy can happen at 17, it can happen at 30, and anything in between and beyond,” Adams said.
Adams said there is already great work happening at both the My Choice Clinic and at the Alpha Parenting Center — she wants her main focus to be making sure the word gets out.
The My Choice Clinic is a certified Pregnancy Response Clinic, offering counseling, information on options, free ultrasounds, and more. The Alpha Parenting Center offers resources after a birth, including parenting classes, baby supplies, formula, etc. All services are free.
Adams emphasized the services are for anyone, regardless of situation.
“Babies are expensive. I’ve waited 16 years to have another one, and even being super-planned and at age 34, it is a lot. So I’m still thankful for my community… It’s tough being a mom, no matter how you become a mom or what that looks like.”
Adams and Steel are currently working together on the upcoming gala, after which Steel will be moving on to what she describes as her next “season”.
“I don’t have a ‘next’ yet and I’m really excited about that,” Steel said, adding that she and husband Chris have dreamed of taking on some sort of project, or non-profit work, jointly.
“I felt like I was supposed to be there for that season and that season is complete,” Steel said.
During Steel’s tenure the organization saw several areas of progress: updated parenting class curriculum; addition of a men’s curriculum named “Practical Fatherhood”; introduction of a sexual risk avoidance curriculum for high schools (currently offered at Cave City, with hopes of adding additional schools); and a new website, www.mychoiceclinicbatesville.com.
“I’m grateful for a chance to be part of that ministry, and to learn about a non-profit that is important to me,” Steel said. “And I’m super grateful we’re getting someone like Danielle to pass the baton to.”