Who We Are

Connie Jakab

Connie is one of the owners of Movement With A Message, a leader in mental health and social well being that teaches courage, compassion, and community to students in schools.  Connie’s passion to create resilience in young people has grown over her 20 year journey of teaching.  Her desire to create a strong village for families and parents came when she faced a crisis in her family with her son struggling with depression and anxiety.  This brought a realization that mental health issues are rising, and not just in homes considered “at risk”.  Every day people like herself are affected.  Through her experience of finding a village with mental health professionals, teachers and community members, she came to the realization that if we strengthen those who are caring for our young people, such as parents and teachers, we’ve saved not only the child, but the family as a whole.  Connie’s personal story of overcoming crisis in her home and the many similar stories she has heard from other families over the years is what drives her passion for the Village.

Shelby Leiding

Shelby is passionate about working with youth and their families. For the past 5 years, she has worked as an educator in the performing arts, and her experience teaching in a studio setting has allowed her to work closely with students and their parents. During her time at the studio, she created a program for students with disabilities and most recently designed and facilitated a series of workshops on brain development and mental health for students and parents. Currently, she is obtaining her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology while working as a Youth Care Counsellor with at-risk adolescents. Her background in psychology, along with her experience in working with a diverse range of children and youth, has allowed her to see the importance of supporting families and communities in creating healthy ‘villages’, and she is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to this project.

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“A child’s environment, family and school, play a large part in their development.  A nurtured child will do better than a deprived child”. (Sarah Johnson)


Our mission is to empower parents, educators, and caregivers with the knowledge, resources and supports to create healthy families and communities in which children can thrive.

What We Do

  •   Knowledge:

o   This season we will be piloting a series called Courageous Parenting & Educating. Designed to break the silence and shame surrounding the numerous challenges parents and educators face, the series will feature an empowering array of topics such as how our experiences and stories shape us, how to deal with behaviors and relationship ruptures, and how to care for ourselves as caregivers to name a few! Look for our bi-weekly videos and blogs to stay up to date on the series.

o   Interested in getting a more in-depth experience of what we do? Village also conducts workshops designed specifically for parents and educators. Contact us at Villagemwm@gmail.com if you’d like to attend or host one.

  •   Resources:

o   Are you facing a particular challenge with your child or student and don’t know what to do? Our resources page is full of recommended books, media, and community programs to help you get started on finding some answers.

  •   Supports:

o   We wouldn’t be the Village if we didn’t offer parents and educators a place to voice their questions, experiences and opinions. Check out our web forum or Facebook page and YouTube channel if you want to get connected with our Village community.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/villagemwm

Instagram: www.instagram.com/villagemwm

Youtube: VillageMWM Youtube

Forum: villagemwm.freeforums.net