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Wednesday Woman I Admire: Vanessa Cole

I love meeting new people, especially when a treasured friend says, you have to meet this person because you will love each other. That’s just how it was with Vanessa. She is as strikingly beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside.

I was introduced to Vanessa because I was looking for a nonprofit to get involved with that had a similar vision to projects and initiatives that I am working on. In this world timing is everything, and I have to say that the timing of meeting Vanessa was perfect. Vanessa and her husband Chad started an amazing non-profit called “AddyPres LifeStyle” named after their two children Preston and Addyson. AddyPres Lifestyle, is rooted in scientifically proven support, through effective school programs, and informed family lifestyles, giving every child the opportunity they deserve to thrive. Their passion and initiative to support children from the inside out is not only inspiring, but so very needed. Vanessa grew up with four sisters, raised by a hard working single mom and extremely loving grandparents. She were raised with wholesome Catholic values in a middle class home. Because there were so many of them, there was little opportunity to provide the frills and added enrichment opportunities other children enjoyed. She learned very early on that she was going to need grit, perseverance and hard work to make a life for herself. She had her first real job at 16, bought her own car, moved out at 18. A modeling career that took her overseas. Vanessa then returned to the US at 23 and put herself through college.

She struggled with anxiety on a high level from age 6 through her twenties (gastrointestinal problems, ulcers & panic attacks). Vanessa was the little girl to scared to go to recess- holding her older sister’s hand at the gate instead and too shy to go to lunch in middle & high school, so she spent most of her time eating alone and studying in a classroom. This affected her social opportunities in school and work. Because of this experience, it has allowed Vanessa to relate on the most personal level to the children she advocates so passionately for today.

When one of her children, at a very tender age, started to show signs of anxiety, Vanessa refused to allow her child to be robbed of the same opportunities anxiety took from her. This was the beginning of a quest to find the root causes and solutions of this familiar experience. What she found opened Pandora’s box–discovering that the common life standards of today focus more on unattainable perfections that don’t move at a child’s pace, demand too much, too young without the tools needed to be successful or balanced in the fast paced world of today. This blend of lifestyles, deficient tools and expectations replacing our children’s joy with stress and anxiety. The work of the AddyPres Foundation allows Vanessa to take part in supporting the tools that will engage thriving children.

Please lend your love and support to the beautiful initiative of the AddyPres Foundation, that ultimately benefits us all. All children are our future.

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