Fall Intern, Orly Ninyo, shares her reflections on MOMS Orange County

When I first read about MOMS Orange County (MOMS) on its website, I remember hardly being able to contain the huge smile on my face when I realized that its mission almost exactly reflected my career aspirations and goals.  I could not wait to get involved.

In the last two years, I had worked for a non-profit organization, HealthCorps, as a health coordinator for an inner city high school in New York City.  The mission of HealthCorps is to combat the obesity and mental resilience crisis in children across America through mentorship, education, and health-promoting events.  My passion to prevent childhood obesity led me to this position and to my further aspiration to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.  The combination of my experiences with HealthCorps and MOMS taught me that there is an essential link between the way a child grows—in and outside of the womb—and their future health and wellness.  Early intervention is imperative to the development of a healthy child and with more people and organizations with the goals of MOMS we can have a significantly healthier nation and world. 

At MOMS, I had the opportunity to interview an inspirational woman named Ana, a client and now active volunteer.  Ana’s story had a significant impact on me.  Through the program and her own strength and commitment, Ana reversed her gestational diabetes, completely improved her lifestyle, and delivered a healthy and vibrant baby.  What she accomplished will change her life from here forward, but what she might not know is that with one sentence she taught me something that will stick with me throughout my life and career.  Ana said that the best part about volunteering with MOMS and changing her lifestyle during her second pregnancy was that she was able to enjoy being a mother to her daughter.  This is what the incredibly talented staff at MOMS Orange County works to instill in their clients every day.  This joy is attained through education, eradication of any fears or worries, and reinforcement that they are not alone – ever.  I believe that in a world where every pregnancy is planned and every child is enjoyed, in addition to being loved, we will see improvements in our overall health because parents will put more energy into the health and wellness of their children.

I wholeheartedly appreciate my experience with MOMS as I now have a greater sense of what is needed in our community and what I can do to help others attain optimal health.  I will always hold onto the memories of the smiles on the faces of the adorable babies in Gabi’s Mommy and Me classes, the way that Juan Diego was able to grab the attention of parents when explaining the process of conception, and Martha’s patient demeanor when teaching women with gestational diabetes how serious it is for them to make lifestyle changes—among many others.  I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with the staff at MOMS.  It was a wonderful reminder of how giving people can be.  I hope to be able to reconnect with MOMS in the future and work collaboratively toward a world with healthier babies.

Orly Ninyo is deeply passionate about health promotion and disease prevention especially during pregnancy and early years of childhood.  She recently spent two years as a health coordinator for Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps in New York City, educating teens about nutrition, mental resilience, and physical fitness.  She recently completed an internship at MOMS Orange County while continuing to volunteer and research in the health field.  Orly looks forward to attending nursing school in the fall for the Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty.