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Entries in aurora (2)


A Go West Mom You Should Know: DiDi Foley

Diana Foley has a lot on her plate.

She is the Aurora/Copley Campus Manager for Waubonsee Community College. She recently completed work on her master’s degree. And she also works part-time as as DJ at radio station WTMX (101.9 FM). Did I mention she has two young children? Foley and her husband Sean are parents to Duncan, who is nearly 6, and Roxanne, who is 18 months old. Sean is the director of human resources for a security company in Chicago.

Photo by Waubonsee Community College.Nearly everyone calls Foley, 35, by her awesome nickname “DiDi.” She grew up in Naperville but graduated from high school a year early because she was so desperate to get out on her own. Now she and her husband are back raising their children in Naperville – proof that you really can go home again.

Read on to find out why we think DiDi Foley is a Go West Mom You Should Know.

Q. I hear you jut finished your master’s degree. Congratulations! How on earth did you manage to get an advanced degree while working two jobs and having two children? Any advice to share with other moms trying to keep many balls in the air?

A. I just completed my Masters in Leadership Studies from North Central College.  I look back and don't know how I did it, but I know that I could not have done it without the support of my husband, children and my mom and stepdad. They were all instrumental in the logistics and the support.  My co-workers and supervisor at Waubonsee also gave me a lot of encouragement.  I took one class a quarter (minus two due to bed-rest and the birth of my daughter) and it took three years to compete the program. While I was unable to always give 100% to everything (something has to give, right??) I just kept plowing through. I knew it was all temporary and the education that I was getting will be an asset during my life and also to my children's.

I am not sure how to relax. I need to practice! I enjoy being busy and am always moving.  I think the busier that I am, the better I function. I don't think I can pass any specific advice on to someone with out knowing her situation. What works for me might not work for her. However, you must believe in yourself that you will accomplish your goals. Just stay focused and persevere!

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A Go West Mom You Should Know: Aurora artist and teacher Lisa Manning

Aurora artist Lisa Lentz Manning has lived in Idaho and California, Italy and Japan, and in addition to creating her own artwork, she’s been involved in teaching or instruction nearly the entire time. But it’s back in her hometown of Aurora that Manning has taken the leap and opened up her very own art studio, where she is offering classes for both adults and children.

Lisa Lentz Manning. Photo courtesy of Nido Art Studio.Nido Art Studio is located on the west side of Aurora, in a charming little brick building. While Manning’s specialties are fiber art and printmaking, she has trained in a wide variety of techniques over the years. Nido offers classes in subjects including ceramics, illustration, cartooning, printmaking and drawing.

Manning, 36, can’t really recall a time when she wasn’t enchanted with creating art. Memories of her childhood including sitting at her family’s dining room table, making projects out of the jumble of art supplies her mom kept in a huge drawer. She was drawing still life pictures at the age of 8, and she loved the box of fabric scraps given to her by her aunt as a birthday gift. She taught herself how to make doll clothes using those pieces, and other female relatives taught her how to cross-stitch and crochet. “I was a more quiet, introverted kid who did quiet things,” she said.

Manning has a bachelor’s of fine arts from St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind., and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Idaho. She has been creating and selling her own artwork for years, most recently a line of clothing for children called Nido Threads that features cute appliqués, tie-dyed tops and skirts, and hand-stiched felt barrettes. Manning does all of the dying, screen-printing, embroidery and appliqué by hand.

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