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with every thought, word, and action

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The Story of Us

Every thought. Every word. Every action.

Our story began during the 2020 COVID 19 Pandemic and second Civil Rights Movement. We were a group of parents and professionals, watching the world respond to the effects of a global traumatic event. And what we realized was-we all needed each other. We realized that no one thrives in isolation and that we needed to find new ways to connect, to commune, and seek support. We envisioned building a world where all people can live and thrive in healthy, connected relationships. And that is how Shape Our Village was born. We welcome you into this community with open arms. We hope you feel known, appreciated, and accepted for who you are. We hope to help you develop the tools to become your best self and create a life of fullness for yourself, your family, and your world.

About Us

Mission

We believe that we are all connected and that each choice we make has an impact on ourselves, our families, our communities, and our planet. We believe we were meant to learn, live and thrive within community and that each person has value to that community. Using strategies such as partnerships with clients, actionable skills practice, coaching models, and accountability partners, we envision building a world where all people can live and thrive in healthy, connected relationships.

 

Vision

 

To provide a comprehensive source hosted by experts and specialists for individuals and families to access support in the areas of Emotional Wellness, Social Wellness, Physical Wellness, Mental Wellness, Financial Wellness, Environmental Wellness, and Spiritual Wellness that builds happy and healthy relationships in an inclusive and equitable community.

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Our Team

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Ericka Smith

The road I’ve traveled began as a student who struggled to learn in the traditional classroom and has landed me with a Masters in counseling and a Board Certification for Behavior Analysis. I believe that there is a path forward for every child and every family if we take a holistic and systematic approach. I have 20 years experience in education spanning TK - college, and from Chicago to Manila to San Diego. I have a passion for figuring out where we as humans get jammed up and how to get us unstuck. 

 

As co-founder and coach, I will partner with you to explore the many possibilities that you have in each moment to shape your path toward the future you envision. I look forward to working with you.

Email Ericka
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Nora Menzies

Nora Menzies is a co-founder and coach at Shape Our Village. In her role as a coach, Nora partners with families in order to solve problems, create customized plans, and provide support. When children are struggling, it can often throw the entire family into turmoil and conflict. As a coach, Nora helps to return balance and harmony to the family unit.  
Nora is a veteran elementary school educator and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is also a co-instructor for Arizona State University’s masters program in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis. Nora believes that everyone is doing the best they can with the knowledge and skills that they have. She is passionate about removing stigmas around behavior and helping people build the skills and remove barriers to meaningful connection and happy relationships. 
Nora is the mom to active and fun four year old boy and a loving senior schnauzer. She is a San Diego native who loves cooking, hiking, entertaining, and frequent trips to the beach. She welcomes the chance to become part of your village and help you on your parenting journey.

Email Nora
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Shawna Benge

Shawna Benge is a co-founder and coach at Shape Our VIllage. In her role as a coach, Shawna partners with families in order to identify challenges, design individualized plans for support, and provide partner coaching to implement support. When a child shows a need for specialized care, it can lead to frustration and sometimes despair in families not equipped to support them. As a coach, Shawna connects families and individuals to strategies and resources necessary for building their ability to confidently support their child. 
Shawna is a veteran Education Specialist with extensive work in Behavioral/Emotional Disabilities. She is also a Program Specialist for Learning Support and Student Engagement. Shawna is dedicated to supporting families and individuals to build healthy habits and connections to live and thrive.
Shawna is the proud and crazed mom of two precocious boys, ages 12 and 17. She finds joy in nature, food, and traveling. She looks forward to partnering with you to build a deeper understanding of your child and your family in a supportive village community.

Email Shawna
 
 

Testimonials

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San Marcos, TX

"It is a very challenging situation when you are providing parenting counseling for parents living in different households. Both households have to be practicing the same parenting for any counseling to be effective. I noticed in my 6 sessions that you did a really good job of this. Making sure we were both practicing the same newly acquired skills. One of the biggest challenges we were having was that our child was playing both parents in different households off of each other. If one of us had a rule that she didn’t like, she would cry and ask for the other parent. Throughout the 6 sessions we worked on many skills that completely eliminated this ongoing problem from our lives. We both developed some skills and language that will be part of our daily lives until she is 18, or probably even into her 20’s and 30’s lol. For example, instead of just punishing her, we would have activities she liked that were scheduled throughout the day, which we threaten to take away if she doesn’t listen. Before our sessions, we would only focus on what punishment we could do now and not think towards the future. Another example is rewarding her good behavior. Instead of always being in the moment when she is good and reacting when she is bad, we react when she is good instead. There are so many takeaways that I continue to use in my parenting repertoire. I really appreciate the time we had together and know that your programs are going to help people around the country. Thanks again!"