Woman to Woman Mentoring is all about connections. Sometimes W2WM connects people, sometimes volunteers connect people to W2WM, and sometimes people happen upon W2WM. Research says that someone needs to hear information seven times before they act on it, and Ellen was no exception. In Ellen’s story, we’ll get a glance at how one interaction changed the way she lived, worked, and made connections in Frederick and how W2WM was at the center of all of it.
Ellen grew up in Montgomery County. After working with an architecture firm in the Frederick area and living in the area, Ellen decided to buy a home and officially move here! To familiarize herself with Frederick, Ellen started looking at different programs/ activities that were happening in the community. She learned through her search about Woman to Woman Mentoring. She was intrigued by the organization and mission and joined our CORE program as a mentee in 2019. She gained a lot of support and connections through the program, and working with her mentor Tamar, but had no idea what would happen next!
A few months later, Ellen made a bold move to attend a Girl’s Night out to celebrate herself. During the event, she won a raffle for Soldier Fit. She got a chuckle because she was already a current member of Soldier Fit, but this was a little different. Her raffle win was a membership to the MMA side of their gym, formally The Fort MMA and currently Groundswell MMA. Ellen had always wanted to try MMA and now was her chance.
After nine months of practice, training, and dedication, Ellen won the 2019 World Kickboxing Association National (WKA) Title! She continued to train with Groundswell MMA during the earlier parts of her fighting career. After moving to Denver, Colorado to support her husband in his career, Ellen trained at High Altitude Martial Arts, as well as the Elevation Fight Team. Since then, she has competed in 9 total amateur fights with 7 wins, no injuries, and tons of amazing stories to share. Ellen is a huge advocate of having women learn fighting skills and martial arts but is glad that she learned these skills when she did. She was able to use her words to solve problems and de-escalate situations before utilizing her martial arts skills.
“ I’m glad I didn’t do this when I was younger. I grew up using my gift of gab before using my fighting skills. This is the last resort and a skill for defense.”
Ellen put down her gloves to focus on her career in architecture. She went back and forth between Maryland and Colorado to set up her and her husband to transition back to MD. While going back and forth between the two, Ellen continued her relationship with W2WM by participating in two virtual mentoring circles. One was called “Navigating Change,” hosted by Karen Justice, that came at the perfect time because of Ellen moving to Colorado. The other mentoring circle was “Unstuck” that was hosted by Tonya Hatosy-Stier. In addition to the two mentoring cirles, Ellen also participated in Pop Up shop planning. She connected with Laura Clarke and scheduled her flights and times in Maryland around Pop-Up shop needs. Now.. That’s what we call dedication!
Since then, Ellen and her husband have fully moved back to Maryland and Ellen serves as a board member with the Board of Directors for Woman to Woman Mentoring. She recently ran our Entrepreneur Mentoring Circles and assisted in selling over $900 at our Pop Up shop at In the Streets. When asked about a word that describes W2WM, Ellen said, “ Magical”.
“The magic that I was able to receive through mentoring circles and volunteering with W2WM was incredible. It helped me navigate changes as I was moving to Colorado and it was a really great to click in with. I figured if I got the magic, then someone should have that too!”
What started as a solo trip to a women’s event, turned into a timeline of beautiful happenings, from MMA Championships to lifelong connections, to even meeting her Husband through the MMA program. We are so happy that W2WM has been along for the ride!