Happy Mom Feature Monday!
Today we can featuring Gina Morales, mom and entrepreneur. CEO & Founder of a Mana Project, a gamified mobile application to help build preschool teachers’ confidence in delivering STEM lessons to the young children in their classrooms. It also has a preschool STEM marketplace where teachers can earn discounts and referral commission.
1. Background – what have you done, where are you from, what do you want us to know about your past.
Left my hometown of El Paso for Austin, TX 20 years ago with a hope and a dream “to live that Austin LIFE”! And here I am 20 years later molding, adapting, and best of all, using the best that Austin can offer to elevate my hopes and dreams!
I started as a public school teacher turned small business owner by building Austin STEM Academy providing a new era of doing school and business in the historic, central Austin. I am now building a company, a Mana Project, to continue this legacy. In addition to building businesses, I am also the proud mother of 2 amazing sons.
2. Describe the moment when you realized “holy sh*t, Prowess Project is going to change the world!”.
Upon meeting Ashley.
She had me at “I want to help stay-at-home moms get back into the workforce” record scratch …what? … What? She didn’t stop there. “Yeah you know all those moms with valuable skills and MBAs? Why should they be dinged at work for having kids?”
Me: “Say no more, Ashley Connell, and join me at Founder Institute (the incubator program where we met) and change the WORLD!”
Ashley: “Eh, I’m still figuring out if it’s a good idea.”
Me….side eye: “Well, we will see about that, Missy!”
*goes home and breaks out the crystals, essential oil and lights every candle to summon Ashley to bring Prowess Project to the world* 😉
3. What do you wish that your coworkers/team members knew about your work style?
That it’s frenetic and frenzied, and not always pretty, but damn, it gets the job done. The creative process is very messy but produces great beauty.
4. What’s your all-time favorite productivity hack in your personal or professional life?
Self care and recognizing and honoring the pace of the project you’re working is an important part of productivity. I am the most productive when I have been taking care of myself and refining my practice and work.
5. If you could bring attention to one thing that women deal with juggling kids and career that goes unnoticed or unthanked, what would it be?
That we do it ALL so seamlessly and effortlessly. Let’s celebrate ourselves and change the “hot mess” narrative and the “how do you do it all?” narrative. We are all doing so much to keep our families going, to keep our work going, and to keep ourselves going that we should celebrate each other.
6. What kids’ song (or song your kid listens to) is currently stuck in your head?
Avril Lavigne, Sk8tr Boi on a Kidz Bop album. It’s my fault, I named my kid, Oliver, cuz I liked the name Ollie. So yeah …. (editor’s note – “Ollie” is a skateboarding trick – learn how here)
7. What does a “me” day look like to you?
Gimme a budget and I’ll tell you 😉
8. Define empowerment.
A feeling of ease in the face of challenges. A feeling of I can do anything.
9. What does the future of work look like?
Did I tell you about Ashley with Prowess Project? She is redefining what work means for women who now have the skills, flexibility and prowess to work for anyone.