Kindness And Comfort Through The Power In Community: MSP Spring 2019 Scholarship Winner
Posted on April 5th, 2019
For the Spring 2019 Doula Maternal Support Practitioner Program Scholarship at bebo mia inc we had some amazing applicants and are thrilled to present our winners’ submissions. With the help of some incredible sponsors like Olivia Scobie & community partners we were able to offer 8 full Scholarships and 8 partial Scholarships to our combined fertility, birth and postpartum doula training – all hand selected by our very own Scholarship Committee! We are so thrilled to introduce you to the recipient of the Power In Community award, Jocelyn Grayson, who is bringing Kindness + Comfort to her community through doula work.
The Power in Community Award recognizes a BIPOC/2SLGBTQIA+ applicant whose project idea or business plan works to dismantle the impact of structural oppressions in reproductive health, birth, parenting and early family life. The recipient will position their unique understanding of the interconnected nature of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability and class to create opportunities that directly challenge these oppressive forces. By working directly with people whose lives are impacted by these destructive forces, the recipient’s contributions will increase access to opportunities for individual empowerment and a community sense of justice.
My name is Joce (she/her). I am 24 and live in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina. I am a textbook oldest daughter, a sister, and the luckiest godmother in the world. The beach is my home and baking brings me joy.
When I was younger, I read every book I could find. The subject really didn’t matter but historical fiction was easily my favorite. One of the perks of being a reader at a young age is that books are less easily screened by concerned parents, many of whom are so pleased with the idea of their child reading “above” grade level, they often don’t stop to realize that tenth grade level vocabulary means tenth grade level content, aka, the juicy stuff. I soon figured out that books about birth and birth workers were the absolute best. The book that truly grabbed me was The Red Tent by Anita Diamond (highly recommend!). I noticed that in all the books about birth, each client’s story was so unique and varied, it was like they were all their own little stories all in one.
Birth work has always fascinated and called to me and because of my family’s medical background, the general consensus was that I would become an OB/GYN, but something about that didn’t quite check the boxes of what I wanted to accomplish.
When I found out that midwives and doulas were not just forgotten elements of the past, but a thriving force of the present, I felt like I had finally found the way to check all my boxes and finally began to weave all my threads of interest together into something remotely resembling a plan. I have my BA in Advertising and Public Relations and am pursuing my Masters in individual and family counseling. I am passionate about healthy, factual sex ed for all youth, breaking cycles and sitting with, not running from grief.
I was so thrilled to receive the bebo mia Power In Community scholarship. I have been doing personal research and attending events at my local birth center for about two years now and felt ready to take a big step. I love the bebo mia learning style and how it is set up to allow you to continue your normal day to day life. Before I found out I received the scholarship, I was also lucky enough to get to sit down with a bebo mia grad who was kind enough to answer all my questions about the program and doula life in general.
In the week I was writing this blog post, I learned more in 24 hours about what community truly means and how having a community around you during both times of great sorrow and times of great joy makes all the difference.
I currently work in retail and our store is relatively small. It truly is a beautiful group of people who have been a joy to work with. This week we lost one of our girls who was the sweetest, bubbliest person you’d ever want to meet. Her passing was devastating, to lose someone so young so suddenly is the kind of blow that just knocks the wind out of you. You very often will hear people say that in the midst of grief, you get hyperfocused, and it’s almost like you’re watching it happen to someone else. The day immediately after was hard, but it was bearable because we were together, because we talked, because we have been supported throughout taking the necessary steps to grieve. So many times, people have not known where to turn during grief, there is no hand to grab for a boost, and because they feel alone, whatever they are dealing with is just shoved down to fester.
I have decided to pursue grief and loss training as well. The day we returned to work was understandably very hard for many of us and there were a few times throughout the day when I asked myself “am I really cut out for doula work?” but at the end of the day as I was leaving, my manager told me “your kindness and the comfort of your presence was much appreciated today” two little words and I was on the brink of crying yet again but she was so right. In the midst of my own grieving, I didn’t want my mom to spout facts about bereavement or the most popular theorists thoughts on the stages of grief, I wanted exactly what she was doing, listening, being there, holding space for me. Giving kindness and comfort.
I don’t know what someone has to see in another person that makes them say “I choose you to be by my side for one of the most important, transformative moments of my life” but I feel like kindness and comfort is pretty high on the list.
bebo mia’s mission is to connect women* to their intrinsic value & power. One of the ways we aim to do this is by offering the most comprehensive combined fertility, birth & postpartum doula training! Our team of instructors are diverse, interesting, committed to social justice & super funny.
Collectively we are committed to changing the landscape of birth experiences across the globe.