Meet NPN volunteer Courtney Kashima |

Written by: Amy Johnson

Did you know that NPN relies on the energy ideas, and dedication of a vast array of volunteers? Most of our volunteers are parents just like you! Please meet Courtney, local mom, NPN member and volunteer who coordinates NPN events in Bucktown/Wicker Park.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm an urban planner which means I'm thinking about places (what makes them great, how they can be better) all the time. I'm a small-town girl (Galesburg, IL) but have called Chicago home for the last 14 years. I've got a wonderful family that includes my husband (Hide), two-year old daughter (Sachi), and newborn son (Jiro). We live in Bucktown—a neighborhood that I think has it all.

How does your family enjoy the city?

We're still adjusting to life in the city as "a family" but we love to get out and about especially by transit or bike. I love that I can take a bus to class at the Old Town School on Armitage. We're a low-key group so meeting friends at the park is a frequent activity. We're very lucky to live near the 606 and we're on it at least once a week.

Why did you get involved with NPN?

I joined NPN before my daughter was born because, like most new parents, I needed support and information. I decided to volunteer when I discovered how isolating it can be as a new parent—I had friends but not ones nearby with kids the same age, and that is crucial. I pitched the idea of starting a Wicker Park Bucktown neighborhood club and NPN helped me make it happen. We are an active group (at least one event per month) and I've made some great friends as a result.

Do you have a favorite NPN event?

I attended the "Matchmaking for Mom Friends" event last fall. It was a particular kind of nerve-wracking fun. Also, not an event per se, but through the NPN forum I found a fantastic book club and have made some amazing new friends through that.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

I've learned that with NPN, like most things, you get out of it what you put into it. I encourage folks to get involved—so many benefits come from being part of a community.

Want to become an NPN volunteer and create your own parent community like Courtney did? Here's how.

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Posted on May 24, 2016 at 1:07 PM