Person of the Week
Maya Bradstreet is Leading the Madison Newcomers Club
Maya Bradstreet will take over as president of the Madison Newcomers Club at its first official meeting of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at the Madison Wine Shop at 7 p.m. (Photo by Melissa Babcock/The Source)
At the Madison Newcomers Club’s first meeting of its new year, which runs concurrently with the school year, Maya Bradstreet will officially take over as president.
An Ohio native and Brown University grad, Maya moved to Madison in July 2012 from St. Louis with her husband, Bo, and daughter, Loden. She was pregnant with her son, Ellery, at the time. Bo grew up in New Haven and his parents and sister now live in Madison.
Maya’s heavy involvement with the club from her first year resulted in a natural progression toward the highest responsibility.
“The crown was handed over at our last meeting,” she says. “Our club meets September through June of every year; we’re really active 10 months out of the year. We’ve had our final meeting in June at Chamard Vineyards the last couple of years. The new board met in June and our first kickoff meeting is next Tuesday, Sept. 8 at the Madison Wine Shop at 7 p.m.”
Maya became a member of the club when she moved here in 2012. She joined the board in 2013 as the third vice-president. That position is responsible for special interest groups like Kids and Coffee, Book Club, Outdoor Club, and Ladies’ Night, “ensuring there were different subgroups within the larger organization that were doing fun things around town,” Maya explains.
“Then last year, I was the first vice-president, so I was in charge of organizing our monthly meetings, finding local spaces, [and] looking for speakers from various charitable organizations around town just to alert our Newcomers what opportunities there are locally to help our greater community.”
She was soon approached by then-president Emily Rosenthal about taking on an even larger role as club president.
“And I said ‘Yes!’” Maya says with a laugh.
Maya and Bo met in early 2000 in Greenwich, where Maya worked at a financial consulting firm. They attended grad school in Indiana, then lived in St. Louis for six years before deciding to come back to the East Coast.
She says, “Of all the places I’ve lived, honestly, Madison has been the most welcoming. A lot of my friends are Newcomers, but my daughter goes to The Country School so we’ve made a lot of friends through the other parents.”
Maya’s daughter, Loden, will begin 2nd grade next week, while son Ellery will be turning 3 and will begin preschool, also at The Country School.
When Maya isn’t helping Madison newcomers get to know their new hometown, she runs her own nutrition coaching business, A Recipe for Wellness.
“When I was working at the financial consulting firm, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and became interested in ways of healing myself other than traditional medicine,” Maya says. “So that got me interested in nutrition and wellness and health, and I started taking nutrition courses in New York City.
“By the time my husband and I went back to grad school, I decided to just focus on the health sciences full-time. I got my degree in health promotion and then started my business and working with adults and kids and families on using food as medicine and making lifestyle and nutrition choices to heal from chronic and acute conditions.”
As for Newcomers Club, Maya has plenty to add.
“Newcomers Club is a wonderful, wonderful organization, not just because it’s a wonderfully supportive network of women as people are getting acclimatized to the shoreline, but it’s also a civic-minded organization, so throughout the year our end goal is to raise enough money to give a scholarship to a woman here at Daniel Hand for college. Normally it’s $1,000, but last year we held our annual Touch-a-Truck event—we usually hold it in April—and we raised enough money to be able to give $2,000 to a candidate. We interviewed multiple [students], but we really felt strongly about one woman in particular.”
Maya adds, “We donate to local charities. At our monthly meetings we always collect goods. Our first meeting next week we’re collecting notebooks and things for the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] at Yale-New Haven Hospital. One of our members was tremendously helped out last year when her daughter spent a month at the NICU. Our sunshine committee that celebrates births, but also comes to our members in the time of need if there’s a death or an illness, provided meals and did so many things to support our member. So she wanted to give back and she’s speaking at our monthly meeting.”
Newcomers Club also hosts a Monster March around Halloween (this year it will be on Saturday, Oct. 24). The parade of kids walks through downtown Madison and ends up at the Deacon John Grave House for a celebration.
“It’s an opportunity for any Newcomers Club member who has children to celebrate,” Maya says.
Newcomers Club has also partnered with the Women’s Club to write letters to kids who have written to Santa. At the Bauer Park Festival coming up in the fall, members will volunteer facepainting services.
“We try to partner with other organizations in town,” Maya says. “We just try to stay involved in the community on a civic level as well as a networking level.”
What’s also great, Maya says, is the demographic of women (and men!) who make up the club.
“There are seniors who are grandmothers who are part of our group. We have younger women who haven’t settled down, and we have a network of families, too. We also have a men’s group, so there’s a men’s pub night that happens monthly, a poker group, that kind of a thing.”
For more information and meeting schedules, visit www.madisonnewcomersct.com.
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