Parent support in the first 1,000 days!

Nest For Families believes every parent deserves to have compassionate, equitable and evidence based support close at hand when they embark on the critical first years of their parenting journey.

In the critical first 1000 days of life, Nest connects parents with familiar and accessible support from peers and experts to promote bonding, breastfeeding, physical and emotional well-being, and strong connections to community, culture, and place. At Nest, we aspire to combine cutting edge technology with timeless principles of connecting and nurturing new parents to assure that children and their families thrive. With skilled and familiar guidance just a text message away, babies and parents thrive in meeting their breastfeeding goals, increasing secure attachment, and connecting easily with resources in their local communities.

The heart of our system includes a family-centered secure semi-automated two-way texting system to assure that knowledgeable support is readily available despite isolation, distance, or limited resources. In addition to providing direct support, we also connect families to valuable community resources such as home visiting services, telehealth clinical services, and virtual or face-to-face peer support groups. Built to address disparities that hold some families back from reaching their fullest potential, Nest provides parents tangible tools to strengthen protective practices at critical moments in the first years.

As a parent, choose the support that's right for you:

  • Text with another parent who is trained to support you through challenges common in the first years of life
  • Connect with experts who can help with feeding, sleep, child development, and physical and emotional well-being
  • Join other parents who meet in an online community to share the joys and challenges of pandemic parenting
  • Sign up for regular texts offering activities and resources specific to your child’s age and needs

Remember - Babies grow best in a loving Nest!

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Meet the Team

Our team includes leaders and practitioners deeply engaged in perinatal health, infant development, lactation care, parent support, behavioral mental health, and trauma-informed care. Frontline staff are peers from the communities we serve who have decades of experience supporting vulnerable families in the critical first years of life.

Natasha Fernandez

Peer Parent Educator
Child Development Lead

Tasha, a mother of three girls, was born and raised in Kailua Kona Hawaii. She has been working with moms and babies for over 13 years. Tasha completed her Liberal Arts degree with Hawaii Community College West Hawaii Center back in 2006. She is currently working on completing her Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences with a focus in Psychology with the University of Hawaii - West Oahu. As a peer parent educator, She is excited to give back to her community by offering breastfeeding tips and supporting new moms with common parenting challenges.


Leina'ala Henriques

Peer Parent Educator
Perinatal Lead

Leina has worked with families in many capacities for 15 years. Having been born on 'Oahu, raised on Hawai'i Island, and gone to high school on Maui, Leina is passionate about Hawai’i and it’s culture through and through. As a mom of two children, the Nest program contributed greatly to her breastfeeding journey with her second child, so she enthusiastically joined the team when the opportunity arose. Leina believes “the amount of support and empowerment a woman feels during that time not only has an impact on her baby and family but can ripple out to following generations and our community as a whole.”


Kahi Moreman

Peer Parent Educator

Crystal "Kahi" Moreman was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Kahi is the mother of one boy, 18 and two girls, 9 and 11. Although new to the Nest program, she is no stranger to working with families during the childbearing years. She has been involved with social services work since her son was born in 2002, providing breastfeeding and parental support to West Hawai‘i families and beyond. She loves supporting prenatal and postpartum moms and their babies, as it brings her joy to watch them bond and grow.


Krista Olson


Krista brings experience in community organizing, early childhood, clinical lactation, and herbal medicine to lead the Nest team in leveraging technology to support vital early connections between babies, parents, and communities. Krista teaches and presents widely on the role of traditional foods and medicines, including breastmilk, in restoring community health. With roots in the Western U.S. and Northern Europe, Krista is settled on a thriving organic farm in Kealakekua, Hawai‘i with her partner and two children. Off the farm, she enjoys paddling the Kona coastline, and studies and performs with Ka Pa Hula Na Wai Iwi Ola.


Lauren Whittemore

Operations Manager

Lauren is excited to re-join the Nest team after taking time off to raise her young children and attend graduate school. As a mom to two boys, she truly understands the importance of support during that postpartum period and is happy to share that firsthand knowledge through her work. She graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Master’s Degree in Social Work specializing in Behavioral Mental Health.


Jess Gaskill

Family Services Manager

Jess serves as one of the principal content creators with Nest and can often be found crafting messaging in order to better engage families and identify resources. As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), she is passionate about meeting families and babies where they are at. Additionally serving as a bilingual IBCLC, she is honored to provide infant feeding and maternal health support to Nest’s Spanish speaking families. She currently resides in the Pacific Northwest and spends her spare time eating and baking pastries, daydreaming with her 8 year old, or wandering around Oregon’s wilder parts.


Sabrina Bejang

Marshallese Interpreter

Sabrina was born in the Marshall Islands and raised on the island of O'ahu. She recently moved to Hawai'i Island in the fall of 2018 to continue her education journey at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, where she is currently a Communication Studies major. Recently, she joined Nest as a Marshallese interpreter and is willing to be the bridge that connects the Nest program to her Marshallese community.


Stacy Brown

Child Development Consultant

Stacy has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Education and has completed Master’s coursework in Cross-Cultural Curriculum and Instruction and Public Health. She has been employed at Family Support Hawaii for over thirteen years, serving as the Education Manager for five years and as the Early Head Start Director for the past eight years. She has worked in Head Start and the private preschool sector and worked as a kindergarten teacher in California for six years. In addition to her work with Family Support Hawaii, she is a part-time lecturer for People Attentive To Children (PATCH), providing a wide range of training workshops for early childhood professionals in North and South Kona and Kaʻu.


Marie Cason

Administrative Coordinator

Marie joins our team from Charlotte, North Carolina. She focused mainly on women and maternal health throughout graduate school and completed her internship studying breastfeeding throughout the state of Hawai‘i. Working closely with the Nest program during this time, she is excited to continue her work with families across the state. She holds a bachelor’s in Psychology from Appalachian State University and a masters in healthcare administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Netlynn Guzman

Marhsallese Interpreter


Cedrick Ondra

Community Engagement Specialist

Cedrick has worked supporting families his entire adult life and has been in his current position for six years. He currently spends most of his time managing the Kona district of Family Support Hawaii’s Early Head Start Program. He additionally sits on the Board of Directors for the Head Start Association of Hawai‘i, as well as the Board of Directors for the Region 9 Head Start Association. As he has worked with the Nest program in a variety of capacities over the years, he is grateful to be part of a team that seeks to make real differences in the lives of young parents and families.


Judy Personius

Perinatal Consultant
Lactation Consultant

Judy is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with NEST. She and her husband, Jerry, have made Kona home for close to fifty years. They have a family farm in Captain Cook where they have raised five children and now enjoy seven grandchildren. Judy has experience working with families in Kona for the past thirty years, including Waldorf teaching and prenatal education focused on teens. She is passionate about helping parents reach their breastfeeding goals.


Kamela Souza

Systems and Evaluations Specialist

Kamela was born and raised in Kona, and is happy to finally be working on Hawai‘i Island after years away at school. She earned a Bachelors of Art in Psychology from the College of William & Mary, and a MEd in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Kamela has been with Nest since starting as a summer intern in 2015. While Kamela primarily works in youth development, P-12 education, and post-high school transition areas of social change, she believes in the importance of starting keiki off with positive support from the beginning.


Ken Spice

IT Lead

Ken is thrilled to be able to support the Nest team from Tahuya, WA and the Baja peninsula in Mexico. He has never been to Hawaii, but hopes to visit soon! Ken is helping to build new tools that will "get out of the way" and let Nest's experts do their jobs. He believes that the Black Lives Matter movement is essential, that we should defund the police, and that we should fully fund community services.


Youriko Taira

Marshallese Interpreter

Youriko joins our team as an interpreter fluent in Marshallese and English. She has called Hawaii home since 2001. As the mother of three children herself, she is excited to help serve Marshallese families with the resources provided by the Nest program. Youriko has been serving families for almost a year and hopes for many more to come!


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