Meet THE GARDENERS
FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Rebekah is a local Toledoan, mother of two, and founder of Garden Toledo. Growing up in post-war, military family housing in Taiwan, Rebekah experienced a tight knit, musical, and lively family. Her passion for music manifested particularly through her years as conductor and leader of her high school choir. Her interest in communications led her to work as a regional manager for an education organization and later, as a radio host. She ultimately followed her life’s calling with her husband, in serving people through the church. After nearly 30 years of serving as physical and spiritual mother, Rebekah is passionate to impart life’s value, along with stories of people and events from her own life, to others. She shares a colorful journey with the community of parents that come together to raise a happy, vital, and healthy next generation. Though her own children have grown up, through Garden Toledo, Rebekah continues to be a mentor, musical teacher, and mother.
Terri is a native Toledoan, mother of two, United States Air Force veteran and Registered Medical Assistant. Following graduation, she joined the United States Air Force as an aircraft electrician. During this time, Terri served overseas in Saudi Arabia and had the opportunity to live in Japan. Upon returning stateside, she found her second career in the medical field as a medical transcriptionist, which then allowed for the opportunity to become a medical assistant. She has spent more than 15 years in the medical field. While Terri enjoys the medical field, her true passion is being a believer of Jesus Christ and serving His church. For over 13 years she has enjoyed a daily life with other believers in the Toledo and Sylvania areas. These brothers and sisters and their children have become her family. This intimate living fostered a view by all the mothers to create Garden Toledo in an effort to come together as a community to raise our children to be a healthy, happy and vital generation. We aspire to nurture in each child the sense of art, culture, language, music, academia, self-esteem, spirit and love of Christ in a healthy, nourishing environment. Terri's hope is that every parent that comes to the Garden Toledo website will be inspired and encouraged to raise their children in the same manner. That together we can make a difference, first in Toledo and then the world.
Carol was born and raised in Taiwan. She came to the United States as a college student. Her husband was born in China and also came to America to pursue a college degree. Carol is the mother of four children. She and her husband decided to settle in Toledo and raise their children here as it has become their home. Growing up as the oldest child in the family, they gave her a lot of freedom to develop her interests, such as learning a musical instrument, dancing, arts, etc. When Carol was little, she lived with her grandparents who were teachers and she had a chance to be immersed in an educational environment. The memory and experience of that time inspired her to become a teacher one day. She started to care about children with special needs which in turn led her to pursue a degree in special education. Later on, she found that engaging with children is crucial, especially one-on-one. The true engagement with children is her hope of cultivating our next generation. She recently began to explore plant-based food and enjoys making food from scratch to feed her children healthily in order for them to be happy and have a clear mind.
Ying was born and raised in China. Her mother lost her sight when Ying was only 10 years old. The result of this life-changing event was to choose to become a nurse and care for others as she had for her own mother. For the purpose of pursuing a better life, she and her husband moved to United States in 2002 to explore and experience a different life. She is a Registered Nurse with 20-years experience and currently works full time for a local hospital in Toledo. Ying has seen and taken care of numerous sick and dying patients, some very young, some mentally ill. The hopelessness and desperation in their eyes led her to an understanding of what true care and nursing must include. As not only a nurse but also a believer in the Lord, she learned that besides the physical care, there must be serious attention given to the spirit and the soul of the patient. She believes this care and nourishing shouldn't wait until they are in the hospital, but should begin as soon as possible, when they are young. Although Ying does not have children of her own, that does not stop her heart from loving and caring for these young children. As the Media Editor of Garden Toledo, Ying will continue to utilize photos, and videos to record those moments of real life with the children and their families. She believes those real moments of genuine struggle, strife, tears, laughter, sadness or joy are memorable parts of their daily living, She documents these as an encouragement and benefit to this society. For this reason, Garden Toledo is a place where Ying enjoys planting, watering, and cultivating with other parents that are laboring to produce a happy, healthy next generation.
Mandy is a mother of two, with a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education. She has always had a heart and passion for children. She served overseas in China for two years with her husband and then two young children. Mandy currently works as a preschool special needs paraprofessional in the Sylvania school system, where she sees firsthand how important a loving and stable home life is for children of all ages. Being a part of Garden Toledo, Mandy can corporately, with other parents, help influence and impact the lives of her children and the other children in the group. Also, as a part of Garden Toledo's website design team, Mandy hopes this website will help shine a light on who we are, and that together, we can raise our children up well, to show them they can flourish and live in this world.
James has lived in various parts of the Midwest throughout his life. With a passion for serving those in need, he received a degree in sociology. James has worked in a variety of fields including mental health, administration, and social services. After spending several years overseas working to help empower impoverished groups in Asia, he and his wife chose Toledo to be their home and the place to raise their family. James currently works in local government and is the father of two children. His desire is to serve the Toledo community's next generation of leaders. Through the Garden, James aspires to raise his own children healthily and hopes to inspire others to do the same.
Jie, born in China, was raised in an educational environment where both parents worked for a college. As a child, he dreamed of becoming an educator. At the age of 25, he declined an offer from a high-tech telecommunication company in China. With the desire of being fully equipped in both human experiences and knowledges, Jie chose to come to the United States to start a PhD program in Physics at the University of Toledo. He grew to love Toledo and it is the city where he chose to start his education, get married, and raise his four young children. He met a group of believers who are healthy, vital, purposeful. They also possess a passion regarding the education system in Toledo. Being a parent himself, Jie believes our next generation has a greater hope of being healthy and vital if parents are insistent with their children. With this view, Jie realizes and believes that the rejuvenation of this city requires a healthy being and an enriched humanity in the younger generation. He desires to see this revitalization spread out to the children, community and city.