PAK would like to thank Hélène Tragos Stelian for her wonderful article about our Co-founder, Connie Hosker: “Becoming an Advocate for Stillbirth Prevention: Connie’s Story” is an inspirational story about Connie’s next act launching Project Alive & Kicking, a foundation devoted to the expected baby (PAK). To read Connie’s story, visit Hélène’s delightful website, Next Act for Women. To learn a little more about Hélène, please read on!
Hélène Tragos Stelian is 51 years old and lives in Chicago with her husband and twin teenage daughters. After careers in retailing and marketing for large companies, she became a stay-at-home mom when her girls were born.
Seeing the need for a detailed baby planner that could help expecting parents navigate the many tasks and purchases that come along with a new baby, Hélène wrote a pregnancy organizer, Getting Ready for Baby: The Practical Parent’s Organizer. After 12 years on the market and 80,000 copies sold, she self-published the second edition last year.
As her girls grew, Hélène became very involved in their school and community, volunteering to run fundraisers, school lunch, author and speaker programs, and launching a parent support group. After moving back to the city of Chicago, with her girls now in high school and much more independent, it was time for Hélène’s next adventure.
In conversing with middle-aged women, Hélène noticed that many of these women were also struggling to figure out what’s next. That was the genesis for her blog, Next Act for Women, where she tells the stories of women who have reinvented themselves in midlife and beyond. She also writes about issues related to women, midlife, and parenting for Huffington Post. She likes to say that in sharing other women’s stories, she has found her own voice, and her own Next Act!
Hélène also enjoys mentoring under-resourced high school seniors through the college application process with Chicago Scholars and is currently working on a new book idea.
While Hélène’s family is always her top priority, in her spare time, she loves to try new recipes, connect with girlfriends old and new, listen to National Public Radio (she loves Fresh Air) and podcasts (Serial, Freakonomics), find fun things to do in Chicago, walk the family dog Rocky, read lots of non-fiction, work out (begrudgingly), and watch her favorite TV shows (The Good Wife, Scandal, Modern Family, Law & Order SVU).
Although her life is not without its share of challenges, Hélène feels truly blessed, and is ready for the second half of her life.