Janine Mitchell is a recent hire at the New Hampshire Children’s Trust and a former editor at Foster’s Daily Democrat.
Did you ever consider starting a rival newspaper called Foster’s Daily Whig? No, but I have considered Dover’s Daily Dig – an arts and entertainment blog. But, don’t get me excited – I have too many projects on my plate as it is!
Did your background in journalism/broadcasting help your transition to the new job? It certainly did. Employment at Foster’s Daily Democrat as a copy, web and video editor for over a year immersed me in a world of professionalism, hard working and hard deadlines. The fast-paced world of non-stop news was a constant adrenaline rush, wanting to be the first, the best and the most integral source of news for locals.
At Foster’s I edited hundreds of short videos for fosters.com (and even won a New England Press Association Award for Best Entertainment Video – Honorable Mention).
Here at New Hampshire Children’s Trust I have edited a few videos highlighting our events and why donating to child abuse prevention is worth the investment.
What prompted the change of careers? Several things prompted my career change, but most importantly my desire to improve child well-being. All of my life I have volunteered with child-related non-profit organizations. I was a Special Olympics coach for four years. My platform when competing in the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Program always centered around improving the lives of children, and I was even the youngest member of the Dover Children’s Home Board of Directors. So, what better way to continue that work than to be paid for it at a statewide lead agency for child abuse and neglect prevention.
I was adopted at 10 months old after my birth mother tried hard to care for me but at only 16 years old without much support, realized she wasn’t capable. I was adopted out of the foster care system – I was extremely lucky. Many children who grow up in the foster care system don’t feel welcome, wanted or loved and this could have easily happened to me. Therefore, I am passionate about caring for children and helping any child within my reach feel a little love.
Tell us a little more about the Children’s Trust. In the five months working at NHCT, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about healthy family construction and how preventing child abuse is everyone’s responsibility. As community members we can easily prevent stressors in parents’ lives, which ultimately can lead to abuse. Sometimes, it’s as easy as smiling at a parent whose child is screaming in a store and assuring them everyone has bad days. Trust me, they’re embarrassed and shaming them only makes them feel worse! Parenting is really stinkin’ hard. And, in most cases no one ever wants to hurt their child. But, sometimes it’s hard to take a deep breath and step back.
The most rewarding part about working at New Hampshire Children’s Trust is feeling like I’m making a difference. Even if one mother on Facebook sees an inspirational photo I post, they’ll spend a few extra minutes with their child and cherish it – that’s what its all about. All children deserve to be loved.
You are working with social media for the Children’s Trust. Can you describe the Concord Insider in 140 characters or less? (#keepitclean) The @Concord_Insider combines news, networking and need-to-knows concerning our capital city. . . oh, and a pretty decent news editor. #BigBen
Now that you’ve been working in Concord for a few months, what do you think of our fair city? What I love most about Concord, and most New England cities, is the history behind it. I love walking downtown and knowing many of the storefronts haven’t changed much in the past century. We’re lucky to have pieces of our country’s foundery at our fingertips.
You were Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen in 2006. What did you learn from that experience that has helped you in your life and career? Well, that’s a big question because being Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen in 2006 and competing in the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Program were truly the ultimate training to be a successful woman. Most people are not so put together as the young women I’ve encountered in competition. We had to be well-spoken, knowledgeable on current events, walk gracefully, answer the most absurd questions on a whim and on top of it all look hot in a swimsuit! I really credit them for instilling so much drive and professionalism in me. Being a titleholder in the Miss America Org. is a prestigious thing, so we try to live up to that by presenting ourselves well at community events, learning to speak to people of all walks of life. In addition, I learned to event plan, fund raise and give my heart and soul to every project I take on – and if I don’t want to give it my all then it’s not worth my time.
I’ve grown into a young woman who is satisfied with my current life but always reaching out for more – and I’ve realized I don’t need the heavy weight of a crown on my head to keep it strong and up high. When I won the congeniality award and both of the community service awards at Miss New Hampshire 2010 and 2012 for my hundreds of hours devotion, I knew I had achieved what the program really has to offer. I had become a woman with a kind heart, open arms and a healthy body and mind.
Seven years, five titles, three platforms and three tattoos later, I know I have made a difference in many children’s lives while being myself every step of the way.