To build better families.
Real Life Families is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to strengthen families through community support groups, individual coaching, and parent and child education opportunities.
We believe that when we equip, empower, and encourage parents and help build stronger, healthier families from every walk of life during any real-life moment, we will build stronger, healthier kids, homes, schools, and communities!
We rely on community partnerships (churches, schools, moms’ groups, hospitals, libraries, and other community organizations) to offer our life-changing, family-changing, community-changing programs. Contact us to host a class or support group at your facility or to invite us to present to your group.
MEET OUR TEAM..
Meet our amazing team of community members working together to equip and encourage families in our community. We are all parents and have a passion for family. We understand those real-life moments that today’s families face, and we are here to help!
Meet Christine Leeb, Founder and Executive Director….
- Mother of 3 children, married since 2000
- Family Coach and Parent Educator—Specializing in Parenting, Marriage, and Life Purpose
- Creator of the Teamwork Parenting Approach and over 40 Teamwork Parenting Tools and 25 Character Songs
- BS in Education–Middle School Endorsement, MS in Psychology–Child & Adolescent Development (in progress)
- Foods: Mexican, Italian, and especially dark chocolate brownies
- Hobbies: Family-time, Hiking, Writing/Journaling/Quiet time with God
- Bible Verse/Quote: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Way to Make the World Better: Building better relationships within families
- Fun Fact: I know how to ski on one ski.
- Real Life Moment: When I was pregnant with my third child, I had severe morning sickness. One morning, I was heaving in the bathroom, and my middle child asked me if I was OK while my oldest was asking if I would help him put on his Spiderman costume.
Meet Rachael McKinney, President…
- Mother of 3 children, married since 2006
- Certified Doula, Childbirth Educator and Co-Owner of Gentle Transitions
- BS in Business Administration
- Foods: Breakfast anytime of day
- Hobbies: Traveling and Alone Time
- Bible Verse/Quote: We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to. Brene Brown
- Way to Make the World Better: Meeting everyone’s basic needs.
- Fun Fact: I love experiencing how other people and cultures do life.
- Real Life Moment: Once I hired a babysitter to put the kids to bed while I sat in our driveway eating ice cream and watching Netflix until the kids were asleep.
Meet Phil Edwards, Vice President….
- Father of 3 children, married since 1997
- Urbana Fire Department Fire Marshall
- Owner of DJ Fireproof DJ services
- Foods: Steak
- Hobbies: Spending time with my family and Entertaining/DJing
- Bible Verse/Quote: All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
- Way to Make the World Better: Leading heads of the household to a healthy relationship with Christ.
- Fun Fact: I had ambitions to be a gospel hip-hop artist, and I have recorded multiple songs with a group called Kale’o.
- Real Life Moment: Becoming the dad I wish I had but never did.
Meet Lori Young, Secretary….
- Mother of 2 adult daughters
- Licensed Clinical Profession Counselor and Co-Owner of Two Roads Wellness Clinic
- BA in Psychology, MS in Education Guidance and Counseling
- Foods: Pizza
- Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends
- Bible Verse/Quote: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
- Way to Make the World Better: Spend more time building the Kingdom.
- Fun Fact: I have four cats.
- Real Life Moment: I accidentally locked my daughter in the car at the dentist’s office and the police had to come and unlock the door.
Meet Tom Carlson, Treasurer…
- Father of 1 daughter
- Materials Engineer at US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
- BS in Materials Science and Engineering; MS in Engineering Mechanics
- Foods: Tacos
- Hobbies: All things outdoors: biking, hiking, camping, gardening. Also wood-working and baking
- Bible Verse/Quote: All of Romans 12
- Way to Make the World Better: Be a father to those without.
- Fun Fact: I won a yo-yo competition in middle school.
- Real Life Moment: When my daughter says “I can’t”, I tell her to try again and she succeeds.
Meet Jennifer Aggio….
- Mother of 4 daughters, Married since 2010
- Donates her Graphic Design talents to Real Life Families
- Owner of Designs on the Go
- Foods: Chocolate and peanut butter
- Hobbies: Traveling, All things creative, and natural living
- Bible Verse/Quote: Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of any kind. James 1:2
- Way to Make the World Better: Make it easier for families to get ahead…find ways where those living paycheck to paycheck could catch a break so they could stress less and use that energy in positive ways. Parents have a burden to take care of their kids and family and oftentimes that gets in the way of good quality time.
- Fun Fact: They are a nomad family–traveling around the country full time in an RV
- Real Life Moment: Families with multiple kids…have you ever noticed how sometimes kids “take turns” misbehaving or challenging the boundaries? It always seems that it’s one kid one day and the next kid the next. It can be so easy to get frustrated and scream when kids know exactly what to do to push our buttons!
Meet Kellie Anderson….
- Mother of 2 adult daughters, Married since 1988
- Program Manager for CARE4U (Champaign Area Relationship Education for Youth), a Healthy Marriage/Responsible Fatherhood federal grant program through Illinois State University
- BA in English and Sociology; MA Ed in Curriculum and Instruction.
- Training in Healing Solutions: Best Practices to Support Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma; Countering Domestic Violence; Youth Mental Health First Aid.
- Foods: Thai and Indian and really good pizza
- Hobbies: Reading, Drawing, Crafting, Spending time with family and friends, and Learning new things
- Bible Verse/Quote: The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 and He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
- Way to Make the World Better: Help people feel “seen” and loved to a degree that they can fully believe in God’s passionate loving kindness for them. To eradicate the deep-seated anger that is born of intense, profound disappointment—I believe that is what messes up the human heart and our relationships the most.
- Fun Fact: I’m pretty much a homebody, but I would travel anywhere with a beautiful view, temps in the low 80’s, lots of trees, great little coffee shops to walk to, and breezes.
- Real Life Moment: When one of my girls was a teenager, she came to us with a confession. It was how we reacted that made her say years later: “I didn’t know how much I was loved until that moment.”
Meet Sarah Bautista…
- Mother of 2 daughters, Married since 2014
- Stay-at-Home Mom and former Social Worker for a private foster care agency
- MS in Social Work
- Foods: Carne asada tacos
- Hobbies: Singing and playing the piano horribly, Reading fiction, Watching sitcoms. I’m a big fan of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Disney.
- Bible Verse/Quote: Do your best. Trust God to do the rest.
- Way to Make the World Better: I will follow the advice of Mother Theresa—If you want to change the world, go home and love your family!
- Fun Fact: I am the oldest of 11 children!
- Real Life Moment: I had to counsel my daughter through a change in teacher at her preschool. The first two days was dropping her off kicking, screaming, crying, and running to the door. Lots of teamwork, empathy, and brainstorming at home, and she is now going to school tear-free within a week of the change!
Meet Baylie Jones…
- Mother of 3 children
- Senior Title Services Representative at Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.
- Former Teacher/Student Personal Aide at Rural Champaign County Special Education
- Foods: Pizza
- Hobbies: Family Time, Fishing, and Co-Ed Softball
- Bible Verse/Quote: You are under no obligation to be the same person you were a year, month, or even 15 minutes ago. You have the right to grow. No apologies.
- Way to Make the World Better: Show parents that they aren’t alone and it’s OK to ask for help.
- Fun Fact: I LOVE going to Comic Con(s)—Anything superhero/Star Wars is my jam. I drag raced a 1971 Pinto when I was 16, and dad jokes are my favorite.
- Real Life Moment: I didn’t have a back-up babysitter for my son, so I had a mini “bring your son to work day” that gave us some special time together.
Meet April Stark…
- Mother of 4 children, Married since 2005
- Student Teacher at St. Matthew Catholic School
- CU Mentor and President of Parents Club at St. Matthew Catholic School
- BS in Finance; MA in Elementary Education
- Foods: Dark chocolate
- Hobbies: Reading and would love to get back to knitting
- Bible Verse/Quote: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
- Way to Make the World Better: I would take worry away!
- Fun Fact: I am so glad that I am able to pursue my passion of getting my teaching degree.
- Real Life Moment: My youngest son broke his femur when he was 2. It was hard. He was in a “body cast” for almost 7 weeks. I cried every day. It made us so much stronger as a family, and it made me a stronger mother.