Deb Levine, M.A
Executive Director and Founder of ISIS
I'm one of those lucky people who found my passion. 15 years ago, when working as a health educator at Columbia University, I discovered that topics considered to be shameful and embarassing like SEX are best discussed behind a screen - computer screen then, mobile phone and PDA today. My career took off with the creation and enormous success of Columbia University's Go Ask Alice! in 1993. Since then, I wrote a book, consulted for many websites that you know and love, teach a fall class at San Francisco State called Sexuality and the Internet, and founded ISIS, the place where I love to work! All our projects are so exciting -- everything's new, everything's a challenge. And our staff is phenomenal. I've found home.
Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc., established May, 2001, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization developing technology for promotion of sexual health and healthy relationships, and to prevent disease transmission. Our mission is to provide leadership, innovation, educational resources and research in online sexual health promotion.
What is your top tip for balancing it all?
To remind yourself of your priorities. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I remember my girls and that spending time with them and raising them to be cool responsible adults is more important than, say, answering all that backed-up email. :)
How has being a mom impacted your success?
Being a mom has definitely impacted my success, also because it has been coupled with being in a loving supportive relationship. Being a mom has taught me that I can't do everything myself (must ask for and accept help) and that I can't be in control all the time. This has helped build my confidence, look at my husband as my partner in all parts of our lives, and leave some room each day "just to see what happens."
What is your best mommy moment?
When the organization I founded (ISIS) was hosting our first ever conference, with a focus on sexual health, technology and youth. My then 6-year-old daughter came to the office with me on a Saturday to help stuff 400 "goody bags" for the participants. She had more energy than my twenty-something staff!