Love Series: Nina McPhaul, Recipient and Mentee

At JMB Award, we're fostering a community of love and support that lasts beyond a single day. We asked members of our community to share why they love JMB Award. These are their stories.

When Fran called to ask if I would apply for the JMB Award, I thought it was a scam and I was ready to hang up. She assured me it wasn’t, and we laughed about it as I searched through my emails to find the application to assure myself it was legit. I quickly sent essays I had been working on and hoped that I was the “girl with grit” they were looking for. I hadn’t realized how much that phone call would impact my life.

Photo: Art + Life Photography

Photo: Art + Life Photography

Honestly, I applied for the monetary aspect of the award because I thought I already had too many mentors. It took me only a few months to realize how much more valuable the relationships were than the generous travel stipend I received. They have taught me that one can never have too many mentors, too big of a network, or too much support.

I so deeply appreciate the circle of women constantly supporting my dreams. They have opened up doors for me that I didn’t even know were there and have constantly challenged me to take the risks I’d always been so scared to take. There have been so many opportunities that I felt cut off from that they have given me the opportunity to experience.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my beautiful, thoughtful, and deeply knowledgeable mentors Elena and Fran for helping me to grow, and to all of the women who are part of the JMB Award.


Help us secure a Double The Love donor match. A generous, anonymous donor pledged $2,000 if we can raise $2,000 by the end of this week. Give today >>