Kango, an app-based service that lets its users schedule rides for kids from preschool to high school, is a hot commodity among parents and drivers alike. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kango allows busy families to ensure their kids get where they need to go, whether that be the soccer practice after school, or just a ride to school every Monday.
An alluring feature of Kango is how personal it is; they connect the user to the right driver, and the user can then directly call or message them. Kango also offers babysitting services in addition to giving kids a ride, and also allows you to connect and chat with nearby parents, free of cost.
All Kango drivers are pre-screened and have passed through a rigorous selection process, which includes in-person interviews, background checks, fingerprinting, and more. Another prerequisite is that they must have had experience caring for kids, which ensures that they know how to handle everything from a tantrum to a stomachache.
Below are a few Kango drivers on their reasons for joining the service, what a typical day looks like for them, and how Kango helps busy parents. They also share their advice on how to handle that precarious work-life balance.
Name: Chanell T.
Where You Live: Oakland, CA
How Many Kids: 2 Children (16yr old daughter & 3 1/2yr old son)
Why Did You Join Kango: I joined Kango because I wanted to earn income and set my own schedule while being a full-time mom at the same time! I loved the fact that Kango allowed me to bring my younger child everywhere I went without any worries during my rides. Meeting new children and their families is always an absolute pleasure.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like For You: My typical day is always comfortable, easy going, and smooth. I choose my rides per night, per week, or even accept last minute emergencies. A "no pressure lifestyle business" is what is needed in my life, and I get it with Kango!
How Does Kango Help You/Women: As a mother, Kango has given me the opportunity to earn money while being a mom at the same time. So for many of us women we appreciate feeling appreciated and Kango's understanding of us on a personal level.
What is Your Work/Life Balance Philosophy: I believe in Work, Love, and Play. Live life to the fullest with responsibilities of course. As being a mother...Responsibility is first on our list from when we wake up in the mornings, until the evenings of slumber.
Name: Andrea M.
Where You Live: Noe Valley in San Francisco, CA
How Many Kids: None currently ;)
Why Did You Join Kango: Kango operates with strong philosophies/ethics around the principles of customer care. I respect their mission. And they fill a critical need for parents and kids alike.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like For You: There are no typical days with kids! That said, all of my riders are polite, engaging, and have become important pieces of my world in many ways. Conversations ensue during the rides that are sure to pave the way to someday saving the world!
How Does Kango Help You/Women: It is a unique opportunity to help support busy lifestyles. In my case, I am working diligently to launch a not for profit organization and I'm also a holistic healthcare provider when time permits. Kango is a perfect way to enable me to continue pursuing my dreams, while helping to subsidize my finances.
What is Your Work/Life Balance Philosophy: Ultimately, do what moves you in life. How you apply that to your work is up to you, but it starts there. If you honor this one simple sentiment, work/life balance will find its way.
Name: Maria C.
How many kids: I have two girls; the oldest is 24 and the other is 18.
Why did you join Kango: I joined Kango because my older daughter started college and I wanted to help her.
Why does a typical day look like for you? As a full time working mom from 6:30am to 7:30pm, my typical day is super busy. I do get tired, but I feel very satisfied helping to get kids safely to their destinations. As a woman, I never thought I could do this, but as a mother, I understand what it takes for another mother to trust their children to me.
In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.
For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.
Believe it or not, I am happy about that.
The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.
It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).
These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.
So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.
Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.
The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."
In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.