two babies playing in ball pit

Who We Are

Ella’s House is a comprehensive residential respite designed to be a place of refuge during one of the most challenging times in a woman’s life. We believe the first step to helping someone is to surround them with love and dignity. We strive each day to walk with women as they create a beautiful future for themselves and their child.

At Ella’s House, we uphold our core values of providing holistic help to balance education, health, and family.


Holistic help to balance education, health and family —
through semesters and trimesters.

Elise Jenkins, Executive Director

Elise Jenkins, Executive Director

I never thought I would be 21 and pregnant. The fear of judgment and uncertainty for my future engulfed me as I clutched my positive pregnancy test in my family’s powder bathroom. This is where Ella’s House started—with me crying on the bathroom floor, terrified that it couldn’t be done. That college degrees and motherhood were not synonymous and absolutely could not happen at the same time. One of my deepest beliefs is that things happen for a reason and that all experiences, even the scariest, most isolating ones can be used for good. It’s with this belief that Ella’s House came about. Sweet Ella Rae was born eighteen days after I completed my bachelor’s degree at Auburn University and is the inspiration for Ella’s House. A sanctuary for pregnant collegiate mothers, a community of women achieving similar goals, and a place where choosing education AND a baby is possible. My hope is that women feel empowered and supported in their choice and that perhaps, even amidst fear and uncertainty—they don’t feel quite so alone.

Susan Reinfeldt, Director of Operations

Susan Reinfeldt, Director of Operations

Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Throughout my life I have encountered many young women who have courageously faced a crossroad in their lives: Pursue an education or become a mother? My prayer has always been that with the right resources in place they could choose out of hope, not fear.

This is why I am passionate about the gift Ella’s House provides—a place for women who desire an academic degree and the opportunity to raise a child. I watched my own daughter navigate this difficult path, and with community support she earned her degree and gave birth to a spunky, healthy baby girl.

Ella’s House offers women hope and a future, and I’m honored to play a small part in their journey.

Headshot of Madison Naim

Madison Naim, Community Engagement Coordinator

Driven by a deep love for service and community, I am working alongside our amazing team to bring the greatest resources, opportunities, and support to the mom’s that call Ella’s House their home! Soon after completing my Bachelors at the University of Kentucky, I relocated to Nashville where I began creating innovative programs for teens in Metro Nashville in the after school space. While working in local schools, I met teen mom after teen mom that needed housing, supplies, and support! This is why the work at EH is SO important, this is what true community looks like.

I have a heart for GenZ and championing them into their full, God-given potential. When I’m not at EH, I am usually serving with Youth for Christ, trying out a new coffee shop, or hosting friends at home with my husband! I would love to connect with you and find ways for you to be a part of our community.

Cicely Wilson, Resident Assistant Ella's House

Cicely Wilson, Resident Assistant

After decades of assisting young mothers, it became clear that their primary struggles involved juggling motherhood, providing for their families, and pursuing their education. Partnering with Ella’s House was a welcomed relief, as it addresses these challenges, enabling mothers to prioritize their education. With over 20 years of experience in maternal care, I am grateful and eager to continue supporting families by offering my expertise as a helping hand and valuable resource. At Ella’s House, I am committed to providing unwavering support to empower mothers on their educational journey, ensuring they feel equipped to overcome any obstacles they may encounter.


Grant Altshuler
Financial Operations

Robin Griffin
Research & Innovation: Meharry

Lauren Pennington
Sales & Marketing

Olivia Spears

Melissa Jones
Spiritual Direction

Blaire Smith
Operations & Management

Kathryn White
Senior Nonprofit Management

Josh Love
Finance & Sales

Charlene Smith
Private Financial Management

Courtney Wilson
People & Culture Recruiter


Dr. Craig Martin

Chris Sanders
Vice President of Strategic Development

Finishing my degree gave me tremendous confidence. I was so proud to have graduated while raising my son, despite how challenging that was, and I knew it was worth doing and that from here on out, I could tackle anything.

– Monica