Elizabeth was born in Cherry Hill NJ in 1976 to James and Virginia. Friends and family have called her Libby since she was very little. She lived in Pennsauken,NJ with her parents and sister until she graduated from 8th grade from a Catholic school in 1990. She moved with her family to Erial, NJ and went to high school in Blackwood, NJ until she graduated in 1994. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia, PA for 1 year with the goal of going to nursing school. She did not do very well academically that first year and she took some time off to decide what career she wanted. In 1996, Libby attended Camden County College in Blackwood, NJ to pursue her lifelong dream of being a teacher. While taking classes, Libby took a job as a preschool teacher at Kindercare Daycare Center where she worked until graduation in 1999. With her associates degree in hand, Libby left her job and entered Rutgers University in Camden NJ as a French Major in the Secondary Education Teacher Certification track. A mere 2 semesters from graduation, she decided to forgo the Bachelor's degree because she missed the preschool age children, so she left school and got a job at Children's Discovery Center in Mt. Laurel, NJ where she became the Lead 3's teacher. The preschool industry is a low-paying career that doesn't require a higher education other than a high school diploma. Instead of going for the stability and benefits of a public school teacher, Libby devoted her career to reaching children ages 3, 4, and 5. During this time she met her future husband, Michael Mahoney, and when they married in 2001, they moved to Florida.
Libby continued to pursue her career as a preschool teacher in Jacksonville by taking the required 40 hours child care credits, becoming certified in CPR and first aid, and submitting to background checks and fingerprinting through JSO. Libby taught preschool ages 3 and 4 at Calvary Christian Jr Academy from 2003-2009. She took continuing education courses and attended FSCJ to become certified to teach VPK. Libby was a key proponent for implementing VPK at her school and assisted the director in establishing the program at the school. Libby wrote curriculum guidelines for the VPK program and the 3's program using the Florida State VPK Standards and her extensive knowledge and experience from teaching. During this time, Libby birthed 4 children and worked until her youngest was 6 months old. The cost of childcare was too much for the humble income of a preschool teacher and Libby said goodbye to her career and became a stay-at-home mom. The time and freedom gained by staying at home gave Libby the chance to focus on her passion of cooking. She was suffering from an allergy to soy and she began to teach herself how to make everything from scratch. She got the idea to write a cookbook since she was creating so many new recipes and in marketing herself she began a twitter account and a blog to talk about the things she was learning.
Libby got involved in raising awareness about human trafficking after hearing Christine Caine, founder of The A21 Campaign, speak about the shelter they had built and the girls they were rescuing from sex trafficking. Libby was moved by these testimonies and desired to use her passion for cooking to do more than just write a book. She wants to open an organic fair trade bakery to show her community of Northeast Florida how consumers can affect the world around them and individual lives by purchasing ethically made products. Libby wants to use the profits from the bakery and cookbook to further her philanthropic goals. Libby has a vision of a boarding school that will take in at-risk children and survivors of trafficking. She wants to help orphans, foster kids, runaways, and throw-away children to get a chance at a life that would not be possible on their own or otherwise.
Libby plans on returning to school in the Fall of 2011 to finish her Bachelor's degree in Education with a minor in business entrepreneurship at UNF. She hopes to get her master's degree one day in Education/Business Administration so she can create the kind of school she'd always dreamed of working in.
If any investors, publishers, or literary agents are interested in Libby's plans for a bakery or cookbook please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org