May 25, 2022

Introducing Rebecca and Mel

We keep growing at The Eden Alternative...


by Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative®

We are delighted to have two talented and long-standing friends of The Eden Alternative® join our Home Office Team.

Welcome Rebecca Priest and Mel Coppola! As a new Community Builder, Rebecca consults with and supports organizations implementing our approach. As an Eden Guide/Educator, Mel will facilitate educational experiences and support the ongoing growth of our cadre of  Certified Eden Associates. 

Here's what Rebecca and Mel shared with me about their new endeavor...


LB: What inspires you about The Eden Alternative®?

RP: Eden has always resonated with my desire to un-medicalize life, even when medical care is a necessary part of daily life. Principle Seven of The Eden Alternative® teaches us that we are so much more than our medical diagnoses.

MC: I think what inspires me most about Eden is the fact that this approach is a way to live life. It’s not only about eldercare— it’s about caring for all people as fellow human beings.  It's about tapping into our shared humanity and helping each other grow, thrive, and live well through our well-being!


LB: What’s your superpower? Name one strength you look forward to sharing through this new role.

RP: My superpower is to be able to hold things lightly. I can both acknowledge the realities and own the challenges, but not relinquish the wonder that is currently happening and latently waiting to emerge.  I look forward to incorporating my deep experience in leadership and cultural transformation into my work with organizational leaders and create their next chapters together.

MC: My superpower is a combination of gratitude, optimism, and humor.  For me, gratitude and an upbeat attitude create a belief that life is good, even when things don't appear that way.  And a healthy sense of humor and being able to laugh makes it all the better (plus you get awesome smile wrinkles, not frowny lines).  And even though you didn't ask, my cape would be paisley in bright, happy colors!


LB: What excites you about what’s possible for Eden’s future?

RP: I’m so excited to watch Eden's reach expand and support more organizations and people who find the genuine caring that is missing in their lives… be they employees in healthcare, companies trying to help people age in a connected way, or families and elders walking down new paths together.

MC: I’m thrilled about Eden’s future.  What’s possible?  Anything and everything we can dream—we can do that!!  We can shift society's view of aging and living with different abilities through our actions, our language, and our educational offerings. I personally dream of the Eden Alternative approach being a part of every family care partner’s toolbox. It’s the ABCs of true care partnering. 


LB: What random detail would you like us to know about you?

RP: I come from a very musical family! My parents and grandparents and Aunties and Uncles and cousins all have crazy talent.  I play violin and sing a lot of songs, almost as if they are the soundtrack for my days.  As evidence, my husband once said he thought “musicals were unrealistic” (Gasp!) Then, he met me, and he has never heard more parody, lyrical poaching, and playful references to great songs.

MC: It's difficult to pick just one!  If I must pick one, it would be that sometimes, for no apparent reason, I might just start singing a line or two from a song.  Or perhaps speaking with a British accent.  Seems random to anyone around me who doesn't quite know me, but something up in my grey matter connected those dots and I've just got to let it flow!  Oh, and did I mention that I graduated from Clown College?