NEST is the brainchild of six close friends who grew up together in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Joining the growing influx of young professionals moving into Center City, the idea for Nest hatched once life with kids in tow added new perspective to city living. Finding themselves dragging weary kids all over the city through a decentralized maze of birthday parties, playdates, and music classes, the group decided that they needed one destination where parents and kids can do it all, and NEST was born.  

Our experienced program directors and instructors have designed unique and creative class curricula; catered to meet your child’s interests and abilities. With the support of our team, your child will have the opportunity to build confidence and express their individuality in any one of 40 classes offered.

Joanie Nolen
Director of Early Enrichment / Parent Education 
Joanie is a highly regarded child development specialist and parenting educator and the Enrichment Program Director at NEST. She has been teaching parenting classes in Center City Philadelphia and the Main Line for over 23 years. Joanie is a former Parent Educator at Hal Mercer, a division of Pennsylvania Hospital, and a former elementary and preschool teacher. Joanie is the proud mother of three grown children, and a new grandmother! They are lucky to have such an amazing and supportive influence :) 
For additional parental support, those currently enrolled in an enrichment class may contact Joanie directly at 

Amy Myers
Programs Manager
Lead Instructor
Amy is a long-time resident of Philadelphia, having moved from Chicago to pursue a degree in Children's Theater from Rowan University and later a secondary degree from Temple University, specializing in pediatric behavioral psychology.  Teaching in a variety of schools, Amy has been lucky to work with students from a diverse set of ages and backgrounds always focusing on the creative learning process and celebrating the joy of childhood wonder.  Not only teaching, but choosing to raise her family here in Philadelphia has given her a unique understanding of the rewards and challenges of having children in the city and she is excited to be sharing what she's learned with the wonderful families here at NEST!
Amy loves to hear from families on how to make the most out of being a part of the NEST community - contact her anytime at

Sarah Braviak
Programs Coordinator
Lead Instructor
Front Desk Lead

Sarah Braviak began her professional dance training at the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts High School.   She has studied at the Florence University of the Arts in Italy where she had the opportunity to choreograph and perform site-specific, solo works alongside the Florence Dance Company.  Sarah holds a BA from Muhlenberg College with a double major in Psychology and Dance with an education concentration.  While in school she taught at the Muhlenberg Community Dance Center, was a member of DanceMax Moving Company, a touring ensemble offering cross-curricular education for elementary school aged children, and was an office assistant to the director of dance.  Sarah is currently a dancer with the Megan Flynn Dance Company and a teacher at the Philadelphia Dance Academy.  She is thrilled to bring her love for the art and practice of movement to the classes at NEST. 

Julian Freedman
Lead Instructor - Movement, Gymnastics, Sports & Music
Lead Party Host
Front Desk Lead
Julian is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia and has been actively working with children for the past ten years.  He has experience as an overnight camp counselor and high school lacrosse coach. Julian has instructed children of all ages at My Gym and NXT Sports Cradle Lacrosse. He graduated from Temple University in May of 2015 with a B.A. Degree in Adult and Organizational Development. As President of the Temple University Lacrosse team Julian lead the Temple Owls to a National Title, finishing with a 21-0 perfect record. He is looking forward to bringing all he has learned to Nest!  

Krista Chen
Lead & Assistant Instructor - Movement, Dance & Enrichment - on maternity leave until April 2018!
Krista Hafler is a new resident of Philadelphia and is happy to be part of such a vibrant scene! A graduate of Temple University and Cabrini College, Krista has taught dance for 7 years and elementary school for 3 years. Teaching at NEST has been a great opportunity for Krista to share her love of dance and movement with the wonderful students and families here in the city. She loves the energy and creativity that comes along with working with young students.

Pamela Vail, Psy.D
Lead Instructor - Early Enrichment / Parent Education 
Dr. Pamela Vail is a clinical psychologist in private practice in center city specializing in children and families, women’s issues, and parenthood.  She has a BS degree in Human Development from Cornell University and a Master and Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Vail completed her internship and post-doctoral training at Pennsylvania Hospital and served on their staff for 5 years.  Dr. Vail is a mother of 2 children and lives in Center City.  She enjoys helping new mothers transition to motherhood and cope and adjust to this exciting new phase of life.

Ariel Benton
Class Assistant - Enrichment
Ariel graduated from Drexel University in 2014 with a major in Film and Video and minor in Television Production. She currently lives in South Jersey but her family is originally from South Philly. Her mom has been working with children for over 30 years and is currently a nanny so she has been around young children her whole life and feels like she learned a lot about young children through her. She hopes to get a job as a video editor one day but currently enjoys forming relationships with her Nest buddies and making them smile in PSB.

Keiko Kimball Gouty
General Manager
Keiko has had many roles at NEST from Member Services Manager to Marketing Director to General Manager. She is so grateful to have spent the last few years learning the ins & outs of the business. Keiko grew up just north of NYC in Westchester County, NY, attended boarding school in the Berkshire Mountains, graduated with a BBA in Marketing from Berkeley and has called Philadelphia home for the past 6 years after living in Atlanta. She loves that no day at work is ever the same and seeing the cute, happy faces that come into NEST. Keiko lives in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia with her husband, Chris (who you make have seen at NEST events making delicious food as he's a Chef with Starr Events) and dogs, Cleo & Keeper, and enjoys yoga, traveling, and being a foodie.
You may directly contact Keiko at if you have any questions about careers at NEST, events, marketing or any comments/concerns.




Mariah Scarafone
Stylist at the NEST Salon
Front Desk Support

Mariah grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia & recently moved to the Art Museum area of Philadelphia in 2015. She is a 2012 graduate of Lansdale School of Cosmetology where she received her Cosmetology License.
Since the beginning of her career, Mariah has specialized in children’s hair cutting among other fun services geared towards and created for kids. She showcases her talents Face Painting & creating Beauty Bars for birthday parties and various events including the very special Tutus & Tiaras Event here at NEST.
Growing up with a younger brother with Autism gave Mariah the opportunity to understand children on the spectrum and embrace them with kindness, compassion and quiet understanding.Her strengths lie in the thoughtful and patient way she approaches how a haircut can be an overwhelming and daunting experience for some, making sure they feel safe and secure in her chair.