Founders 
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.  
 

Staff
 
PROGRAMMING
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.

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 amy@nestphilly.com

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. 

Joanie Nolen
Lead PSB Instructor 
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 Joanie@nestphilly.com

Billy Sanders
Party Manager/Lead Instructor
Billy is a Philadelphia native, growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, and spending the last 8+ years studying theater in the Center City area. Billy first went to Creative And Performing Arts (CAPA) high school and then decided to go just a few blocks north to receive his BFA in acting with a minor in Musical Theater at the University of the Arts. While at CAPA, Billy participated in a volunteer children’s theater program called CAPA Caravan, where he toured to over a dozen intercity schools with his classmates, performing for and teaching children valuable life lessons. It was during CAPA Caravan, that Billy fell in love with Children’s theater and teaching young kids valuable lessons. Now, you can find Mr. Billy bouncing around Nest on most days, teaching classes, running Birthday parties, and of course his favorite activity, having an intellectual conversation with a child about their favorite color. Billy loves every aspect of Nest, but most importantly, he enjoys the kind, loving and caring community that Nest has always created. He thanks everyone at Nest, clients and staff, for their endless support in his endeavors as a performer and teacher.
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.
 
ADMINISTRATIVE

Jessica Hamlin
General Manager
Jessica is a recent transplant to Philadelphia, coming all the way from South Carolina where she attended Coastal Carolina University, receiving her Bachelors of Science in Marine Science and Biology.  For almost a decade, Jessica served as the Director of Education at Ripley’s Aquarium, where she shared the wonders of the ocean (and ways to protect them!) with hundreds of students!  Jessica brings her love of celebrating ALL the ways in which children learn and hopes to bring a little of that coastal charm to her office here in Philly!


Amanada Hoskins
Parties and Events Manager
Amanda, a mother of two teen boys, is excited to be back in the toddler and baby fray, planning super fun parties and picture perfect special days for families!  A lifelong South Jersey resident who has been working in event planning since 2006, Amanda earned her certificate in Event Planning from Special Events Institute in 2012. Since then, she has coordinated a multitude of events ranging from parties and conferences to wine tastings and scavenger runs.. She has managed events for organizations such as La Leche League, Build Jake's Place, and Road Runner Sports.  Amanda loves a challenge so email her with all your party and event hopes and dreams at Amanda@nestphilly.com!
 

ADDITIONAL STAFF

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.