Services link college students to ‘concierge’ moms

Read the full article as published by Katie Smith on News Nation on March 11, 2024

  • A business founded in 2019 aims to help support college students
  • ‘Local moms’ will deliver care packages and handle unexpected situations
  • Some experts say young people need space to learn and support themselves

Parents of students at a handful of U.S. college campuses are hiring local moms to guide and support their children while they’re away at school.

Social worker and mother of three Mindy Horwitz founded mindyKnows in 2019 to “give you peace of mind as you try to help support your students from afar.”

Her business is just one of a series of ‘mom concierge” models cropping up throughout the country.

While some companies operate as personal assistants around the house or workplace, mindyKnows staff is there to swing by with cough drops and a thermometer or drop off a locally sourced care package for birthdays and celebrations.

Horwitz wants clients to think of her as a “combination concierge/old college friend/cousin you love,” according to the business’ website.

Services are available for students in seven areas, including Penn State University and Northwestern University, through memberships ranging from $49 per month to $1,600 for all four years.

More than 100 families have registered for a “concierge” mom, according to USA Today, but some experts say it is best to let young people learn to navigate and rely on their communities for themselves.

Clinical psychologist Emily Edlynn told USA Today that parents should encourage their children to support themselves, That may include identifying health, counseling and other resources on or near campus before the semester begins.

MindyKnows’ local moms aren’t there to do the laundry and clean up around the dorm, however. Instead, Horowitz told USA Today, they’ve been able to “troubleshoot” and” problem-solve” during sticky situations, delivering chicken noodle soup to sick students or dropping off meals and clean pajamas during emergency hospital visits.

“College is an amazing time for our children to grow and spread their wings and fly,” Horwitz said an introductory video on the business’ site. “But sometimes a little extra love and support from a local can make all the difference.”