Denise LaRosa ’03
It is said that being a mom is the most challenging job in the world. Denise LaRosa ’03 adds to that job by using her experiences and drive to help other moms.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania stay-at-home-super-mom found a way to balance raising two young daughters while starting her own website, Mom Talk with Denise LaRosa, that includes a blog, podcast and live workshops to motivate, inspire and inform mothers.
“I can’t keep but so still,” says LaRosa. “Being a mom is great, but I needed something separate from that. I started the blog and the podcast both to help myself and to help other moms.”
Since it began, Mom Talk has grown from a blog on BlogSpot into a full website. The multi-media content offered by LaRosa garners thousands of readers and listeners every month. The biggest breakthrough came when LaRosa’s 2015 blog post titled “How did I almost lose my best friend?” was featured on “The Today Show”. “I don’t know if my husband is thrilled about that one,” admits LaRosa with a laugh. “But it has been interesting.”
As a dance major at Radford University, LaRosa hardly pictured herself where she is now. After graduation, she joined a dance company as the lead dancer, where she also did some songwriting as well as singing. The multi-talented LaRosa then spent some time with “Urban Media Today,” first launching her blog in January 2014 while she was a writer and editor there. “I didn’t realize you could make money blogging,” she says. “But I figured if I was going to do this I might as well get paid for it.”
LaRosa also entered the world of authorhood with the release of “Empty Shoes,” a children’s book that takes its inspiration from her youngest daughter. Every copy of “Empty Shoes” sold provides a pair of shoes to a kid in need through the charity Soles4Souls. LaRosa is currently hard at work on her second children’s book.
Though her current career doesn’t involve what she studied at Radford University, LaRosa knows the dance program still gave her what she needed. “I fell in love with the dance program at Radford University. The love and support I got there was invaluable,” she says. “I think I learned the most from the disappointments. I didn’t get the part that I wanted in a dance concert and I was so heartbroken. But I remember a friend saying, ‘this is going to seem so small in the grand scheme of things in your life. You’re just getting started.’”
LaRosa is a fan of the direction Radford University is going and has made it a goal to visit this year. “I think [President] Brian Hemphill is amazing,” says LaRosa. “I think what sets Radford apart is the diversity and superb leadership that starts at the top. The school is innovative and it continues to be a go-to place for students.
“My time at Radford University was, perhaps, some of the most incredible years of my life,” she concludes. “The best part was the support, the love and the community.”