LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State alumna Rebecca Corvin has leveraged personal challenges into successful business ventures for herself and her community.
Corvin grew up in Connellsville, Pennsylvania and graduated from Connellsville Area High School in 2007. A first-generation college student, she worked as a waitress while in school and graduated from Penn State Fayette in 2012 with a bachelor of science degree in business management and marketing.
Her final research project at Fayette examined real-world, organizational applications of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — a popular theory in psychology to explain human motivation. When our most essential physiological needs are fulfilled, humans can transcend to more complex motivations like love and belonging, Corvin explained. This early work would become a kind of guiding principle in her future pursuits.
“Based on this hierarchy of needs, If we’re not feeling safe, we’ll never self-actualize and, in turn, be able to help others,” she said.
“My success didn’t happen the way you’d read it in a textbook. I feel like I’m on this long stretch of highway, and others are zipping past me while I’m cruising — which used to make me want to pull over — but in the long haul I’m making it to where I need to be."
—Rebecca Corvin , class of 2012, business
When Corvin was pregnant with her first child, she said, she found herself frustrated with the lack of resources, education and community available for first-time mothers.
“I went through what many women experience,” said Corvin. “It can be devastating mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially when you don’t have someone to support you through vulnerable transitions like pregnancy and childbirth.”
It occurred to her that nobody should have to spend as much money and time as she did to find adequate resources. If she was struggling, how were less privileged people managing?
So, in 2015, she started The Village, a local mommy group that quickly became a kind of healing circle, she said. The group leased a space to have weekly meetings to hold space for each other.
“I was craving more depth and connection from like-minded people,” she said. “We don’t apologize, we don’t censor ourselves, and we don’t bash people. We fully accept people where they are, however they show up.”
This community cultivated a transformative confidence in participants, said Corvin. Group members have since branched out to facilitate their own meetings with the core values of The Village, and some have started business ventures. All the while, Corvin has kept thinking bigger.
“I’m working on developing a non-profit to provide quality childbirth education and advocacy free of charge to local families,” she said. “What they’re receiving in the majority of hospitals is not education, not choices — it’s hospital policy. We want to provide doula services, postpartum packages, counseling, group therapy, retreats and more to help people through these transitions.”
Corvin said she plans to establish her new venture, Purpose and Potential, by the end of 2022. The non-profit will also work to help families develop their own businesses to contribute to their communities. Her advocacy work is managed under her company Lady BEC Inc., through which she hosts retreats, provides personal and business consulting, and works with others in the local community.
“I don’t believe that women should have to give up what they love to be a mother,” she said. “I want mothers to take themselves and their goals seriously. Within our community, anything is possible.”
By day, Corvin works as a health, safety, and environmental regional manager for Vault Pressure Control, overseeing operations across six states. She’s also CEO of Cole B’s in Connellsville, a fast-casual restaurant serving juices, smoothies and paninis, with a focus on hosting community events for local families. She serves as the wellness chair for the Women’s Energy Network Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, as well as the chapter relations chair for the Foundation for the Women’s Energy Network.
In April, she returned to Penn State Fayette as a guest speaker at Fayette Launchbox during Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC to share her story.
“My success didn’t happen the way you’d read it in a textbook. I feel like I’m on this long stretch of highway, and others are zipping past me while I’m cruising — which used to make me want to pull over — but in the long haul I’m making it to where I need to be,” she said. “I’ll keep going at a pace that feels good and follow my intuition to go in whatever direction I feel pulled.”
Corvin also is at work on a book. She lives in Fayette County with her two young children, Arlyn and Eva Lee White, whom she considers her greatest teachers.