Tonya has organizing and advocating in her blood. “Tonya has been organizing and advocating for others as early as elementary school,” her parents say often. It is not a surprise that Tonya has had over 17 years working and advocating within various communities and in the fields of social...Read more
Tonya has organizing and advocating in her blood. “Tonya has been organizing and advocating for others as early as elementary school,” her parents say often. It is not a surprise that Tonya has had over 17 years working and advocating within various communities and in the fields of social service and education.
Tonya is currently employed as a Senior Vocational Counselor, with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). She began her tenure with DOR in 2005, working throughout Los Angeles County and later transferred to the Inland Empire area. Tonya works with teens/adults with disabilities – including veterans. She has assisted hundreds in their pursuit to obtain employment. Shortly after her arrival to DOR, Tonya identified there was a great need for enhanced resources and services for the ex-offender population. Having a passion and desire to improve the rates of recidivism, she developed a relationship with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Federal and County Probation and created a specialized program and caseload working with the ex-offender population. Recently, she has expanded her work with the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE), Perris Union High School and Val Verde Unified School Districts. She now serves and assist high school students within the Transition Partnership Program (TPP) counseling them towards obtaining the education and skills required to gain a meaningful career.
Tonya received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, and is pursuing a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from Walden University. Tonya is working towards completing her dissertation through Walden University. Her dissertation research focuses on cyberbullying within the workplace. Tonya’s research interests focuses around her desire to maximize employee and organization potential. Her future interest includes researching work motivation, work attitudes, and organizational change and development.
In 2005, Tonya became a member of AFSCME Local 2620 and since that time she has served as a steward, member of the advisory committee, Government Affairs Committee, DOR labor management team, and negotiation team, vocational rehabilitation professionals/occupational advisory chair, and election chair to AFSCME’s constitution and officer elections. Tonya is also the creator of “REHABENINGS,” newsletter dedicated to providing information to those AFSCME members working within the vocational rehabilitation professions.
Tonya also has specialty training and experience. She is a 2013 graduate of the Emerge California – a unique 7 month intensive training that prepares women to successfully run and serve in public office. Her additional specialized training/experience completed include, but are not limited to: mediation and negotiation, grant writing, coaching, organizational and leadership development, employment/labor law, human resource management, group and team dynamics, stewardship, employee selection and placement, political action and lobbying, legislative analysis, time and organizational management, and conflict resolution.
Tonya has held membership and several leadership positions within various organizations. These organizations include, but not limited to: United Employees of the State of California (UESC); American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (AKA); American Psychological Association (APA); Association of Black Psychologist (ABP); Black Voice Magazine (Santa Cruz); Boys and Girls Club; Coalition for Mental Health Professionals; Emily’s List; PTO/PTA; School Site Council; Santa Cruz County Suicide Prevention; Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologist (SIOP); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and Third World and Native American Society Press (TWANAS).
2014 served to be a monumental year for Tonya. In November 2014, she was elected into public office as one of the newest members of the council with the City of Perris. Tonya’s goals are to:
Increase/improve upon the city’s economic growth (Business development and capitalization on untapped/underutilized revenues).
Promote and increase access to higher education and skills training (job creation/retention and employment promotion).
Improve the city’s efficiency.
Increase access to social services/resources.
Mid 2014, Tonya officially became the Founder Member and President of the United Employees of the State of California (UESC). The UESC is a state recognized bonafide employee association exclusively for all state employees, including management. The organization was developed in an effort to bridge the gap between the State of California, collective bargaining unions/agents, and state employees. UESC is not a union, but an association that provides the tools and resources to perform the essential functions of the job; monitor legislation in an effort to protect the interest of all state employees and the communities we serve; training and development programs to assist state workers with promotional opportunities.
Early 2014, Tonya was appointed as the President of Run Women Run Inland Empire Chapter, an organization that recruits, inspires, trains and encourages women to run for public office and seek appointments.
Tonya’s professional and personal life has been characterized by her commitment to making her community a better place to live, work, shop, play and raise a family. Tonya is actively involved within her community and beyond. She founded Operation Well and Fit Communities, a movement geared towards providing physical, mental and spiritual wellness education/workshops, advocacy and resources to the residents within the Inland Empire.
She resides with her family in Perris and enjoys spending time with her husband Jason and three children (Devon 20, Brianna 17, and Jaylyn 12), attending Crossword Christian Church, teaching Zumba and reading.