SPEAKER: Rhonda Elias-Penner – Rhonda came to Thrive, then known as Pregnancy and Family Support Services, in spring of 2010 as an Applied Counselling student, working in the Resource Centre. After graduating with Honors, Rhonda was hired as the Community Support Worker for the summer program. In the fall of the same year, she was hired as the coordinator for the child care centre and the ‘drop in’ centre. In 2015, Rhonda stepped in as acting director and for the past 6 years has been the executive director of Thrive Community Support Circle. As mother of 2 sons, now both young adults, one who was diagnosed with autism and septo-optic dysplasia, among other challenges, she has always had a passion for working with families, supporting and empowering those experiencing marginalization, discrimination. This has always been a passion for her throughout life.
PRESENTATION: As the Executive Director of Thrive Community Support Circle, it has given Rhonda Elias-Penner such a sense of joy and humility to be a part of this incredible organization and watch it grow and change to meet the needs of community during the past ten years. Rhonda is both proud and humble to work alongside such dedicated staff and volunteers, under the guidance of their Board of Directors, and with the generous support of donors and funders. This agency has withstood the challenges and changes of society to ensure they continue to answer every call for help that they receive. Being able to provide basic human needs, child care, and crisis support when people are in need of stability, security, and safety, allow them to focus their energy on change for themselves and their families, learn and build their skills, set goals and achieve them. Rhonda has developed and grown as a person and a leader having the privilege to be a part of their journey and watch these incredibly strong and resilient people turn these opportunities into stories of starting over, re-building, breaking down barriers and building success.
Programs and services-Rhonda will provide a description of each of the following services and how we support the community in a holistic wrap around way:
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