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Get to Know: Ronda Jones Tobey (Part 2)

In honor of Women’s History Month, we sat down with long-time Nonotuck Clinician Ronda Jones. You can read part one of Ronda's story here.

What attracted you to Nonotuck?

Definitely the morals and values that they have. Being a person that is working a demanding field, always going, going, going, I enjoyed the concept of having the time to take care of yourself, the wellness hour. (Nonotuck offers employees two paid wellness hours a week to be spent however they like to contribute to their own wellness).  {At Nonotuck, I work for} a company that says ‘Let’s slow down and take care of ourselves.’ That allows you to be a better employee, to work harder.

I’m always telling people how Nonotuck takes care of us, takes care of our wellbeing, and treats people as equals. Not only ourselves, but the people we serve. That makes Nonotuck unique. 

How would you describe your work at Nonotuck to someone unfamiliar with it?

One of my favorite roles is being a team member.

During meetings, I often tell the person we serve that they are like the CEO, and we’re the board members. We work for them, guide them to help make sure that their goals are heard and met. You have to be a team player, and listen; listening to peoples’ struggles, and their strengths, and build on those strengths.

You’ve a valued member of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI & B) committee. What’s your favorite part about serving on the committee?

With that committee, you’re able to learn about other peoples’ race and identity, {and it’s} allowed me to introduce other people to my identity as well. Racism is a learned behavior. I respect Nonotuck for having this committee to slow down and stop that act.

If we can relate to each other, that helps us to build a stronger foundation among our colleagues and friendships, to have us be better employees. When we are out in the community, we work with a diverse group of people, not just nationalities, but {different abilities}. We have to treat everyone as equal, appreciating their differences as well.

It just goes back to respecting our diversity, our equality, and educating as many people as we can, so we can help stop the negativity and oppression in our society.

Who are your personal heroes?

My mother. She definitely gave me my foundation of who I am. She was raised in a small tribal community, raised on a farm. I was raised to be stronger, to know that education was important. She helped so many people in our community go to school, so many people from all different areas: everyone was always welcome.

People always bring up that it was her that helped them get into college, if it wasn’t for her, their life would’ve changed. It’s a rare situation in a Native American family  that all three of her children went off to a major university and made a difference in tribal communities;  that was a unique accomplishment. 

Now—life is a circle, and she lives with me. We almost lost our matriarch in 2022.  I thank Nontouck for allowing time off  and those wellness hours, so I can take time for myself and my family members.

We’re talking during March, which is Women’s History Month. What does the month mean to you?

What Women's History Month means to me is recognizing the women of the past, how those bumpy roads those women paved helped make the roads today much smoother. Women are marginalized in society, {and I} acknowledge how far we’ve come, but also how far we have to go. 

What are your interests outside of work?

I love to travel. When I am able, I will try to go home. I try to take time to visit my local tribal members. I visit my new friends out here, just taking the time to smell the flowers. I try to go to the beach. Relaxing, appreciating the things we have today.

What is one piece of media you’d recommend to someone?

It’s Lumbee Homecoming, Y’All. {a story told from the perspective of an 8-year-old boy enjoying his favorite tradition, Lumbee homecoming} I try to support my nation no matter where I live. There are so many tribes in the United States. We’re fighting for our full federal recognition. No matter where we’re at, I try to educate people about my tribe so they can talk to their senators, or when it’s time for that act, or that law, it can be passed.


“(Through shared living) people with a disability experience a real transformation and discover confidence in themselves; they discover their capacity to make choices, and also find a certain liberty and above all their dignity as human beings.”

Caregiving with Love:
Guide for Shared Living Providers

Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.

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