15 Feb New Hope’s Black Leaders: Lonya Thompson
As we celebrate Black History Month at New Hope of Indiana, it’s important to us to highlight a few of our amazing black leaders.
by Lonya Thompson, NHI Manager, Behavior
I have been with New Hope for 21 years. I first started as a DSP at New hope while going to school to complete my Masters degree. Once I completed my Masters degree I took a job in Community Outreach as a Homebased Therapist. I advanced to become a supervisor in Community Outreach, and really enjoyed my work there. My passion really lead me back to working with individuals with disabilities so I stepped into my current role as Behavior Manager in 2015.
I was born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas. I identify as African American, but I am also a descendant of Native Americans. Both of my grandmothers were Native American. I moved to Indianapolis after my twin sister moved here. At that time she was in the Army and was stationed at Ft Harrison.
Black history is import to me because it gives African Americans a chance to reflect on our history and the opportunity to spotlight and celebrate African Americans’ achievements and contributions to this country. Being African American definitely has impacted my view of the world. You definitely get a chance to see life with a different lens, the good and the ugly side of being African American. I unfortunately have experienced some of those negative experiences of racism DWB (Driving While Black). However it is those experiences that made me stronger and determined to succeed and to choose the profession of a social worker. I wanted to work in a field that not only was rewarding, but that also gave me an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of other people. I also wanted to make sure that I had a job that promoted equality for all people regardless of race, income or abilities.
I like that New Hope is an inclusive environment. They do a great job trying to promote equality and diversity within the company. Acknowledging the Black Lives Matter movement is important. New Hope definitely live by their Core Values. New Hope has helped me professionally to be able to achieve my goals of going to school and working at the same time. They have given me the opportunity to grow within the organization and to continue working in the human service field that I have a passion for.
There are many reasons I love my job. I enjoy working with my team and other team members. I admire how we all try to work as a team to get things done. How we are all passionate and determined to make the lives of our clients as meaningful as possible. Also what I really love about my job is the clients that I have the opportunity to meet and get a chance to know here at New Hope. Their life stories and accomplishments always put a smile on my face and give me a peace of mind that my job does make a difference in the lives of others.