Tonya Johnson-Cooper

Tonya Johnson-Cooper has fought for the social welfare of our community’s most vulnerable children for more than thirty years. It is her firm belief that her most important charge is to be a voice for young people who are silenced in the face of violence, trauma, grief, negligence, and

Tonya is a recent retired twenty-nine- year veteran of the Mount Vernon Public School system, where she served as a social worker at the elementary, middle and high school levels. In this role, she was responsible for the well-being of students whose academic lives are impacted by
compromising personal, family and environmental factors. Also in this role, she was called on to lead crisis intervention, facilitate individual student, group and family counseling, sessions, and she was one of two district representatives to Mount Vernon Youth Court.

However, given the nature of her work, Tonya often went beyond the call of duty to ensure students are fed, clothed, and reassured there is hope beyond their circumstances. No matter what school she has provided social services, her motivation to help change the lives of her
students was foremost. Yet, it was her work as a caseworker and senior supervisor for the former New York State Bureau of Child Welfare, now Administration for Children’s Services which laid the foundation for the work in the education arena. As a city social worker, she investigated allegations of physical, emotional and psychological child abuse. Often, she had to report her findings to the judges in Family Court, where again Tonya advocated for the best interest of the child. 

In her role as a senior supervisor, she guided and directed a unit of five caseworkers, then moved to training incoming caseworkers. To date, Tonya has impacted the lives of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of infants, youth and adolescents throughout New York City and Westchester
County. Her work was defining, and she could not imagine any other professional career. Before working in the educational system, Tonya worked as a drug and substance abuse counselor for Student Assistance Services, an agency that places counselors in schools throughout Westchester County.

Tonya is a proud alumna of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. She is also a graduate of Hunter College, where she earned her Master of Science in Social Work. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker and holds permanent Public School Teacher certification.

Tonya’s leadership extends to the Westchester Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Alumni Chapter of North Carolina A&T State University and serves as the vice-president. She is a member of Greater Centennial AME Zion Church in Mount Vernon, N.Y. and she shares an Ambassador donor level to the Smithsonian National Museum of African
American History and Culture with her daughter. After God her greatest joy is her grandson of seven months

Felicia’s Promise works to provide technical and non-technical resources and training to prepare young women on STEAM career paths with communication, entrepreneurship, leadership, and other necessary skills that the organization deems necessary to uphold its mission.

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