Alumni Award Finalist

Tonia Spence

Senior Director of Early Childhood Services, The Jewish Board

New York, NY
Cohort: CCL, New York, 2017

Tonia M. Spence believes in the power of healthy relationships in shaping young children’s lives. She is a clinician, educator, presenter and advocate who has served children and families for 15+ years. As a new clinician, Tonia’s passion to learn led her to a Fellowship program at Yale’s Child Development Center Outpatient Clinic in New Haven, where she was able to strengthen her clinical understanding of young children. She began to recognize how racial tension and stress added an additional layer to the trauma of the children and families she was serving.
Tonia has worked tirelessly to integrate her knowledge as a social worker and educator into an interdisciplinary approach to teaching clinicians, educators and students how to assess, diagnosis and treat young children who have experienced trauma through the lens of racial stress. She is currently the Senior Director of Early Childhood Services at The Jewish Board (JB).  Her work at JBFCS expands to her role as the co-leader of the Administrators of Color where she, along with colleagues, works to impact all staff’s racial literacy. She is passionate about supporting families through challenges and firmly believes that engagement is the foundation of social work. Tonia holds a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Master in Social Work from Columbia School of Social Work.