On more than one occasion, Rhonda Johnson, Supervisor of the Sally Watson Crisis Nursery Program, had to let parents know that she was not Sally Watson. She quickly grew to laugh along with the parents when they learned her real name. It’s moments such as this that breaks the tension and, all too often, the stress associated with coming to the Crisis Nursery. Rhonda’s calm demeanor helped soothe and comfort children and parents. Rhonda knew that parents and grandparents would need to learn to be comfortable leaving their children at Sally Watson and Rhonda’s welcoming interactions helped to put everyone at ease, from the minute a parent entered the front door until the last child was picked up.
In November of 1995 Rhonda began YSI career at Sally Watson Crisis Nursery as a social worker. She came to YSI with experience working with vulnerable children, teens and families. Rhonda’s sensitivity and skills in clinical interactions showed through immediately. Parents, grandparents and children responded to her gentle manner and relished being in her presence.
Rhonda connected with community resources, shared information and advocated for the families that came to Sally Watson. Rhonda was promoted to supervisor in 2001, continuing her legacy of compassion, quality and always doing the best for the children and families that came to Sally Watson for help.
We were all a little sad when we heard Rhonda was moving back home to New Jersey. We quietly hoped she would be with us forever. Rhonda has embarked on another career in the public child welfare system. We know the lives of those she will touch will be better off. We bid a fond farewell to Rhonda and know her impact lives on with the children, parents, grandparents, volunteers and staff who have come through Sally Watson.