Tonya joined the Legal Aid Justice Center in the fall of 2014. Before that she worked in education and health advocacy with immigrant communities in the Shenandoah Valley for 19 years through the Shenandoah Migrant Education Program, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, and Sentara RMH Medical Center. From 2016-2017 as part of LAJC, she mentored youth organizers in RISE for Youth, a nonpartisan campaign committed to dismantling the youth prison model by promoting the creation of community-based alternatives to youth incarceration. She continues her connection and commitment to youth and families through RISE for Youth in Richmond. As an artist, she explores the intersection of theater and social justice.
Tonya conducts outreach across the state through the Virginia Justice Project for Farm and Immigrant Workers. During summers she lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia where she collaborates with the local and migrant community in organizing on the rights of agricultural workers. Tonya has lived in Bolivia and Guatemala, and she received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Eastern Mennonite University.