Strength in Community - A Volunteer Family Mentoring Program

Strength in Community is a new faith-based family mentoring program designed to help lift up children and families in need - those living in poverty or suffering emotional traumas and behavioral problems that can instigate or perpetuate it.  The backbone of this new program are volunteer family mentors - Christians within our broader Shenandoah Valley who commit to "walk with"  a family in need for several months and assist them in acquiring the resources they need to be independent and better able to support their children's future academic, emotional, and financial success. No special skills are required to be a mentor, simply a willingness to share your own experiences and life skills by serving as a friend, advocate and bridge to the community.

Strength in Community Workshop

A Strength in Community Workshop will be held February 3, 2018, beginning at 8:00 the Charterhouse School in Edinburgh, Virginia.  Join us for a day of fellowship, networking opportunities and talks by people who have made huge differences in their communities through family mentoring.  Find out how you can make a positive difference in your community.

Workshop Agenda - February 3, 2018

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration, Coffee Social, Networking

9: 00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. Welcome and Opening Prayer, Pastor Darlene Wilkins, UMC Mount Pleasant Charge 

9:10a.m. – 9:25 a.m. – Introduction to Charterhouse School Edinburg - Ms. Tonya Salley-Goodwin, Principal of Charterhouse School 

9:30 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. - Concrete Tools and Strategies For A Community to Alleviate Poverty  - Ms. Debra Burton, Director of Lynchburg Bridges Out of Poverty Program, will describe the problems faced by families living in poverty and present community practices that can alleviate it.

10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. - Keys to Success in Richmond's Open Table Program - Ms. Rochelle Butler and Ms. Erica Mann, Directors of the Open Table Program in Richmond, VA and the new "Systems of Care" program getting underway in Winchester.  The Open Table Program paired mentor families from local churches with families in need.   

10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. How Trauma-Informed Care in Our Schools Can Make A Positive Difference - Mr. Wade Puryear – Vice President of Education, Charterhouse Schools, UMFS Richmond, VA.

10:50 a.m. - 11:10 pm Break

11:15 – 11:40 Helping Law Enforcement Combat Drug and Human Trafficking Problems - Mr. Scott Thompson, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office and Ms. Tess Hudson, FBI will speak about the problems of drugs and human trafficking in our community, the children and young adults at risk of being exploited, and what our community can do to help combat these problems.

11:45 – 12:00 – Introduction to Family Promise Shenandoah - Ms. Sherry Arey, Executive Director of Family Promise Shenandoah will describe the challenges of implementing the Family Promise Program in a rural setting and the best practices realized in the first two years of operations.

12:00 - 12:45 - LUNCH BREAK and Table Discussions With Presenters

12:45 – 1:15 - Family Promise Family Mentoring Program  - Ms. Donna Lawson, Senior Trainer, Family Promise National Family Mentoring Program will discuss the goals of the program, initial mentor training requirements and some of the successes that communities have had implementing it.

Call to Community - Ms. Katherine Dinsdale, Director of Family Mentoring for the Family Promise Affiliate of Lawrence, Kansas. Ms. Dinsdale will discuss some of the lessons learned and the factors that they believe led to success in their particular family mentoring program.

1:15 – 1:30 – Strength in Community - Next Steps 

1:30 p.m. - Closing Prayer, Pastor Elfie Finn-McKenzie , UMC Edinburg Parish 

1:40 - p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Afternoon Networking 

About the Speakers

Tonya Salley-Goodwin


Tonya Salley-Goodwin joined UMFS in 1998 as a youth counselor and relief youth counselor in the UMFS Treatment Program. In October 2007, Tonya was hired as the coordinator for Charterhouse School Day Program. Tonya started her career as a special education teacher in a residential facility for children. She was also Head of Academy for several specialized schools in the Richmond and Middle Peninsula areas. Tonya has a bachelor’s degree in history/political science. She attended Old Dominion University where she obtained certification in the area of emotional disturbance and holds a Virginia teaching license in special education. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in education and supervision.

Wade Puryear


Wade Puryear earned a master’s degree in special education from Old Dominion University, a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University and a post-graduate degree in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds a Virginia postgraduate professional teaching license with endorsements in administration and supervision, English, ED, K-12, and specific learning disabilities K-12. He supports and directs all Charterhouse School programs in Richmond and Edinburg. Since 2001, he has held increasingly responsible positions in private day school and residential school leadership and operations in various nonprofit organizations. Wade has a passion for giving students with special needs opportunities for vocational training and other life skills that will help them become productive and contributing members of their communities. Wade is enrolled in VCU's post-graduate certificate program for professional counseling and is pursuing his credentials as a licensed professional counselor.   

Sherry Arey

Executive Director, Family Promise Shenandoah

Donna Lawson

Senior Trainer, FAMILY PROMISE National

Katherine Dinsdale

Family Mentoring Program Director, Call to Community Lawrence, Kansas


Workshop Registration

There is a registration fee to cover the cost of refreshments and lunch.   The registration fee is $10.00 if you purchase your ticket by January 26, 2018 and $15.00 after this date. Registration/tickets for the workshop may be purchased and donations made online through Eventbrite - Strength in Community

Continuing Education Units

We are currently working to get continuing education units (CEUs) for this workshop.  Will post an update soon.

Map to Charterhouse School Edinburg

508 Piccadilly St

Charterhouse School