Rhonda was a life coach before life coaching was cool.
During a turbulent childhood, she developed buckets of empathy early on. That’s made her passionate about helping moms and girls, giving them the tools to avoid similar abusive experiences.
Rhonda was traumatized by sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
Her father was an entrepreneur, which required her family to relocate frequently (she attended five high schools, skipping her junior year), and she became an easy target for bullies at school.
Rhonda became quite resilient … and, unfortunately, a people-pleaser. In fourth grade, she announced to her mom, “I’m a volunteer,” but when her mom asked what she had volunteered to do, she said, “I don’t know, what does it mean?” She just understood it was a good thing.
Enrolled in a finishing school at 15, Rhonda learned more than presentation skills – she started learning how to be a leader with civility by her definition: to be caring, considerate, and courteous. However, her early efforts at defining herself were often undone by bullies, abusers, and her inability to choose to not stay a victim, the crucial step in the process of escaping maltreatment. This may explain why she married the wrong men – abusive husbands – until much later in life.
As Rhonda matured, she began to “define herself before others do,” becoming a dancer at Walt Disney World, a college student council senator and cheerleader, a flight attendant, and an actress, working in New York and Los Angeles. Despite some successes, while in college, she was raped, and was still a people-pleaser fighting for confidence through her creativity.
Starting a pre-school program called DramaPlay, Rhonda taught more than acting and included creating positive behavioral patterns and manners in her curriculum.
She found the courage to stand up for victims of incest and abuse after the death of her father. She was a corporate trainer, developing and implementing educational programs while traveling the globe and speaking. In addition, in 1993, she started her first nonprofit organization. Based in Los Angeles, her “S.T.O.P. Child Abuse Theatrical Organization and Productions” charity produced theater to create funds and awareness for already-existing child abuse organizations, such as Children of the Night and KidsPeace.
Rhonda prayed for five years and underwent a unique fertility operation to give birth to her miracle son. After becoming a single mom, shortly after his birth, she continued her corporate career while life-coaching parents with the goal of preventing children from being abused and bullied. Thanks to the valued help of her community, church members, and friends, she continued to pursue her main mission in life: to help her son grow into the loving, caring adult he has become.
After Rhonda married her most abusive husband, who raped her and attempted to have her murdered, she became more than just a suicide survivor who existed; she began a transformative journey, developing and utilizing her “5Cs” – civility, confidence, courage, creativity, and communication skills.
In 2014, Rhonda at last met and married the man of her dreams in Prescott, Arizona. He’s a TV and print journalist who lives his primary value of integrity. He worked with Rhonda’s second nonprofit, “Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation for Girls.” As a speaker and trainer, she held civility leadership academies and trained at schools and clubs like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, and Girls, Inc, utilizing her Triangle of Triumph™ to teach the path from Victim to Survivor to Leader.
For almost five years, she was a columnist, writing “Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri…” with her writing partner, Cheri L. McDonald, Ph.D., LFMT. The columns appeared in the Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper, and other local papers.
Today, Rhonda and her husband live in the Los Angeles area, near her musician and physics-major son, where she continues to be a speaker, podcaster, and advocate for children. Rhonda also fights to help stop the burgeoning suicide rate that goes hand-in-hand with bullying.