Penny has been at Wayside since 2003, first working as a residential counselor in what was then known as the Edgell Road Program. Dedicated to young people, Penny initially worked with Boys & Girls Clubs and volunteered as a youth basketball coach. For Penny, the work has always been about engaging in healthy activities and projects with youth focusing on empowerment and pro-social community behaviors. Wayside was a natural transition to continue this work on a larger scale with young people who have a wide range of presentations and needs.
In her current role, Penny oversees Campus Day Programs, Admissions, Nursing, Department of Early Education and Care requirements, staff training as, well as Agency Risk and Compliance. In addition, Penny has been a trainer in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for the last 15 years. This training focuses on engaging in safe and respectful ways to interact and de-escalate young people with an emphasis on empowering them and recognizing their needs from a variety of different backgrounds and mental/behavioral health presentations. The impact of racial trauma, oppression, and systemic racism is an integral part of these trainings. The Courageous Conversations that occur within and after them are invaluable to further advance the care of the youth and staff involved.
Penny has a registered therapy dog named Maximus that she brings to Wayside. She also volunteers at local mental health hospitals and libraries. When not out running, she enjoys working outside landscaping or gardening and creating homemade goodies from the harvest.