Tona Buck was born in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on April 20th. She is the proud mother of two children; her son, Lindsay Tyrell and her daughter, Tayanna. She is also the proud Gigi of her beautiful granddaughter, Lindsey Olivia, whom she calls her very own “grand angel.” Tona has lived in the city of Trenton since she was a year old. She was educated in the Trenton Public Schools System. She is a graduate of Thomas Edison State College. Tona’s ultimate goal in life is to speak to millions of people in hopes of impacting as many lives as she possibly can. Tona’s loved ones would describe her as a passionate, world renowned motivational speaker.
Tona briefly relocated back to her birthplace of South Carolina in 2006 where she was the director for the CB Berry Community Center, her heart and loyalty lies with Trenton, New Jersey.
Tona recognized at a young age that she loved helping people. She began assisting the Trenton community by taking on many endeavors. The theme of community empowerment is echoed throughout all of Tona’s work. She recently finished composing the documentary, “Why We Didn’t Tell,” a narrative about African American sexual assault survivors. Tona reached the realization that she is a smaller piece of a large puzzle in the under-disclosed issue of sexual abuse in the African American community. Tona feels a calling and responsibility to educate the public about this ever-present, yet under recognized issue. Tona organized Trenton’s First Sexual Assault Month Walk.
As an AIDS outreach educator for the Urban League of Metropolitan Trenton, led her to coordinate Trenton’s first AIDS Walk. As a former AIDS Educator and teenage mother, Tona felt it was important to create the MAC (Making Affirmative Choices) Program, whose foci is to empower pre-teens to make positive choices.
Along fellow Trenton community members, Tona helped to create an organization known as City People Taking Action (CPTA), a community empowerment organization. CPTA was active in promoting a vast array of awareness events, including coordinating Trenton’s first Cancer walk. CPTA proudly organized ten Trenton annual Cancer walks. As president of CPTA, Tona had the opportunity to work side- by- side with many community members on this mission.
Tona has also served on various organizations and boards, including: West Ward Partnership Corp. Board, Trenton Public Library Board, and BraVa Cancer Outreach Board. Tona ran for West Ward City Council. While she took 2nd place in the election, she felt as if she won by rallying others in her community to become active and more informed in local politics and the overall election process.
Tona’s commitment to empowering her community also includes a great focus on educating and empowering the minds of youth. Tona is the former owner of Angels “R” Us Daycare, providing childcare to infants and children. She was also Site Manager for Gregory School’s Urban School Service Corps. Her responsibilities included, but were not limited to supervising the After-School Program and coordinating Gregory School’s Program Activities, which garnered plentiful participation from community members and parents. During the time in which Tona served, she helped assemble the largest PTA in Trenton. Tona served 8 years on the school’s “School Planning Management Team” in Trenton, 4 years at North Myrtle Beach High School, and a total of nineteen years as PTA President.
Presently, Tona is employed at Village Charter School of Trenton. She is also the creator and author of a children’s book series titled, “Soul Collections.” Tona is currently a consultant for Yale University, facilitating workshops on mental health illness issues. Additionally, she also enjoys organizing events as the founder of Touch of Elegance, event planning for all occasions.
Spirituality is vital to Tona’s ability to give back to her community. As a licensed minister, Tona says that she is truly blessed and that it is only by God’s strength that she could have accomplished all that she has thus far.
Tona also believes in the power of a healthy lifestyle. Tona was an aerobics instructor and dance teacher for over 20 years. She is the founder of “Toning with Tona,” a whole health and wellness program aimed to educate people about creating and maintaining a healthy life style.
Tona’s widespread work experiences are reflective of her eternal devotion to empower, educate and encourage others to live and lead the best life possible in an educated, self-thriving community.