Genelle Thomas, Director of National Initiatives, is passionate about supporting organizations to become inclusive environments where youth and young adults can grow and thrive. She has over 22 years of experience in non-profit management, including at the executive and board levels. As a woman with a chronic health condition, she understands the way in which our environments can become barriers or facilitators to success and wellness. She leverages both her professional experience and lived experience to ground her work.
She has authored/co-authored a number of publications, including “Best Practices for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities,” “National Implications for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities,” and “Expanding Access and Inclusion for Youth with Disabilities: An Inclusion Guide for America’s Youth Programs.”
Genelle was the co-chair of the Leadership and Mentoring Task Force for the Global Partnership for Children with Disabilities, and a co-founder of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition. She holds a B.A. in psychology and M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Harvard University Extension School. She is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at the University of North Florida. She has received several awards for professional and community leadership including “Women of Influence” (2011) and “40 Under 40” (2012) from the Jacksonville Business Journal (Florida).
Outside of PYD, Genelle enjoys activities with her family (especially soccer games, going to the beach, and playing games), cuddling with her dogs (Padme and Chewie), hanging out with friends and neighbors, dancing at Zumba, and spending time outdoors.