NextStep at Endeavor Academy Hires Program Coordinator | Local

Special for Floridian

NextStep at Endeavor Academy has hired Ronda Burke to serve as the program coordinator. She will be responsible for a wide range of administrative and management functions.

NextStep at Endeavor Academy launched a beta program in January as it finalizes its lineup. Six participants learn independent living and career-readiness skills in a classroom and through community experiences.

Burke brings 30 years of administrative and management experience, retiring as a human resources manager at the Federal Department of Justice in Marianna. After Hurricane Michael in 2018, Burke served local and surrounding communities as a disaster case manager for a local nonprofit United Methodist Committee on Relief, helping uninsured and underinsured families recover from the hurricane damage.

“Working with NextStep is an exciting opportunity for me to give back to the local community and apply the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired over the course of my career,” Burke said in a NextStep press release announcing his hire.

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In addition to his work experiences, Burke serves his church community in various capacities. Additionally, she has formed a volunteer group of local seamstresses who turn donated wedding dresses into burial dresses for stillborn babies. In turn, the funeral robes are donated to the Jackson Hospital Obstetrics Unit.

Burke earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources administration from St. Leo’s University.

“Having worked 30 years for the federal government, Ronda is extremely qualified to oversee our programming,” said NextStep Director Tammy Dasher. “She brings a wealth of experience and innovative ideas to her role and is personally committed to serving our population of people with autism.”

NextStep is started by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and Endeavor Forward Inc., a non-profit organization. Next step at Endeavor Academy is part of the 1,200 acre mixed-use Endeavor Park development on the site of the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

Participants learn a range of topics such as finding a job and navigating the workplace, overseeing personal finances, staying safe at home and in the community, managing friendships and family relationships, dealing with roommates, managing physical and mental health, conflict resolution and coping skills, and navigating transportation.

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