Teen Challenge Rhode Island | Staff
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Staff

DebDEBORAH MCDONALD

Director

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I was raised with a knowledge of religion, but never fully understood my personal need for God until the year 1990. Once my heart’s eyes were opened to the truth, I completely committed my life to Jesus Christ. I served in a variety of ministries at North Providence Assembly of God, where my brother Pasco was the pastor.

I spent years putting my degree in elementary education to good use in hopes of creating a positive impact on young adult people in elementary school and junior high.  During this time is when I first met and became friends with Jacqui Strothoff. Jacqui shared with me about her long time vision to open a home for women struggling with life-controlling addictions. I saw the beauty of this plan and felt that God had laid a new calling on my heart. Together in 1993, Jacqui and I found a house on Elmwood Avenue that would become the first Teen Challenge New England Women’s Home.

Since the day the doors opened in 1994, my heart has been and continues to be for the Residents of this ministry. Throughout my 20 plus years of service, I have had the privilege of witnessing the miraculous power of God change lives. I consider it a tremendous honor and blessing to serve the ministry of Teen Challenge. I am constantly reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness as I nurture broken women, God ministers to my own heart.

 

To contact Deb McDonald: dmcdonald@tcrhodeisland.org

TABATHA MELLO

Program Supervisor & Admissions Coordinator

 

January 2, 2002, I walked through the doors of Teen Challenge with nothing to my name but a brown paper bag and the clothes on my back. I immediately felt a peace that I have never experienced that I have been searching for my whole life. I came into the program very broken, hard and not sure how to receive love. I came in because I had a severe drug addiction, needed help to break free and was desperate to start a new life.

God had saved me and regenerated my heart 6 months prior to me coming through the doors, so I was willing to learn everything I could about the Bible, prayer and developing a relationship with Jesus Christ. I was willing to go through the very difficult healing process that included everything from abandonment, unforgivness and being a victim of human trafficking. The support and the structure of the program provided me with a safe place to really allow this healing process in my life. Slowly, my heart softened, I was able to receive love and began to trust people and God to move in my life.

Towards the end of the program I felt a very strong calling to stay and serve the ladies that were in the program and help them in their healing process.

I stayed with Teen Challenge for 12 years, and helped out in many different departments. I decided to leave in 2015 to further my professional development. I opened up my own Personal Training business and helped many people get on track with their health and fitness journey. I also received my Real Estate license in 2016 and developed my Real Estate Business. Through all of this time I was not feeling fulfilled and I missed the ministry of Teen Challenge.

In June 2017, I was offered and accepted the position to come back to Teen Challenge as the Program Supervisor and knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be. I was also invited to implement a Health and Wellness program into the structure of the program to teach the students how to exercise and take care of their bodies through nutrition and daily activity.

I am so incredibly grateful to be back serving in this ministry at such an amazing time while there are so many wonderful things happening through all of our campuses across Teen Challenge New England and New Jersey. I am thankful for a heart that I can love people with the same Love God has demonstrated to me in some of my darkest times.

To contact Tabatha Mello: tmello@tcrhodeisland.org

IMG_8284KELLY MAHONEY

Resident Life Supervisor & Maintenance Manager

 

I became addicted to opiates as a division one college athlete. I had always been into the “party scene” but when I suffered an injury that kept me from playing soccer, the sport I loved, my life spiraled out of control. I quickly progressed to using heroin intravenously and it wasn’t long before I lost my spot on the team, and dropped out of school. The next few years of my life were spent in hospitals, detoxes and rehabilitation centers. My family was devastated. I could not believe what my life had become.

On an autumn afternoon I found myself at a small church where I knelt at the altar and prayed “If you are real, please help me. Get me out of this hell.” Less than six months later, I overdosed and was rushed to the hospital. I woke up to my mother at my bedside pleading with me to get help. That day my mother drove me from the hospital to Teen Challenge Rhode Island.

Accepting Christ was a gradual process for me. After some time of fervently seeking the Lord, I had an experience with God that has changed my life forever. Through that experience, I came to know His grace, forgiveness, and love.

I was introduced to Jesus Christ at Teen Challenge and developed a deep love for Him which keeps me clean day after day. I now serve as the Academic Coordinator and the Maintenance Supervisor for the home. I am forever indebted to Him and will continue to serve Him in any capacity He desires.

 

To contact Kelly Mahoney: kmahoney@tcrhodeisland.org

NICOLE BRUMLEY 

Clinical Counselor 

 

I spent years of my life chasing after things I could never quite catch and that always left me feeling ashamed and empty.  I used self-mutilation, relationships, drugs, and alcohol, as a way to escape my reality. The world I lived in was full of abuse, pain, and brokenness. When I walked through the doors of Teen Challenge at the age of 18, I discovered that the reality I had created, was just a fabrication of lies I used to distort my vision from seeing what my “life” had become.

When I found Jesus, I found hope. I found a love that was unconditional and relentless. God used this ministry to show me the way to the Cross of Christ. I found a whole new way of living, which was through faith and trusting in the God who saved me.

Following Teen Challenge, I enrolled in Zion Bible College where I experienced His power in a whole new way. Throughout those years at school, I found no greater joy than serving God in any way I could. I received a B.A. in Biblical Studies and moved on to receive a Masters Degree in Counseling from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. For the past few years, I have had the privilege to work with individuals and families from all walks of life—providing family and individual counseling services as a Clinical Therapist at Community Counseling of Bristol County.

This year, I was presented with the opportunity to provide Clinical Counseling to the women in Teen Challenge Rhode Island. I consider it a blessing and an answered prayer to be able to once again, serve in the ministry that helped save my life.

 

To contact Nicole Brumley: nbrumley@tcrhodeisland.org

TeresaTERESA DOMBROWSKI

Supervision Staff Coordinator

 

Growing up in a really dysfunctional family; I started using drugs when I was 12 years old. This would spark a 22 year battle with substance abuse. I was a full blown drug addict by the age of 14, and began a revolving door of detoxes and programs. By the time I entered Long Island Teen Challenge at the age of 34, I had been an IV heroin user for almost a decade. I had never read a Bible and had no idea who Jesus was. I gave my life to Christ and I have never looked back. After completing the program in Long Island, I moved to Seattle where I stayed for a year-long internship, and was hired on as staff. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve here in Rhode Island and help other lost and broken women find their true identity in Christ.

 

To contact Teresa Dombrowski: tdombrowski@tcrhodeisland.org

IMG_8285DARLENE PETRUCCILLO

Development Supervisor & Kitchen Coordinator

 

Growing up in a traditional Italian family, the kitchen was the central place of my home where I spent countless hours with my mother and grandmother creating meals. There was a special feeling of warmth, joy and hospitality around all of the cooking, serving and entertaining. I enjoyed the interaction as much as the food itself. I felt a sense of joy and fulfillment spiritually as I served my family and others. I am now honored to serve the Lord at the ministry of Adult and Teen Challenge doing exactly what I love to do. I have the opportunity to mentor ladies as we create menus and meals. Bringing the warmth, joy and love into the kitchen that I grew up with is beyond anything I could have imagined.

 

To contact Darlene Petruccillo: dpetruccillo@tcrhodeisland.org

stephTCStephanie Chenes

Administrative Assistant

 

I grew up in a Christian home where I was always taught to give my whole heart to others, even if sometimes you feel you have nothing to give at all. In my early 20’s I experienced two major losses within the same year, one of whom was my dear father, who helped start the ministry of jewelry making here at Teen Challenge Rhode Island. As a result, I have dedicated my life to help women who also have experienced pain, grief and heartache. The ministry of Teen Challenge has always been such a blessing in my life. As I watch God’s handiwork here daily, it is my prayer and hope that I too will be a vessel for God in the lives of these ladies.

 

To contact Stephanie Chenes: schenes@tcrhodeisland.org