MaRhonda Echols began her career in public service in 2007 as a Victim’s Advocate in the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Office. It was her responsibility to educate about and prepare young victims and their families for the criminal justice system. After serving in that capacity for three years, she was promoted to Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for the same office. In that capacity, she spent her time educating the community about the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office and coordinating various awareness events. While serving in that position, she also worked alongside the Director of Victim Services as the Advocate for all the gang related homicides prosecuted by the office.
In 2013, MaRhonda became the City of Newport News’ first Youth & Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator. It is her responsibility to coordinate efforts to address the rising tide of youth and gang violence in the City and to work collaboratively with others to address the issue. In this role, MaRhonda is also responsible for the Street Outreach Workers who are the “foot soldiers” in the community and also the coordination of the Summer Training and Enrichment Program (STEP). Although the charge is great, MaRhonda believes that every young person deserves the opportunity to live a positive life and be productive members of the community. Regardless of their past history, they all deserve the chance to change. “There is great potential that lies in each of our youth, sometimes they just need someone to help them recognize that it’s there.”
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services Counseling from Old Dominion University.