Toni Knight arrived in Greensboro as a student at UNCG in the 1960's and has remained here doing good things for the community for over fifty years. She majored in social studies, taught for about 8 years, and returned to the University for a master's degree in counseling. Toni was so well liked by the faculty and staff at UNCG that she was asked to lead the advising center for the Pedagogical Studies Department. While her position evolved over time, she spent a career giving students sound advice about classes, details about their respective majors, and even some sage advice about career choices.
One of Toni's many good deeds along the way was the starting of a group she called Tomorrow's Place. It is a support group for women to sit and talk about life, whether it be working through problems, adjusting to life changes, dreaming about the future, or just discussing the present moment. For the first year, in the mid 1980's, the group met over soup at Toni's house. This was a time when the women's movement hadn't really started and there weren't many options for organized support for women. Today, the group meets at the First Lutheran Church of Greensboro and the format is a brown-bag lunch. Tomorrow's Place continues to help women celebrate the good times and endure the difficult ones. Three original members still actively participate. Tomorrow's Place doesn't have a website and mostly gets new members through word-of-mouth. The group has also formed a book club and pot-luck supper club. These women love being there for each other.
For the last five years, Toni has worked part-time for East Lawn Elementary School in Burlington. She is the volunteer and community coordinator, working for one of her former Teaching Fellows, whom she advised while he attended UNCG. She is also involved in Eldercare and is committed to helping her 90-year-old mother continue to live at home. Together, she and her husband, Tom Smith have three children and seven grandchildren- the joy of their lives.
Today is ABC Wednesday and for our A-Z People Series, "T" is for Toni. However, if we had to pick a letter of the alphabet to represent Toni, it would be "C," for "caring" as she is such a caring person. With respect to what Toni likes about Greensboro, she loves how beautiful the city is and the fact that even the poorest neighborhoods are clean and litter free. We are so lucky she has made Greensboro her home.