Monica Thomas-Bonnick, President of Edward Street’s Board of Directors, has lived in diverse locales across the country, from Texas and Oklahoma to New York City and now, Worcester.
Each community is unique and faces its own unique challenges.
In Worcester, Monica was initially surprised by the lack of affordable, high-quality early education and care, racial inequities, and income disparities. Yet, her work with Edward Street has filled her with optimism.
“I have hope because I see Edward Street taking a leap and being at the table in conversations around the city,” she said. “The community is recognizing issues that had previously gone unnoticed. People are speaking up and asking questions.”
Currently Vice President, Business Lending Officer at Webster Five and Executive Director/Treasurer at The Webster Five Foundation, Monica has over 25 years of financial industry experience. Before joining Webster Five she held positions at Santander Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, the Girl Scout Council of the White and Green Mountains, Bank of America, Fleet Boston, and BankBoston First Community Bank.
As President of Edward Street’s Board of Directors, she supports the organization’s holistic approach to early childhood.
“We can’t have success in education if we aren’t willing to address other issues such as food insecurity, homelessness, and childhood trauma,” she said. “That’s when children can really learn and grow.”
Monica also believes strongly in the power of financial literacy.
“Financial literacy is just as important as an academic education in overcoming income disparities,” she noted. “We have to start at a young age because that’s when we can make the most impact. The knowledge we can impart and the patterns we can establish become lifelong habits.”
Besides serving on the Board at Edward Street, Monica is also on the Boards of the YWCA Central MA, the QCC Foundation, the Worcester Area Mission Society, and EforAll Worcester. She is a Corporator for the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.
Regarding Edward Street, she is most excited about the next phase of early childhood in Worcester.
“What they do in this community to advocate on behalf of our kids is simply amazing,” she said. “I am thrilled to serve on the Board and to help the community meet the needs of all children and families.”