Trauma in the Lives of Kids and Families. First Lady Tonette Walker
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First Lady Tonette Walker was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She spent more than 20 years employed in the insurance industry before working for the American Diabetes Association. Currently, the First Lady works in the development department for the American Lung Association in Wisconsin.
As First Lady, Mrs. Walker most enjoys using her role to help improve the lives of the people of Wisconsin. She is currently working in partnership with various foundations and nonprofit organizations to better recognize, understand, and address the effects of trauma on the lives of children and families in Wisconsin through her Fostering Futures Initiative. Through this partnership, she hopes to establish the state of Wisconsin as a national leader in the Trauma-Informed Care movement.
Mrs. Walker also works regularly with Teen Challenge of Wisconsin, a faith-based organization dedicated to the healing and rehabilitation of those with substance abuse addictions. The First Lady works to raise awareness for the group throughout the state and also assists Teen Challenge in their fundraising and expansion efforts.
In an effort to promote health and fitness and to showcase some of the beautiful but lesser-known sites across the state, Mrs. Walker invites the people of Wisconsin to “Walk with Walker.” At each walk, the First Lady is joined by local residents, visitors, and friends and family to walk a short trail and explore Wisconsin’s most picturesque scenery. Additionally, Mrs. Walker hosts women from all over the state for an annual Wellness Weekend to promote healthy lifestyles.
Wisconsin is home to some of the friendliest and most giving people in the nation. To recognize the generosity of many Wisconsin residents, the First Lady presents a Wisconsin Heroes Award. The award goes out quarterly to a resident who voluntarily devotes his or her time and energy to a nonprofit organization or cause. The First Lady understands the value of this devoted volunteerism and honors these “heroes” who ultimately make Wisconsin a better place.
The First Lady and Governor live full time in Madison at the Wisconsin Executive Residence. Oldest son Matt graduated from Marquette University and is currently working for Associated Bank in Milwaukee. Younger son Alex graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is working in politics.