Brenda de Jong
Program Administrator, Writer, and Mentor in Fire Island, New York
Brenda de Jong is the author of several short stories and pieces of flash fiction, along with her soon-to-be published book, "My Name is Elpee". Ms. de Jong holds an M.S. degree in Human Services Leadership and has worked with populations that include: victims of domestic violence, substance abusers, people with mental illness, individuals with HIV/AIDS, and nursing home residents who desire to return to the community.
With a minor in Women's Studies, Brenda has, for several years, set about the task of mentoring women in various capacities, especially in the areas of education and empowerment. As a devout student of the Universe, Ms. de Jong maintains a daily vigil of sustaining and furthering her spirituality, especially within nature. She is an avid barefoot, tree-hugging, candle-lighting, ceremonialist, who conducts full-moon, solstice, and equinox ceremonies, individually and with groups on Long Island and at her home on Fire Island.
For many years, Ms. de Jong was an avid runner as well as a serious weight trainer until a reckless and avoidable accident rendered her incapable of walking. Although she has not be able to resume those activities, Ms. de Jong, rather than cursing the darkness, blesses the light of the Universe and focuses on gratitude for being able to again walk unaided.
Having lived both a very conventional existence followed by an unorthodox and checkered lifestyle, Ms. de Jong has been known, over a cup of tea, to share some of her secrets with certain people; other secrets, however, she will simply smile while thinking about, but will discuss them only with those who helped make those stories.
You can connect with her on http://cherrycottagefi.com/, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and about.me.