Rhonda Sciortino was abandoned as a very young child, and became a ward of the court until she emancipated at 16. Except for a brief time with a wonderful foster family, those first 16 years were spent in the custody of a mentally ill man and alcoholic woman–her grandparents.
When Rhonda was eight years old, the little shack where she lived was destroyed by fire. They had no insurance, and for months they were homeless. Rhonda vividly recalls wearing the same filthy sundress and flimsy dimestore flipflops to school day after day for months after that fire.
At age 15 Rhonda decided to seek emancipation. One of the prerequisites was that Rhonda have a job, so she went to work for the first person who would hire her–an insurance agent. When her employer explained the concept of insurance, Rhonda was flabbergasted. “You mean someone would have paid for our house to be rebuilt AND given us money for clothes and a place to sleep?”
Rhonda learned everything she could about insurance. Despite being denied again and again, Rhonda repeatedly petitioned the Insurance Commissioner to allow her to sit for the insurance agent exam even though she wasn’t yet 18. An exception was finally granted, and Rhonda became California’s youngest licensed insurance agent at 17.
At the age of 27, Rhonda’s passion for good child welfare providers and appropriate insurance intersected. She committed herself to protecting people and organizations that protect children. She had personally experienced excellent foster care during her short time with a foster family, and she knew the shame of homelessness as a result of inadequate insurance. Rhonda quit her job and started her own retail insurance agency which was dedicated to protecting and defending the good people and organizations that care for abused children. A few years later, she opened a national brokerage which helped insurance brokers all over the US protect the child welfare organizations in their areas.
In 2008, Rhonda sold Child Welfare Insurance Services to Markel Insurance Company. After serving for several years as their National Child Welfare Specialist, Rhonda left to serve as the chairperson of Successful Survivors Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to helping survivors of trauma mine the lessons out of their adverse experiences, and use those "assets" to create personal and professional success.
Rhonda now helps kids and families in her roles as the National Champion for the LOVE IS ACTION COMMUNITY INITIATIVE, a speaker, trainer, and a supporter of Safe Families For Children, For The Children, GAMECHANGER Opioid Awareness Initiative, and for the other partner, program, and resource organizations of Love Is Action.
Rhonda is happily married to Nick Sciortino. Their greatest joys are their daughter, son-in-love, granddaughter, two grandsons, and the large and loving Sciortino familia.