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Have you ever had to reinvent yourself, because of the big changes in our local economy or in your personal life? Did you lose a job, go back to school, do things you never thought you’d be doing? What is that like?

ReInvention Stories: Tonya Thomas & James Wilson

James Wilson and Tonya Thomas
Emily McCord
James Wilson and Tonya Thomas

This week on ReInvention Stories, we meet Tonya Thomas and James Wilson, a couple from downtown Dayton. Tonya spent a decade working as a cook in Georgetown, Ohio before a divorce turned her world upside down and brought her back to Dayton. Tonya’s been with James for almost two years now. She’s in her mid-forties and he’s ten years older. They are both unemployed and struggling with health issues. James is looking for work as a truck driver.


This story was produced by Emily McCord, Steve Bognar, and Sarah Buckingham.

ReInvention Stories is brought to you by WYSO and Localore, a national initiative produced by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated – in collaboration with Zeega- with financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Also visit ReInventionStories.org.  You’ll find a super cool multi-media, interactive website that tells seven more reinvention stories in a longer format. And that’s where you can tell your story and include your
own photographs.