LIMA — Given that she lost her mother to a house fire at the age of 13, Rochele White can relate to kids whose parents are absent or deceased.
That’s among the reasons she established Rochele’s Nursing Resources and founded the Victoria Program, the latter of which is named after her mom, who perished in 2013.
“I wish there would have been a program like this when I needed it,” said White, who opened her business in January 2019.
White, a single mother of five, has been serving the Lima community’s youth since 2009. She conducts events that support anyone struggling with any mental health issues.
Although not a licensed nurse, White has worked in the developmental disabilities field for two decades and is credentialed as a psychiatric attendant. She refers to herself as an activist and entrepreneur.
“I really enjoy working with people in this community,” said White, who schedules the events and prepares all of the food. “I strive to serve as much healthy foods as possible because good nourishment promotes healthy bodies and minds.”
Linda Scott, owner of Ella B’s Mental Health Home in Lima, has worked with White for a couple of years.
“Rochele is so nice and kind. Every time I ask her to volunteer, she is willing to help,” Scott said in reference to White’s assistance when it comes to moving a client, for example.
What’s more, White also collaborates with the Allen County Historical Society & Museum. From the spring through autumn, the Victoria Program’s outreach can be found “throughout local parks, gas stations, shops and many poverty-level areas” around Lima, she explained.
“All of my activities involve stress-relieving in some way,” said White, who knows about stress, given that her 5-year-old son, Rashawn Petaway, endures Wilms cancer on the heels of surgery to remove a tumor from his kidney.
Those medical setbacks didn’t diminish the boy’s enthusiasm about his mother’s work projects.
“Rashawn always asks when the next Victoria event is,” White said.
Along those lines, she plans to set up online events in the near future, in part because White has drawn interest from contacts in Indiana.
No matter where she rolls up her sleeves, White’s motivation and determination don’t waiver.
“My children are my biggest push to continue,” she said.
Reach James Luksic at 567-242-0399.