Long Island, NY, native Yvonne Reventlow climbs ladder at SCOPE
HOWLAND — Yvonne Reventlow has come a long way since moving to Warren in October 2010.
Reventlow, 46, grew up in Long Island, N.Y., where she worked as a certified nurse’s assistant for a company called Personal Touch. She came to this area because her companion landed a contracting job. Shortly after arriving in Warren, she found out she was pregnant with her second child, Jake, now 10. She also has a daughter, 15-year-old Victoria.
Life took a series of twists and turns and Reventlow became a single mother. She applied for food assistance in April 2012 at the Trumbull County Department of Job and Family Services, which required her to get a job.
“I was sent to Trumbull County SCOPE, where I mopped floors, scrubbed toilets and washed dishes,” Reventlow said. “I didn’t even know what SCOPE was at the time.”
She did those chores as a shift worker and also worked in the kitchen preparing free senior meals for several months before then-SCOPE manager Marge Haley recognized her “knack for helping people.” She moved Reventlow into a part-time front desk receptionist’s job at the Warren SCOPE Center while she was still getting assistance from JFS.
“I would take phone calls, make tax appointments, transfer calls, take messages, sign up members for activities, memberships and Ohio Buckeye cards,” Reventlow said.
In 2013, she was moved to the finance department where she handled the financial aspect of all centers.
“I was doing accounts receivables, payables, deposits and ordering all of the supplies for all the SCOPE centers. As the years have gone by, I have expanded and started to cover center manager shifts if they needed coverage for a center,” Reventlow said. “I also traveled to Brookfield and Newton Falls and volunteered my time to call bingo to a group of seniors living in a development. I also managed the Champion site, which is now closed.”
When the Champion SCOPE closed, she went back to the Warren site.
“Some of our sites serve nutrition lunches through the Office of Elderly Affairs, and I volunteered to learn how to run the nutrition site just in case the site manager was unable to come in or even just to cover while they were on vacation,” she said.
After two years of working at SCOPE through the JFS program, former SCOPE executive director Ralph Smith hired Reventlow full time, allowing her to get off public assistance.
“I was thrilled to have a normal, regular job,” Reventlow said.
She has worked at the John D. Emanuel Senior Citizen Center in Howland for several years, including as bookkeeper and program manager. Now, she is the manager at the Howland SCOPE Center, which she has been doing since Nov. 1.
SCOPE Executive Director Mike Wilson said Reventlow has been recognized as one of the outstanding staff members by SCOPE’s parent organization, Family and Community Services.
“Her support during the AARP free tax preparations and restart of the centers (after COVID-19) will bode well for her experience to get Howland up and running quickly,” Wilson said.
That she did, organizing a cornhole tournament Dec. 7, a holiday card making party on Dec. 9 and a Christmas party for 60 people on Dec. 20.
“I consider myself a well-rounded employee. I have gained so much knowledge and still enjoy learning new things. I love the opportunity SCOPE has given me. I have worked very hard over the years to get where I am now as the Howland center manager and I am blessed,” Reventlow said.
“I love working with the seniors. I get right in there and do the activities with them. Bingo, fitness classes, arts and crafts — I do it all,” Reventlow said. “When the coronavirus happened, all of our centers were shut down temporarily and all of us managers stayed on and delivered groceries to the homebound seniors around Trumbull County, which gave me some time to get to meet more seniors that were at home and were unable to get out. It brings me such great joy to know that even if it’s the smallest things I do, at least I can put a smile on someone’s face.”
She said Wilson is more than a boss and has become somewhat of a father figure for her.
“He has been so great, and I appreciate him giving me this opportunity,” Reventlow said.
She said she is open to suggestions from the SCOPE members and tries to accommodate them if they ask for a particular snack, craft or activity. She also gives credit to her staff, which includes receptionists Zoe Datson and Tina Gill.
Her own father is deceased and her mother and older brother, John, still live in Long Island.
When she is not working, she enjoys watching NASCAR and growing flowers in the garden behind her house, which is near the upper campus of John F. Kennedy Catholic School. She said one of her favorite activities is taking her son and daughter for weekend drives around Ohio to expose them to rural living and Amish country.
“I love taking them to Mesopotamia and Middlefield, as well as the Ashtabula harbor. There is so much to appreciate here,” Reventlow said.