Donyel served as a Child Protective Services worker in Gaston County for nearly nine years where she conducted investigations of child abuse and neglect. From 2004 until March 2016, she served as the Executive Director of Family Promise of Gaston County (formally Gaston County Interfaith Hospitality Network, Inc.), a program dedicated to helping families in crisis and in homeless situations regain their independence and self-sufficiency. As director, she helped numerous homeless families transition back into their own homes as well as prevented many under employed individuals from becoming homeless through the services she was able to provide. Under her great leadership, Family Promise received Gaston Together’s 2006 Organizational Leadership Award. Donyel was also one of 10 citizens in Gaston County to be named Family Advocate of the Year for 2005 and received a medal for this honor. On March 7, 2016 Donyel accepted the call to become the new Community Centered Health Coordinator for Gaston Family Health Services, promoting community engagement, while identifying the social determinants leading to poor health in the community, in hopes to improve the overall health of the community.
Current Organizations and Affiliations
- Board Member - Diversified Business Professional Association
- Board Member - Warlick Family YMCA
- Board Member - First Legacy Community Credit Union
- Leadership Gaston Advisory Committee
- Human Rights Committee for Holy Angels
- Lifelong Member - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- Parliamentarian - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- Past President - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- Charter Member - Gastonia Piedmont Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
- Treasurer - Gastonia Piedmont Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
- Treasurer - Piedmont Chapter of The Links, Inc.
Honors and Awards
- “Community Service Award” - The Gastonia Las Amigas
- “Omega Citizen of the Year” - Epsilon Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
- “50 Most Influential Women” for 2013 - Mecklenburg Times
- 2014 Dr. Edward D. Sadler, Jr. Award - United Way of Gaston County
- 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment to building a stronger nation through volunteer service from the President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama
- 2017 (non Elk) Citizen of the Year - State of North Carolina Elks Convention
- 2019 MLK Unity Award - Gaston Clergy & Concerned Citizen Coalition
- 2019 Grassroots Political Engagement Award - 2019 Communities Joined In Action Conference in Seattle Washington