On June 6, Teona McGhaw joined the staff of Paraquad as Organizing and Advocacy Specialist. An accomplished organizer and advocate, McGhaw comes full circle in that she received services from Paraquad as a child. McGhaw was born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency). Shriners Hospital helped Teona overcome the barriers connected to her disability, and she serves currently as an ambassador for the hospital, as a mentor for parents whose children were born with birth defects.
McGhaw was a criminal and traffic paralegal for over 20 years working with Attorney Randall Cahill, St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, and the late Attorney Tim Higgins. She has run for political office and recruited other women to seek elected and appointed positions. In 2022, after being a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Greater St Louis for 10 years, she was elected their State President. She is the first African American to hold this position.
Jeanette Mott Oxford, Public Policy and Advocacy Manager at Paraquad said, “Paraquad is fortunate to add Teona to our team, especially in this time when our region is experiencing an accessible transportation crisis. Teona’s passion, skills, and network of allies enable us to leap forward so that we can organize people with disabilities to have the strongest voice possible in the public policy arena.”
Teona has three sons, Trevion, Tyrion, and Alphonse IV. Her greatest joy is her three grandchildren, Izaiah, Alaia, and True. She is engaged to be married to Leroy Ward on April 9.
Paraquad is one of the oldest and largest centers for independent living in the U.S. To join the advocacy network at Paraquad, contact McGhaw at email@example.com. Call-A-Ride (paratransit) users are especially invited to join weekly organizing sessions by Zoom on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m.