Friday, February 23, 2007

Inner city youth now in college. . .

Janet Morrison, Ed. D., serves as our Director of Children's Education here at Central Dallas Ministries.

For over a decade now Janet has been working with children to provide them high-quality, experiential educational opportunities. Combining exposure to all sorts of learning situations with a determined leadership and personal development strategy, Janet's program has produced results.

In addition to the program side of her work, Janet has lived in one of our target neighborhoods since she arrived in Dallas in 1995. Her natural influence in the neighborhood has been fun to watch.

And then there is the Central Dallas Church where Janet has been working with and helping shape children and teens over the same period.

Janet's reach and that of CDM has been constant. Along with many disappointments, lots of really wonderful and amazing things have resulted in the lives of children and youth.

Last week I asked Janet how many of the children we have touched and worked with across the years are now in college. She sent me a list of 23 students!

That may not sound like a very large number, but take it from me, it is an amazing number when you take into consideration the household incomes, the neighborhoods and other facts of daily life for these great students and their families.

I feel the need to list their names and where they are studying today--it's about honoring them and Janet for the hard work and for the persistent team effort.

So, here's our current list:

Tiffany Johnson, Junior, Baylor
Whitney Haywood, Fresh, El Centro
Albert Ross, Fresh, El Centro
Adrian Williams, Fresh, El Centro
Johnas McKinny, Fresh, El Centro
Ronyell Byers, Fresh, El Centro
Britney Brown, Fresh, trade school @ El Centro
Nicholas Donald, Fresh, Richland
Erika Lopez, Soph, Eastfield
Anabeli Ibarra, Soph, Eastfield
Jessica Orogbu, Soph, TAMU-Commerce
Bridgette Miles, Soph, TAMU-Commerce
Terrance Johnson, Soph, TAMU-Commerce
Keith Davis, Soph, TAMU-Commerce
Lamanda Brookins, Soph, TAMU-Commerce
Kieva Moore, Senior, Stephen F. Austin
Oscar Aparicio, Fresh, UT-Austin
Kim Aparicio, Graduate entering med school
Britney Hay, soph, Navarro
Ernest Wheeler, Soph, Navarro
Fredrick Williams, Soph, Lamar University
Veronica White, Soph, Tougaloo University
Danielle Owens, Fresh, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona

I am so proud of these young people! I am so grateful we've enjoyed the opportunity to work with them. They have given back so much to CDM, to their families and to our larger community. And, of course in that regard, the best is yet to come!

I am also grateful for Janet Morrison. What a difference she has made and is making!

Bravo, Dr. J!


Anonymous said...

You said: "That may not sound like a very large number, but take it from me, it is an amazing number when you take into consideration the household incomes, the neighborhoods and other facts of daily life for these great students and their families."

In fact, it is a very large number. It is a remarkable number. One might even argue that this one accomplishment justifies every penny ever given to Central Dallas Ministries.

The research is clear: the path to improvement lies through the doors of education. And the fact that 23 students are now on that path is remarkable. Because we know that most of these 23 would not have taken this path without your work.

I know Janet Morrison. Her dedication and commitment to the students she touches on a daily basis is the stuff of legend. And for those who might wonder if what you do makes a lasting impact, I recommend that they simply take a look at this result. This impact is lasting.

Thanks for this wonderful update.

Randy Mayeux, Dallas

Fajita said...

Thanks for the update on this measurable success. Although it might sound like an offkey note, people on the outside (current and potential contrbutors, oberservers, perhaps even critics) want measurable success. They want to know that they were a real help in a real way that matters and success that can be quantified like this really helps.

I would challenge contributors current and potential that there is no dollar wasted that went toward a person and was given in love. The value of the gift given is quantified by God, so far as you are concerned. So, you did good whether someone goes to college or not. You did good by giving to God; God does good whether you give it or not.

God allows contributors to be involved in the good work He's already doing. God has humbled himself to be influenced by our contributions of time and money. So, we honor God's humility by giving - the more the better.

As a blessing to the giver as well as the recevier (who is who is tough to say sometimes) God provides something special in the interaction. Someone goes to college and gets new opportunities on one end while someone else gets to matter in a person's life.

Generosity is beautiful in every direction and should provoke an ever deepending sense of humility and appreciation for the fragility of this world, but also for its resilient beauty.

owldog said...

I know the "program" for the prayer breakfast is probably full BUT PLEASE mention these kids and those facts, it is awesome news and needs to be heard. I agree with Randy & Fajita, the giving keeps on giving with these kids that are getting an education and can give so much to those around them way more then finances, hope love, understanding and lots of encouragement.

bpb said...

How exciting!! Keep up the good work!

Michael Davis said...

Congratulations to CDM and these young people. I come from a similar background, and always appreciated the people that helped me along the way.

These kids are truly the future. We will not be a great city unless we develop and encourage inner-city youth like these you have mentioned.

Joe Mixon said...

WOW, what a great job. This should lift everyone higher. God works his will and the fruit of his plan is good. I praise Dr Janet for part in the "PLAN". Others may respond to this outstanding effort by joining.

Fajita said...

Dr. Janet! I love it.

LaShay said...

I will second the "wow" from above! It is great to see the hope so many have for young people taken into action. I am sure it has a lot to do with Janet's relocation into their neighborhoods, as well as the consistency of the outreach. This seems to be another example of empowering people to make a difference, evidenced by the students making a difference themselves now. This is very encouraging!

Anonymous said...

There are so many students that live in the inner city and those that are not that believe that they are not able to go to college and that is a result of so many factors. There is only so much that education can do for a high school student; they need encouragement, love, hope, and knowledge of how to get into college. Helping 23 students get to college means that those students can help others get into college, which means more education and less ignorance for those who live in the inner city. bravo, encore, please keep doing what you're doing to build hope for those who don't believe that college is an option.