As a former staff member and current volunteer with the Central Dallas Ministries education department, I have been consistently challenged and inspired over the past 6 by the commitment, innovative thinking, and quality programming provided by the leaders of this organization. I am most familiar with the work of the education department led by Dr. Janet Morrison. Dr. Morrison ensures that members of the community play the most important role in the goals and work of the programs under her leadership. The education department maintains a focus on the capacity of the parents and students in the community to find solutions and to improve neighborhoods themselves. Therefore parents and students are engaged and connected in meaningful ways. There is a serious focus on innovative ways of supporting and supplementing quality education, through creative uses of technology and project-based learning within the after school and summer environment. The education department seeks to build rapport and relationships with the neighborhood school and advocates for students by raising awareness about various public policy issues and concerns. The education department emphasizes college-readiness and consistently guides students toward those goals through college-visits and tours in all programs and other college-readiness efforts in the MTU and Teen U programs. Dr. Morrison ensures that the education department is committed to excellence in every aspect, from the staff chosen to lead the programs, to the professional development of the staff, to the evaluation of staff as well as program outcomes, to the implementation of research-based practices and innovative technology, to valuing and engaging the parents, students, and community in every way. All programs are based on an unwavering belief that all children have the capacity to learn and that all children deserve opportunities to receive a quality education and go prepared to college, regardless of income level or background. From the After School Academy, summer program, to Teen U, to Mid-Teen U, to Digital Connectors and Connect U, to the Roseland Library/Bookstore, the CDM education department is doing wonderful things in the Roseland community and making good use of all resources designated to these programs. I highly recommend this organization and its goals and work.
One of the most innovative and entrepreneurial social services organizations in the Southwest, CDM is leading the charge to shift the sector away from charity and towards sustainable change in the lives of our low-income neighbors.