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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Deborrah "Dee" Gilbert, Founder & Chief Storyteller
Moretta Community Development Foundation
MCDF Board President and Chairwoman
Since 1972, mother, daughter, sister, auntie and community friend of my local hometown and proud resident of the wind- and sun-rich High Desert in San Bernardino County, of the Mojave Desert Region of Southern California.
From my story, a few heartfelt thoughts...
DREAMS. DRIVE. DETERMINATION.
What happens when little girls dream big? I'm a graduate of Hesperia Elementary School, Apple Valley Sr. High School, Victor Valley Community College and Marinello Beauty College (Licensed Esthetician). To every teacher and administrator of every public school I attended, to every counselor, every janitor, every teacher's aide; to every sports coach, every home economics and performing arts instructor, to every cafeteria / nutritionist / cook; to every bus driver, to every crosswalk safety officer; to every community college professor, I thank you. To my second language instructors, you helped create the tools I'd use to successfully navigate the culturally diverse international world.
To every Black and Brown teacher who endured the personal challenges of "racial equity" and fairness in development, I celebrate you ~ as your commitment to the love of teaching all students was both impressionable and endures. You helped forge new pathways of opportunities and you did it with grace, dignity and style. I am but one student who took notes and comfort in the power of seeing teachers in my classrooms who looked like me. Your original examples in pursuit of access, diversity, equity and INclusion modeled the way. You taught me how.
You all taught, you mentored, you instructed, you counseled, you kept us safe, you did your best in each and every role of my childhood and young adult learning experience. I learned because you studied and taught. You created inclusive pathways and guided me along the way. You challenged me to be curious and then answered my questions. You encouraged me along the way. You inspired me to become the best version of my young self, and when my math teacher gave me an "F" for sloppy work, he also gave me an opportunity to earn the "A" reflective of my true potential he saw, even when I couldn't see it myself. I wasn't his only student. His roster was full, but he made time to tell my parents, challenge me and never gave up; and I never forgot. That moment built my confidence and helped make me the community and economic development champion I am today.
I wasn't perfect, but I watched and listened. I was impacted by your passion and gifts. You made a difference. I appreciate teachers. Every day is teacher appreciation day. You are the community of rock stars, superheroes and protector angels of the dreams of little children and our youth facing the challenges and new hopes of the future.
You sowed great seeds. With loving parents and a supportive community, you taught me skills and abilities to succeed in life. You continue to make the difference in all things "social equity, student-centric and educational excellence."
Thank you for your accomplishments. I am forever shaped and grateful.
~ With Love From "Dee"
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D. Gilbert, President & MCDF Board Chairwoman and Publisher, SYSTER Project REACH Magazine
Copyright © 2007 - 2022 SYSTER Project - All Rights Reserved. SYSTER Project is an empowerment program of the Moretta Community Development Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization TIN #47-3314714.