The Importance of Education: Special President's Message

June 26, 2013


I was extremely honored to attend Program Partner Destined for a Dream’s Fifth Annual Award Ceremony.  Destined for a Dream (DFAD) awarded students on their accomplishments and successful completion of their program. DFAD is an example of how important it is to support our youth and to continue to push them to their best abilities. Their motto “Dream Big” encourages young adults to succeed and to achieve all of their goals. DFAD ensures that students not only have the skills needed for college, but for life. Through their college-prep training program, Dream Academy, students are encouraged to be confident in their capabilities and better prepared to embark on the next steps in their lives. It was so inspiring to see so many young people headed in the right direction after such a challenging year. I am proud of all DFAD’s graduates and wish them continued success.

At the Urban Affairs Coalition, we value education and its ability to empower people.  Education enables young people to expand their horizons and tap into all of their talents.  By building relationships with other organizations and institutions, UAC provides resources to the community in order to make a lasting impact.  UAC’s partnerships with programs like Destined for a Dream, mold future leaders and help them reach their full potential.  It is important to support organizations fostering positive youth development. We need more creative and innovative thinkers who will make a change and improve our communities.  

Students need a healthy and nurturing environment to learn and grow. In order to improve education, there must be help from all areas. It takes a village to raise a child and every institution must fulfill their duties. Parents, teachers, principals, after-school programs, and government all play a role in the education of our youth. To all the parents, be engaged and active with your children. Know how they are progressing in school. Create relationships with teachers. Teachers and principals, be passionate about your work and remain dedicated to the students, their future is in your hands.  After-school programs foster and mentor youth. This should serve as an outlet where students can express themselves and build relationships.

I am committed to supporting the education of young people in our city. I encourage students to be informed and knowledgeable about problems and issues in their communities. Informed leaders make better decisions. I also ask them to find a mentor; someone they admire to help guide them and keep them on the right path to success. Lastly, I want our young people to stay curious. Have questions and seek answers.

UAC believes in the Power of the Coalition to help solve emerging issues and problems. By uniting and working together, we can help develop the city’s youth and ensure that their future remains bright.  

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

President & CEO