Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation
The Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation (DEPJF) is a nonprofit youth development organization. We provide support and guidance to youth ages 12 – 19 years old in the development of fundamental life skills to succeed and be a positive influence in their homes, schools and communities.
The Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation took form as the result of concerns experienced by siblings Tadessa, Dewight and Phillip. Their concern focused on the lack of direction that youth had within the community and what they could do to help improve the future outlook for this generation. The siblings set out on a mission to empower youth to succeed through mentoring. Each sibling worked in their communities along different avenues to change the lives of youth one step at a time. One engaged youth within the community with supportive advice and structure, another worked in leadership capacities within the youth ministries at church and the other spoke to teen groups in various settings regarding the dangers of street life and inappropriate goal setting. Each sibling focused on developing strategies that re-directed behavior and re-framed the thought processes of teens from negative and destructive to positive and constructive. The Foundation bears the name of the oldest male sibling, Dewight E. Patton Jr. (deceased). His life exemplified leading the lives of youth to a better way.
To know Dewight was to love him. If I had to select one word to describe Dewight it would be: passionate. No matter what role he was undertaking: father, husband, employee, employer, son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend or cousin he did it with zeal and purpose. He was never too busy to take a moment to share his perspective with you. He wanted youth to be respectful, dependable, conscientious and goal driven. His conversations with teens always focused on self-improvement and not being afraid to step up and do what is right.
Dewight was quick-witted, smart and funny. His sense of humor was infectious. His wisdom was far beyond his years. His passion to help others was contagious. He enjoyed sharing life with all who crossed his path. He especially loved youth and encouraged both male and female to stay on the right track, be successful at being the best you and don’t give up no matter how things look. He’d â€œdrop knowledgeâ€ to youth in any setting – at the store, at a family gathering and even at church. His love for family extended even to the community. I believe his ultimate goal was for peace and harmony among all generations.
He was involved with the after-school program at the W. D. Tharp Civic Center. He mentored high school and middle school students on the topics of setting and achieving your goals, non-violent decision making, importance of completing school and the impact of drugs on a personsâ€™ life and family.
The Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation is an organization that equips youth ages 12 â€“ 19 years old with the necessary life and social skills to be successful and a positive influence in their home, school and community. We are purposed to changing the lives of youths one step at a time.
We believe that values are practical habits that enable us as individuals to live, be successful and achieve happiness. Our commitment to the importance of values grows from the belief that ideas matter and that an individualâ€™s character is of critical significance. The DEPJ Foundation operates under the following â€œGuiding Valuesâ€ when communicating with each other, the youth community we serve and agencies with which we collaborate:
Gwen Patton, President
The Murton Group
Tadessa Murray, Treasurer
Rose Mary Wilson: Secretary
Voluntary Desegregation Program
Willie Smith, Director
Ferguson Florissant School District
Phillip Patton, Director
MyKing Smith, Director
GEC Psychological Consultants
Aaron Kelley, Director
Latoya Hicks, Director