Program Success November 2014 | Page 25

It is my belief that a broader understanding of WHO Dr . Mary McLeod Bethune was can bring about a clear understanding and acceptance to make her standards for life and living as relevant today as when she walked the earth . I also submit for your consideration that in today ' s world , that understanding is critical to bringing our communities and our young people in particular to a higher level of achievement in both professional and private existence . It is also part of rebuilding the bridge between Bethune -Cookman University and the community which is vital to the survival of both .
By engaging in academic dialog and critical thinking on the Life of Dr . Bethune while enabling community participation in this dialog , the process for the creation and development of a learning environment which builds character and strengthens faith is begun .
Dr . Mary McLeod Bethune believed that her school was to serve the community not just by being present but by being engaged in determining the direction , focus , growth and development of both infrastructure and strategic plans of operation for maintaining economic stability and quality of life . Lead by example . Her example was one of unselfish giving and unending determination to create stability for our communities and the country .
She began her school in 1904 to educate women because she knew that by educating women you would educate the entire family . In 2012 that has not changed but today it is both young women and men who must be given tools for understanding how to make that education work today . They must have full knowledge that they have value and must demand respect . If they do not value themselves , no one else will . Being immersed in the life and accomplishments of Dr . Mary McLeod Bethune , in a manner that makes her life real , her humanity visible , and her methodology relevant in today ' s world , can be the keys to freedom and a higher standard of living for this next generation .
Dr . Mary McLeod Bethune was a stranger in her own town and even today her great accomplishments are better known in other places than in the city where she spent most of her life . Her life is filled with notable , barrier breaking accomplishments yet many only know that she " founded Bethune-Cookman University ". To know her is to be lifted to a higher realm in the manner in which you process information and to clearly understand that giving up is never an option .
This Black woman from Maysville , South Carolina was relegated to be a sharecropper ' s daughter and work the tobacco fields , yet she became an advisor to 4 United
States Presidents , founded the National Council of Negro Women , was appointed to the founding body of the United Nations and received hundreds of awards for her work . Her imprint is stitched into the very fabric of American history and culture and even today we struggle to do what seemed so very easy for her . She was an agent for change and had the ability to make even those bent on segregation , bow to her direction . Her strength was in her undying faith in God and her belief that if her mission was His purpose , everything she needed would be provided so she just pressed forward , towards the mark of a higher calling .
" Invest in a human soul ... Who knows , it might be a diamond in the rough ."
" Without faith , nothing is possible . With it , nothing is impossible . Faith in God is the greatest power, but great faith , too , is faith in oneself. "
Mary McLeod Bethune
The Construct of Dr . Mary McLeod Bethune Dr . Evelyn Bethune Daytona Beach , Florida November 2014D
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140 S . Beach Street , Suite 107 Daytona Beach , FL 32114 Phone : 386-202-2077 Fax : 386-868-5368 www . mmbinstitute . org admin @ mmbinstitute . org