Dona Mitchell's nominator would like to remain anonymous.
Mrs. Dona Mitchell is a trailblazer. She goes above and beyond making a difference in the lives of children, youth, teens and young adults. For more than 20 years, she’s been a pillar in the community, a civic leader and advocate for social change via her productions, and literature. She volunteered for several of the City of Dallas Parks & Recreation Youth Programs, the Dallas County Juvenile Department, Dallas County Community College District, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, non-profit organizations focusing on at risk youth, and local government official’s youth initiatives. Her work is geared toward bringing awareness to social issues such as bullying, child abandonment, gang banging, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, mental illness, suicide, and substance abuse through the performing arts. Mrs. Mitchell is a playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer of stage productions and short films that not only exposes youth and young adults to the performing arts but allows them to deal with their social anxieties in a very creative way. It also promotes “peer to peer” mentoring. Because of the positive impact her productions have on young people, she has developed many relationships with the local and national media outlets having been invited to be interviewed and discuss her impact. Dona’s passion for helping youth has inspired her to start her own very non-profit organization called, DGM Foundation, Inc. which allows her to expand her initiatives even more.
Dona has been employed at the Lancaster ISD for the past 12 years. She is the Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police and Truancy Coordinator where she implements her youth initiatives, some of which includes: “Talk Time” for students with Dallas County Judges; Field trips to attend local professional sports venues and attend games at AT&T Stadium, American Airlines Center, and Globe Life Field; Staff & Student Competitions that promote engagement; and radio talk shows that offer parent tips as well as on-air student opportunities and community resources. The latest initiative was the procurement of a washer & dryer set to meet the student’s needs. Dona sought and received a $2500 Education Grant through Metro Tex last year and purchased 4 additional washers and dryers for 4 campuses within the LISD. This year she received a brand-new washer donated by The Home Depot for yet another campus. She works countless hours making a difference and including everyone.
Mrs. Mitchell’s efforts and initiatives are parallel with the mission of Lancaster ISD, in collaboration with parents and communities to ignite learning that translates into sustainable success for all students in an ever-changing society. She strongly supports her Superintendent, Dr. Elijah Granger in taking the students to the next level during the 2019-2020 school year.
Her leadership is across the board and non-stop when it comes to empowering and encouraging others. She is a role model for her colleagues. Mrs. Mitchell has been invited to WFAA’s Good Morning Texas and has shared her work across the state showing students the importance of regular school attendance. She received the 1st Inaugural Juanita Craft Humanitarian Award from the State Fair of Texas in Oct 2018. Her service to students extends to the international level where she serves as President-Elect of the International Association for Truancy & Dropout Prevention. This October 2019, she will be installed as President of the International Association for Truancy & Dropout Prevention as well as completing certification as a National Dropout Prevention Specialist. Mrs. Mitchell has successfully completed The Jason Foundation Bully and Suicide Certification Program. Additionally, Dona serves as the PR/Communications Chair for Lancaster New Centennial Lions Club, and the NAACP, Tri-City (ACT-SO) Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics Judge.
Globally, she is changing lives every day.
“Dona cares about the complete person (student) and their home environment. “She mentors’ students to help them be the best they can be,” said her nominator. "She sets high moral standards for the students and will be a Life Changer forever. Dona deserves this award because she is a Life Changer for students worldwide."
Below are a few links highlighting some of her work in the community.
NATIONAL LIFE CHANGER BLOG: