The Dallas Nicole Foundation launched Nov. 23 with a huge event at the Eastern Market Shed 3 in Detroit. The Dallas Nicole Foundation partnered with the Massive Group to present “The Edutainment Series” which featured recording artist Wale and native Detroiter T3 of Slum Village. The DNF’s mission is to positively impact the youth in the metro Detroit area and serve the communities by promoting and increasing education with activities such as mentorship, tutoring, health and fitness.
Rolling out sat down with the beauty and brains behind it all, founder Sabreena Williams.
When was the Dallas Nicole Foundation founded?
The foundation was founded in April of 2015. Today is the day we are actually launching the foundation over a year later. This is our first event launching the Edutainment Series. The Dallas Nicole Foundation is based on education, health, fitness, and life skills. The foundation was birthed in my spirit for two different reasons. My grandmother was an educator, my great-grandmother was an educator, and my great-great-grandmother was an educator as well. I had the opportunity to go into the school systems and teach and I was disheartened when I got there. The students were on all different levels; I was making multiple lesson plans and that was an issue. I had to do something about this. When I found myself making lesson plans and mentoring these students, I found myself getting lost in time. It didn’t matter to me whether I was getting paid for it or not. This is what I want to do; it’s in my heart.
Where does the name of the foundation come from?
Dallas Nicole is my granddaughter and some of the things we don’t do enough in our community is that was we don’t build enough for our children and your grandchildren. My granddaughter is 2 years old, but when she becomes a teenager, she’s going to be heavily involved in this foundation. I’m trying to build something that’s going to carry on and on.
What types of events will you provide for the children participating in this program?
We’re going to have after-school programs where we’ll go into the schools and supplement what they’re doing. We’re not going to bring anything new, but these students may not pick up the material in the 45 minutes they have in a class period. We’re supporting the school system as well. The national assessment for educational progress states that we have fallen below proficiency levels over the last three years; this is a call to action. These students are the next generation and will be taking care of us in the future. We have to make sure they have what they need.
What school areas will you be targeting?
We’re looking at the Detroit metropolitan area. The foundation was founded in Detroit, and this is where I want to start.
What is the Massive Group?
The Massive Group deals with entertainment and we came up with the Edutainment Series because these students don’t always learn by a lecture. Some students learn by practical application and they like music and dance so that’s a good way they can learn. Putting educational facts to a song with a beat behind it and a dance will help them learn.
How can people get involved with the foundation?
We are looking for volunteers who can hop on our website at dallasnicolefoundation.org and sign up. You don’t have to have a degree; there’s a lot that can be done logistically. You could help with social media or develop programs and much more. If people know schools that may need us, we want them to reach out. We’ll meet with administration and they can let us know which children need help with what; we want to meet them where they are at. This is all no charge and simply us volunteering to support.
As a woman, how do you balancing family and your organization?
I haven’t really given too much thought to that. It’s really just in my heart so I make time for it all. I feel for those especially children who need help so I help them and I’m going to continue to help them because they need me.
What advice do you have for those who may want to help or start a foundation such as yours for the youth?
Look into yourself and see what you like. What is something you would do that you wouldn’t mind doing if you didn’t get paid for it. I’m an engineer by trade but I love my work as an educator. It just so happens that engineering has a lot to do with math so I teach math. Do something that you like to do and that’s how you can help. You’ll get lost in it and it’ll become your heart. The money won’t matter anymore.
Photos credit: Image Masterz (except where noted)