Executive Director-Life Enrichment Group; Philanthropist; Grant Writer; Mentor; Community Minded; Social Entrepreneur
Miss Monika C. Mathews has committed her life to empowering those around her to become their ideal selves by teaching how to step into greatness in all aspects of life, despite negative living environments that affect emotional health and growth. She is skilled in mentoring overlooked youth, conflict resolution, parental engagement, advocacy and organizing, inspirational leadership and cultural competency. She has been gifted with the ability to organize and mobilize individuals in the community, particularly youth, to work towards building safer and stronger networks. These gifts, talents, and experiences converge to create a unique experience for all with whom she comes in contact. In 2003, Miss Mathews formed The Life Enrichment Group (LEG) in response to a disproportionate number of students of color with a lack of cultural knowledge of themselves while failing in school. Using African dance classes as a catalyst to draw young women, Miss Mathews began developing mentoring programs that focused specifically on providing holistic experiences for young people. Currently, LEG programs-Young Queens of Seattle(personal development program) & Know to Grow(college preparation program & HBCU tours) can be found within several Seattle Public Schools and in the community at large. Miss Mathews states her philosophy, “The strongest piece of a good foundation is based on positive relationships that are nurtured, which has proven to be an effective intervention for overlooked youth to help shape/change attitudes associated with participating in destructive behavior. The overarching goal is to positively promote success in youth by raising their self and mental awareness of unique gifts and talents that they possess while they blossom towards their fullest potential!”
Miss Mathews has over a decade of managerial and direct service experience in programs involving at-risk youth and families, she has developed and implemented programs across Seattle for various organizations, in both corporate and nonprofit entities while shadowing top executives to refine her leadership skill. Her previous experiences are rich and includes serving as the Director over the Preschool at both Van Asselt and African American Academy elementary schools. Using Developmental Assets and Strengths Based Approaches as a foundational tools she ensures that youth have the proper support which dramatically lowers negative behavioral issues. In between her teaching career, Ms. Mathews explored the corporate and nonprofit world serving as a Case Manager, Housing Counselor, Foreclosure Counselor and Grants and Compliance Manager. Ms. Mathews’ experience is also strengthened by her extensive involvement and leadership within the community including single handedly raising capital to rebuild Van Asselt Play Area on Beacon Hill and improving community relations and assisting in the design and fundraising to renovate Flo Ware Park in the Central District. She is currently volunteering to renovate Beer Sheva park in Rainier Beach. She has directed and choreographed countless other performing arts ventures and community service projects in which young people can express their creative selves.
In March 2012, Miss Mathews was the youngest woman to receive the Freedom’s Sisters award granted by the Ford Foundation for her dedication and commitment to empowering youth across the city. In 2013, she was the youngest woman to receive the Time in Her Hands award from the National Council of Negro Women based in Washington D.C. Miss Mathews has received countless other awards in response to her passion for serving youth and families including the 2017 Women on the Rise award. Creating safe environments socially, emotionally and physically while ensuring young people are receiving a proper education are at the core of her work. Miss Mathews is a leader within communities in Seattle and surrounding areas.