Children’s Center CEO fulfills life’s purpose of helping others
As president and chief executive officer for The Children’s Center of Wayne County, Debora Matthews is fulfilling what she describes as her life’s purpose — helping others. “My personal mission in life has been to make sure others are successful,” says Matthews. “My own success means nothing if I can’t help others along the way.”
Matthews leverages more than 30 years of management and finance experience to fulfill The Children’s Center mission of helping children and families shape their own futures. Born to a teenage mother herself and raised primarily by her grandmother, Matthews learned early just how challenging life can be. Those experiences formed the foundational cornerstone hat guides her compassionate leadership today.
“I had a rocky childhood, but I always had people in my life who were strong and rescued me,” she says. “Because of the love and compassion that was shown to me, I was able to excel. Now I have the chance to be the strong one for others. I am called to give back.”
While the road of service has always been the path Matthews has taken, the area of social services was not her first career choice. Good in math, Matthews initially desired to be a teacher, later a CPA. As she grew in her career experiences, she could not shake the burning desire to go into the field of social work. Her experience working with non-profits and charitable organizations intensified her desire and calling to make a difference for others.
Having the opportunity to work in public and private sectors, Matthews knows there is a strategic plan for success in business and in life. She is determined to share her gifts and expertise for the strength of children, families and ultimately our community. Her efforts do not stem from a place of judgment, but rather a place of compassion to see others succeed.
In addition to empowering organizations and individuals in the areas of leadership and financial stability, Matthews is passionate about helping children in abusive and neglected situations. Carrying a special love for single mothers, she works diligently to advocate, provide support and connect families with resources that will ensure a better quality of life. She is recognized nationally for her vision and commitment on issues of cultural competency, diversity and child welfare. Through such methods as hands-on mentoring, practical coaching and roundtable discussions, Matthews is touching lives with compassion.
Committed to service, Debora Matthews serves as a board member for Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc., board chair; Michigan Federation of Children’s and Families, treasurer; Association of Accredited Child and Family Agencies; and the Autism Alliance of Michigan.