Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Paul Anthony Samuelson (1915– ) Biography to Bessie Smith (1895–1937) Biography » Westina Matthews Shatteen Biography - Developed Early Desire To Teach, Learned Leadership And Faith From Strong Mentors, Built Scholarship Program For Underprivileged Children

Westina Matthews Shatteen - Developed Early Desire To Teach

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Westina Matthews was born on November 8, 1948, and raised in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where her father, Wesley Matthews, served as an African Methodist Episcopalian minister and her mother, Pat Matthews, worked as a journalist. Even as a child, Matthews showed a desire to lead. In the third grade she ran for class president. Unfortunately she lost by one vote. "I didn't vote for myself, because I thought to be a nice person I had to vote for the other guy," Matthews recalled to Essence. "Since then I've always believed in and voted for me first."

Reverend Matthews had a deep influence over his daughter. "My father gave me spirituality, kindness, open-mindedness, and integrity," Matthews said in an article on the Working Women 2000 and Beyond Web site. The result was a life infused with faith. "Under my picture in the yearbook at Yellow Springs high school, a friend wrote the scripture verse, 'Go ye therefore and teach all nations,'" Matthews told the Catholic Expert Web site. "Early on, people identified within me a strong faith and a sense of service and community and giving back."

Matthews earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education from the University of Dayton, a private Catholic school. Though she was only one of 19 African-American students when she arrived in 1967, Matthews quickly established herself as a campus leader. She was elected the first black homecoming queen in the university's history. "I remember on the float as we went through Dayton we went through the black community, there were people on the street crying," Matthews recalled in a press release on the University of Dayton's Web site. "It finally hit me that they were crying because they were so proud." Before graduating, Matthews would also be named Outstanding Elementary Education Senior and one of Dayton's Top Twenty Students.

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