The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) would like to warmly welcome new board member Deitra Matthews, MPA. She is CEO of The Ram Foundation and serves on HA’s Support and Education Committee.
A graduate of Savannah State University, Deitra holds a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in public policy. She also holds an undergraduate degree from Coker College where she double majored in English and psychology. Deitra was awarded Honorary Letters of the Doctorate for Christian Humanitarian Services from Central Christian University of SC in 2018.
As the former government relations manager and lobbyist for an environmental and conservation organization in South Carolina, Deitra firmly believes that any public policy that is filtered through the question of “How are the Children?” always yields the most durable outcomes. Her love for children and their families directly speaks to her earnest commitment to preserve and protect the environment.
“I believe that every Hydro Warrior story or journey is just as unique as one’s finger print.”, said Deitra.
Deitra currently serves as the CEO of The Ram Foundation. The RAM Foundation was created to address the academic, social and wellness needs of youth and their families in the Pinehurst community and surrounding areas in Columbia, SC. The primary objective of the RAM Foundation’s Reading, Arts and Mathematics Summer Enrichment Program is to:
- Offer a safe haven for children during the summer months while guardians are employed or seeking employment.
- Assist students with maintaining learned information from the regular academic term; thus, combating the suggested 1/3rd of information lost during the summer months of inactivity.
- Divert the many obstacles that inhibit academic and social growth.
- Expose children to educational and fun opportunities through field trips to museums, both locally and in the surrounding states.
Deitra is an active community advocate who very often voices the concerns of underserved children and their families. Her board involvement includes The Ram Foundation and Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. Deitra also serves on the HA Support and Education Committee, the South Carolina Conservationists of Color, and The National Council of Negro Women.
Deitra is married to Colonel (RET) Brian D. Matthews, and they have two daughters – Caroline (16) and Claudia (12). Caroline is affected by both hydrocephalus and spina bifida.
“Being a mother of a child living with Hydrocephalus is scary. Watching my daughter live with the uncertainty and unpredictable occurrence of a shunt failure is terrifying. That is why being an advocate for her and others living with Hydrocephalus is so important to me and my entire family.”, said Deitra.
Her past memberships include The Children’s Defense Fund Fellow, Parent Advisory Board with Richland County School District Two, Junior League of Richmond, Virginia, Junior League of Fayetteville, North Carolina, NAACP – Kansas City, Kansas Chapter, NAACP – Columbia, South Carolina Chapter, and Save the Children Action Network where she served as the Voter Engagement Lead.
Deitra is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and the Columbia MOLES.
Meet our entire board of directors here.