De Vondalyn is an entrepreneuse and educator at her core. The youngest of her mother’s three daughters, she has always carried the entrepreneurial spark. Her grandfather, George Patterson, was an architect and drafting teacher in the mid-1950s. In fact, he even opened his own firm then, too– a time when African-Americans were not making such moves. His reputation as an educator remains distinguished among the Jacksonville community to this day. De Vondalyn, looking to preserve her grandparents’ legacy, opened a charter school in Jacksonville under their name: Patterson Academy for the Arts. The school’s mission was to educate at-risk and underprivileged students, but unfortunately, the school did not pan out. Ten years later, De Vondalyn is fueled by that fact and is currently completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership to help her open her own charter school consultancy.
What is your business? Consulting By DEsign exists to assist new charter school teachers with professional development strategies. Administrators will be able to tailor their professional development uniquely for their teachers.
Who are your clients? I work with charter school administrators who want their new teachers to have a leg up in providing education.
What are some business wins? Consulting By DEsign’s one-of-a-kind approach to professional development is a win within itself. It’s a needed service for charter school agents.
What are your short-term goals? My short-term goals are to consult with all of the charter schools in Lakeland within the next two years. Within that time, it is my hope to broaden my services through a non-profit charter school consortium.
Why Lakeland? After hearing why Catapult was birthed, I believe Lakeland is the premier place to start my entrepreneurial initiative, and I’m confident in the success I will achieve because of this city.
How has Catapult helped you? So far Catapult has helped me find another sort of familiarity. I’m not typically a person that looks to be a member of a secret society or group, but in Catapult, I have found a like-minded community that will embrace my uniqueness instead of besmirching it.
Secret Sauce? The secret’s in my name. I’m uniquely named, so it provides me the edge without effort. Being named after both my grandmother’s, I possess the likeness of the two which is empowering in and of itself.
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