DEBORA LEE CHATMAN-WASHINGTON
FOUNDER & SONGWRITER
I was born, Debora Lee Ricks - second child out of six children, I was 7 years old, when my mother abandoned us.
I was raised in a very dysfunctional environment by my alcoholic father. My eyes where forced open to a world beyond my years.
I knew that children had a voice. They deserved to be heard and, “not just seen.” My siblings and I had to fend for ourselves and help raise an infant sister, in our mother’s absence.
I was 15 and 9 months pregnant when I found my mother I was very happy to have her back in my life. She would sometimes watch my daughter while I was in school.
Six weeks after reuniting with my mother I was notified by school officials to go home. My mother was found dead on the floor in her apartment.
At 16, I discovered a solace through journaling my thoughts. Inspired by the Motown Sound especially, Smokey Robinson's voice and writing style. .
At 17, I found myself in the education system, trying to help give back to young people all those things that I so desired as a child—love, hope, and a chance for success.
Debora Washington is living proof that if you believe in the driving force within you and trust God, you will succeed. With or without family, you must keep going and know, God, is with you.
In 1997, my daughter 23 was brutally attacked in the neck with a screwdriver by a 19 year old girl. I loved and cared for my daughter as a quadriplegic. and her two sons while dealing with a trouble marriage.
Influenced by the experiences of my own childhood and upbringing—toppled by my daughter’s fate—community outreach and later a online discussion platform became the driving force behind my mission. These losses, became the pivotal point in strategy services, to help people with the desire to become a better person in this trouble world.
WHAT THE COMMUNITY HAS TO SAY?
KIND WORDS FROM OUR STUDENTS, FAMILIES AND VOLUNTEERS
"I learn so much every day. And it's so much fun too."
"I love volunteering with LLAUS. It's a way to use my talents as a musician to change lives."
"This is my favorite after school program. Our students love it too!"