The greatest gift we can give a child is the gift of an education.  The greatest hope for ending poverty is through education.  With these two beliefs, the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation was created to provide educational and enrichment opportunities for the 7500 low income children living in Vickery.
The mission of Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation (VMYDF) is to provide resources and opportunities for children and youth in the Vickery neighborhood allowing them to achieve their full potential.
Vickery Meadow is a highly diverse, low income neighborhood in the northeast section of Dallas.  The neighborhood is framed by Northwest Highway on the south, Royal Lane on the north, Central Expressway on the west and Abrams on the east.  More than 35,000 people live in Vickery Meadow apartments and more than 40 different languages are spoken.

Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation Video


In the summer of 2007, John Neill and other friends of the Vickery Meadow community provided soccer and basketball programs for the neighborhood children. In the process, they experienced firsthand the joy of these children, while realizing their many needs. Their experiences that summer ignited a passion to develop a strong, organized, and evaluated effort to provide a continuum of educational and enrichment programs to carry children from birth through high school and into higher education.
Funds to develop programs for youth in Vickery Meadow were accumulated through the 1st Annual Great Investors' Best Ideas Foundation's ("GIBI") investment symposium in October of 2007. John Neill and Shad Rowe created this annual seminar which brings together the best minds of the financial world to share information with the attendees. Renowned speakers donate their time, money, and insights to help raise funds for the Vickery Meadow youth and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for research on Parkinson's disease.
Due to the success of the investment seminar, the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation was founded. All funds donated to the Foundation are used for youth programming in Vickery Meadow and board members provide the funds for administrative costs.

For information and tickets for The Great Investors' Best Ideas financial symposium, visit



Martha Stowe is the first director of VMYDF.  Her years of experience in creating nonprofits, leading community development, and her past work in Vickery Meadow made her a logical choice for the position.  Her role is to know the needs of children in Vickery and to find effective ways to address those needs. 
Martha has a Masters in Social Work and has been working in Dallas with various programs for over 30 years.  She has helped start 10 nonprofit agencies or programs in Dallas.  She has received local, national, and international awards for her community work.  Her passion is to provide opportunities for all children to have the education and health they need to create the life they want to live.


Dr. Morrison-Lane is the Director of the EAGLE Scholars college readiness program, a program that works with over 120 7th through 12th grade students who come from over 15 different countries and speak over 30 languages. Her passion for education began not long after she graduated from college when she watched a fifth grader struggle to read three-letter words. She decided her Bachelor of Social Work wasn’t enough. She returned to school at Texas A & M - Commerce, where she earned a Master of Science in Reading and an Ed. D. in Supervision, Curriculum, and Instruction while working for CitySquare as the Director of Education. Janet works closely with the schools in DISD and has served as a board member and committee chair of the Friends of the Dallas Public Library.


Esther works closely with the high school students in the EAGLE Scholars college readiness program.  Esther’s expertise in college applications and scholarships is utilized to engage the students in properly and successfully applying for schools and funding.  Esther’s people skills, industriousness, and creativity engage the students in a variety of life enriching activities. Esther is a proud graduate of University of Texas at Arlington.  Recently, she completed a two-year commitment as a classroom teacher in the Mississippi Delta through Teach for America (TFA). Prior to that, Esther had served two AmeriCorps terms with EAGLE Scholars.

blanca Lerma, parent liasion

Blanca organizes weekly opportunities for parents of the neighborhood to receive valuable information which helps prepare their children to succeed.   Blanca is bilingual, incredibly creative, organized, and leads with heartfelt wisdom.  Blanca has been with the Foundation from its inception.  She was chosen because of her talents but also because of her many years of living in the neighborhood and knowing the community members.  Blanca is certified to lead Triple P Parenting programs and Parents Anonymous parent groups.

Board Members

John Neill, President and Founder
 The Telesis Company

Harry Smith, President Elect
 Pegasus Bank

Ellen Wood, Treasurer
 Teaching Trust

Paige Brauer, Secretary
Community Volunteer 

Susan Hicks
 JP Morgan

 Jonathan Hustis
 Teakwood Capital

Sally Spurgin
 Writer, lecturer at SMU

Barbara Neill
Community Volunteer

Bianca Andujo
Bank of Texas

Frank Nuchereno
Commercial real estate