Melvia Lee Wright was born on July 19, 1938 in Summerton, S.C. Melvia graduated from Wheelock College
in 1974 with a degree in Early Childhood Development.
On May 5, 1971 she began working at the Bromley Heath Infant and Toddler Day Care Center,
as a Teachers Aide. Louise Bowditch, who was the director of the Day Care Center at the time, was leaving. Louise went to
the Lying-In Hospital, which sponsored the day care center, and informed them that Melvia was the best and only candidate
to replace her as the Director of the Day Care Center.
In 1975 Melvia was appointed as the director of the Day Care Center. Melvia’s
hard work, kindness, and love for the children of Bromley Heath became legendary in the development.
tenure at the Infant and Toddler Day Care Center, Melvia left lasting impressions on all of her “children”.
Many, grown now, still remember the time that they spent under her loving care and direction. Melvia
believed that all children should have a good, loving foundation, and the day care center was a place that would provide this.
that in the day care business funds weren’t always available when she identified a need for a program or things were
needed that would benefit her children. She was often known for digging into her own pockets, to make sure
her children received the very best that her center could offer. When “her children”had children
of their own, they sought after the “BEST Qualified” to be in charge of their care, none other than Mrs. Melvia
Patten. She believed in setting the foundation on good soil.
Her dream was caring for and nurturing
children by teaching them right from wrong, and encouraging them to get good grades in school. She was very proud when they
would return to show their progress, or when she would receive invitations to graduations and also as she watched as they
went off to College. A tremendous sense of pride showed each time she handled a child.
Melvia was also
active in the community and was a member of the Bromley Heath Tenant Management Corporation Board of Directors and the
Martha Eliot Health Center Advisory Board.
In 1986 Melvia received the Black Achievers Award for her continuous hard work in child
care and in the community. Melvia received numerous other awards and commendations. On December 28, 1996 Melvia was taken
from us. Even in death Melvia was still a savior and helped heal the heart of others.
The Melvia Wright Patten
Scholarship Fund, Inc. gives students a chance at a dream of attending college in honor of a phenomenal woman with a
heart for educating and nurturing “her children”, and with a true spirit of community!
year the Melvia Wright Patten Scholarship Fund, Inc. awards 5 students who are attending an institution of higher learning,
$1,000 to assist with their receiving a higher education.