Melvia moved to the South End section of Boston in 1964 and began to work at the Sheraton Hotel in their housekeeping department. Soon after Melvia gave birth to her son Marvin and her daughter Latonya.
In 1969 Melvia moved into the Bromley Heath Housing Development and worked at the Garland Sweater Factory on Bickford St. It was while she was working at the sweater company that she began to take child development courses. 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.
Throughout her 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.
Melvia knew 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 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 TMC 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! Each 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.