As a classroom teacher, principal and current adult education administrator, Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall has made a lifetime of using education to unlock the doors of opportunity for hundreds of students, teachers and parents. Growing up, she lived for several years in what was fondly called the “pork and beans” – the Liberty Square housing projects in Miami during the days of segregation. She was one of seven children born to the late Willie J. and Ora Rodgers Bendross, who hailed from rural Alabama, and who had great respect for education as the only means to ensure success. After graduating from Miami Northwestern Senior High School, she matriculated at Tuskegee (Alabama) Institute, Nova University, Barry University and Florida International University, completing Bachelors and Masters degrees, and several Masters-level certifications.
Dorothy has taught children from the rural mountains of North Carolina to the vibrant city of Miami, FL; from various economic and ethnic backgrounds. She strongly believes that all children can learn and has designed and implemented numerous projects, for which she has won national acclaim. Not only has she demonstrated education as a priority, but also shows deep concern for the needs of women and children throughout the state. As the first chairperson of the Governor’s Commission on African American Affairs, she convened meetings throughout the state to listen to the concerns of Florida’s citizens and to direct pro-active events to positively influence decision-makers, and support the overall goals of the Commission. At these events she encouraged all present to take the information learned to their local churches, community organizations and schools, so that they could become part of the team to enhance the educational, political and social experiences of African-Americans in this state.