Jefferson Awards 2019: Mildred Davis

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - While hundreds of people drive by a nearly forgotten Bryan cemetery, Mildred Davis is inside checking on her latest project.

She has no personal connection to anyone buried at Grandview but she's committed to revitalizing the property.

"It's my role to bring dignity to this cemetery and make it beautiful so that families would appreciate coming here," said Davis, a 2019 Jefferson Award honoree.

Davis was asked to help lead cleanup efforts because of her success restoring another historic cemetery in the Brazos Valley.

"I'm very honored to be a person who someone else would see the things I do and appreciate them," she said.

Davis does plenty. The Bryan native volunteers with nearly a dozen local non-profits. She helps with the Salvation Army's Angel Tree and Red Kettle programs.

Peers describe her as an invaluable asset to the annual fundraising banquet for the Brazos Valley African American Museum.

"I also teach etiquette classes and I've also taught indigent ladies who are ready to get into the workforce," she said.

Davis is a retired educator, but she continues teaching future generations the importance of giving back.

"Get involved in something that you enjoy doing. If it's skateboarding, teach someone else to skateboard," said Davis.

She says find your passion, have a willingness to help and when things get tough, "If I feel badly, if I've got a headache, take and an Advil. Keep going because it's going to impact someone else. I always like to bring a smile to someone's face," said Davis.